Let me set the stage for you. It is the recent Anchorage municipal elections. It is cold, it is chilly, it’s Anchorage, and there are municipal propositions: one of them is about local cops being able to issue parking tickets. There’s also Proposition 1 (Prop 1), which attracted $900,000 in spending, dwarfing every other election by a country mile.
What’s Proposition 1?
Prop 1 was put forward by an organization called ‘Alaska Family Action’, and the aim of Prop 1 was to make bathrooms, once again, sex-segregated instead of being based on self-declared gender identity. Anchorage’s bathrooms had been segregated by gender identity since 2015. The left-leaning media reacted in cacophony against this new ‘bathroom bill’, and hundreds of thousands of dollars from reasonable people flowed into Anchorage to defeat a municipal ordinance proposal that would harm trans people. Common sense and reason won, and the liberal project continued, with the rights of transgender people to use the bathroom, re-affirmed.
Except those ‘reasonable people’ don’t exist. Not in any great number.
See, after spending a very long weekend combing through campaign filings from both Alaska Family Action and ‘Fairness for All — Vote No on Prop 1’, it became clear that the vast amounts of money spent on the election by Fairness For All didn’t come from normal, ordinary Americans. Even though transgender people are supposedly a persecuted minority that need civil rights, Vote No on Prop 1 out spent and out raised Alaska Family Action by around $710,000. In total, Vote No had $828,000 at its disposal. Its campaign filings reveal that a large majority of this money came from a set of lobbying groups almost from central casting: The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Freedom for All Americans (FFAA), Planned Parenthood (PP), and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Large, federally based organizations poured money and staff into a small municipal election, all to fight ‘bathroom bills’. They flew in representatives from the National Center of Transgender Equality to help with ‘story telling’, and The Transgender Law Center provided consulting services. They made sure volunteers were well fed — ACLU makes many filings throughout for providing catering at events for volunteers. FFAA paid for a slick website, and a subscription to campaigning software Blue State Digital. A local Anchorage ad agency was hired and paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce campaign material. Vote No spent as much on campaigning collateral as Alaska Family Action did on their whole campaign, and even more than that on TV ad buys. While there were many small donors, the clear majority of the money came from large organizations, such as Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign, among others who also provided the Vote No access to their mailing lists and campaign databases, which is also visible in their campaign filings.
Despite outspending their opponent 8 to 1, carpeting Anchorage in television ads, mailers, and phone calls, and the support of federal level political organizations, the result was only 5% in Vote No’s favor. This is indicative of that Vote No bought an election — no one outspent that heavily should even dream of getting within a 5% margin yet Vote Yes got within striking distance having spent an eighth of the money. This came as a surprise to me. I have seen a lot of elections and votes. This was one of the oddest. Because one of the catch-cries of the trans movement is that they are the most ignored and the most marginalized group in America, yet can outspend its electoral opponents by orders of magnitude. That doesn’t sound like the most marginalized group in America. I wouldn’t think the most marginalized group in America would have a well-funded lobby group behind them. One capable of outspending the Christian Right on an 8–1 basis. Something doesn’t add up.
Despite the supposed status of transgender people as America’s most oppressed minority, the North Carolina ‘bathroom bill’, H.B 2. was international news. How many other state bills become international news? Celebrities said they would no longer come to the state, sports teams protested. Bruce Springsteen said he wouldn’t play there. Every boycott by some famous liberal was greeted with aplomb. There was a national shaming of the state, on the massive stage that is the mainstream news cycle. Left unmentioned by that same mainstream news were the changes to North Carolina employment laws also in the same bill, that negatively impacted working-class Americans, or the fact some of the outcry was defining sex under North Carolina law as “the physical condition of being male or female, which is stated on a person’s birth certificate”. Bruce Springsteen didn’t refuse to play in the state based on that part of H.B 2. When the ‘bathroom bill’ sections were removed in 2017, the employment sections did not change. There was a collective shaking of heads, a throwing up of hands, a celebration of transgenderism’s victory and the bill disappeared from the national conversation.
Transgenderism, as a movement, has experienced a rapid rise compared to any other civil rights movement. Sex change surgery only went beyond experiments or the unfulfilled whims of Roman Emperors until the 1950s, a decade that brought us the term ‘transsexualism’ courtesy of those that treated Christine Jorgensen, who was still unable to marry men because their legal sex was still listed as male despite their sex reassignment surgery. In that time, it has gone from a freakshow curiosity and the surgical treatment for the homosexuals (who were popularly believed, into the 1960s to be a sort of ‘third sex’, and often still are outside of a Western context), to America’s most pressing civil rights movement, with hundreds of millions of dollars being poured into the issue across the fifty states.
By contrast, other civil rights movements have not enjoyed such a rapid rise. Women, oppressed since the creation of private property, have endured patriarchy for thousands of years. It took a hundred years for the United States to abolish slavery, and another hundred to abolish segregation. It seems it will take another hundred for people to abolish what Colin Kaepernick kneels over. Homosexuals have been increasingly marginalized in Western society since late antiquity and after the Stonewall riots and the collective awakening in the 60s and 70s, have waged a 50-year long fight for equal rights — one that has not yet been won, as homosexuals have no federal civil rights protections. Yet transgenderism, a term itself coined barely twenty years ago, and included in ‘LGBT’ since only the mid-90s has money to burn and victories seem to come easily .
Does this add up to you? I can’t remember everyone boycotting Missouri over Ferguson. Maybe the revocation of the Arizona Super Bowl over Martin Luther King Day. Hell, no celebrity is refusing to play states that are attempting to criminalize abortion. Two plus two has failed to equal four. The question emerges: Why? I decided to find out, and doing that in modern America requires following the money. And the money leads to large philanthropic foundations and pharmaceutical money.
See, trans movement, separate to the gay and lesbian movement, has built itself an entire infrastructure over the past ten years. ‘LGB’ has morphed into ‘LGBTQI+’. One Canadian school district managed to morph the ‘LGB’ acronym into ‘LGBTQITTIPASFDASFAARP’ (or something similar) which led to a round of healthy internet mockery. The transgender movement is not marginalized voices finally being heard; it is a case of large amounts of money being heard. According to Funders for LGBTQ Issues (FFLI), funding specifically earmarked for transgender causes began rapidly increasing in 2012; by 2016 it outstripped the funding for gay, lesbian and bisexual combined (a total of $13.2m), at a cool $22 million total in funding, specifically earmarked for transgender causes. That’s over 10% of the total LGBTQI funding tracked by Funders, which is $202m total.
That the money comes from a wide range of philanthropists: while names such as George Soros’ Open Society Foundation, Arcus (run by gay Stryker Corp heir Jon Stryker) and Tides come as little surprise to anyone following money on the center left of politics. But other names stand out: Jennifer Pritzker, (formerly Col. James Pritzker) who came out as a trans woman in 2013, through their Tawani Foundation, who outside of transgender causes, is a far-right Republican and supported Trump-supporting candidates in the 2016 election. This has come as specifically earmarked funding for gays and lesbians has declined in the same period — foundation and philanthropic funding for lesbians was a not-so-cool $4 million in 2016, despite being a far larger population than transgender people. Overall, LGBTQI+ Funders reports over $202m in total philanthropic funding for LGBTQI+ organizations in 2016, and much of this funding is simply a donation to organizations who campaign for a broad variety of issues. 39% of funding goes towards Advocacy — given the huge focus of LGBTQI+ organizations on transgender issues, they are likely getting a more disproportionate slice of the pie than the figures show. As funding specifically for gay men and lesbian women has stagnated or declined in the same period, transgender funding has increased year on year, from $3m in 2010 to $22m in 2016.
But some gay and lesbian critics contend that there has been too much focus on the T. John Aravosis wrote a Salon article in 2007 entitled ‘How Did The T get in LGBT?’,criticizing the decision to refuse a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that didn’t include gender identity by LGBTQ+ lobbying groups. That version of the bill in 2007 had the chance to pass in a Democratic majority Hill — it died in the Senate. As of 2018, the bill has still not been passed and millions of gay and lesbian Americans do not have federal civil rights protections. Aravosis is confused: he does not know why the transgendered have to be included the gay and lesbian movement. The ‘T’ only began to be included in the mass media around 2003. The rapid expansion of the acronym has taken place over only the past decade.
If we are to look at the state of other things in 2018, this confusion over the ‘T’ has turned into a clearly articulated critique, whose articulators are often derided as ‘radical exclusionary gays’, or more popularly, ‘Trans-Exclusionary-Radical Feminists’. This argument has turned violent. As I write, a young lesbian in a gay bar was removed and assaulted for being a ‘TERF’. Sometimes, the application of that deadly-four-letter acronym, which often serves as a scarlet letter in the ‘queer community’, the relabeled version of ‘gays and lesbians’, can simply come from a lesbian stating she is not into penises. The harsh way these critics are treated — and turned on for having an opinion, that often amounts to ‘lesbians don’t like penis’ is ridiculous. This insane level of criticism is not some asshole in a gay bar or on trans activists on Twitter, but is often instead published by large media corporations, supported by left-leaning political infrastructure. That reaction to criticism, combined with the large amounts of money flowing to the transgender cause, is a symptom of a political disease.
That political disease is astroturf. The transgender movement promotes becoming your authentic self, whilst being inauthentic itself.
And it’s all about one thing: selling drugs. Let me tell you how.
THAT’S ONE HELL OF A LOBBY GROUP
Let’s look at a few lobby groups, to figure this out.
For our first example, let’s look at the organization Global Action For Trans Equality (GATE).
You might not have heard of it, but it is the prototypical example of trans astroturf. I picked it out of a Funders For LGBTQI Issues list. It is a small organization, that somehow made a presentation to the UN, and it didn’t think to conceal its donors in its IRS 990 forms. So, I combed through them. Their Wikipedia page tells me it’s executive director is Mauro Cabral, a trans and intersex activist, who was a signatory to the Yogyakarta Principles. Sounds totally organic and not artificial. Its mission is, supposedly,
““GATE’s mission is to work internationally on gender identity, gender expression, and bodily issues by defending human rights, making available critical knowledge, and supporting political organizing worldwide. GATE envisions a world free of human rights violations based on gender identity, gender expression and bodily diversity, and transformed by the critical inclusion of those historically marginalized on those grounds. We will contribute to building powerful, expert and well-resourced political movements, able to have meaningful participation in global processes and to transform the landscape of socioeconomic justice worldwide.””
The Wikipedia page also tells me that the organization was founded in 2009. The Wikipedia citations for both that, and the mission statement lead to dead links. A quick perusal of the GATE IRS 990 forms reveals a focus around ‘depathologization’, which it describes as:
“Coordinating an international initiative focused on the ICD-11 revision and reform, supporting processes of legal depathologization and advocating for the identification of pathologization as a ground for human rights violations”
What this translates to, in other words, is a goal of considering gender dysphoria no longer a mental illness — and to consider gender dysphoria a mental illness as a ground for violating a trans person’s human rights. This could mean that with no diagnosis, doctors cannot be sued for malpractice for prescribing transition. Do you see an issue with that? Other focuses of GATE include “Movement building”, which is described in its 2015 IRS 990 form.
“MOVEMENT BUILDING — ADVOCATING FOR TRANS, GENDER DIVERSE AND INTERSEX ACCESS TO AVAILABLE FUNDING AND FOR THE CREATION OF NEW FUNDING SOURCES” [sic]
The goal: making funding available to trans people in order to achieve these goals. Where does that money come from? Who are the funding sources? How will they be created? The 2015 form also mentions aiding in international HIV response. But crucially, I have saved the best for last. GATE betrays its actual astroturf nature with this admission in its 2015 IRS 990.
“Global Action for Trans Equality INC does not have program service activity to report on for 2015 due to receipt of its first round of funding into the organization mid-December”.
The organization was not founded in 2009 like the Wikipedia page would like to tell us. The earliest publications on its website date to 2013. It received its first round of funding in 2015, and the organization was set up that year, according to its tax returns. Where did that money come from? Its 2016 IRS 990 illuminates us. Unlike many organizations I investigated, GATE did not bother hiding who its primary donors are on its publicly available IRS forms. On its website(which is literally transactivists.org), it proudly states it is sponsored by two large philanthropic organizations: The Open Society Foundation, and The Arcus Foundation.
Open Society donated $523,000 to GATE, and Arcus $130,000. This was followed up by a grant of $150,000 by the Fidelity Charitable Trust, which often handles anonymous charitable donations for people of largesse. It then received a $103,000 grant from the US State Department during the Obama administration.
Does this sound like an innocuous, grassroots organization to you — or is there an astroturf rat abroad the GATE ship? I smell the astroturf rat. It stinks, so I’m surprised you can’t smell it. GATE offers a raft of publications for the keen reader, including its ‘Joint Trans Language Submission to UN Independent Expert SOGI.’ (SOGI: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity). An astroturf group, presenting evidence to the UN, purporting itself to be representative to the wider community, is not ‘activism’. But it’s done in the name of the LGBTQI+ community. Those endless articles and research? Another marker of astroturf. By the way — you will see the names ‘Open Society’ and ‘Arcus’ repeatedly throughout the entire article. Why? Because GATE isn’t the only organization they fund. Their tentacles are everywhere.
GATE is not the only example of astroturf. Another example is the National Center For Transgender Equality, with its widely-cited US Transgender Survey. But the NCTE isn’t exactly a grassroots organization either. Founded by Mara Keisling, a trans woman, in 2003, Keisling’s biography on the website specifically states it was founded to provide a “professional activist presence in Washington for transgender people” and was started with the aid of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Keisling herself became an activist after transitioning in her early 40s, after working in social marketing and public opinion research, and is the child of Bill Keisling, who is a former chief of staff to former Pennsylvania governor William Scranton. Keisling’s biography also credits Keisling with leading a coalition of ‘400 LGBT rights organizations’, called ‘United ENDA’, which prominent transgender activist Dana Beyer, interviewed in the Washington Blade, credited with making sure “there have been with few exceptions […] no instances of any gay activism or legislation that did not include trans people.” The biography then goes on to outline NCTE’s more recent work: the US Transgender Survey, which is forming the basis of transgender policy around the world, and then lists her media appearances.
