The Latest Fad In Radical Right Harassment Campaigns? Children’s Hospitals, Of Course

UPMC Children's Hospital.

I don’t know about you, but when I want to blow off some steam and air some grievances, there’s just no more perfect target than a children’s hospital. Whether it’s the staff, the administration, the families, or even the children themselves, there’s nothing quite so satisfying as making a children’s hospital hell for everyone involved.

And before anyone tells me that sounds, well, really messed up, do you know what they DO at a so-called children’s hospital? Provide chemotherapy to kids with cancer? Monitor kids with heart defects? Evaluate young people who are suicidal? Set broken bones and heal burns and stitch cuts and save lives?

Well, yes. I mean, sure. But do you know the main thing they do? Mandatory hysterectomies for everyone who walks through the door. Can you believe it? No? Well, good, you shouldn’t.

But if you take Libs of TikTok’s word for it, Boston Children’s Hospital, Children’s National Hospital in DC, and UPMC Children’s right here in Pittsburgh are genital mutilation factories that must be shut down immediately.

Any hospital that provides gender-affirming care for young people is in the crosshairs right now as we are in the midst of an ever-escalating moral panic about transgender people driven by a lot of false information and hateful rhetoric.

On Twitter, in response to Libs of TikTok’s post about gender-affirming care at Boston Children’s Hospital, the responses ranged from the typical “liberals are monsters” fare to death threats, including that the hospital should be blown up and the doctors fed into a wood chipper. Very pro-life!

Now, if you’re old like me, you might be wondering why an account called Libs of TikTok is on Twitter and not, say, only TikTok, all I can tell you is that the world is a multifaceted digital hellscape. Wikipedia explains it better: “Libs of TikTok is a far-right Twitter account owned by former real estate worker Chaya Raichik. The account reposts content created by liberals, leftists, and LGBT people on TikTok and on other social media platforms, often with hostile, derogatory, or mocking commentary.”

In other words, it exists solely for making liberals and LGBTQ+ people look bad. Libs of TikTok boasts “news and views you won’t see anywhere else,” and they’re not wrong. Their so-called “news” is lies and their views are abhorrent and not deserving of a wider platform. Basically, every single claim they make should begin, “Wild if true.”

Alejandra Caraballo, host of the podcast Queering the Law, frequently calls out Libs of Tiktok on Twitter and calls for Twitter to suspend the account.

“Deplatforming hate works,” she said. “It disrupts network effects and eliminates the ability for bad actors to propagate hate while exposing it to mainstream audiences. That’s why large platforms like Twitter have a moral obligation to moderate against hate.”

And, as we all know, Twitter is really good at this (#sarcasm). I mean, it only took disgraced former president Donald Trump calling for the overturning of the 2020 election and further inciting his mob of insurrection MAGAs for Twitter to ban him.

This has, of course, led to a flurry of right-wing hysteria about “cancel culture” and the “loss of free speech.” Keep in mind, the same people who think that Twitter has an absolute obligation to allow any and all kinds of speech on their website are the people who don’t think that Christian bakers should have to make a wedding cake for gays.

Libs of TikTok is odious, but there’s no denying the fact that it’s very popular. Hateful and ignorant views of LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender youth, is all the rage right now. Literally. It’s all the conservative/religious/far right has. These extremists are the ones propping up the Republican Party, a party that has no ideas, no solutions, and doesn’t GAF about democracy or you.

I’m sorry to all of the trans kids who are growing up during this time when it is more acceptable to express and be your authentic self than ever, but also a time when outright hatred is directed at you from people with power, from people who advocate violence and from people who are willfully ignorant. My transgender readers, it’s not you who has to change. It’s them.

If you or a loved one need support, contact The Trevor Project or the Trans Lifeline. You are not alone.

D'Anne Witkowski is a poet, writer and comedian living life with her wife and son. She has been writing about LGBT politics for over a decade. Follow her on Twitter.