Lurie Children's Hospital facing harassment for gender affirming care
Pediatric facilities nationwide, including Chicago's Lurie Children's Hospital, are facing harassment and false claims about the gender-affirming care they offer.
Why it matters: The harassment is driven by Libs of TikTok, a Twitter account whose posts are amplified by the conservative group Awake Illinois.
- It targets hospitals that provide crucial gender care ranging from talking to children about their identities to hormone treatments and surgery for those over 18 years old.
Flashback: The American Medical Association last year asked governors to oppose legislation that limits gender-affirming care for youth, calling it "medically necessary, evidence-based care that improves physical and mental health."
What's happening: A man calling himself Billboard Chris showed up at Lurie last week with a sign suggesting children are being given puberty blockers against their will.
- The Awake Illinois Twitter account called him a hero for it. (He also attended their rally in Springfield.)
- Other hospitals targeted by Libs of TikTok include a Nebraska children's hospital and Phoenix Children's Hospital.
- And Boston Children's Hospital is stepping up security following threats over its program for treating transgender and nonbinary youth.
What they're saying: "We stand in solidarity with our transgender patients and families, community, and colleagues who are providing gender-affirming care," Lurie said in a statement. "We strongly condemn any threats on and harassment toward the transgender community."
The intrigue: An anonymous Twitter account urged "foodies" to boycott Lettuce Entertain You Enterprise (LEYE) restaurants because Awake Illinois leader Jessica Hockett, an outspoken opponent of school masking and LGBTQ equity programs, is married to Wow Bao executive Tim Hockett.
Reality check: LEYE representatives say Tim Hockett hasn't worked there since 2020.
- Wow Bao, previously owned by LEYE, was acquired by a private equity firm in 2017. LEYE says it no longer manages the brand, but lists it on the Lettuce site because it holds a minority stake.
Of note: Wow Bao did not make Tim Hockett available for comment, and Awake Illinois and Libs of Tik Tok did not respond to interview requests.
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