Let’s drill further into the NCTE, shall we? Looking through the NCTE’s 2016 tax return, we find that it received a total of $1,066,962 in contributions and grants, and a similar number for the 2015 financial year. It paid $897k of that in salaries, and $335k in ‘other expenses’ leaving the organization $175k in debt. It gave the IRS the following mission statement
““THE NATIONAL CENTER FOR TRANSGENDER EQUALITY IS A NATIONAL SOCIAL JUSTICE ORGANIZATION DEVOTED TO ENDING DISCRIMINATION AND VIOLENCE AGAINST TRANSGENDER PEOPLE THROUGH EDUCATION AND ADVOCACY ON NATIONAL ISSUES OF IMPORTANCE TO TRANSGENDER PEOPLE.” [sic]
It describes its survey to the IRS with the following:
““SURVEY: THE U.S. TRANS SURVEY IS THE NEW NAME OF THE LARGEST SURVEY EVER DEVOTED TO THE LIVES AND EXPERIENCES OF TRANSGENDER PEOPLE. THE USTS IS A SURVEY FOR ALL TRANSGENDER IDENTITIES, INCLUDING TRANSGENDER, GENDERQUEER, AND NON-BINARY PEOPLE, AND WILL BE THE LARGEST AND MOST DIVERSE TRANSGENDER SAMPLE TO DATE. THE USTS IS OUR COMMUNITY’S SURVEY: THE USTS DATA SET AND RESULTS WILL BE AVAILABLE TO COMMUNITY ADVOCATES, ORGANIZATIONS, AND RESEARCHERS FOR YEARS TO COME.” [sic]
The IRS form lets us know how much that survey cost — $318,154. It also let us know that nearly a third of the NCTE funding went on two executive director salaries, those salaries being of Keisling and Lisa Motett, both of whom are paid six-figure salaries. No contributors are listed on their tax returns for financial years dating back to 2014, but it received $711,000 from ‘foundations’ in financial year 2015. Why cover up donors who are supposedly donating to a human rights cause?
It takes looking at the lauded NCTE survey, the National Transgender Discrimination Survey(NTDS) which is downloadable from their website, to put the puzzle pieces together over where their funding comes from. While the largest share of funding came from an ‘anonymous donor’, the rest are standard names: The Arcus Foundation, the Gill Foundation, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Tides Foundation among others. The survey has become one of the most cited trans studies in the world. It is regurgitated to politicians by professional activists, forms the basis for governmental and health policy, has its stats posted in Twitter arguments, and is regarded as sacrosanct among the trans community.
Except the survey, despite its six figure costs, contains numerous methodological flaws. It is a survey where the sample was built on self-selection. The sample isn’t random. Amusingly, the survey, which was run online, had as its first question ‘have you already taken this survey before?’, and warned that taking the survey repeatedly would not increase the number of entries into a prize draw (you can view a screenshot here). That meant the survey could have been taken over and over again by the same person. It was also meant to provide US-based statistics, but had no restrictions on of which country the survey could be taken from. That’s not a valid dataset. That’s not even going to pass an undergraduate statistics course. Supposedly NCTE cleaned the dataset, but I am not sure how you can clean a survey with such flaws. It should only serve as an indicator for further research at best, not a bible or a reason to bring about legislative change. It brings into question every statistic in the survey. Other criticisms were that it tried leading participants into a particular response.
It is an issue because the survey has gone on to shape public policy and be cited by numerous other organizations. The survey, which is incredibly flawed, has been cited numerous times by other associated transgender lobby organizations — the Human Rights Campaign, the Transgender Law Center, the National LGBTQ Task Force, a litany of other lobby groups and the Democratic Party, all groups that use its statistics as crucial evidence for their argument that transgender people are the most oppressed minority in America. Despite its methodological flaws, it was published, and proudly sponsored and cited by a number of corporate and philanthropic foundations. This was also used by groups funded by these organizations as electioneering material”, and for lobbying purposes — to advance an agenda. But if the survey is flawed as it is, why not try and find better statistics? And why use bad statistics to advance an agenda? And this is not the only example of bad transgender statistics. After all this is not the only statistical error that is commonly cited. For example, you may read that trans women are more likely be assaulted in a men’s prison. This comes from a California study, which used a convenience sample of transgender women in California’s prison system, and then compared that convenience sample to a sample of the general prison population, which is to put it mildly, a statistical abortion.
But they are not the only groups that are or have become astroturf. The National Centre for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) was one of the biggest receivers of philanthropic funding in 2016, receiving $2.6m. Displayed prominently on the NCLR website is its legal director, who now identifies as a man (Shannon Minter), and a pledge towards transgender service members. In fact, outside of the name, I saw nothing specifically lesbian when I loaded up the webpage. I even tried using ‘Ctrl-F’ which showed me one total mention of ‘lesbian’ on the entire homepage that wasn’t part of the name of the organization. According to its 2016 IRS 990, it received $4.6m in grants. It spent most of that on salaries and wages. It does not include Schedule B of the IRS 990 form on the publicly available copy. The NCLR annual report has no donors listed, leaving their identities unknown. Given that the supposed ‘National Center For Lesbian Rights’ mentions lesbians once on its entire page, and not at all in its subsections, but has three different sections for transgender legal cases, the phrase ‘lesbian erasure’ and the word ‘subverted’ come to mind. Perhaps that is needlessly suspicious?
Maybe not. The NCLR organized its first ever boycott in the history of the organization, of the Michigan Womyn’s Festival (or Michfest), a musical festival which made clear it was for people with female anatomy only and excluded transgender women. After criticism from a range of lesbian sources, it backed down. But Michfest bowed to the pressure, and unable to continue, now no longer exists.
NCLR is not the only national gay and lesbian organization that seems to have forgotten the ‘gay and lesbian’ part. GLAAD, which has been criticized for lacking members born and socialized as female, no longer stands for ‘Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’. It’s just ‘GLAAD’ now, an acronym that stands for absolutely nothing, which is not good imagery. This removal of meaning is to be more inclusive. If we look through GLAAD’s Annual Report, which opens to a photo of its president and CEO, Sarah Kate Ellis, staring directly into the camera like a blonde, well-coiffed Ted Bundy (it’s a really bad photo), it thanks its foundation funders, which include the Tawani Foundation, Arcus, and a collection of Silicon Valley companies, such as Google, Salesforce, and Comcast. These are all the same or similar groups and corporates funding every other LGBTQI+ organization — like our astroturf friends GATE and NCTE. That’s a far cry from the anti-AIDS campaigners of 1985 that scrabbled around for change under the sofa while going to their third funeral in a week. The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is now the National LGBTQ Task Force. The National LGBTQ Task Force has been criticized for ignoring lesbian issues by lesbian commentators, including conferences with only few or no lesbian events — like the NCLR.
I decided to verify this and looked at their 2018 Creating Change conference schedule. Out of hundreds of events, there are a total of four events for lesbian women, which consist of a session on age, ‘femmes, studs and stems’ (terms used by the black lesbian community), the lesbian caucus, and I quote directly, ‘Sexversations, Pussy Politics and Top/Bottom/Switch Culture’. The conference has four lesbian events (perhaps lesbians only have four concerns, including pussy politics?), but twenty on the topic of ‘sexual freedom’, including both a beginners and an advanced course on ‘Polyamory/Nonmonogamy’, a course on ‘Sex Positive Trans Sex’, the essential ‘Kink 101: Let’s Get Visual’, and ‘A place for polyamorous/non-monogamous communities in the LGBTIQA movement” (which doesn’t seem to discriminate against the heterosexual polygamist going by the description), nine sessions for ‘Transgender Justice’ alone, seven for bisexuals, and eleven for self-care (including on how to deal with Donald Trump being president), and ‘activism for introverts’.
The Task Force didn’t give its donors away in its tax returns, but its annual report tells me it received donations in the hundreds of thousands from the Arcus Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Hass Jr. Fund, followed by Horizons, Marguerite Casey, the NoVo Foundation, as well as from two anonymous foundations. It tells us those anonymous donors donated more than $100,000 — by how much is an exercise left to the reader. The annual report also thanks its corporate partners, which include the liquor company Bacardi, pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences (which manufactures PrEP drug, Truvada), a gaggle of banks, cable channels or providers as well as Hilton Hotels. With such large donations, that would clearly influence the Task Force’s policy direction — so why don’t we know about who they are? If the Task Force wants to represent a community, it needs to be honest with that community.
But it’s not the only organization that changed its name and direction almost overnight. The Gay-Straight Alliance is now the ‘Gender and Sexuality Alliance’. To be more inclusive. Even the Washington D.C police department, bastion of liberalism, even changed the ‘Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit’ to the ‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Liaison Unit’. Everyone is becoming more inclusive — but of who? Are gay and lesbian lobby groups now the lobbying version of The Blob?
Lesbians are often the LGBT canary in the coal mine. There are now books being published by lesbians such as The Disappearing Lthat discuss lesbian erasure. Lesbian erasure, like major LGBT organizations having four lesbian events at multi-day conferences. This is something that isn’t unique to the Task Force’s conference, and it is becoming an epidemic across Pride festivals and organizations. Protests have taken place internationally, such as in London. Queer and transgender critics have hit back at accusations of lesbian erasure with name-calling, marking critics with the dreaded four-letter ‘TERF’ word. In The TransAdvocate an opinion writer characterized discussion of lesbian erasure as such:
“What this is REALLY about, of course, is hatred: hatred for trans women, hatred for sex workers, hatred for third wave feminists, and hatred for sex-positive and sex-radical feminists. We have, it seems, stolen their thunder, and they are very, very bitter about it.
I could list more examples of dismissing lesbian concerns as ‘transphobia’. Outside of lesbian erasure, many gay men are feeling pushed out of their movements, and the name changes don’t help that perception of being erased out of a movement that used to be their own. A recent proposed change to the classic rainbow flag features a black and brown triangle, with the trans flag in the middle, placed on top of the rainbow. It looks like an invading force establishing a beachhead.
Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics
Money is constantly flowing down the donation pipe for trans issues: a glowing Inside Philanthropy article on a Funders For LGBTQ Issues (FFLI) initiative details the creation of Grantmakers United For Trans Communities or GUTC. GUTC’s goals are supposedly capacity building, increasing the number of funds available for transgender people. The article actually contradicts FFLI’s own studies on the issue, saying that transgender funding forms a ‘small part’ of overall funding, despite the fact it outstripped the gay, lesbian, and bisexual combined in 2016, and has done so since 2014. The philanthropic gears are beginning to turn on this issue.
Outside of GUTC, a $20m endowment was announced in 2015 by the Arcus Foundation specifically for transgender issues. A glowing Buzzfeed article on the endowment tells us that the Arcus Foundation is giving $15m towards the endowment, and NoVo Foundation which ‘focuses on girls and women’ will give $1m. “A coalition of other foundations will give the remaining $4m”, the article reports. We are told by an Arcus representative, Jason McGill, the vice-president of Arcus’ social justice programs, that “Transgender leaders and their movement have been dramatically underfunded.” This is despite clear evidence that compared to other LGBT groups, they are not.
Suspiciously, the article chooses to cherry-pick its statistics. Despite the 2014 and 2015 reports from Funders For LGBTQ Issues being available, which show dramatic increases in transgender funding, Buzzfeed cites the reports that date from 2011 through to 2013. Cherrypicked statistics are very much a repeating pattern when it comes to transgenderism. The article tells us that transgender people “have been used as scapegoats” by “conservatives” who oppose “LGBT non-discrimination laws” and bring up the dreaded “men in women’s bathrooms”. It tells us that this is happening while “homicides of transgender women in the US have doubled in the past 12 months”.
Doubled? What did it double from? I decided to verify this, and GLAAD (remember an acronym now devoid of meaning) gave me the answers. So, how many homicides of American transgender people were there in 2016? I am sure you are waiting with bated breath for some kind of titanic, earth shattering number that will have you click ‘exit tab’, and bitch about my bullshit article on Twitter. Okay, here it is:
That’s not a typo. It really is 27. The number of total murders in the US in 2016? 17,250, and disproportionately trending black and male. 27 is 0.15% of murders in the US. In terms of figures, the Williams Foundation did a survey and estimated the number of trans people at 0.6% of the US population. The US population is estimated at 325 million at time of writing, which results in a figure of 1.95 million trans people across America.
We’ll take 1.95 million Americans. If we figure how many trans people are victims of murder a year as a percentage, that figure is 0.0013%. Per capita,that’s a ratio of 1.3 trans people murdered per 100,000. The murder rate of women in the US is triple that, and of men, quadruple. Even with an extremely conservative estimate of 0.1% of the US population (or 325,000 trans people), we have a murder rate of 8.3 per 100,000. The murder rate of Chicago is twice that conservative figure at 16.02 people murdered per 100,000. In terms of gross numbers — that’s 11,535 murders of male Americans, and 3,292 murders of female Americans in 2017. 27 is small potatoes. That is not a murder epidemic — in fact it’s a murder rate per capita lower than Canada. It certainly doesn’t mean that there’s an ‘epidemic of transphobic violence’. That’s not something to campaign about — you’ve got it better than literally everyone else. Even if we use the Human Rights Campaign estimate of 750,000 trans people, which is half the 0.6% number, we get a murder rate of 2.7 per 100,000. That’s not a high murder rate. That’s lower than every other demographic in the US.
There are more bad statistics though. That same article tells us that “globally 1,700 transgender murders have been reported, in the past seven years, according to Arcus data” [emphasis mine].
Your eyes immediately drift to the ‘1,700’ figure, and don’t see the 7 years, do they? That’s why I bolded it. If we take the 0.6% estimate of trans people in the US and apply it globally to a population of 7 billion people, we get 42 million people. 1,700 divided by seven years gives us a grand total of 242 murders a year. That amounts to 0.003 murders per capita of trans people, worldwide, every year. That’s definitely not an epidemic. In fact, that’s a global murder rate lower than every other category on earth. The murder rate per capita of unicycle-riding clowns is probably higher. To #StopTransMurders would be to eliminate the homicide of an entire group of people, which no nation has been able to accomplish. Ever.
