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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

American Library Association asks FBI to investigate threats

The letter also specified attacks on social media platforms. Many of these threats have been initiated specifically over LGBTQ+ books

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Chicago headquarters buildings of the American Library Association, (ALA) (Photo Credit: ALA)

CHICAGO – On Monday the executive board of the American Library Association (ALA) sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray expressing concerns about the ongoing serious threats directed towards public and school libraries and library workers since last Spring and asking Wray to launch an FBI investigation.

While the ALA Executive Board didn’t state there was a direct connection between recent threats and opposition to library materials and programs, the board on behalf of its member libraires expressed deep concerns over the volume and intensity of the threats which have included violent disruptions of programs and verbal threats of physical harm.

The letter highlighted bombing or shooting threats that forced the temporary closures of Hawaii State Public Library System, Salt Lake City Public Library System, the Denver Public Library, the Fort Worth Public Library and the Nashville Public Library.

The letter also specified attacks on social media platforms over the past year. Many of these threats have been initiated specifically over LGBTQ+ books or books on race, along with violent threats and disruptions over drag queen story hours across the nation.

Notably, many of the disruptions and threats are promulgated by the Twitter account of Chaya Raichik, a former Brooklyn, New York real estate agent, who appears to be negatively obsessed with LGBTQ+ people.

When Raichik tweets to her 1.3 million followers, violence or threats of threats inevitably follow. The people acting on her tweets are very often members of the white supremacist group the Proud Boys, who analysts say have targeted nearly every event Libs of Tik Tok has tweeted about, and who rarely or never target events she doesn’t tweet about.

Raichik also zealously targets transgender people with special emphasis on spreading lies and propaganda as she has reintroduced Anita Bryant 1970’s era far-right anti-LGBTQ+ ideology and language, defining trans females and gay men as “groomers” which has reinvigorated anti-LGBTQ+ extremists.

“Libs of TikTok is synonymous with maliciously targeting LGBTQ organizations, people, and allies by posting lies, misinformation, and blatant hate,” said a GLAAD spokesperson to the Blade.

In addition to the FBI Director, with a copy forwarded to Merrick Garland, Attorney General of the United States, the ALA is cautioning its members, urging that the “safety of library workers and patrons must be a priority. We encourage directors, supervisors and managers to review their institution’s safety procedures with all staff so that everyone knows how to respond if they receive a threat or are threatened directly.”

Transcript of the letter:

LETTER OF CONCERN TO FBI re: threats of violence in libraries: September 27, 2022

September 27, 2022

The Honorable Christopher A. Wray
Director
Federal Bureau of Investigation
935 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20535

Dear Director Wray:

We, members of the executive board of the American Library Association (ALA), are writing to register our concern over threats that are being directed at public libraries and library workers. In the past two weeks, bombing or shooting threats forced the temporary closures of Hawaii State Public Library System, Salt Lake City Public Library System, the Denver Public Library, the Fort Worth Public Library and the Nashville Public Library.

The bombing and shooting threats in these five metropolitan libraries come on the heels of other threats to library workers in school and public libraries, who have been increasingly targeted by violent disruptions of programs and verbal threats of physical harm, as well as attacks on social media platforms over the past year. In addition to documented instances reported in the media in recent months, library workers are reporting to ALA that they are receiving direct threats. We are concerned that these threats, some of which include the disclosure of personal details and false and defamatory claims, may lead to actual violence towards library workers.

Given the seriousness and proliferation of these threats of violence and other acts of intimidation increasingly taking place in America’s libraries, we are gravely concerned for the safety of library workers and the millions of Americans who visit libraries each day.

We appreciate your attention to our concern about these threats to libraries and library workers and ask that you initiate an investigation as to whether there is any connection among them.

Sincerely,

The Executive Board of the American Library Association

Cc: The Honorable Merrick Garland, Attorney General of the United States

Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Transphobic Fox host: Trans people are “Deeply Anti-Human”

Fox news host Laura Ingraham launched into a transphobic rant claiming the political left are cheering on what she termed anti-humanism

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Screenshot/YouTube Fox News

By Media Matters Staff | NEW YORK – On her show last night, Fox news host Laura Ingraham launched into a transphobic rant claiming among other things that those on the political left are cheering on what she termed anti-humanism.

Then she pivoted to the transgender community:

“Crusaders for climate change, abortion, euthanasia, gender fluidity, they all lead — eventually, their thinking — to the devaluing of human life.

“At its core, being anti-human means being anti- truth because it involves the questioning or denying of objective facts, including those at the very heart of our existence. 

“The cult of gender deviancy collapses into meaningless slogans and blather. None of it makes any sense, but it’s deeply anti-human.” 

