Harassment reported among gender-affirming healthcare providers in 21 states

Hospitals and providers in 21 different states have faced online harassment for providing gender-affirming care to children in recent months, with online attacks sometimes escalating into offline harassment and threats of violence , according to a new report of the Human Rights Campaign.

Twenty-four hospitals and providers in 21 states have been harassed online following “harassing, inflammatory and misleading” posts from popular right-wing social media accounts, according to the LGBT advocacy group’s report.

The report, published on Tuesday, highlighted posts from the right-wing anti-LGBT Twitter account “Libs of TikTok” and right-wing political commentator Matt Walsh, known for his opposition to the transgender community.

“Social media posts from accounts such as Libs of TikTok and Matt Walsh start a cycle of harassment and stigma, with the ultimate goal of inciting violence and shutting down access to life-saving and medically necessary care. gender affirmation,” the report said.

According to the report, children’s hospitals that provide gender-affirming care have frequently been the target of harassment.

After TikTok’s Libs accused Boston Children’s Hospital of performing hysterectomies on transgender minors in August — a claim that has since been denied — the children’s hospital faced a barrage of online harassment and several bomb threats that forced the hospital to close briefly.

In response, many clinics and hospitals have removed or changed publicly available information about the gender-affirming care services they provide to protect their patients and staff, according to the report.

The report also blamed right-wing politicians for amplifying these accounts’ false claims in an effort to “excite the most extreme members of their base.”

The Human Rights Campaign urged social media companies to act, given that “these steps begin and continue because social media companies allow rhetoric to spread and stay online – even in violation of their own policies”.

However, acknowledging the “reluctance to act” of social media companies, the report also called on elected officials to speak out against anti-LGBT violence and hate speech.

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