Maybe you think 42 million trans people on this earth is too big a number. So, we’ll make the figure 5 million people. A murder rate of 242 per year of a group of 5 million people is still a per capita rate of 4.84 — roughly similar to the US overall murder rate of 4.7. And that’s with a hugely conservative number that I literally pulled out of thin air. All these figures say the same thing — there is no trans murder epidemic — and philanthropic groups and their funded organizations supporting trans rights and sympathetic media have to perform statistical sleight of hand to even make such a proposal look even the slightest bit true. For comparison, the highest murder rate in the world belongs to Honduras, which had 90.4 homicides per 100,000 in 2017. That’s a violent epidemic. To add — the majority of those 27 killed? Black prostitutes. No middle-aged white trans women were killed at all (though some did commit murders) yet they are the ones bleating about #StopTransMurders and working in activist organizations. And the sex-work and transgender lobby does not seem to care about those vulnerable prostitutes, beyond using their names and deaths as a political prop.
If you’re wondering about the gay and lesbian side of things, rather than the transgender epidemic that doesn’t exist, yet is talked about so heavily, the FBI reports in its latest Hate Crimes report state that 16.7% of hate crimes were motivated by sexual orientation. 1.7% were motivated by gender-identity bias. Of the 1,255 victims targeted by sexual orientation, 62.7% were anti-gay male, 21.6% were LGBT (mixed group), and 11.7% targeted towards lesbians. There were 131 victims of ‘gender identity-bias’, 20 of whom were simply ‘gender-non-conforming’. In terms of hate crimes (which is criminal offenses carried out motivated by bias, not necessarily violent) gay men are disproportionately over-represented among the LGBT. That’s an actual disproportionate epidemic of violence — rather than the trans murder epidemic that doesn’t exist.
When was the last time you saw that on BuzzFeed?
But this is not the only ‘transgender murder epidemic’ article on Buzzfeed. The author of the article on the $20m endowment, Dominic Holden, wrote a feature entitled Why Are Black Transgender Women Getting Killed In Detroit that uses the same sleight of hand, saying that the murder rate has ‘ doubled’ yet doesn’t give you a number. I looked into the source it cited, and the murder rate doubled from 12 murders to 24 murders. That figure comes from ‘The National Coalition Of Anti-Violence Programs’, counting between Transgender Days of Remembrance. That’s an even lower figure than the GLAAD data! And it is not just Buzzfeed. LGBT news sites, the left-leaning media, the list goes on — a quick Google search leads to more repeating of the meme ‘trans murder rate is high’. In fact, I googled ‘trans murder epidemic’ and got 535,000 results from Wikipedia, to the Human Rights Campaign, to ‘America’s transgender murder epidemic: why is nothing being done?’ from a UK website called ‘Blasting News’. It even appears as the beginning of the National LGBTQ Task Force’s 2016 annual report, highlighting its #StopTransMurders campaign. But the facts and figures say there isn’t an epidemic. Rather the opposite — trans people have the world’s best murder statistics, as a group. The ‘epidemic’ is easily debunked using LGBTQI+ groups’ own statistics. The trans murder rate is a false meme worthy of inclusion in a late 90’s chain email promising you the truth about Bill Clinton and Whitewater. It’s literal fake news. Why do this? Why frighten a small minority more, and why use it as a brickbat to obscure violence against gays and lesbians?
Where does the money come from, the money that keeps up a healthy supply of this fake news?
RICH MAN’S WORLD
As I’ve gone through organizations, I’ve pointed out who provides them with funding. The primary funders of the transgender movement are large philanthropic foundations. Political lobbying often comes from them. One issue with identifying donors is that they are often not listed on IRS forms given to the public, nor identified in annual reports. Occasionally you will find a donor celebrated in a press release. I have tried to be as true and accurate as possible in my reporting despite these obstacles. Another issue is that a lot of money comes through the Tides Foundation, which has been accused of being ‘charity money laundering’.
Effectively, what Tides Foundation does is receive funding from corporations, people of largesse, or philanthropic foundations, and then donates that funding for those groups or individuals, but in the name of The Tides Foundation. This effectively anonymizes those donations. If you see ‘Tides Foundation’ on a charity return, that money could have come from the Aliens of Epsilon Beta — and you’d have no idea. When you can’t find out who is funding your supposed community organizations, that should be a cause for concern. With that said, let’s dive into the names we can know.
One name that comes up frequently and will continue to do so is Col. Jennifer Natalya Pritzker, a trans lesbian, who transitioned in August 2013. Heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune, Pritzker funds both transgender and far-right causes through their Tawani Foundation. Notably, Pritzker donated millions of dollars to the Gender And Sex Development Program, a transgender youth clinic in Chicago launched in 2013, by providing the money used to start the program. The Gender And Sex Development Program is run by one Robert Garofalo, who will be mentioned later on. Pritzker also provides funding to the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), and has also donated to GLAAD, among other large LGBTQI+ organizations.Apart from t their transgender donations, Pritzker is extremely right-wing. Alternating their occupation between ‘Retired’ and ‘Tawani Enterprises Inc’ on FEC returns, Pritzker donated hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars, to the Republican Party and its candidates in 2016, including state parties and the ‘National Draft Ben Carson For President Committee’. Perhaps Pritzker wishes GLAAD to debunk anyone saying the pyramids were not grain silos. To balance this all out, Pritzker gave small donations to Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat. SuperPACs Pritzker donated to include the American Future Fund, which has received funding from the Koch Brothers, and Bruce Rassetter (who runs the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.) Pritzker donated $33,900 to the Republican National Committee in April this year. While organizations Pritzker donates money to (like GLAAD, and the Task Force) have sessions about coping with the President, Pritzker gives money to Trump’s re-election campaign. Pritzker has been criticized by other transgender activists like academic Dean Spade for astroturfing the ‘transgender military service’ issue (I would note that many of the organizations I investigated had the military service issue prominently featured on their websites.)
The Open Society Foundations (OSF) are the largest philanthropic organization in the world. Chaired and funded by hedge fund maestro George Soros, its size as the largest philanthropic organization has meant that it is the target of many conspiracy theories. Some of those theories may not be without validity. Soros is extremely active politically, not just through the Foundation, but also through various political groups and donations that run into the millions of dollars, mostly on the left of the political spectrum. After a Russian intelligence-linked hacking group, Fancy Bear, stole OSF documents, it was revealed Soros had been emailing 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with campaign advice personally. The Foundation has spent over $11 billion since 1993 and has the largest endowment of any foundation in the world. Soros himself is also controversial for shorting the British pound in 1992, among other currency bets, such as the Thai baht in 1997. Open Society Foundations are supposedly decentralized and the boards running operations are autonomous. This ignores the fact that all activities carried out by the OSF are funded by one man. You can tell me Ford is decentralized and autonomously runs its operations in a variety of countries — they are still run by the same board, with the same objective: sell Ford cars. And while it insists it doesn’t follow a top-down approach of funding organizations… it does. It funds organizations and sponsors them — we’ve already seen that before. The Open Society Foundation doesn’t just leave activism to its many astroturf tentacles. A quick browse of their website gives you the lowdown on what they believe. Pushing for gender markers on legal documentation or ‘self-identification laws’ are a prominent part . This is pushed through a project called License To Be Yourself. It tells us of this burning issue with the following:
“When trans people’s passports, driver licenses, and national ID cards, do not reflect their gender identity, it can exclude them from fundamental aspects of daily life — like receiving health care, schooling, housing, or a bank account. And it can prevent trans people from exercising basic liberties like the right to vote or freedom of movement.”
The vast majority of trans people around the world cannot obtain official documents under their appropriate name and sex that match their gender identity. Where this is possible, trans people often face highly restrictive laws or regulations for changing name and sex that violate human rights obligations. These restrictions may involve excluding trans people who are married or have children or require compulsory medical diagnoses or procedures[sic], including those that result in sterilization.
“License to Be Yourself documents some of the world’s most progressive and rights-based laws and policies that enable trans people to change their gender identity on official documents. It shares strategies that activists have successfully used in a variety of global and legal contexts, and features case studies from Argentina, Australia, Hong Kong, Kenya, Ukraine, and the United States.”
Self-identification has been criticized by feminists for essentially making legal sex meaningless, as well as by transgender people themselves. What the OSF is advocating is that someone should be able to obtain official legal documents declaring them the other sex, without any form of medical treatment, based on self-declaration of ‘trans’ status. That’s clearly nonsense.
The issue with the OSF is that its founder has a clear political agenda — and his vision must be enacted by his foundation, for better or worse. A pattern of Soros heavily investing into astroturf organizations to further his political agenda has been noticed by anti-drug campaigners. An article in the LA Times describes how billionaires put large amounts of funding behind the legalization of marijuana too, highlighting the 2016 Proposition 64 to legalize marijuana in California. Yes, George Soros is involved with that. Anti-legalization campaigners have complained of being out-gunned and outspent, often by astroturf organizations that amount to little more than an election filing and a billboard. The money comes from large federal organizations and billionaires, not locally, and outspends the competition by a country mile. Sound familiar?
Yet another name to add to the list is Jon Stryker. An heir to Stryker Corp, the medical supplies company, he is the gay founder and president of the Arcus Foundation, which has given millions of dollars to the transgender cause over the past few years. His fingerprints are all over organizations like GATE, the NCTE, and The Transgender Law Center, all of which advocate for the same pro-trans policies in unison. Arcus has faced complaints from Catholic organizations that it used it’s grants to the Religion Newswriters Foundation, accusing it of using its money to manipulate the news and content produced by organizations it donates to. It also opens and runs centers to train ‘thought leaders’ in Arcus-approved policies and research.
Philanthropy and philanthropic initiatives have long histories of social intervention. Dating back to days that captains of industry such as Rockefeller and Carnegie walked the earth, the goal would be to spend their vast amounts of funds on solving problems, through research and implementing a desired solution. That many social problems originate from their ability to hoard wealth does not appear to occur to the philanthropist, who continues, nonplussed, with implementing his vision for the world, not through charisma or popular appeal, or via democratic means, but by throwing around money. These foundations operate tax free in the US.
Essentially, the modern philanthropist does not research to solve a problem; he has a predetermined solution in mind and desires research to support his opinion, rather than funding research to form an opinion. It’s like wanting to score a touchdown late in the fourth, using a specific play, and repeatedly calling that play trying to score, regardless of defensive scheme. This comes through grants to existing non-profit organizations, or through creating new ones that look grassroots — astroturf. See our friends NCTE or NCLR and GATE, respectively, who produce research and reports that seem designed to reach a specified conclusion. Because organizations are effectively created or hired, the power in the relationship is held entirely by the philanthropist, who expects return on investment. Essentially, with their vast funding and reach, they strangle any form of actual grassroots organization with ease. Because their research predominates, it becomes the orthodoxy among the chattering classes. This is not simply donations to non-profits in the case of transgenderism — it is donations to universities and hospitals, which then produce scientific research of questionable validity, given that bias is inextricable from this situation.
It’s not just trangenderism.
Probably the most famous example of philanthropy, astroturf, and a predetermined vision coming together is charter schools. Foundations from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to the Waltons, to a laundry list of wealthy family foundations have taken on the specter of American public schooling. Supposedly, if education were at the whims of the market, it would function more efficiently. These philanthropic experiments often target minority groups — the poor, racial minorities, and poor racial minorities (after all, if it doesn’t work,it wouldn’t affect the children of the philanthropist, just people who don’t matter). Targeting resource starved organizations, they benefit from the completely imbalanced relationship between patron and client, because school districts with a large funding shortfall are not going to say no to millions of dollars. Of course, astroturfing takes place in this philanthropic area of interest. Take this example: The Gates Foundation needs support for its teacher effectiveness reforms. It pays a group called ‘Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors’ (essentially a company that creates ‘activist groups’ complete with the latest model of a Thought Leader), to create a group called ‘Teaching First’. The Gates Foundation went ahead with its ‘grassroots organization’ having launched in 2010, and called ‘Communities For Teaching Excellence’. It went belly up in 2012, having accomplished nothing. Of course, we would not know about this dastardly behavior had the document planning this little excursion not leaked in 2011 and been splashed all over the media. The leaked document contained such gems as encouraging the organization to participate in campaigns not related to their goal in an attempt to look more authentic.
The Gates Foundation got frustrated at this point. So, it started funding other non-profits that agreed with them, dispatched paid staff to those non-profits, and suddenly saw a wealth of success. After all, if a bunch of different groups with obscure funding (remember in an IRS 990 you don’t have to disclose your donors) start saying the same thing, they must be right, right? But it is not only the Gates Foundation that does this. Other philanthropic organizations, run by people with similar views, donate to the same groups. The Gates, the Waltons, and others all donated to one group called ‘Parent Revolution’, for example.
There are other examples — a push by the Gates Foundation emphasized smaller schools, and they put $1 billion into the project, creating a nationwide trend towards smaller schools. But as with all modern philanthropy, they put the cart before the horse — the results were no different than a bigger school. Rather than figuring out which means would best bring about required ends, the philanthropist implements his own, untested means — a vision for how things ‘should work’, in his eyes, on a large population, able to simply because of vast funds, rather than democratic consent.