Watch the Media Matters for America video clip:

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Anti-trans activist Kellie-Jay Keen spreads hate across America

Violence mars speaking tour by the UK’s “Standing for Women” leader whose next stops include Florida, Washington, D.C. and New York City

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Screenshot/YouTube

CHICAGO – Outspoken British TERF Kellie-Jay Keen, who goes by the pseudonym “Posie Parker,” is in Chicago Sunday for the sixth stop in her 11-city “Standing for Women” speaking tour, which she launched in Los Angeles Oct. 16.

Her mission, she said when she announced the tour on Twitter earlier this month, is to “let women speak” and to “change the world.” 

“Women,” according to Keen and her supporters, only means cisgender people presumed to be female at birth and does not include transgender women. “No woman has a penis,” Keen said in Austin, Texas Saturday. “No man has a vagina.” GC activists and TERFs like Keen are campaigning for laws discriminating against trans rights on both sides of the Atlantic.  

Keen streamed the event on YouTube and posted photos on social media, showing what Keen claimed were Chicago police officers escorting her through crowds due to incidents of violence that had erupted on that tour. As of press time, Chicago police could neither confirm or deny whether on-duty officers provided security or whether off-duty uniformed officers were present. 

In Tacoma on Wednesday, police made one arrest for assault and The News Tribune reported at least six counter-protesters were treated for being hit with pepper-spray. The woman wielding the can of bear spray, similar to that used in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, was identified in that report and via YouTube as Jenna Hoch of Denver, an anti-trans activist. She can be seen in the video, backing away from counter-protesters, screaming “Don’t touch me.”

A 14-year-old girl claims to have been targeted by Hoch in a video posted to YouTube

“I was prepared for the violence,” Hoch told The News Tribune, following what she described as an assault in Portland, Ore. One protester’s hand was injured and required medical treatment, Hoch said. Keen, however, canceled the Portland event due to threats she claimed were made by Antifa. Video of a pie attack at that canceled event has since gone viral.

Despite canceling the stop in Portland, Keen did show up in Tacoma. A video posted by Keen shows a counter-protester storming the area of Tollefson Plaza where Keen and a dozen fellow speakers were holding their rally; One of Keen’s supporters swiftly intercepted the counter-protester. According to The News Tribune, about 30 people showed up at the plaza in support of Keen. However, within minutes, the crowd of 20 counter-protesters grew to about 200 and made their way into the plaza. By that time, Keen had already fled, according to the report. 

Keen is the U.K. activist who earlier this year advocated for gun-carrying, cisgender dads here in the U.S. to “use women’s toilets… to combat the insanity” of allowing transgender girls and women to use bathrooms matching their gender identity. Keen represents cisgender women who call themselves “Gender Critical,” and oppose laws and policies here and in the U.K. that allow transgender women to identify as women, compete as women and use public facilities dedicated to females. Keen also confronted this reporter covering the NCAA Women’s Swimming Championships in Atlanta in March about use of public bathrooms. 

When Keen launched her speaking tour on Oct. 16 on Hollywood Blvd., she was joined by a handful of supporters and fellow speakers and no opposition. And police presence was non-existent. 

The same was true in San Francisco, her second stop. But when protesters started showing up at Keen’s events, she asked for but did not receive police protection, including in Tacoma. That visibly changed when she arrived in Austin, Texas on Saturday, as ex-detransitoner and former radical feminist Ky Schevers tweeted, with a screenshot of armed security guards flanking Keen. 

According to Schevers, “Jeannette Cooper of PEC [anti-trans group Partners for Ethical Care] hired private security for Chicago & K. Yang aka the Deprogrammer is paying for security for the NYC rally.”

Also on hand on Sunday in Chicago’s Pioneer Court: Counter-demonstrators brandishing signs declaring, “TERFs MACE KIDS.” 

The counter-demonstrators staged their own rally in Chicago’s Cityfront Plaza, attended by at least one man identified by Twitter users as a member of the Proud Boys.
Keen’s next stops include Florida, Washington, D.C. and New York City, and she announced she plans to make a documentary from video of her events.

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Matt Walsh anti-trans rally: death threats, Proud Boys & extremists

Walsh’s rally attracted extremists, some of whom explicitly called for violence against medical professionals

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Graphic by Holly Butler for Media Matters

By Mia Gingerich | WASHINGTON – Last Friday, the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh held a rally in Tennessee against gender-affirming care, a follow-up to his targeted misinformation campaign against Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

Footage from the rally, which included speeches from Walsh, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and other media figures and local politicians, shows that it attracted a cadre of extremists, including members of the violent Proud Boys extremist group and multiple protesters brandishing signs explicitly calling for violence against medical professionals. Following the rally,

Walsh called the protesters “normal decent Americans” while Blackburn said she was “proud” to have participated. 

