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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Anti-transgender protest at Boston Children’s Hospital

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Josh Kotler
Outside Boston Children’s Hospital, where the anti-transgender protests took place earlier this week. Photo by Josh Kotler / Mass Media Staff

**TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains mentions of violent and transphobic language**
Tensions at Boston Children’s Hospital grew rapidly on Sunday, Sept. 18, after a small group of about eight or nine right-wing, anti-transgender protesters rallied outside the hospital’s Longwood Avenue entrance. The protesters dressed in all black and held large black signs with disturbing messages.
Some of the messages on the signs included “children cannot consent to puberty blockers,” and “no child is born in the wrong body.” Information obtained by the WCVB news center from the Boston Police Department reports that “Billboard Chris” was the organizer of the anti-trans protest. Chris is a Canadian anti-LGBTQIA+ activist who is against the hospital’s youth gender-affirming care.
While the far-right protest was relatively small, it was met with roughly 200 counter-protesters set up across the street. The counter-protesters had several transgender and universal pride flags, along with signs that read, “Trans people belong” and “gender-affirming care is healthcare.”
Mayor Michelle Wu made a statement to the Boston Globe shortly after the protest, expressing that the anti-trans protesters were part of a “national intimidation tour” across the country. Mayor Wu further said that these protesters were targeting Boston’s “life-saving care” that is provided by Boston Children’s Hospital.
There was a substantial police presence due to the protests on Longwood Avenue. Boston Police Department officers arrived at the scene wearing face shields and batons. Officers were placed on both sides of Longwood to “keep peace” and allow both sides of the protest to exercise their First Amendment rights. According to NBC Boston News, no arrests were made.
Boston Children’s Hospital officials said, in a statement to the Boston Globe, that they were grateful for law enforcement and that it was their top priority to ensure the safety of patients and hospital staff.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Boston Children’s Hospital has dealt with these aggressive outbursts. The hospital is the first in the United States to provide gender-affirming care to youth patients who are transitioning. Unfortunately, this has led Boston Children’s to become a target of negative far-right media. There has been a number of repeat threatening internet activity and phone calls aimed at the hospital. Two bomb threats were even called to the hospital on Aug. 30 and Sept. 9.
The right-wing news outlets have created several false accusations about Boston Children’s transgender health program. Many of these allegations include claims that Boston Children’s performed hysterectomies improperly on minors and young children. This gained tremendous traction, with various users calling for the hospital to be shut down for “child abuse,” “mutilation,” and doctors engaging in malpractice or illegal activity. These prior alarming instances are what called for such a heavy police presence during the recent protests.
Boston Children’s has had to make several updates to its websites to emphasize that patients qualify for most of their gender-affirming surgeries. For instance, patients need to be at least 18 years old in some circumstances. Patients also must undergo intensive medical and mental health evaluations and letters of support from family or close loved ones.
Boston Children’s Hospital has no plan to stop its transgender care program, no matter how many protests occur. No matter how you identify, every American must have access to healthcare that fits their needs. It is encouraged to talk to a professional and look over the Boston Children’s Hospital website for information when having doubts about this type of medical care.

About the Contributors
Samantha Beady, News Editor
Josh Kotler, Photographer