Astroturfing isn’t exclusive to philanthropic foundations. A famous leaked memo from the Phillip Morris tobacco company (from one John F. Scruggs, from an advertising company to one David Nicoli) illuminates astroturfing in all its phony glory. To quote the entire memo, because of its relevance:
““TO: David Nicoli DATE: December 18, 1998 FROM: John F. Scruggs RE: THE “ECHO CHAMBER” APPROACH TO ADVOCACY. This responds to your request for a memo explaining my proposed strategy for utilizing polling research, particularly in the upcoming excise tax fight. I have described this as the “echo chamber” approach to advocacy. This approach attempts to cause favorable information to resonate with and from various sources in order to increase its credibility with the target audience. As you are well aware, Members of Congress are impacted by multiple “influentials.” In fact, a number of studies have been done that attempt to rate the relative impact of these influentials on Members. A rough hierarchy has been established as follows, from most influential to least influential:
“The more a particular view or piece of information “echoes” or resonates through this group, the greater its impact. Grassroots efforts are so effective in modern day advocacy programs because they cause many constituents to repeat the same message to the target Member. Grasstops or “Influentials” campaigns work because those highest on the hierarchy scale, with the greatest degree of credibility, repeat the same or similar messages. You will note that the echo chamber effect can work in two different ways. First, the same message can reverberate among multiple sources toward the target Members. For example, the same information from polling data captured in a single poll can be repeated by the media, congressional colleagues, lobbyists and advertising. Second, similar but complementary messages can be repeated by a single source. For example, a media report that includes polling data as well as Bill Lilley research, comments from colleagues, and the text of advertising. Either the repetition or “piling on” approach provide the same result: enhanced credibility and influence of the essential message” [sic]
Does this sound familiar? The funding of various groups, all of whom apply political pressure, repeating the same message, over and over, to create an echo chamber where this is the only information getting to politicians and the general public? I’ve filled out my transgender lobby bingo card, have you?
But astroturfing does not simply take the form of funding non-profits. Often, astroturfing occurs through the use of Twitter bots and on internet comment sections, paid commenters who repeat the same message ad nauseam, hoping to create a feeling to the reader that their opinion is mainstream. The legitimate reader may then propagate the message again, giving an air of legitimacy and authenticity to the message, and then what is a ‘meme’ in the Dawkins sense (though astroturfing can also be internet memes, as the world discovered when the House Intelligence committee released Russian astroturf election advertising a few months ago) becomes repeated over and over. People become afraid of being considered backwards or regressive, so they don’t question what ‘everyone’ seems to think. The original comments may have only been a few paid commenters posting under hundreds of different identities — that ceases to mean anything when their message is being promoted by hundreds of real people using their own online identities. Astroturf movements often train their own organizers: one such example on the left is the Equality Federation, which trains center-left LGBTQI+ ‘thought leaders’. It features six figure donations from the Gill Foundation and the Tides Foundation, among others. It is a name plucked out of a very large hat — there are dozens of other ‘Institutes’ and ‘Fellowships’ that train professional activists in professional Kool-Aid drinking across the political spectrum. Trained in drinking the ideological Kool-Aid, they further make the patron-client relationship more of a master-slave one. Professionalized into activism, it does not serve their interests to ever actually ‘win’, as with no issue to campaign on, they are out of work. They may be doing so unconsciously, but an ultimate victory would harm their chances at employment, leading to them favoring incrementalism and creating a cultural forever war. Even worse is if they question their beliefs — because that’s an entire career down the drain if they do.
Critics do not fare well when criticizing the message of astroturf. Investigative right-wing journalist Sharyl Attkisson describes the descriptions used for an astroturf’s movements critics:
“The language of astroturfers and propagandists includes trademark inflammatory terms such as: anti, nutty, quack, crank, pseudo-science, debunking, conspiracy theory, deniers and junk science. Sometimes astroturfers claim to “debunk myths” that aren’t myths at all. They declare debates over that aren’t over. They claim that “everybody agrees” when everyone doesn’t agree. They aim to make you think you’re an outlier when you’re not.
Astroturfers and propagandists tend to attack and controversialize the news organizations, personalities and people surrounding an issue rather than sticking to the facts. They try to censor and silence topics and speakers rather than engage them. And most of all, they reserve all their expressed skepticism for those who expose wrongdoing rather than the wrongdoers. In other words, instead of questioning authority, they question those who question authority”
Does this sound familiar to you, with the ‘TERF’ debate? Anyone who disagrees with transgenderism is ‘crazy’, believes in ‘conspiracy theories’ and promotes ‘junk science’. The Advocate literally used this phrase in a piece by Brynn Tannehill on Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria. Doctors who agree with them are called quacks. The transgender movement has much in common with any other astroturf push by large philanthropic groups. If you want the right-wing version, simply look at the ‘Tea Party’ movement. Eventually, the movement was tracked down to two large right-wing think tanks — FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity, both funded by the Koch brothers. There were paid organizers, astroturf phrases such as the infamous ‘death panels’, and town hall debates with arranged altercations. Even grassroots groups on the left can become top-down organized — look at the Obama campaign, which took genuine grassroots support for his 2012 candidacy, and began arranging their logistics for them. But planned protests and a top-down astroturf approach are also present in the oil industry and the net neutrality debate. Pick an issue and you’ll find some plutocrat is pushing an agenda. The issue was highlighted even in Newsweek;
“It seems like the big thing that has changed is that historically, movements were made up of people who were disenfranchised; now they’re sponsored by insiders,” says Paul Frymer, a political scientist at Princeton. “They still have true activists attached to them, they just have a lot more help than they used to.” Much of that help now comes from the Internet.”
Amusingly enough, trans activists themselves have criticized the ‘trans in the military’ debate as astroturfing by Jennifer Pritzker. Dean Spade, a transgender academic attacked the sudden push as astroturfing, saying it obscured real issues faced by the transgender community, and attacked its right-wing nature. Brynn Tannehill, writing for the Huffington Post argued that it wasn’t astroturf, but a genuine movement. Tannehill is the co-chair for ‘Trans United Families For Equality’ and sits on its board. Trans United, a national organization, has put money into local school board races, likely to push bathroom-related policy. It partners with a variety of organizations, all with slick logos and profiles. Despite being both a 501(c)(3) and a 501(c)(4), I was unable to find an IRS 990 form on its website (I am not an expert, but I do not think that is legal.) Charity Navigator informs me that it is both headquartered in Washington DC and was granted a charity ruling in 2009. A glowing article in Timedoes describe its first advertising venture, an ad called ‘Meet My Child’, featuring transgender children and their parents. But another glowing Time article on the forming of the group describes an organization formed for the 2016 election in April 2016, by a slew of professional activists and campaign veterans. It is a nationally-based lobby organization that does not disclose any form of donor. It is astroturf. Brynn Tannehill argues that they are not astroturf and have never participated in astroturf, while holding membership in an astroturf organization.
But it is not the only astroturf PAC for transgenderism that has sprouted in the past decade. Remember Prop 1 in Alaska? Freedom For All Americans donated hundreds of thousands of dollars towards the bathroom fight in Anchorage. It is a PAC run by Masen Davis, who used to be the Executive Director for the Transgender Law Center (an organization that is also funded by large philanthropic groups and corporates.) The PAC lists some of its most prominent donors as Paul Singer, Tim Gill and Daniel Loeb. Tim Gill runs the Gill Foundation, another large LGBTIQ+ focused foundation that also makes large donations to many of the organizations mentioned and described above. If Paul Singer is a familiar name to you, it is because he is notorious for buying up Argentine debt and taking the country to court for a debt judgment, winning a judgment that allowed him to seize Argentine property in the UK. He continued harassing the country for repayment for years and made similar moves in the 90s with Peruvian debt. He has done this to multiple other nations. He opposes raising taxes on the 1% and parts of the Dodd-Frank Act. Outside of donating parts of his $2.8 billion fortune to LGBTQ+ causes, he is a large Republican donor, making donations to the National Republican Senatorial committee. Daniel Loeb runs one of the largest hedge funds on Wall Street: Elliot Management.
Freedom for All Americans (FFAA), when it announced its creation in 2015, leaves us with the new consensus from the federal-level LGBTIQ+ lobby.
“In addition to dedicated campaign efforts in states across the country, FFAA will be launching an LGBT-U program, geared toward training and deploying the next generation of campaign staffers and movement leaders. FFAA also is working to identify and elevate transgender spokespeople all across the country — so it’s crystal clear to policymakers that sexual orientation and gender identity and expression protections must always move together; no exceptions.”
Why are these organizations putting millions upon millions of dollars into transgenderism? What is so important about it that it needs fake news and millions of dollars poured into it?
I’ll get to that. But first, lets ask a question — what do these groups actually stand for?
WHAT IS TRANSGENDERISM?
I needed to answer this question: it is pointless to describe the movement around something if I do not describe that something.
I sought a definition of the ‘T’, of LGBTIQ+, from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), who advise me with an article, Understanding the Transgender Community, with a header picture of the transgender flag, which is two sets of pink and blue bars separated by a white bar (and which does not show up well on a white internet page). The HRC advises me that:
“Transgender people come from all walks of life. We are dads and moms, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. We are your coworkers, and your neighbors. We are 7-year-old children and 70-year-old grandparents. We are a diverse community, representing all racial and ethnic backgrounds, as well as faith backgrounds.”
Okay, so anyone can be transgender. But what is transgender?
“The word “transgender” — or trans — is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity is different from the sex assigned to us at birth. Although the word “transgender” and our modern definition of it only came into use in the late 20th century, people who would fit under this definition have existed in every culture throughout recorded history”
The HRC doesn’t give any examples of these historic figures. I believe they refer to the concept of ‘third sex’ or ‘third gender’, which is often used to categorize effeminate male homosexuals, and occasionally butch women and allow them roles within a still patriarchal society, such as the Hijra or the Albanian Sworn Virgins. There were publications describing homosexuals as a type of third sex or ‘third gender’ in Western culture in the 1970s, so it is not something unfamiliar to America and wider Western culture. But the HRC doesn’t tell us what ‘gender identity’ is, nor why it is significant that is different from the ‘sex assigned at birth’. I thought sex was observed, as a biological fact about a newborn?
“The transgender community is incredibly diverse. Some transgender people identify as male or female, and some identify as genderqueer, nonbinary, agender, or somewhere else on or outside of the spectrum of what we understand gender to be. Some of us take hormones and have surgery as part of our transition, and some don’t. Some choose to openly identify as transgender, while others simply identify as men or women. For more information on questions you may have about transgender people, check out our Transgender FAQ.”
Yes, but what is gender? What is the gender spectrum? What are the two ends of the gender spectrum? And what does it mean to identify as something?
The article goes on to outline the main concerns, all of which are shared with organizations described above — a lack of legal protections, poverty (15% of trans people are in poverty, which is the same percentage as the general US population and lower than Black and Hispanic populations), harassment and stigma, anti-transgender violence (telling us that 13 transgender women were murdered in 2014, which gives us an even lower murder rate than GLAAD gave us), and identity documents, telling us this:
“Identity Documents — The widespread lack of accurate identity documents among transgender people can have an impact on every area of their lives, including access to emergency housing or other public services. To be clear, without identification, one cannot travel, register for school or access many services that are essential to function in society. Many states require evidence of medical transition — which can be prohibitively expensive and is not something that all transgender people want — as well as fees for processing new identity documents, which may make them unaffordable for some members of the transgender community. The NTDS found that among those respondents who have already transitioned, 33 percent had not been able to update any of their identity documents to match their affirmed gender.”
Accurate identity documents? That’s contradictory. While trans people supposedly have (inaccurate) legal documents, they are unable to access services that require identity documents because… they don’t have legal documents? Which is it? Do they have them or not? Some would contend they are accurate, because those documents record biological sex, not gender. Gender still hasn’t been defined in this article, by the way. What is gender, and why does it need to be affirmed? Supposedly, updating these requires evidence of a medical transition, rather than simply showing up and demanding changes to the sex marker on identification documents. How is the state to know who is truly trans and needs this information? What’s the burden of proof to prove that one is ‘truly trans’? Such laws would be easily exploitable — for example, a man declaring he is a transgender woman, making no attempt at transition, changing his documents, and accessing college scholarships intended to help women into college. How is he a woman? What is the criteria? Why should there be no criteria to determine a person’s legal sex? I am hopelessly confused. I have not been given a definition of any of these words in this entire article.
Left for last, is this:
“Barriers to healthcare — Data collection on health disparities among transgender people is very limited, but the data we do have reveal a healthcare system that is not meeting the needs of the transgender community. In a 2012 needs assessment by the Washington D.C. Trans Coalition, 44 percent of those who identified health as one of their top priorities said that access to transgender-sensitive healthcare was their most significant need. Beyond facing barriers to obtaining medically-necessary health services and encountering medical professionals who lacked transgender health care competency, the NTDS found that almost 20 percent of respondents had been refused medical care outright because of bias.”
Transgender sensitive? What are medically-necessary health services? We aren’t told. There is no explanation as to the nature of what is required, only that something is required and you’re a bigot for not supporting whatever that may be.
I decided to look at the HRC’s Transgender FAQ, written by Meghan Stabler for more information. After all, they recommended it. Perhaps that will clear everything up. Meghan was born Mark and was formerly a senior software executive who now works at the HRC. Meghan gives us this definition of ‘transgender’:
“Transgender — or trans — is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity or expression is different from those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth (e.g., the sex listed on their birth certificate). Conversely, cisgender — or cis — is the term used to describe people whose gender identity or expression aligns with those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth.”
Meghan, in our next quote, finally gives me HRC’s definition of ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender expression’. I’m sure this will clear everything up, make me delete everything I’ve written, and go home, reassured that the transgender movement is fine, dandy, and a legitimate civil rights movement.
“Gender identity refers to a person’s innate, deeply-felt psychological identification as a man, woman or some other gender. Gender expression refers to the external manifestation of a person’s gender identity, which may or may not conform to socially-defined behaviors and characteristics typically associated with being either masculine or feminine.”
Wait? So, gender identity is about someone identifying as a man or a woman? But what are men and women then? Can I identify as a woman on Wednesday and a man on Friday? And gender expression is about gender stereotypes? Actually, the whole thing just sounds like gender stereotypes. Maybe, that’s what ‘gender’ is.
Meghan finally tells us the difference between sex and gender:
“Sex refers to the designation of a person at birth as either “male” or “female” based on their anatomy (e.g. reproductive organs) and/or their biology (e.g. hormones).
Gender refers to the traditional or stereotypical roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society consider appropriate for men and women.”
Okay, a butch lesbian has a ‘gender expression’ that is different from those typically associated with the sex assigned to them at birth — does that make a butch lesbian transgender? Are women who do non-stereotypical jobs transgender? So, remember, drawing from Meghan’s own definitions, being transgender is about identifying with the traditional or stereotypical roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a given society consider appropriate for the other sex. Are you not especially identified with gender stereotypes? Under Meghan’s definition, the Human Rights Campaign’s definition, you are transgender.
