The Ripple Effect of Anti LGBTQ+ Hate and Anti Transgender Violence

In 2022, hatred towards the LGBTQ+ community was manifested in different ways: from legislation targeting LGBTQ youth, mass shootings at queer night clubs (Club Q in Colorado springs, CO this past November; gunman killed five and injured 25), and attacks on children’s hospitals that provide gender-affirming care (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Washington D.C. Children’s Hospital, where doctors and hospital administrators received hate mail and threats).

From suburban Central Bucks County and Pennridge, to America’s Number #1 family resort, Ocean City, NJ, school boards have created hostile environments for LGBTQ+ students, exacerbated recently by homophobic and transphobic actions and policies taken by the school boards and upper-level administrators.

School boards have become breeding grounds and indoctrination camps for hatred and division. The parents and school board members are angry and arguing to exhaustion about recognizing (or not) the civil rights of their LGBQT+ students.

The board members have passed resolutions - from mandated removal of pride flags in individual classrooms to banning teachers from advocating political and social policy, as well banning books in school libraries, and banning having students called by their preferred pronouns.

In Radnor, Montgomery County PA, a group of parents filed a police report about the controversial book Gender Queer being available in the Radnor High School library!

Central Bucks’ “toxic educational environment” for LGBQT students prompted the ACLU of Pennsylvania to meet with and hear stories from students, parents, teachers and community stakeholders. The stories are heartbreaking: harassment and bullying of students by their classmates, with administrators often displaying indifference or even hostility towards the students being harassed. Guidance counselors were threatened with disciplinary measures if they provided counseling and services to these students. Some transgender students wouldn’t eat lunch in the cafeteria because that is where the bullying is most intense. They eat lunch in a hallway or the bathroom. Some trans and gender nonbinary students are so tormented by their classmates and lack of support from the district’s adults that they didn’t want to go to school.

After a five-month investigation, in October the ACLU of PA filed a complaint with both the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Education, and sued the school district on behalf of seven trans and gender binary students. “The district is in violation of federal nondiscrimination law and the constitutional demand for equal protection.” The Department of Education has opened an investigation as well. The schools could lose federal funding.



Philadelphia congressman U.S. Rep Dwight Evans helped coordinate a letter from more than 30 Democratic members of the House of Representatives to Attorney General Merrick Garland asking him to take action countering threats of violence against health care providers and patients due to anti-transgender extremism. In October three major medical associations - The American Academy of Pediatrics, The American Medical Association, and the Children’s Hospital Association - sent a letter to Garland asking him to investigate the threats.

“Online posts by social media accounts spreading disinformation about transgender and nonbinary individuals have spurred real-life consequences for healthcare providers throughout the country and for their patients,” the lawmakers wrote. Gender affirming care refers to medical services for people whose gender identity does not match the gender they were assigned at birth. That could include voice therapy, hormones, or surgery. Studies show that gender affirming care can improve the mental health of trans teens and adults (who commonly combat depression and anxiety during this transition).

In September, the FBI charged a Massachusetts woman with one count of making a false bomb threat against
Boston’s Children’s Hospital. During the last weeks of the midterm elections in October, nominee for Pennsylvania governor Doug Mastriano repeated false claims from conservative social media personalities that CHOP is ”grabbing homeless kids and kids in foster care, apparently, and experimenting on them with gender transitioning.”

There has been no response from the Department of Justice, at the time of this post.

Sign up today to learn about the programs we support and the news that is changing our world.
* indicates required
Carole Landis Foundation is a registered 501(c) (3) as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.
VOICES FOR CONSCIENCE is a bi-monthly email.
Thank you for signing up!