Walsh, an opportunist who has committed himself to an anti-trans crusade, recently claimed to be “building a nationwide organized movement” to target hospitals and medical providers with harassment after helping to drive harassment against Boston Children’s Hospital. After the facility reported threats against doctors and staff, Walsh continued to target the facility, which later received more than one bomb threat. In September, Walsh targeted Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital with similar false claims and mischaracterizations of procedures offered to minors, falsely claiming the hospital would “castrate, sterilize, and mutilate minors as well as adults.” 

The efficacy of gender-affirming medical care for trans youth, and the serious psychological risks of denying that care, have been shown by numerous studies, and such care is supported by every major medical organization in America. 

Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital responded to Walsh by saying it did not provide gender-affirming genital surgeries for trans youth but would temporarily cease other gender-affirming surgeries for minors, despite such surgeries having very low rates of regret. Following the success of his targeting of Vanderbilt, Walsh announced the rally at the Tennessee state capitol on October 21, which was billed as “The Rally to End Child Mutilation.”

Walsh’s rally attracted extremists, some of whom explicitly called for violence against medical professionals

Leading up to the rally, Walsh, who has a history of promoting or defending political violence, continually targeting healthcare providers and the LGBTQ community, comparing doctors who provide gender-affirming care to Nazis, calling for police to “[break] down the doors” of establishments hosting drag events, and tweeting he was “not just reporting” on the trans health clinic at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital but was “going to put a stop to it.”

Footage of the rally streamed by Walsh and local news outlets on YouTube showed multiple attendees at Walsh’s rally directly calling for violence against doctors, with one attendee’s sign reading “Doctors who mutilate children should be killed.”

picture of crowd at Matt Walsh's rally in Tennessee, one sign reads "doctors who mutilate children should be killed"

The sign was visible at the front of the crowd for the duration of the rally, including during speeches by Walsh and Blackburn. The man holding the sign, who can be seen cheering for Matt Walsh during a speech by Tea Party activist Matt Meckler, was also recorded by local media confronting counter-protesters before the rally yelling, “No mutilators, mutilators go home.” 

Footage from a local newscast of the event also captured an attendee positioned further back in the crowd holding a sign that said, “mutilate the mutilators.” 

screenshot of crowd at Matt Walsh's Tennessee rally, sign reads "mutilate the mutilators"

Following the bomb threat made against Boston Children’s Hospital, Walsh claimed that “no critic of gender ideology gains anything or has any incentive to make a threat.”

Footage from the rally also shows a number of members of the violent extremist group the Proud Boys, one of whom can be seen flashing a white nationalist hand signal as he passed counter protesters.

From CBS Channel 5’s livestream of Matt Walsh’s October 21, 2022, rally in Tennessee, streamed on YouTube

The rally also attracted fringe Christian fundamentalists who held oversized signs declaring, “homo sex is sin,” and that “hellfire awaits” gay people and “baby killers.” Another protester near the front can be seen holding a sign declaring, “We are at war,” with the other side reading, “No justice, no peace, free the J6’ers,” referring to those arrested for participating in the January 6 insurrection. 

Walsh and other speakers at the rally used incendiary language directing anger at medical professionals 

In addition to Walsh, speakers at the rally included GOP state politicians from Tennessee, who earlier this year passed multiple anti-trans bills (helping to perpetuate mental health crisis among trans youth in the state), and Blackburn, who used the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to push anti-trans talking points. Other speakers included Tulsi Gabbard, Dr. Colin Wright, and Chloe Cole.

During the rally, Walsh engaged the crowd with incendiary language, asking the audience, “As Tennesseans, do we believe in castrating children? Do we believe in that? Do we believe in drugging and mutilating kids?” Walsh added, “They believe in it.” He continued, saying, “I’m not going to leave it to my kids to fight this fight. We don’t leave it to our kids. We stand up and we fight. It isn’t our kids’ battle,” before going on to characterize his “fight” as “a battle of good versus evil.” 

In her speech, Blackburn directed the attention of the extremists in the crowd to Vanderbilt, saying Walsh and the Daily Wire did an “amazing job” targeting Vanderbilt, referencing “what was taking place just down the street right here in Nashville.” Later in her speech, Blackburn said she was going to “carry this movement to take care of our children, to end this child mutilation.” As she neared the end of her speech, Blackburn said, “Look, you all are happy warrior freedom fighters, and you are not going to let the left get their way with our children.”

Vanderbilt’s proximity to the crowd’s location was also referenced by State Rep. William Lamberth (R-TN), who said during his speech, “If not for Matt and his team, a certain university medical center just down the road would still be performing child mutilation surgeries.”

