A University of Miami surgeon who specialized in gender-confirming surgeries (GCS) for trans people has resigned after posting graphic photos of his patients on Instagram, reports The New York Times.
Dr. Christopher Salgado—who worked at the university’s LGBTQ Center for Wellness, Gender, and Sexual Health—came under fire in February when he posted a series of graphic images with offensive hashtags to his now-deleted Instagram account, @sexsurgeon.
The photos included an image of Salgado holding a sex toy after it had been retrieved from a patient’s rectum, with the patient in the background; an image of human tissue molded into the shape of a heart with the words, “There are many ways to show your LOVE”; and another post with hashtags mocking trans people and the size of Asian men’s genitals.
Dr. Christopher Salgado resigned from the University of Miami Health System after being accused of posting photos of patients’ genitalia on Instagram. He says his account was hacked https://t.co/LR4D1q8D0E pic.twitter.com/81DDhej8g5
— WPLG Local 10 News (@WPLGLocal10) March 15, 2019
Salgado originally defended the posts in an interview with The Times, claiming they were meant to be educational, and that the controversial hashtags were added by hackers. “It was a bad decision to even open an Instagram account, looking at it now,” he told the newspaper.
He also asserts that he didn’t use any names or characteristics that could have been used to identify his patients. According to Salgado, patients at the University of Miami’s hospital give their consent for non-identifying pictures to be used in the media and in conferences for educational purposes.
Prior to this incident, Salgado, 50, was a respected surgeon in his field. According to Page Six, he even attracted high-profile clients like I Am Jazz’s Jazz Jennings, a trans teen who had a consultation for GCS with him on camera. (He appeared on the TLC show, although Jennings ultimately opted to hire a different surgeon.)
Meanwhile, trans activists banded together to launch an online petition demanding action from the American College of Surgeons and the Florida Board of Medicine.
“Transgender patients are an incredibly vulnerable population as it relates to seeking medical care,” reads the petition. “We experience violence, neglect, misgendering, sexual assault, and more. To see a surgeon who claims to specialize in treating transgender patients using racist, homophobic, and transphobic hashtags like ’asian dick,’ ’get that money,’ ’what the fuck is that’ among many, many other horrifically inappropriate comments is beyond unacceptable…”
In a statement, a University of Miami rep confirmed that Salgado was no longer employed by the hospital, and administrators “[find] any transphobic comments unacceptable.”