Meghan tells us that to live as the other gender, one must transition:
“Transitioning is the process some transgender people go through to begin living as the gender with which they identify, rather than the sex assigned to them at birth. This may or may not include hormone therapy, sex reassignment surgery and other medical procedures.”
Only some transgender people go through transition? What are the other transgender people doing then? What makes them the other gender? How are they the opposite sex, outside of saying they are? It doesn’t make sense. The Human Rights Campaign, if this is what they think is cutting edge activism for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, must have been replaced by Family Research Council lackeys, because that’s incredibly regressive.
With this definition of gender, all the drag queens on RuPaul are transgender. Last I checked, almost all of them were happy gay men. Is K.D. Lang transgender? Ellen DeGeneres? Is a man transgender if he binge-watched Sex And The City on Netflix? That’s contrary to stereotypes, after all. The LGB have a long history of playing with gender stereotypes. Are all those gender rebels transgender? I found similar definitions of transgender on Wikipedia and on other LGBTIQ+ websites.
At this point, I did decide to seek out what the other side thinks, and whether they are really all that crazy. So I went looking for the evil TERF definition of gender. I didn’t need to hunt through a body of research and endless puff pieces to find it. In fact, it was explained on the front page of the multiple websites I looked at. In a single sentence: Gender is the sex stereotypes and roles that are prescribed to men and women under patriarchy, in order to perpetuate patriarchy. Doesn’t look too different to the definition of the HRC, does it? Now, think about every single mention of ‘gender’ to come, with that meaning in mind, and you’ll see what this may actually all be about.
Because, from the horses mouth, being transgender is about identifying with the stereotypes and not being a stereotypical member of one’s own sex, then using modern medicine to fix this problem. This problem is fixed by treatments to cosmetically resemble the opposite sex. If I want to be a woman, all I need to do is identify as a woman. If I want to be a man, all I need to do is identify as a man. That is a tautology, and it is incoherent. It should not be the basis for a civil rights movement. The same logic can apply to being, for example, a white person who identifies as a black person, such as the infamous case of Rachael Dolezal. Even a toddler can point out that’s a nonsense argument. I have not made any of these quotes up — you can see this in the HRC’s transgender FAQ for yourself, if you want. This is dangerous. It presents gender stereotypes and gender as an innate thing to either sex, and that differing from them requires medicalization — hormone treatment and surgery, transition. Or even just a legal sex change should do the trick to fix that gender problem.
I doubt very many women agree with their own oppression or identify with it as part of their core being. If stereotypes are what the transgender movement is about, this is only going to harm women and gay and lesbian and bisexual people — the people who have the most to lose by gender stereotypes being encoded in the law. It’s clear ‘gender identity’ is about which set of stereotypes one subscribes to, rather than some inborn trait that needs civil rights protections. The HRC is an authority and a national lobby group. How can they, having fought for gay and lesbian people so long, not see quite what they are supporting?How can other LGBTQI rights groups not see the logical conclusions of these arguments?
But perhaps the scientific basis for transgenderism is still sound, and I can rest assured that everything will be fine once I realize this all grounded in solid science and established fact. All that money behind it, all this effort, all of it, will make sense.
Let us talk about medicine.
More Hormones More Problems
Let me start with a story. The story is that of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), and starts in the 1930s and 1940s .Christine Jorgenson was the first patient to receive HRT for transgenderism in the 1950s. It began its life being marketed as a cure-all, for the ills of menopause to the fountain of youth. It was also used as a tool to punish homosexuals, such as Alan Turing. Use for transgenderism was a side project carried out by a few doctors considered quacks and oddballs.
The most common use for HRT over the 20th century was instead to treat menopause. That particular train derailed in 2002, when the National Institutes Of Health’s Women’s Health Initiative, a large clinical trial to test HRT’s safety and efficacy, found out that HRT in women led to raised rates of strokes and breast cancer among other deleterious side effects. Lawsuits, particularly against the pharmaceutical company Wyeth (purchased by Pfizer in 2009), quickly followed, and the number of prescriptions of one of Wyeth’s most profitable medications dropped 66%. Overnight, HRT for menopause was no longer understood to be the automatic course of action. It later emerged that Wyeth and other drug companies marketing HRT had known about the risks but had deliberately concealed them to continue selling profitable drugs.
This caused some issues for pharmaceutical companies. Premarin, manufactured by Wyeth, was the best-selling drug of the 90s. HRT became accepted by women and physicians alike, and HRT was encouraged as safe and effective for menopause — which was untrue. It has been described as a time when patients request the medication, and physicians prescribed it, without checking on whether this medicalization of a natural process was needed or not. 42% of American women between the ages of 50 and 72 were on some form of HRT in 1999. Yet clinical trials instead proved that HRT was dangerous, and that the risks outweighed the benefits. And the prescription of HRT for menopause ended almost as quickly as it started.
Pfizer, which makes the estrogen drug Premarin after purchasing Wyeth in 2009, is a major corporate partner of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and received a 100% score on the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index. Wyeth was no stranger to targeting minorities for drug experimentation. In a suit filed and unsealed in 2010, a pair of former hospital sales representatives filed a whistleblower suit, alleging that Wyeth illegally promoted the Rapamune kidney transplant drug. Targeting African-Americans, Wyeth promoted off-label use of the Rapamune drug for use in other organs, when it was only FDA approved for use in kidney transplants. Representatives were provided with studies and abstracts to use when marketing the use of the drug off-label. Wyeth offered doctors and hospitals kickbacks when they prescribed Rapamune off-label. The FDA had actively warned against some of the promoted uses of Rapamune. Wyeth later agreed to pay $490 million to the Department of Justice to resolve its liability. Wyeth again engaged in unethical behavior with Prempro, another estrogen hormone replacement therapy drug, which is also used for transition. Wyeth used ‘medical ghostwriters’ to build a brand around Prempro and various off-label uses of the drug. What’s medical ghostwriting? Essentially, it’s a pharmaceutical company producing a peer-reviewed article promoting use of a drug it makes, often for off-label uses.
This is done by hiring a commercial medical writing company to produce papers that can then be published in academic journals. An academic is attributed authorship, even though they have not written the paper. The paper contains conclusions that support the pharmaceutical company’s marketing desires for a particular drug. In the case of Prempro, legal documents that emerged from a lawsuit brought by 14,000 patients were released to PLoS Medicine, an open access journal (viewable here). It revealed that Wyeth hired a medical communications company, DesignWrite, who then produced a first draft of a paper, received advice on a second draft from Wyeth, then sent it to an academic who would ‘author’ the paper by attaching their name and claiming authorship. Typically, the papers are review articles — they review a body of literature on a particular drug, then draw conclusions on its use. While the academics weren’t paid, political currency in academia has become the number of papers published in journals, so it added to their credentials. DesignWrite sold over 50 articles to Wyeth about HRT and produced conference posters and symposia materials. The material produced by DesignWrite promoted off-label uses of HRT. DesignWrite also promoted its advisory board creation and management capabilities to pharmaceutical companies.
While medical ghostwriting is clearly unethical, it’s not illegal. Because academic publications aren’t considered promotional, it does not fall afoul of off-label marketing laws. Pharma companies can ghostwrite as many articles as they like, building a message that the off-label use of drugs is safe, acceptable. They then publish that in an academic journal. Wyeth would produce studies that sang the praises of HRT for things it could never market it for, like curing wrinkles. Because the fact that the paper is ghostwritten is never disclosed, it means that people could potentially be receiving biased information that favors a drug company and using that when making decisions around patient health. If a large body of ‘research’ is promoting a use for a drug, then it must work, right?
How prevalent is medical ghost-writing,? The New York Times estimated in 2009 that 5–11% of medical articles are ghostwritten, though this ultimately depends on the drug. With one drug (sertraline), between 18% and 44% of articles on the subject were funded and ghostwritten by Pfizer. But without disclosure, we do not know how prevalent the problem might actually be.
Disturbingly enough, similar evidence is beginning to come out regarding HRT in men, who have been sold similar stories about ‘Low T’ and testosterone therapy. Unlike HRT in women, this has not come through a large drug trial, but nearly 7,000 lawsuits, directed at the makers of low testosterone treatments. Side effects include strokes, elevated risk of heart attack and blood clots.
In fact, the makers of Androgel, AbbVie, were ruled against in a lawsuit brought by one Jesse Mitchell, described as a ‘bellwether’ case, to the tune of $150 million, for misrepresentation of the safety of their testosterone gel, Androgel. Mitchell suffered a heart attack after four years of using the gel, which was ruled to be directly caused by the Androgel treatment. AbbVie aggressively marketed Androgel on television, despite the fact that testosterone treatments were causing elevated rates of heart attacks.
The $150 million lawsuit was later tossed, but a second trial again ruled against AbbVie, awarding Mitchell $3.2 million . 4,500 of the nearly 7,000 lawsuits involve AbbVie’s Androgel, which is considered the ‘Low T’ market leader. It is notable that AbbVie promoted the Androgel drug off-label. In fact, a former FDA head, David Kessler, told jurors in an another testosterone lawsuit, that he believes that AbbVie illegally promoted the testosterone supplement to aging men, without testing the safety of doing so. To quote his testimony:
“What the companies in essence did was to take those indications of low testosterone in men for specific reasons [and] the company in essence broke that link,” “It was no longer [being marketed] for specific diseases; it was for low testosterone for a broad range of issues.”
The drug companies pushed to market the drug off-label, regardless of whether ‘Low T’ was a scientifically valid condition or simply the natural aging process.
What relevance this does have to the transgender movement? Hormone Replacement Therapy is the primary drug prescribed for the treatment of transgenderism. It has a long history of illegal marketing, medical ghostwriting, and unethical behavior towards vulnerable patients.
Many of these same side effects have been reported in transgender people who take these drugs. For example, it is well known among female-to-male transgender people that after long periods on testosterone they require a hysterectomy, as they have higher risks for uterine cancer. They also frequently experience incontinence and vaginal prolapse. Many trans women experience heart attacks and strokes. These side effects have been dismissed as hormone therapy is ‘necessary’ — so that this population don’t kill themselves. Surgery can leave MTF transgender people with urinary issues. ‘Gender affirmation surgery’ for both sexes often leads to incontinence and recurrent urinary tract infections.
HRT is prescribed and intended for the patient to take for life as they begin a journey into being their ‘authentic self’. A transgender person expects to take hormones for the rest of their life. This is significant because every drug prescribed for transgenderism is prescribed off-label. There are no approved drugs for treating transgenderism. Not puberty blockers, nor HRT. For transition, many of the drugs used by transgender people are common brand name HRT drugs that are being used off-label. Premarin, Androgel, and others. All of these drugs have histories of off-label marketing. Androgel as aforementioned has thousands of lawsuits pending against it. This history of pharmaceutical companies using illegal marketing practices and ignoring deleterious side effects can’t possibly be the case with transgender use, can it?
Stephen Rosenthal, former president of the Pediatric Endocrine Society and transgender scientist media star and one of the primary researches on transgenderism describes this off-label status as a hurdle for puberty blockers in an article in Endocrine Today:
“One critical issue at this point in time is that none of the options for pubertal blockers on the market are FDA approved for transgender use. No pharmaceutical company has taken the steps necessary to change their labelling to include this category.”
A look through the names of the scientists that study and promote transgenderism and the use of HRT to treat it, and you will see Rosenthal’s name repeatedly. You will also see other names repeatedly, particularly in transgender children research, and you will find the same group of people are always responsible for such research, such as Dr. Norman Spack, of Boston’s Children’s Hospital and Robert Garofalo, from Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago. Many of them only began producing research on transgenderism, particularly in children, during the past decade. For example, Rosenthal’s publications are on topics such as insulin metabolism until 2012, when his entire output becomes focused around transgenderism.
Later on, in that Endocrinology Today interview, Rosenthal states the following:
“The Dutch, who really are the pioneers in this work, started treating kids with a group of medications called GnRH or gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists. These medications have been used in the pediatric population for about 30 years now to very effectively treat kids with precocious puberty, kids who, at way too young an age, go through the full-blown pubertal process. … GNRH agents have been used for many years and have been found to be very effective and specific for blocking puberty in a completely reversible manner.”
This is contradicted by the fact that GnRH agents are currently the subject of multiple investigations for causing irreversible bone health problems, something Rosenthal does not acknowledge in this interview, but does in his research. A recent news article in Kaiser Health News found that many patients who had received Lupron in their formative years suffered numerous side effects. One woman had a hip replacement in her early twenties.
“We want to provide advocacy that is informed and based on data, which shows that there has never been any example of a transgender person who has inappropriately behaved or interfered with the privacy of a non-transgender, cisgender person.”
This is both a clear lie and misinformation. Gender critical activists have collected screeds of news articles describing the exact scenario Rosenthal says does not happen. One project is literally called ‘This Never Happens’. A study found that when Target moved to gender-neutral changing rooms, incidences of voyeurism increased. Who is telling the truth? Because according to Rosenthal, this exact scenario, which has happened often enough to make the news hundreds if not thousands of times, ‘never happens’. One defense that I have seen used is that such criminals aren’t ‘real trans people’. Perhaps they are also not true Scotsmen. He essentially proposes that transgender people, as a class, are incapable of behaving inappropriately, which is a ridiculous proposition worthy of ridicule. Rosenthal goes on to imagine a clear clinical process with a new type of medical specialist — the ‘gender specialist’, who will clearly form part of some kind of gender industry, is consulted when someone begins questioning their gender. Presumably, making a vast amount of funds in the process of doing so.
The doctors also make misrepresentations to the media, not just philanthropic foundations. Robert Garafalo made comments to PBS about puberty blockers:
“They allow these families the opportunity to hit a pause button, to prevent natal puberty … until we know that that’s either the right or the wrong direction for their particular child.”