Walsh and other speakers reacted to the rally by targeting counter protesters and lauding the anti-trans protesters 

Immediately following the rally, Walsh, who last year called Kyle Rittenhouse a “victim” after Rittenhouse shot dead multiple people at a Black Lives Matter protest, tweeted a photo of the crowd where the sign calling for violence against doctors is visible, with Walsh simply captioning it, “We are winning.”

Blackburn tweeted after the rally that she was “proud to defend Tennessee kids from these dangerous procedures today.” Tulsi Gabbard wrote in her newly-launched Substack newsletter that there were “a handful of very noisy protesters who were there to support continued child mutilation” at the rally, but made no mention of those calling to murder doctors. 

During his podcast on Monday, Walsh targeted the counter protesters at the event, calling them “satanic leftist zombies” and “emotionally disturbed freaks and losers,” and claimed some of them were “of the paid variety.” Walsh contrasted them with his supporters.

In the end I have to be grateful that the disgusting hellspawns did show up because it provided exactly the kind of contrast that I want people to see. On one hand, you have normal decent Americans of all ages and demographics speaking out against one of the great atrocities of our time, and on the other hand you have a bunch of screeching goblins who have no argument to present, no point to make, and are only interested in silencing the other side by whatever means necessary. So it’s just up to each member of the public to decide whose side they want to be on. You see that footage, you decide, who do you want to line up with?”

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Mia Gingerich is a researcher at Media Matters. She has a bachelor’s degree in politics and government from Northern Arizona University and has previously worked in rural organizing and local media.

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The preceding article was previously published by Media Matters for America and is republished by permission.

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Matt Walsh: Police need to “break down the doors” of drag shows

“Charge them all as pedophiles. Throw them in prison, and whenever they get out put them on the sex offender registry for life”

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Graphic by Andrea Austria for Media Matters

NASHVILLE – The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh called for police to break “down the doors” of drag shows where children are present and charge everyone involved as pedophiles. He then compared drag shows to cancer, saying “just like cancer, stopping it is not a gentle or a painless process.”

Transcript:

MATT WALSH (HOST): Now, a few things here are confusing. Well, more than a few things, but focusing just on these for a moment. For one thing, the pronoun situation is all over the map, okay? It’s not clear of the various people mentioned here, which are actually females, though they all use female pronouns.

I mean, it doesn’t really make a difference I suppose, the child is being exploited either way, the adults are creeps and degenerates and worse either way, but that is a confusing aspect of this.

Also, I was not previously familiar with the term drag mom, though from context it seems that this is just another way of describing a professional groomer. The quote “drag child” is handed over to the drag mom to be groomed and conditioned. It seems to be essentially a sort of pedophilic, predatory farm system that the groomers have set up.

So, what can be done about this? That’s really the question. We’ve established that this is happening and it’s only getting worse over time. Progressivism does what the name suggests, what the label suggests, it’s progressivism so it progresses, except that it progresses in the same sense that, say, cancer progressives. It keeps spreading and getting worse and eating away at our civilization until it is stopped or until it destroys its host.

And just like cancer, stopping it is not a gentle or a painless process. The farther along the cancer is, the more aggressive you have to be in fighting it. Culturally, we are approaching, if we haven’t already reached, a terminal state, which means we have to be all the more aggressive, which calls for two things.

First, obviously involving children in drag events in any capacity should be outright criminalized everywhere. There is no other way. You know, this doesn’t stop until police are breaking down the doors at these places and carting the adults away in handcuffs. Charge them all as pedophiles. Throw them in prison, and whenever they get out, if they do get out, put them on the sex offender registry for life.

That man in the first clip dancing around with his skirt up should be treated legally as a child predator. That’s the level of protection that our children are owed and the people sexualizing and exploiting them are owed that level of punishment.

This is something that needs to start in red states. And if Republicans take over the White House, it should be handled on the federal level as well. 

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Media Matters for America is a politically left-leaning 501, nonprofit organization and media watchdog group. MMfA was founded in 2004 by journalist and political activist David Brock as a counterweight to the conservative Media Research Center.

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Deleted Walsh blog post: Concept of adolescence “modern plague”

The Daily Wire personality has come under fire for previous comments in which he defended teenage pregnancy

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Graphic by Andrea Austria for Media Matters

By Ari Drennen | WASHINGTON – Self-described “theocratic fascist” Matt Walsh dismissed adolescence as a modern invention for which he had “a cure,” according to a deleted post from his blog discovered by Media Matters. Walsh has come under fire for past comments he made advocating for teenage girls to marry and get pregnant. 

According to a version of the blog post stored in the internet archive, the Daily Wire personality argued that “virtually every culture has its own child-into-adult initiation, and almost all of them happen significantly before the 18th birthday.”

