Boston Children’s Hospital has warned employees about mounting threats and is coordinating with law enforcement after far-right activists on social media began targeting the hospital with false claims about its treatment of young transgender people.
It’s the most recent in a series of attempts to target hospitals for their work with trans youth, adding to an ongoing wave of anti-LGBTQ sentiment that has hit libraries, schools and even a trans-inclusive Los Angeles spa.
The public relations office of Boston Children’s Hospital sent an email to employees with guidance on how to respond to harassment and threats earlier this week, citing an “increase of threatening and aggressive” phone calls and emails sent to the hospital commenting on treatment of transgender patients.” The email was confirmed to NBC News by a current employee.
Boston Children’s Hospital first became the target of activists in recent weeks, when well-followed social media accounts such as LibsofTikTok, which has often promoted “groomer” discourse that falsely linked LGBTQ teachers and parents to pedophilia, began to make a variety of false claims. One allegation said that the hospital offered gender-affirming hysterectomies to children under 18 years old.
Conservative influencers with millions of followers pushed similar false talking points and fanned the flames further. David J Harris, a podcaster and supplement seller, and single-issue activists including Chris Elston, who goes by “Billboard Chris” for the anti-trans statements he wears on sandwich boards, are among the right-wing social media stars who have spread the allegations online.
Last week, fact-checking organizations debunked the claims from right-wing accounts, but many of the same accounts continued to spread the false allegations this week.
But wait... it gets worse!
“Long past time to start executing these ‘doctors,’” a member of a pro-Trump message board formerly known as TheDonald, wrote under a copy of a video featuring a doctor from the hospital. This message board is the same one whose members last week doxed and made violent threats against the judge who signed the search warrant that allowed the FBI to search the home of former President Donald Trump.