Someone in trans health is going to die

Social media propagandists won’t rest until a doctor or other healthcare worker dies over trans health

Katelyn Burns

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Late last week, I wrote for MSNBC about how right wing media propagandists drove a social media hate mob at Boston Children’s Hospital over its youth transgender care program.

Last week, employees at the hospital were warned to take special care when entering and exiting the building, and hired extra security. This week the threats escalated. Yesterday the hospital and police told the media that a bomb threat was made against the facility, forcing an investigation.

It’s a well worn play book that the extreme right previously ran against abortion care. By ginning up political opposition, and matched with physical threats, hospitals that did perform abortions ended up leaving the care to shift to specialist clinics that became even easier to terrorize with protests and right wing violence.

They’re running the same playbook on trans care. If the public hate campaign lasts long enough, administrators at Boston Children’s may one day decide that the trans youth program is not worth the effort, expense, or liability, leaving the existing care to shift to a smaller, less protected and resourceful provider.

Other trans care providers in the US have been hit with similar public outrage campaigns, like the GENECIS program in Dallas, Texas, which first came to the public eye in the wake of the Luna Younger custody case.

Large conservative social media accounts like LibsOfTikTok have made a living lying about a bunch of different issues, but have struck a particularly lucrative vein of hate in targeting providers of youth trans care like Boston Children’s. LoTT was suspended for 7 days by Twitter for its attacks on BCH, but the account vowed to double down when it regains access to the platform.

This won’t stop until someone is killed. In fact, if the anti-abortion movement is any indication, someone getting killed won’t stop the hate at all. Numerous abortion providers and clinic employees have been murdered by pro life zealots, and I expect the same to eventually come to pass for those providing gender affirming care.

No one really cares about stopping the danger here, it seems. It’s not an issue that Democrats really engage on, though the White House has taken some initial steps to oppose state level attacks on trans youth.

Media mostly dawdles its thumbs while platforming anti-trans voices and not employing trans journalists. I do not have a journalism job but I am an openly trans writer who writes regularly for one of the most prominent mainstream media outlets in the country. But I’m a rarity. There are at least ten open transphobes working in media for every one of me out there.

Who’s going to put a stop to this domestic terrorist campaign? I wish I knew the answer.

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Katelyn Burns

Political journalist. The first openly trans Capitol Hill reporter in US history. Writing about more than just trans issues. Follow her on Twitter @transscribe