In the 2013 blog post, Walsh, who has helped lead a right-wing campaign of harassment against children’s hospitals providing lifesaving gender-affirming care to trans youth and who has previously slandered LGBTQ people as “groomers,” wrote:

In modern Western society, we’ve delayed the onset of adulthood, instead inventing a new sort of human: the “teenager.” The teenager exists in this limbo which we’ve created; we call it “adolescence.” Adolescence is a state-of-the-art modern innovation, like crack-cocaine or chemical warfare.

The World Health Organization describes adolescence as a phase of life between childhood and adulthood between ages 10 and 19 when young people “experience rapid physical, cognitive and psychosocial growth” that “affects how they feel, think, make decisions, and interact with the world around them.” Walsh derides that period as as “a product of our expectations,” saying that if we expect 13-year-olds to act like adults, they will be able to do so:

Adolescence isn’t a product of brain chemistry — it’s a product of our expectations. If we expect 23 year olds to act like they’re 13, then we will get just that. For thousands of years, 13 year olds were expected to act like they’re 23, and those expectations were met.

Walsh has faced criticism for previous commentaryreported by Media Matters, in which the far-right pundit suggested that girls as young as 16 should marry and become pregnant, saying, “The problem is not, per se, teenage pregnancy — it’s unwed pregnancy.” Walsh argued that girls who are “still in high school … want, biologically and metaphysically and with everything in their body, they want to settle down, they want to start a family” and said that 16-year-olds are adults:

At about 16, you’re an adult who is mature and can make decisions — you are that at 16. I don’t care what anybody says. And if you’re going to tell me it’s different, well, then how come for the first 10,000 years of human civilization, that’s the way it was? It’s just recently where all of a sudden we’re all r——- until we’re 25?

In a two-tweet thread, Walsh called the comments “out of context material from a rock morning show I hosted in my early 20s on an obscure station in Delaware,” adding, “I apologize for nothing.”

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Ari Drennen is the LGBTQ program director for Media Matters, where she has worked since January 2022. She has a bachelors degree in political science and economics from Middlebury College. Previously she worked at the Center for American Progress and the League of Conservation Voters

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The preceding article was previously published by Media Matters for America and is republished by permission.

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

After Twitter lifted Libs of TikTok’s suspension- she went back at it

Following the suspension, the extreme anti-LGBTQ account immediately returned to targeting teachers & a children’s hospital

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Graphic by Andrea Austria for Media Matters

Editor’s note: Libs of TikTok business partner Seth Dillon confirmed in a tweet that the account has once again been suspended for violating Twitter’s rules against hateful conduct, just one day after returning from its last seven-day suspension.

By Natalie Mathes | WASHINGTON – After Twitter allowed the viral hate account “Libs of TikTok” back onto its platform following a seven-day suspension, the extreme anti-LGBTQ account immediately returned to targeting teachers and a children’s hospital for supporting trans youth.

Started by Chaya Raichik, Libs of TikTok first gained a following on social media by scandalizing instances when gender identity and sexuality were discussed in schools and targeting teachers for harassment. Raichik has previously amplified content from the organization led by self-described “Christian fascist” Kelly Neidert, alleging that schools are hiding information about students from parents. Raichik has also previously called for all openly LGBTQ teachers to be fired.

Libs of TikTok has been suspended several times on multiple platforms, including InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. Raichik had previously been suspended from Twitter for accusing LGBTQ people of “grooming” children, which Twitter confirmed violates its policies against hateful conduct after facing pressure from Media Matters and others. Her Twitter account was also suspended after she targeted multiple hospitals for providing gender-affirming care, leading to violent threats against patients and providers and forcing at least one hospital to request support from law enforcement. (On September 5, Raichik baselessly claimed that a bomb threat against Boston Children’s Hospital “was probably a left-wing person trying to get me suspended.”)

Notably, Raichik previously pledged to redouble her attacks on hospitals providing trans people with health care after she was suspended from Twitter in August. 

On September 28, Raichik took to Substack to announce that Twitter had suspended her account again for violating its hateful conduct policy. Raichik promised to continue her attacks on drag queens and best-practice health care for trans youth, which she called “the insanity of the Left.” Raichik also threatened to sue Twitter if it permanently bans her from the platform, and solicited donations for the “Libs of TikTok Legal Fund.”

Libs of TikTok immediately returned to targeting educators who support LGBTQ youth

After returning to Twitter, Libs of TikTok published a thread targeting the Hilliard City School District in Ohio, where teachers are allowed to wear badges indicating that they are a “safe person” to talk to about LGBTQ issues. Raichik’s thread was posted less than an hour after known anti-LGBTQ propagandist Chris Rufo shared a thread attacking the same school district.