Garofalo fails to mention the issues with using GnRH agonists in children. The article then goes on to say that “The handful of studies that do exist suggest that gender dysphoria persists in a minority of children, but they involved very few children and were done mostly abroad”which is incorrect. The article then goes on to acknowledge that the use of puberty-blockers is off-label, and even concedes that such uses of the drug, considering the length of time it is used for, and the effects of stalling puberty, are totally unresearched. Another pediatrician at Lurie, Lisa Simons, admits this:
“We know that there’s a lot of brain development between childhood and adulthood, but it’s not clear what’s behind that.” What’s lacking, she said, are specific studies that look at the neurocognitive effects of puberty blockers.”
The article then comments in a wish-washy fashion:
“Another potential dilemma facing transgender children, their families and their doctors is this: Taking cross hormones can reduce fertility. And there isn’t enough research to find out of it is reversible or not. So, when children make the decision to start taking hormones, they have to consider whether they ever want to have biological children.”
This is a clear lie. Failure to experience puberty (and no, cross-sex hormone administration is not a ‘correct puberty’ or a puberty at all), means the gonads never mature. Immature gonads, with immature gametes are never fertile. These children will grow up to be sterile. And there is no research into what taking these hormones for fifty years or more could do to a human body, which is mentioned in the article.
Garofalo even admits he is using children as guinea pigs:
“I think those are the unanswered questions that really trouble me and can only be answered with long-term follow-up studies.”
Despite his unanswered questions Garofalo marches on, giving these drugs to children, drugs that will sterilize those children.
Oh, here’s a fun fact the article also includes:
“Most of these treatments are still very expensive and often out of reach for people without the help of insurance. The cost of puberty blockers is approximately $1,200 per month for injections and can range from $4,500 to $18,000 for an implant. The least expensive form of estrogen, a pill, can cost anywhere between $4 to $30 a month, according to Simons, while testosterone can be anywhere between $20 to $200 a vial.”
Using these figures, and taking a ten-year-old child, the total cost of transition for a ten-year-old who takes puberty blockers until they are 16, is $86,400. There are 725 children being treated for gender dysphoria at Lurie’s, which gives us a figure of $62 million dollars over 6 years in Lupron prescriptions were all those 725 children starting to take puberty blockers right now. Transition is an expensive business.
We end with the following:
“Ultimately, the doctors working in clinics like the one at Lurie Children’s hope to spare transgender children some of the anguish and societal isolation that earlier generations of transgender people went through. But they too would like the answers to the unknown consequences of these medications.
“The stakes are super high, and we don’t have all the answers,” Garofalo says. “Hopefully, there’s going to be more research and some of those unanswered questions, hopefully, will begin to be answered.”
I decided to answer those questions for myself.
Follow The Money
Let’s look at three doctors in particular. Their names are Dr. Diane Ehrensaft, Stephen Rosenthal, and Johanna Olson. Why?
All three of those names have had a financial relationship with AbbVie, maker of Androgel and Lupron, amongst other hormone replacement therapies and GnRH agonists. All three have gone on to promote the off-label use of AbbVie products to treat transgenderism. Both Joanna Olson and Diane Ehrensaft attended an AbbVie advisory board on gender care, Olson in 2015 and Ehrensaft in 2014. Olson discloses this as a conflict of interest in the paper Care of a Transgender Adolescent Commentary, which was published July 2015 — she attended this advisory board after submission and was compensated for attending. Olson then continued promoting off-label use of AbbVie drugs. Diane Ehrensaft does not declare this as a conflict of interest on any research papers, but it appears in her Curriculum Vitae (scroll to page 16), which she submitted to court while an expert witness, and is hosted on her website. Her CV reports, that in 2014, she was a board member of the ‘AbbVie Trans Advisory Board’, while promoting their drugs for off-label use in transgenderism, both in academia and through popular science books she wrote, such as The Gender Creative Child. Was she compensated for being on this advisory board, like Olson? Stephen Rosenthal frequently discloses that he is a consultant for AbbVie as a conflict of interest in both interviews and research, and then continues to promote the dangerous off-label use of their medication in adolescents.
Why is this concerning? The Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services advises that among the methods of spotting unlawful, off-label promotion, is paying physicians to serve as advisory board members.
In fact, let me quote directly from their consumer factsheet on the matter.
“Knowing some of the forms that off-label promotion can take will make it easier to recognize this unlawful practice.
These forms include the following:
• Paying incentives to sales representatives based on sales for off-label use; 
• Paying kickbacks to physicians to prescribe drugs for off-label use; 
• Disseminating misleading posters promoting off-label use; 
• Paying physicians:
To pretend to be the authors of articles about off-label uses when the articles were actually written by manufacturers’ agents;
To serve as members of “advisory boards” promoting off-label use;
To travel to resort locations to listen to promotions about off-label use; or
To give promotional lectures in favor of off-label use to fellow practitioners; 
• Providing advice to prescribers on how to code their claims and document their medical records to
support payment for off-label uses not covered by Medicaid;
• Publicizing studies showing efficacy of off-label uses while suppressing studies showing no efficacy;  and
• Making false representations directly to Medicaid to influence decisions about payment for drugs used off-label.”
Stephen Rosenthal is a consultant for AbbVie while giving lectures and media interviews essentially promoting the use of AbbVie products in ‘transgender children’. I would say that none of this passes the smell test at all. If there isn’t an inappropriate relationship between these scientists and AbbVie, they need to come clean on what exactly is going on between them and the company. Ehrensaft has not disclosed this as potential conflict of interest at all in either research or in media interviews. Given that she is promoting the use of AbbVie drugs in popular media through her own books that is extremely concerning. These scientists go out and promote the use of these drugs for transgenderism in popular media, arguing that it should be a civil right. They and others disseminate misleading information about transgenderism to the media. Rosenthal and Olson, along with Garofalo and Spack are leading a long-term observational study of transgender children going on puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones. How can they be neutral on this when both have a financial relationship with AbbVie? How can we be sure that this study — or any other studies by theses scientists or even with collaborators is not biased because of this relationship? What about the long-term studies they are involved with? Is the result of those studies already pre-determined, because of the financial fortunes to be made?
I have learned through experience, that when there is smoke, there is fire. Ehrensaft and Olson clearly engaged in a possibly illegal advisory board. All these scientists disparage previous research and scientists who disagree with their views — the transgender movement specifically smeared one scientist, Kenneth Zucker, for relatively mild criticisms of transgender science, out of a job. Similar disparagement has occurred to transsexual-typology describer Ray Blanchard and sexologist Michael Bailey. Suppression of studies contradicting the trans narrative is frequent. A well-documented example in the UK involved a study declined at an ethics committee stage for possibly being ‘politically incorrect’.
But it is not only those three who have had a clear financial or otherwise relationship with a drug company or philanthropic foundation. Other scientists are also possibly monetarily compromised beyond redemption. Robert Garofalo, who is a co-author of many of the recent studies on transgenderism, particularly in children, works for Lurie’s Children’s Hospital, where the Gender and Sex Development program he directs was started with seed money from Jennifer Pritzker, and continues to receive donations from the billionaire. How does this affect his research and opinions? If he disagrees with Pritzker, who is ideologically motivated towards a certain conclusion, he will no longer be employed at a prestigious children’s hospital. It is far too large a conflict of interest, and it is not declared in his research. How can any of it possibly be impartial? What is even more worrying, is that they lie to the media, and that the media does not question their narrative.
WPATH and Junk Science
But promoting transgender health is not only the purview of the doctor or large pharmaceutical concern — it is also one of philanthropy. Take, for example, the ‘Center Of Excellence For Transgender Health’, based in the University of California San Francisco (which is advised by Johanna Olson, our favourite AbbVie Advisory Board member.)If we pursue the sponsorship and supporters page of the Center of Excellence For Transgender Health’s recent summit, we get a list of familiar names funded by Arcus, Tawani and the Open Society Foundations — the NCTE, the Transgender Law Center, WPATH, and GATE. One sponsor of particular interest for my inner comedian is lesbianhealthinfo.org, a domain that has unfortunately expired and is being squatted. The link now leads to a WordPress blog in German, that Google Translate advises me is about ‘Lesbians also play in the casino’ and contains possibly the worst summary of The Iliad that I’ve ever read. I applaud this German spam blog for its inclusivity of lesbians in the casino. It has been the most lesbian-inclusive website I have seen through the course of writing this article.
No discussion of transgender medicine would be complete without looking at the World Professional Association for Transgender Health, or WPATH. WPATH bills itself as the thought leader in all things transgender health, and almost every scientist discussed in this article belongs to WPATH. It issues the guidelines, holds the conferences, and provides the forum for research papers on transgenderism.
It has also been criticized, not just by gender critical activists, but by the people it supposedly treats. An open letter written by patients of WPATH’s membership circulated on the internet, criticizing its membership for performing procedures with insufficient medical training, and criticized its research:
“Our experience is that surgeons in WPATH’s membership are:
1. Offering free or low-cost surgeries to under-resourced patients in order to gain operating experience in procedures for which they have incomplete professional training.
2. Engaging in pre-operative counseling, academic publishing, and public presentations using complication rates that are:
· Based on incomplete patient records and insufficient follow up. It distresses us to see academic publications² and other claims regarding our bodily experience that imply a level of follow-up that has simply not occurred. When a surgical center does no routine follow-up on initial surgeries, the cohort of patients on whom they have sufficient longitudinal data to report has an enormous selection bias. Many of us have had our concerns and symptoms dismissed by our initial surgical teams, or do not have the means to return to our initial surgeons and have had post-operative management and revision surgeries elsewhere. Our initial surgeons have no record of these outcomes.
· Not inclusive of conditions experienced by patients as complications, such as fistulas, strictures, and tissue necrosis that significantly delayed healing but not requiring surgical correction.”
The open letter goes on to criticize WPATH for inadequate after care, providing inaccurate medical information and offering experimental procedures without advising a patient those procedures are experimental. Not a particularly great rap sheet for a supposedly professional organization. It does not help that the WPATH is funded by an ideologically motivated Jennifer Pritzker — yes, the Tawani Foundation sponsored the 2016 WPATH biannual symposium.
The thing that recurs in media discussions of the topic is that these treatments are ‘accepted practice’, and that to provide anything other than gender-affirming care is ‘conversion therapy’. One must accept self-identification of the transgender individual at all costs. Thing is, that wasn’t accepted practice twenty years ago. For example, the British Royal College of Psychiatrists produced a 1998 report on childhood gender dysphoria, which I quote below:
“Gender identity disorders can be seen as states in which, in the course of the young person’s psychosexual development, there is an atypical gender identity organization. The young person experiences their phenotypic sex as incongruous with his or her own sense of gender identity.
This predicament, which is commoner in boys, is characterized by:
• A desire to be of the other sex
• Play with games, toys and objects usually associated with the other sex and avoidance of play normally associated with their sex
• Preference for playmates or friends of the sex with which the child identifies
• Dislike of bodily sexual characteristics and functions
It is important to consider these states as different from those seen in adults because:
(a) A developmental process is involved (physical, psychological and sexual).
(b) There is greater fluidity and variability in the outcome, with only a small proportion becoming transsexuals or transvestites, the majority of affected children eventually developing a homosexual orientation and some a heterosexual orientation without transvestism or transsexualism.”[emphasis mine]
Times have changed quickly in twenty years. For example, the rates of childhood gender dysphoria in girls outstripped boys over the past decade. A feminist would point out that patriarchy has more to do with which toys, games, clothing and objects are associated with a particular sex, or preferring playmates of the opposite sex (a child may simply want to play with the other children that like what they like), but it is clear that what is emphasized here is sex dysphoria, rather than ‘gender dysphoria’ — a dislike of physical sex, not of a particular assigned role. I have placed emphasis on the final conclusion: that sex dysphoric children usually turn out homosexual. In an interview, Rosenthal informs us that these studies were small and done mostly abroad. Yet, only twenty years ago, the British professional psychiatrists association was content to advise its membership that the vast majority of children who suffer sex dysphoria desist at puberty and mostly grow up to be happy homosexuals.
This is not a particularly novel conclusion. Gender non-conforming behavior during childhood is associated with homosexual behavior in adulthood. This has been replicated in large studies. What most studies find is that very few children with gender dysphoria grow up to be gender dysphoric adults — most grow up homosexual. If a cursory search of the literature on Google Scholar can turn up this fact, why are we so confused about childhood gender-non-conformity now? Perhaps there is merit to gender critical critics of transgenderism calling it ‘gay conversion therapy’ after all.
The paper is also interesting because it comments on the distinctions that need to be made between a presentation of transgenderism in childhood and in adulthood.
“Similarly, pre-pubertal and post-pubertal groups need to be differentiated. There is greater fluidity and likelihood of change in the former. Phenomenologically there is a qualitative difference between the way such children and young people present their predicament from presentations involving delusions or other psychotic symptoms. Delusional beliefs about the sexual body or gender can occur in psychotic conditions but they can be distinguished from the phenomena of a gender identity disorder as outlined in this paper. There are issues of nosology because current classification systems seem to suggest that gender identity disorders in childhood are equivalent to those in adulthood and that the one inevitably leads to the other. This is not the case.” (nosology refers to the classification of diseases).
The paper also advises against surgical intervention and recommends that children go through puberty.
Yet just as with the trans murder epidemic the media are all too willing to swallow a line fed to them by these organizations. A Psychology Today article supposedly ‘debunking junk science’ (of the American College of Pediatricians, which produces anti-gay material), starts with the well known facts that reparative therapy is a bad idea, and that gay parents are fine, and then promotes actual junk science by promoting ‘affirming transgender youth’. It also manages to lie about the fact that transgender children are, in fact, sterilized by their treatment.
“The ACP claims that hormonal interventions make it impossible for transgender individuals to have biological children. This is false. Transgender teens receiving hormonal interventions are offered fertility preservation measures as explained in Endocrine Society Guidelines(link is external) and detailed here(link is external).”
But this is a lie. Immature gonads cannot produce viable gametes and any fertility preservation measures are completely experimental. That does also not change the fact that without going through puberty, and later surgical intervention, transgender children of both sexes are effectively castrated throughout adulthood. And this is a lie repeated again and again, not just to the public, but to the very patients these doctors are supposedly treating. The author, Jack Turban also fails to mention that of the sources he cites, many of them ultimately have a fiscal relationship with a billionaire or a pharmaceutical company somewhere along the way. Among the studies he cites is one from the TransYouth project, which has the following acknowledgement:
“This work was supported by grants from the Royalty Research Fund and the Arcus Foundation to K.R.O. These funding sources played no role in the study design, data collection, analysis, or interpretation, and no funding source saw the report before submission for publication.”
