fb-pixel Skip to main content

Texas man charged with threatening Boston doctor who treats transgender patients

A Texas man was arrested Friday and charged in federal court with transmitting interstate threats in connection with a profanity-laden voicemail claiming “a group of people [were] on their way to handle” a Boston doctor who treats transgender patients, officials said.

Matthew Jordan Lindner, 38, of Comfort, Texas, was scheduled to appear Friday afternoon in US District Court for the Western District of Texas and is expected to appear later in federal court in Boston, according to a statement from the US attorney’s office for Massachusetts.

The outcome of his Texas court appearance was not available Friday evening, and information for an attorney for Lindner could not be located.

Advertisement



Lindner allegedly called a doctor at the Fenway Institute’s National LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center in August and left a profane message threatening the physician, according to prosecutors.

US Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said Lindner’s action had been an attack not just on the doctor who received the voicemail, but on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual people more broadly.

“Mr. Lindner’s alleged conduct — a death threat — is based on falsehoods and amounts to an act of workplace violence,” Rollins said in the statement. “The victim, a Doctor caring for gender nonconforming and [transgender] patients, should be able to engage in this meaningful and necessary work without fear of physical harm or death.”

Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Boston division, said Lindner had harassed and threatened the doctor “solely because she was caring for gender nonconforming children.”

“While everyone has a right to express their opinion, they don’t have a right to use or threaten violence against individuals who do not share their same set of beliefs,” he said in the statement. “No one should have to live in fear of violence because of who they are, what kind of work they do, where they are from, or what they believe.”

Advertisement



Prosecutors say inaccurate information about procedures performed for transgender patients at Boston Children’s Hospital spread online in August. On Aug. 31, Lindner called the LGBTQIA+ Health Education Center, a program of the Fenway Institute at Fenway Health, and left a threatening voicemail for a doctor there, according to the statement.

“You sick [expletive], you’re all gonna burn,” Lindner said, according to prosecutors. “There’s a group of people on their way to handle [victim]. You signed your own warrant, [victim]. Castrating our children. You’ve woken up enough people. And upset enough of us. And you signed your own ticket. Sleep well, you [expletive] [expletive].”

Representatives for Children’s Hospital and Fenway Health did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday evening.

On Saturday, Fenway Health issued a statement denouncing the attacks on providers of gender-affirming health care.

“As the negative rhetoric surrounding the LGBTQIA+ community – and transgender and gender diverse people in particular – continues to escalate, attacks on medical professionals who provide gender affirming health care are on the rise,” the statement said. “We are grateful for the quick action of law enforcement in helping to put a stop to the hate-fueled threats and harassment directed at the doctor. We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement to counter any and all threats and violence designed to intimidate and inhibit providers and families from accessing the health care they need and deserve, and to which they are entitled.”

Advertisement



This story has been updated.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.