The badges have QR codes on them that link to educational resources intended for teachers and other adults, which Raichik fearmongered “leads to sites containing sexually explicit content.” The local news clip about the story that was previously shared by Libs of TikTok before its most recent suspension even explained this: The superintendent of Hilliard City Schools stated that teachers have been reminded that “the resources linked to the QR code were for adult learning only,” and that their responses to students who ask about the badge “should be age appropriate.”

Libs of TikTok also immediately returned to targeting children’s hospitals after Twitter lifted the account’s suspension

On October 2, Libs of TikTok posted a thread on Twitter targeting Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Maine. The account shared a clip from a 2016 report by ABC affiliate WMTW News 8 in Portland, Maine, that featured two parents whose trans child had said she wished she could “die” so “God could bring me back as a girl.” The news report listed the child’s full name, and later in the thread Raichik posted an article listing the name of an endocrinologist who works at the children’s hospital.

On October 3, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Medical Association, and the Children’s Hospital Association sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland calling on the Department of Justice to investigate “the increasing threats of violence against physicians, hospitals and families of children for providing and seeking evidence-based gender-affirming care.” They also called on Twitter and other platforms “to do more to prevent coordinated campaigns of disinformation,” “to take bolder action when false information is shared about specific institutions and physicians,” and “to enforce safety and hateful conduct policies to stop the endangerment of patients, families, physicians and health care staff.” 

Raichik has shown that unless Twitter answers this call with the “bolder action” it deserves, Libs of TikTok will continue to abuse the platform by spreading dangerous misinformation and targeting trans youth and their families — along with teachers and a growing list of hospitals and health care professionals. 

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Natalie Mathes is a researcher for Media Matters and a Board Member (jr.) of the The Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, New York.

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The preceding article was previously published by Media Matters for American and is republished by permission.

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Anti-Trans far-right pundit Matt Walsh says gender affirming is evil

Walsh, who has over a million Twitter followers which includes the anti-LGBTQ Libs of Tik-Tok, called gender-affirming surgery “mutilation”

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Screenshot/YouTube

NASHVILLE – Daily Wire host and far-right extremist anti-transgender activist Matt Walsh went on Twitter Monday attacking trans people writing: “I believe that gender ideology is one of the greatest evils in human history. There is nothing they can threaten that would make me back down from this fight. I’d rather be dead than surrender to this madness. It’s as simple as that for me.”

Walsh, who has over a million followers which includes the anti-LGBTQ activist account Libs of Tik-Tok, has called gender-affirming surgery human body mutilation, added in another tweet: “The medical establishment, Big Tech, and the federal government conspire to punish those of us who criticize the accepted narrative. This is full on tyranny, and it will of course be defended by every single leftist who spends every day whining about “fascism.”

Alejandra Caraballo, a Clinical Instructor at Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic and a former staff attorney at the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund and a Staff Attorney at the LGBTQ Law Project at New York Legal Assistance Group, noted on Twitter that Walsh’s tweet could incite violence against Trans Americans.

“This is a direct threat and incitement of violence against trans people. When he says “gender ideology,” he really means trans people. Matt says he’s willing to die to fight it. Some of his followers may take him up on that and engage in real violence,” Caraballo wrote.

Most recently attacks on American hospitals providing trans healthcare, especially those with clinics treating trans youth have been targeted by anti-Trans extremists led by Walsh and Brooklyn, New York-based Chaya Raichik, a former real estate agent whose ‘Libs of Tik-Tok’ have spread misinformation and lies about gender-affirming surgery which has fostered attacks on those healthcare facilities by far-right extremist elements.

Alarmed at the increase of violence,  in a letter sent Monday to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, the American Medical Association joined with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and Children’s Hospital Association asking the Department of Justice investigate [the] increasing “threats of violence against physicians, hospitals and families of children for providing and seeking evidence-based gender-affirming care.”

Referencing Walsh’s declaration and others who complain that their anti-trans view points are free speech and being censored, including the recent 7 day suspension of Raichik that expired Monday as well as the letter asking the U.S. Attorney General and the Justice Department to investigate , Caraballo noted:

“The instigators of the anti-LGBTQ moral panic are now pushing the narrative that they are going to be prosecuted by DOJ for their speech. They won’t be prosecuted. They haven’t violated the law. However, they need to fuel further outrage and feign persecution.”

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Anti-LGBTQ+ Libs of TikTok hit with [another] 7 day suspension

LGBTQ activists pushed for Twitter to permanently ban Libs of TikTok from its platform permanently although so far no actions have been taken

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Chaya Raichik (Screenshot/YouTube Fox News)

SAN FRANCISCO – The social media account Libs of TikTok, known for its attacks against LGBTQ people, was suspended from Twitter for seven days on Sunday, according to a letter made public Wednesday.