I find it hard to believe that a foundation with a clear political objective that has invested in astroturf organizations did not want a predetermined outcome. So what research are these groups funding?
I looked into the TransYouth project, based out of the University of Washington, Seattle, and headed by Kristina Olson, which bills itself as the ‘largest project and is the first large-scale, national, longitudinal study of socially-transitioned transgender children to date.’ It is following 300 socially transitioned children from 45 US states and in Canada. It is currently advertising for participants.
“In addition to that project we are recruiting new families for new studies on gender development both in the Seattle region and nationally. Right now, we are recruiting children who are gender nonconforming, tomboys, princess boys, intersex, and gender “typical” children. If you and your family are interested in participating or have more questions, feel free to complete the sign-up sheet below or email us at gendev [at] uw [dot] edu so we can tell you more about our work. For more, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page!”
Wait a minute? I thought this was about trans youth. Why request ‘tomboys’ and ‘princess boys’. What are those things? Gender non-conforming children (who, as a reminder, mostly grow up into homosexuals), are being requested for a longitudinal study to discover what happens to them (we know: they turn out homosexual.) What research does the TransYouth Project churn out? I decided to go through some examples. I will quote liberally from the following research article: Gender Development in Transgender Preschool Children :
“[…] More recent theorizing, however, suggests that although full gender constancy knowledge may not be responsible for enhancing gendered preferences and behavior, understanding gender stability in particular is a central factor in motivating strong gender preferences (Ruble et al., 2007). For example, a very young girl might already display an afﬁnity toward pink, dolls, and dresses, but once she understands the stability of her gender, she will have even more extreme gendered preferences”
This looks like pseudo academic word salad to me, although I am the world’s harshest critic. I believe a translation of this gobbledygook may be:
A girl likes dolls and pink. Once she discovers girls are stereotypically supposed to like dolls and pink, she likes them even more, because conformity is rewarded by our society. Any critical discussion of the fact ‘dolls and pink’ are social constructions of the modern era and do not reflect any innate biological preference seems to go out the window here.
“At the same time some work with older socially transitioned trans-gender children suggests that they give gender-typical (but not sex-typical) responses on measures of gender development, such as gendered preferences (Olson, Key, & Eaton, 2015). Evidence that transgender children show strongly gendered preferences (perhaps as strong as controls) paired with a lack of gender stability beliefs (at least as it has traditionally been tested) could suggest that the “boost” from stability beliefs is not needed to show the high levels of gendered preferences observed by gender-typical children.”
What is gender? Is it, like the HRC says, sex stereotypes? Is it some inalienable psychological development that drives boys to like trucks and girls to like pink dollies? Or is it a complex process of socialization that some children resist, and those children are now being medicalized? How can stereotypes be stable? Do they mean that the children’s understanding of stereotypes is stable?
The paper then tells us this:
Despite the large body of work on gender development, most of that work has been conducted with gender-typical children. The current study is an exploratory investigation into whether socially transitioned transgender children show the same patterns of gender development during the pre-school years. To date, there has been no work on this question, though there has been one study reporting on gender development in elementary school-age children and a few studies reporting on gender development in a broader range of gender diverse children.”
But this is wrong. Follow up studies on gender dysphoric children have been done: they turn out to be normal homosexuals. This study does not even mention the concept of ‘socialization’: it talks about ‘gender development’, as if modern gender roles are some innate psychosexual fact, rather than a product of our culture.
“In addition to this more recent work on socially transitioned transgender children, there is a longer tradition of studying gender nonconforming children — those who defy cultural gender expectations for children of their sex — in the clinical psychology and psychiatry literature. Although typically focused on clinical outcomes (e.g., Cohen-Kettenis, Owen, Kaijser, Bradley, & Zucker, 2003), these research teams have occasionally reported on basic gender development, much as we do in the current study with socially transitioned transgender children. For example, one study found that while siblings of gen-der nonconforming children preferred to play with toys manufactured for children of their sex, gender nonconforming children (Mage= 7.6 years) did not — they equally preferred toys manufactured for their own sex and the other sex (Zucker, Bradley, Doering, & Lozinski, 1985). In contrast, for games, gender nonconforming children actually expressed a preference for games manufactured for the other sex, but their siblings did not. Thus, it appears that gender nonconforming children’s preferences consistently differ from their gender conforming peers (the deﬁnition of gender nonconformity), but only sometimes was this difference in the direction opposite their sex at birth. Furthermore, Zucker et al. (1999) found that a group of 3 to 10-year-old gender nonconforming children showed an atypical understanding of gender constancy. That is, the gender diverse group of children was less likely than gender-typical children to believe that their own gender was stable across time (gender stability) or across changes in appearance (gender consistency) compared to others’ gender.”
After reading through most of this, I began to wonder if my brain would melt out my ears, on to the carpet, and create a large stain. I didn’t need to know the words ‘gender constancy’ could be used in a sentence. Let me remind you: gender is the stereotypes assigned to a particular sex. That is the Human Right’s Campaign definition. This study is measuring stereotypes. The study goes on to outline an experiment — of ‘measuring participant’s gender’. How did they do this? I thought you’d never ask. I didn’t realize gender was even a measurable concept. Apparently, it is!
“To measure participants’ gender expression in everyday life, without telling parents or children in advance, two experimenters independently rated the outﬁt worn by each participant at the testing session on a scale ranging from 1 to 5 (allowing for half-point ratings) with lower numbers representing more stereotypical boy outﬁts and higher numbers representing more stereotypical girl outﬁts (r = .94, p < .001). However, in some cases (n=13) only one experimenter was able to provide an outﬁt rating,”
SCIENCE! I love the first acknowledgement of gender stereotypes in this entire paper is in this ‘experiment’. I have a question — who decides which outfit belongs to which gender? Is it the gender police? What gender is the uniform of the gender police?
“Experimenters were told that the most masculine outﬁts consisted of clothing items such as male-stereotypic sports attire, superhero costumes, and men’s formal wear, whereas the most feminine outﬁts consisted of frilly dresses or skirts, princess costumes, and sparkly accessories. Experimenters also considered the colors (e.g., pink) and style (e.g., ﬁtted vs. baggy shirt) when determining outﬁt ratings”
Dear young girls of America: do you like football? Ever worn a baggy shirt? What about both at once? Yeah, you’re a boy now.
Junk Science 2: It Got Worse
My interest was piqued by this TransYouth study that consisted of an unholy combination of word salad, jargon, and gender measurement(but I thought gender was stereotypes?) I decided to go and read more scientific articles. I had assumed that the scientific basis for a civil rights movement would be sound. Maybe the Human Rights Campaign is telling me incorrect things about gender. Perhaps this study was an outlier.
I went to find the scientific basis that underpins the transgender issue. I decided to look at, ‘transgender children’ in particular. After all, transgenderism is supposedly the same thing, from childhood to adulthood. I did not believe that the scientific basis to change a child’s sex could possibly be baggy shirts. Surely the sound scientific basis for this endeavor would be there.
I read through Transgender youth: current conceptswhich is a literature review. I would note that ‘literature reviews’ are the currency of medical ghostwriting; that there is one academic attached, and that academic is Stephen M. Rosenthal, who as previously discussed, has a financial relationship with AbbVie as a consultant (this is disclosed as a conflict of interest within the paper.) Perhaps I am only hallucinating the smoke, or perhaps there is a fire. You decide. Of interest are the following passages:
“Based on pioneering work form[sic] the Netherlands, the Endocrine Society (ES) guidelines and WPATH SOC endorse the use of pubertal blockers using gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists at Tanner stage II/III in individuals experiencing a significant increase in gender dysphoria with onset of puberty3,4,44,45,46,47). This treatment is fully reversible and allows additional time for gender exploration without the pressure of ongoing pubertal development.”
Yet many women with precocious puberty report bone problems due to using Lupron as children. The article admits this later on, saying:
“The primary risks of pubertal suppression in gender dysphoric youth treated with GnRH agonists include adverse effects on bone mineralization, compromised fertility, and unknown effects on brain development.”
Is that fully reversible? Or did Rosenthal lie to the media? They’re messing with these kid’s brains. It also contradicts itself. It also lets us know about the status of that sound scientific basis:
“There are currently only limited outcomes data to support the ES and WPATH recommendations for care of transgender youth.”
These people are castrating children based on limited outcome data. This may or may not work as a treatment. Who knows, really? This isn’t settled science. This is a grand experiment, on children who are overwhelmingly more likely to grow up to be gay than transgender. There isn’t a scientific basis for the hundreds of millions of dollars poured into the transgender movement and the children it supposedly protects. Rosenthal did not start publishing on transgender issues until 2012, though he was a publishing endocrinologist before that. In a few short years, he went from an obscure endocrinologist to a media star, being interviewed about his work with transgender children. I leave why this work has made him a media star and exercise to the reader.
I decided to look at one of the other transgender media stars, Diane Ehrensaft. Ehrensaft, who as we know has written two popular books on the subject and served on an AbbVie advisory board, must know what ‘gender’ is. I read her paper Gender nonconforming youth: current perspectives. Hopefully, I can find something that justifies this entire transgender exercise. I’m getting desperate. After all, this is the up-to-date summation of the current state of gender-affirming healthcare in children. Surely this is all very reasonable, really.
“In contemporary versions of gender development theory that take into account gender variations as a normal part of the human condition, the understanding is that the sex assigned at birth may match the gender a youth will eventually know themselves to be, but it might not. Each child is presented with a developmental task of weaving together threads of nature, nurture, and culture to establish their individual and unique authentic gender self. This self will be composed of both gender identity — who I know myself to be as male, female, or other, and gender expressions — how I choose to perform my gender, including clothing choices, activity preferences, friendship choices, and so forth. Recently, this transactional relationship between nature, nurture, and culture in gender development has been referred to as the gender web, broken up into components that consist of the items in”
So gender can be defined by — the gender web? The gender web?! I am not joking.
Here are the elements of the gender web, which are given to us in a table.
• Hormone receptors
• Gonads/primary sex characteristics
• Secondary sex characteristics
• Socialization: family, school, religious institutions, community
• Culture: values, ethics, laws, theories, and practices”
Five of these are biology. Four are influenced by the culture around us — the brain, the mind, socialization and culture. But perhaps gender is not stereotypes but inborn, after all. Maybe Ehrensaft can tell us that, and I’ll delete everything and forget this ever happened.
Ehrensaft instead gives us a ‘fourth dimension of gender development’. I will let her hoist herself with her own petard:
“In this contemporary model of gender development, added to the three dimensions of nature, nurture, and culture is the fourth dimension: time. Each child alters their gender web as they weave together nature, nurture, and culture, “over time”. In other words, gender is neither fixed by age 6, as in the traditional model, nor static throughout all stages of child and adult development, thus explaining how an individual at age 40 or 50 could come to the realization that the gender they had identified as being is no longer a good fit. It is also recognized that gender development is a discrete and separate track from development of one’s sexual identity, and typically proceeds it in a youth’s development.”
Gender changes over time — and it is affected by culture. This is utter nonsense. Why are we medicating people over this? And if gender can change over time, what about transgender children? Can their gender change after you’ve castrated them? Why is this something that requires medical intervention?
It is interesting that Ehrensaft desires to establish that there is no link between ‘gender development’ and ‘one’s sexual identity’, despite the plethora of studies to the contrary — that gender non-conforming children often grow up to be homosexual adults. In a way, homosexuality is the ultimate gender non-conforming behavior. Perhaps Ehrensaft is taking into account the many ‘transgender lesbians’ who transition in mid-life.By insisting sexuality has nothing to do with transgenderism except ‘crossing at certain points’, Ehrensaft may also be sensitive to the gay critics who call this modern science of ‘transgender children’ gay conversion therapy.
Ehrensaft then presents a summation of the ‘gender affirmative’ model that LGBTQI+ organizations are promoting, she is promoting, and oligarchs are funding.
“Basic premises of the gender affirmative model
• Gender variations are not disorders.
• Gender presentations are diverse and varied across cultures, requiring cultural sensitivity.
• Gender involves an interweaving, over time, of biology; development and socialization; and culture and context.
• Gender may be fluid; it is not always binary.
• If present, individual psychological/psychiatric problems are more often than not secondary to negative interpersonal and cultural reactions to a child.
• Gender pathology lies more in the culture than in the child.
The basic therapeutic tenet of the gender affirmative model is quite simple: When it comes to knowing a child’s gender, it is not for us to tell, but for the children to say. In contrast to the watchful waiting model, once information is gathered to assess a child’s gender status, action is taken to allow that child to exercise that gender. Therefore, if after careful consideration, it becomes clear that a young child is affirmed in their gender, demonstrating that the gender they know themselves is different than or opposite to the gender that would match the sex assigned to them at birth, the gender affirmative model supports a social transition to allow that child to fully live in that gender, whether that child is 3, 7, or 17 years old. Such decision-making is governed by stages, rather than ages, both for social transitions and later for medical interventions. Once the child’s gender comes into clear focus, which is posited as happening with a child of any age, no need is seen to hold off until adolescence to affirm that gender. This viewpoint is informed by data indicating the psychological harm that can be done, including heightened risk for generalized anxiety, social anxiety, oppositional behaviors, depression, compromised school performance, if a youth experiences themselves living in a gender that is inauthentic to them.25”
Remember, according to the Human Rights Campaign and Ehrensaft herself, gender is stereotypes. This paper is literally saying that sexed body does not match the stereotypes assigned to it; it requires medical intervention to ‘affirm gender’. Despite this pathology being cultural, and acknowledging this fact, Ehrensaft still wants to chemically and physically castrate children who do not conform to ‘gender’. If a child believes they should be, or are the other sex, because they do not conform to society’s expectations and stereotypes of their sex, Ehrensaft believes we should medicalize this and treat them with drugs, and ultimately ‘affirm their gender’ by castrating them. She has published two books on this subject, encouraging the castration of non-conforming children. She has sat on advisory boards for drug companies to promote this off-label use of their medication.