James Lawrence III, a lawyer at the Raleigh-based Envisage Law representing Raichik, sent the letter to Twitter’s head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde – requesting the account be reinstated. It claims Twitter “again wrongfully” suspended Chaya Raichik, who runs Libs of TikTok. 

The Los Angeles Blade reached out to Gadde for comment. The request has not yet been returned. 

The account has not made a post on Twitter since Sunday. 

Libs of TikTok has grabbed headlines for spreading what advocates call anti-LGBTQ hate speech. In August, the account was temporarily suspended from Meta’s Facebook for falsehoods attacking Boston Children’s Hospital’s gender-affirming treatments. The hospital received “well over a dozen distinct threats” following a harassment campaign, according to FBI Special Agent in Charge Joseph Bonavolonta.

More recently, the American Library Association (ALA) sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray expressing concerns about the ongoing serious threats directed toward libraries, asking the FBI to launch an investigation. Raichik, a former Brooklyn real estate agent, promulgated many of the disruptions and threats on social media. 

“Our client’s reporting may be offensive to Twitter users, including users who identify with protected categories, but that is not sufficient in and of itself to cut LOTT off from your company’s platform and our client’s audience,” Lawrence wrote. 

According to the letter, Twitter has suspended the account multiple times – the last coming a month ago. 

In a Substack blog post, Raichik said she is the target of a “harassment campaign from the Left to deplatform” her.

“The truth is I haven’t engaged in hateful conduct,” she said. “I’ve just exposed the Left’s depravity by reporting the facts. There’s no rule against that, so they have to make up violations I’ve never committed.”

A spokesperson for GLAAD, an LGBTQ media advocacy group, previously told the Blade the account was “synonymous with maliciously targeting LGBTQ organizations, people, and allies by posting lies, misinformation, and blatant hate,”

In addition, Raichik said she is “not taking it lying down,” vowing to sue Twitter if it permanently suspends her Libs of TikTok account. She also asked for donations through her legal defense fund to cover “legal fees associated with fighting back against not only Big Tech, but every single media outlet that has lied about me to try and get me deplatformed.”

On Twitter, LGBTQ activists pushed for Twitter to permanently ban Libs of TikTok from its platform. 

“They need to be suspended PERMANENTLY,” said Alejandra Caraballo, a clinical instructor at Harvard Law School’s Cyberlaw Clinic. “No other account has gotten this much special consideration or consecutive lockouts without a permanent suspension. It’s clear they are getting special treatment.”

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Far-right influencers are creating new barriers to trans health care

Right-wing media’s campaign against children’s hospitals is making it harder for trans people to access lifesaving medical care

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Graphic by Andrea Austria for Media Matters

By Ari Drennen | WASHINGTON – Just days after the FBI arrested a suspect in the bomb threat against Boston Children’s Hospital, Libs of Tik Tok and The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh resumed their campaign against children’s hospitals that provide lifesaving care to trans people, directing followers’ attention this time to Akron Children’s Hospital and Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

Right-wing media have established a playbook for inundating hospitals with harassment and forcing them to delete information intended for trans patients from their websites — thus creating yet another barrier for trans people seeking medical care. 

Libs of TikTok first targeted Boston Children’s Hospital on August 11, sharing a video about gender-affirming hysterectomies with an incendiary caption claiming that the procedure was available to “young girls.” The hospital was forced to quickly delete the video, but the narrative had been set in right-wing media, and criticism of the hospital intensified.

On August 15, Walsh made the false and incendiary claim that children’s hospitals across the country were “butchering, mutilating, and sterilizing their young patients.” These attacks were followed by violent threats including threats to “execute” doctors and at least one bomb threat against Boston Children’s Hospital.

Members of the right-wing media initially dismissed the threats, with Infowars’ Owen Shroyer calling it a “false flag,” Chaya Raichik, who runs Libs of TikTok, asserting it was “probably a left-wing person trying to get me suspended,” and Walsh suggesting that it could be a left-wing hoax. It apparently was not. On September 15, the FBI announced the arrest of a suspect who allegedly called hospital operators from her personal cell phone, calling them “sickos,” saying that a bomb was on the way, and demanding that everyone evacuate.

By September 18, Libs of TikTok had returned to the campaign against children’s hospitals that provide gender-affirming care, posting a tweet disclosing that Akron Children’s provides puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones before misleadingly noting that the hospital treats patients as young as 7.

On September 20, Walsh made similar claims about Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, saying it makes “lots of ‘services’ available to children, including chemical castration.”

Misinformation about treatments is rife on social media and in the right wing media, but 7-year-olds do not receive cross-sex hormones and are given puberty blockers only if another underlying disorder is causing precocious puberty. Cross-sex hormones are safe, studied, and effective treatments for gender dysphoria that dramatically reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety in trans people.

Information about where to seek out medical care is vital for trans people. Nearly half of all trans people report experiencing mistreatment from medical providers, including verbal or physical abuse. According to a 2016 study, the biggest obstacle to obtaining safe and effective health care for trans people is a lack of knowledge by medical providers. 

The removal of public information intended for patients in the face of a vicious hate campaign creates a new barrier. In addition to Boston Children’s and Akron Children’sChildren’s National in Washington, D.C., and Vanderbilt Children’s in Nashville, Tennessee, have recently been forced to remove information for trans patients. Lurie Children’s hospital in Chicago canceled in-person meetings of a support group for trans youth because of security risks.

Without resistance, the barriers to effective care for trans people could grow further. According to freelance journalist Sydney Bauer, multiple medical providers have said that their worry is that these tactics will lead hospitals to drop gender-affirming care, shifting coverage to private clinics with less resources that could then be endlessly picketed and threatened — exactly the tactic that the right has used against abortion providers. Despite this, or perhaps because of it, Raichik has targeted multiple hospitals this year. After earning a weeklong suspension for violating Twitter’s policies prohibiting hateful conduct, Raichik only vowed to double down. “We are not just reporting on this,” said Walsh in a tweet. “We are going to put a stop to it.”

Among the items posted by Libs of Tik Tok about Akron Children’s Hospital is an article with a photo of a 13-year-old girl. Her hair is long and blonde and she’s posed, smiling, next to a horse. They’re sharing a blanket — red, with a white snowflake pattern. The article says that this teenager knew from age 3 that she was transgender, and that with the help of the providers at Akron Children’s, she was able to become her true self. 

She’s a cheerleader. She rides horses. She says that she didn’t want to develop facial hair or for her voice to deepen. This is a story familiar to many trans people. A 2022 study from Stanford Medicine showed that trans people who accessed gender-affirming care as teenagers were less likely to experience major mental or substance abuse disorders than those who were denied care or forced to wait until adulthood.

But for Chaya Raichik, this is a horror story, and her 1.3 million followers flooded the article with hate, misgendering the trans girl and calling her “Buffalo Bill in the making,” a reference to the serial killer from the 1991 horror film The Silence of the Lambs. The article from Akron Children’s closes with a line from that teenager: “If you’re transgender, show it. Tell people,” she said. “It will help other transgender people feel not so alone.” The article has since been deleted.

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Ari Drennen is the LGBTQ program director for Media Matters, where she has worked since January 2022. She has a bachelors degree in political science and economics from Middlebury College. Previously she worked at the Center for American Progress and the League of Conservation Voters

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The preceding article was previously published by Media Matters for America and is republished by permission.

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Religious Extremism/Anti-LGBTQ+ Activism

Transportation Sec. Buttigieg targeted with homophobic tweets

Co-chair of Michigan’s Republican party, referred to the first openly gay cabinet secretary as a “weak little girl”

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Transportation Sec. Buttigieg speaking at San Francisco's subway project dedication Sept. 2022 (Photo Credit: USDOT Public Affairs/Twitter)

LANSING, Mi – As Pete Buttigieg, secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT), continues his push for broader adoption of electric vehicle use, he was again targeted with homophobic attacks online.  

Meshawn Maddock, co-chair of Michigan’s Republican party, referred to the first openly gay cabinet secretary as a “weak little girl” on Twitter Sunday, as many were honoring those killed 21 years ago in the worst terrorist attack ever perpetrated on American soil. 

Buttigieg is a decorated war veteran, having served in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 2009 to 2017, including in a deployment to Afghanistan in 2014. A DOT spokesperson and the Michigan Republican Party did not immediately return a request for comment on Maddock’s tweet. 

Meanwhile, on September 10, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus condemned the use of the agency’s official Twitter account for the West Texas region for offensive retweets and likes, including of homophobic posts targeting Buttigieg. 

These included a tweet in which the Transportation Secretary was called “Pete Buttplug” as well as content from former President Trump’s far-right senior advisor Stephen Miller.

Reached for comment, a spokesperson from a regional press office shared a statement excerpted from that which was tweeted by Magnus, who announced that @CBPWestTexas was deactivated and the offending content was removed. 

Bigoted attacks against Buttigieg by conservatives are not new. Last year, when the Secretary took a leave of absence to care for his and his husband Chasten’s newborn twins, Fox News host Tucker Carlson said he was “trying to figure out how to breastfeed.” 

Bizarrely, at a rally in March, extremist Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA) said the couple should “stay out of our girls’ bathrooms,” which appeared to be an attempt to suggest they are sexual predators.

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