You think I’m exaggerating about castration? Ehrensaft admits to supporting castrating children:
“Another critical task for the medical-mental health team is the necessary discussion of fertility implications for each of these interventions. Although advances are being made in reproductive medicine to preserve immature gametes or reproductive tissues for later reproduction, at this point in history a child who begins puberty blockers at Tanner Stage 2 and proceeds directly to cross-sex hormones will be rendered infertile. Administration of testosterone or estrogen to a post pubertal adolescent may compromise a youth’s later fertility, or might require going off the hormones for a period of time if a transgender youth who has not had gonad or genital surgeries later in life desires to have a genetically related child.”[emphasis mine]
From the horse’s mouth. Infertile. No gonads. Castrated. No sexual development. A brand new caste of eunuchs. Are you concerned yet?
But she keeps going. Ehrensaft even sees the potential of drugging the ‘non-binary child’:
“Not only is there no other aspect of adolescent care where the teamwork between medical and mental health provider is critical; there is no other domain of youth services in which a mental health provider is so actively involved in medical decision making. Where this has surfaced most recently is in the recent emergence of youth in gender clinics who present as neither male nor female, but rather gender nonbinary or “in the middle”, adopting the platform of the multiplicity of gender. The challenge is when these youth ask for a particular medical intervention that achieves that goal of a middle ground — perhaps a touch of testosterone, or chest surgery with no other intervention and a chosen pronoun of “they” rather than “he” or “she”. These are new horizons for both medical and mental health professionals today, and there is a mutuality, therefore, in the medical professional training the mental health professional while the mental health professional is in turn training the medical professional in order to integrate the biopsychosocial aspects of care to include the gamut of all the gender nonconforming youth presenting for care.”
Just a touch of testosterone will not lead to health problems later in life, like heart attacks or irreversible physical changes.
If you don’t conform to sex stereotypes, you need medicalization. This is what these scientists believe.
Ehrensaft concludes with this:
“In the course of only two decades, sophisticated models for the care of gender nonconforming and transgender youth have evolved. There is an urgent need to provide more research data documenting the efficacy of these different programs, but the recent findings of the Amsterdam group provide hope that the care, particularly within the watchful waiting and gender affirmative models, is promoting gender health. In the Dutch authors’ words, the treatment, including puberty suppression, cross-sex hormones, and then in adulthood gender affirmation surgery, “leads to improved psychological functioning of transgender adolescents. While enabling them to make important age-appropriate developmental transitions, it contributes to a satisfactory objective and subjective well-being in young adulthood”.33 The authors propose that not only early medical intervention, but also a comprehensive multidisciplinary approach contributes to the youth’s gender health. Reflecting back on Daniel, the youth introduced at the opening of this review, the ability of professionals to aid youth such as Daniel in getting his authentic gender into focus and providing the appropriate treatments to bring that gender in alignment with his body is the key to overall well-being for all youth seeking professional gender care.”
The ‘gender affirming model’ has been around for less than two decades. Two decades ago, it was considered settled science that gender dysphoric children mostly grow up gay and that puberty suppression was ill-advised. Regardless of the fact that it contradicts all prior science and thought on the subject, has emerged and it has become accepted extremely rapidly, despite the concerns of lesbians and gays, women, and not to mention many transsexuals. It begs the question: why the change? Ehrensaft also contradicts herself in other parts of the paper: she says that GnRH, has no risks and then admits later that the risks of such treatment are unknown, but that there are reports of bone problems — just like Rosenthal does in the paper he wrote quoted above. If neither of them can keep their story straight in a single, peer-reviewed paper that they authored, this ‘science’ has some catastrophic flaws, especially when its prophets and proselytizers lie to themselves over the efficacy of their own treatments!
Ehrensaft has written books on this subject and works with the lobby group Gender Spectrum (she sits on its board), which provides services to workplaces seeking diversity training. It is impossible for such a scientist to be impartial when they stand to make money and have been compensated by a particular pharmaceutical company to advocate use of their drugs. It is less a science and more a religion. These are not scientists. They are priests of a cult. Oh, and if you’re wondering, in this bizarre interview with Psychology Art, where she uses the term ‘gender resilience’, and insists that some females produce sperm and some males produce eggs, Ehrensaft advocates taking away children if the parents believe in the concept of biological sex:
“Now the question comes, what if this type of family intervention still doesn’t influence the family and they still are hostile to their child? At some point mental health professionals know that your chosen family is much more important sometimes than your family of origin in keeping you afloat and this is true for the trans youth community as well. Sometimes we as mental health professionals have to help trans youth find alternative places and relationships. I’m not saying necessarily moving them from their home but making sure that there’s an alternative supportive spaces for them, and somebody who can mentor them.
And sometimes you do wanna think about removing them from the home because it’s abusive. It’s as if they are being abused, and that’s a hard thing to call. But I think that the, kind of, severe gender solution that can happen in a home, I’d qualify it as abuse. It’s not the kind of abuse that I can report to CPS. It’s not considered physical abuse typically, but we can call it emotional abuse. So you can do that as well.”
Diane Ehrensaft wants to take away your children if you don’t want to give them drugs that include things like ‘organ damage’ as side effects because they don’t conform to sex stereotypes.
I read through more scientific articles than this — dozens. To be honest, reading them upset me with the sheer level of homophobia within. Most of them repeated exactly the same things. If I continued quoting from them this article would be even more unwieldy and unpublishable. What got me the most was that it took me a lot of hunting to even get a definition of ‘gender’. To these scientists it seems to be some kind of cultural construct that is also an innate psychosexual drama that can only be resolved through affirming whichever ‘gender’ a child chooses and deciding that a particular ‘gender’ belongs to a particular ‘sex’, so that child must be transitioned towards the appearance of a particular sex (with none of the sexual function of that sex, or their own sex.) These papers all say that behaving in a ‘male gender’ means a female child should be transitioned towards being a ‘male’, at least in appearance, and vice versa for male children. It is homophobic, regressive science. And it is being funded by drug companies and philanthropists with investments in those drug companies or a personal agenda.
The worst part of all of this? The data we do have says all of this medical intervention doesn’t reduce suicidality in transgender people.
The overall mortality for sex-reassigned persons was higher during follow-up (aHR 2.8; 95% CI 1.8–4.3) than for controls of the same birth sex, particularly death from suicide (aHR 19.1; 95% CI 5.8–62.9). Sex-reassigned persons also had an increased risk for suicide attempts (aHR 4.9; 95% CI 2.9–8.5) and psychiatric inpatient care (aHR 2.8; 95% CI 2.0–3.9). Comparisons with controls matched on reassigned sex yielded similar results. Female-to-males, but not male-to-females, had a higher risk for criminal convictions than their respective birth sex controls.
We don’t know if the current ‘gender affirmation’ model might make it even worse! Yet they tell us if trans people don’t receive this medical treatment, they will be murdered or commit suicide. Which one is it — the rhetoric or the data we do have?
But I know one thing now: the transgender lobby is built on a foundation of money, nonsense and homophobia.
I was inspired to investigate the election funding behind the Anchorage ‘bathroom bill’ municipal ordinance, not by anything relating to transgenderism, but researching how philanthropy empowers other causes into the stratosphere. I wondered — how much of this is also happening with identity politics? I wanted to follow the money. And thus, that set off months of investigating funding, causes and lobby groups. The totality of my research was impossible to fit into a single article. But the evidence is clear: transgenderism isn’t a real civil rights movement.
Let us think about it: what every group in the transgender lobby is demanding is essentially guaranteed access to medication for off-label purposes. None of these drugs are approved for transgender uses. Given the data we do have and the state of the science behind that data, accompanied by the side effects up to and including death, it is unlikely to ever be approved by the FDA in a clinical trial. Unless, of course, the side effects were better than the outcome. Hence, the creation of a perception that transgender people are murdered a at higher rates than the general population, even though that isn’t true. Saying that the side effects are better than the suicide of the patient probably wouldn’t pass muster either, given that medical intervention did not change the fact that transgender people have elevated suicide rates compared to the general population.
Hence our endless bad statistics and fake news. A survey with methodological flaws and some good messaging can cover for the actual reality, at least to the general public. Because the one way these ‘treatments’ could get approved is if the problem is worse than the side effects and the solution — this poor, gender dysphoric wilting flower of a person will kill themselves or be murdered unless they can access ‘gender-affirming healthcare’. Dangerous drugs that have failed clinical trials before could be issued on-label for this process, and protected by civil rights legislation. That the ideology that is built around these demands is incoherent, serves only to foist drugs on to vulnerable people, and is fundamentally homophobic is of little consequence to those who see the dollar signs. Transition could be a big business, which over a 50-year period of ‘transition’ could create a market worth trillions of dollars, if not more. Think of the potential markets! Surgeries that run into the six-figures. Body modifications that have not yet been invented outside of science fiction. And some of the 90’s best-selling-drugs, drugs that could be best-sellers again if only they had blanket approval to be used on a class of people once again.
Almost every philanthropist I investigated had financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry — George Soros and his connections to Pfizer and chemical company Monsanto, Jon Stryker, who is an heir to the Stryker Corporation, which makes medical and surgical supplies. The lone exception was Jennifer Pritzker, who appears to be ideologically motivated, particularly given their transition. Pritzker is extremely-right wing. Perhaps homophobia is their reason, or perhaps they truly believe. Maybe it really is about being ‘validated’ as a ‘woman’. If so, Pritzker is being taken for as much a ride as any other activist, they simply have more fiscal ability to promulgate the ideology. The ideology is a byproduct of the main goal — which is guaranteeing access to expensive, off-label drugs for a group of people, with civil protections. That the ideology has morphed into one that demands lesbians make themselves sexually available to male bodies, where ‘sexual fluidity’ is considered the ideal, and had its language appropriated and used by Christian conversion therapy groups promising a ‘cure’ to homosexuality seems to matter little.
To do this, they have hijacked the once powerful and grassroots gay lobby with large amounts of philanthropic and corporate funding, to the point these organizations have changed their names in order to be ‘inclusive’. Ordinary gays and lesbians, especially the lesbians and their concerns, have been pushed out of their organizations, even as almost every lesbian bar in the US has closed and gay loneliness is on the rise, and as both groups have no federal civil rights protections.
While transgenderism will fall over — because it must, because it cannot be sold to the general public without threats, and because ultimately, it is a corporate initiative using shady if not outright-illegal methods, it won’t happen very fast without people speaking up about it. Ultimately, my concern is for the homosexuals who have lost control of their movement and now face a group of people that believes that their gender non-conformity requires surgery, even if they are children. And if transgenderism does not fall over because of these things, it will fall over because of the lawsuits those children will make. And things like ‘Limited outcome data’ and sterilizing a child for little demonstrated medical benefit look like dollar signs to personal injury and medical malpractice lawyers.
But what this demonstrates the most is that a rich man with an ideology should have no greater voice than the ordinary citizen. We all live in nation-states: we should all contribute equally and proportionally to the pool of funds that run that state and have an equal voice on how those funds are distributed. The ability of the very rich to divert their funds into services and organizations they believe is optimal without any democratic consent is fundamentally anti-democratic, no matter how much you may agree with their aims. Had the billions poured into philanthropy gone to the state, many of these problems could have been solved. Had our nation’s political discourse been one where each voice is equal, would we have the disaffection that creates populist monsters?
As it stands, politics is a battle of oligarchs that wield their ideologies in a great war of money. Their soldiers are professional activists invested in the permanent war between either end of the political spectrum. Their cheerleaders are media outlets that report on these wars, treat them like football games, and take the claims of these organizations to be unassailable fact, it is easy for the average person to disengage and become disaffected. Ultimately, their voice and vote does not matter. This creates a situation where ideologies such as transgenderism, an ideology that is fundamentally incoherent and experimenting on children can be accepted on the left. A situation where the punishment for not going along with the party line is a violently enforced exile.
The influence these large foundations and their funders have on our politics cannot be underestimated, and it needs to be questioned. The transgender civil rights movement consists of (i) large numbers of astroturf organizations funded by billionaires with financial interest in its success, (ii) medical professionals who stand to gain from ‘selling’ transgenderism to the public (and who are happy to lie to the public about their treatments) and (iii) pharmaceutical companies that appear to be engaging in illegal off-label marketing with said medical professionals. The question of what came first-the foundations, the pharmaceutical companies, or the medical professionals -is like asking whether the chicken or the egg came first. But the fact of the matter is, all three groups stand to benefit from the transgender civil rights movement. No transgender person does. With no unbiased research, they cannot get the answers they need to treat their condition effectively. They are left stranded and marooned, with an entire movement dedicated to foisting drugs upon them, instead of finding an actual cure or treatment for gender dysphoria. When ‘transition’ is complete and they are left a castrated eunuch, with no more steps up the Bridge To Total Freedom, their suicidality does not decrease. With an incomplete path to salvation, they are told they can chase after something they can never realize. They are obliterated as a distinct legal class of people by self-identification legislation — the legal ramifications of which could set trans rights back years, which has been raised by gender critical trans activists such as Miranda Yardley.
The modern transgender movement is an astroturf tiger. It is not grassroots, it is not organic, and it serves the purposes of no one beyond homophobes and pharmaceutical companies. It is a menace, it has hollowed out the LGBT community, it threatens women’s legal gains for the past hundred years, and it is going to destroy people’s lives. An entire generation of gender non-conforming children that may have otherwise grown up gay are going to grow up to be brain damaged, weakened eunuchs with a medical malpractice lawyer on retainer. This ‘movement’ needs to end before that happens. The LGBT community needs to wake up and start talking back to the fox in the hen house.
Sue Donym is a concerned citizen living in Northern California.
I would like to thank my collaborators without whom this never would have been finished. They have requested to be credited as Dr Slinky Dink and Rev Donna Quixote. I would also like to credit the numerous others who provided feedback, read the various drafts of this piece, and put up with me talking about it.