This post is a pastiche of various articles that you can find linked below.
According to Funders for LGBTQ Issues, in 2018, foundation funding for the community reached $209,2 million.
The vast majority of LGBTQ grants in 2018 targeted the LGBTQ community broadly. 25% was specifically ringfenced for one letter. But not all members of the community have shared in this newfound opulence to the same extent.
From 2003-2013, reported funding for transgender issues increased more than eightfold, growing at threefold the increase of LBGTQ funding overall, which quadrupled from 2003 to 2013. And it has kept increasing year on year, from $3 million in 2010 to $34 million in 2018, a new record high.
This has come as funding specifically for gay men and lesbians has stagnated or declined in the same period. Funding for lesbians was a not so cool $5 million in 2018, just 3% of overall funding. Funding for transgender people, on the other hand, accounted for 16% of funding, despite being the same – if not a lower – percentage of the population.
The primary funders of the transgender movement are large philanthropic foundations. Names such as George Soros’ OSF, Arcus and Tides come as little surprise to anyone following money on the centre-left of politics. The Arcus Foundation had been the top funder of LGBTQ issues since 2013 but fell to the number two spot in 2018, after pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences (which manufactures PrEP drug, Truvada, used predominantly by gay men as an alternative to condoms).
Money is constantly flowing down the donation pipe for trans issues but often times in ways that are difficult to track. A lot of it 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. There’s no way of knowing where this money came from.
One name that comes up frequently 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. The lineup of Arcus-supported organizations advancing the cause is daunting: Transgender Europe, The National Center for Transgender equality with its widely-cited USTS, Victory Institute, the Center for American Progress, the ACLU, the Transgender Law Center, GLAAD (which used to stand for ‘Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’ but is just ‘GLAAD’ now, an acronym that stands for absolutely nothing. This removal of meaning was to be more “inclusive”) – but the list keeps going – Trans Justice Funding Project, OutRight Action International, Human Rights Watch, GATE, Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA), The Council for Global Equality, the U.N and Amnesty International.
Curiously, their website would like us to believe that:
Funding for transgender issues remains severely limited despite recent progress made to expand support.
And in this glowing buzzfeed article, 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.
Let’s keep going.
The OSF is an international grant making body founded by hedge fund operator George Soros in 1993. Currently Soros, now 86 years of age, is the 30th richest man in the world, with assets of 24.4 billion dollars (Bloomberg, 2017). In its 33 years of operation, the foundation states it has made expenditures of over 15 billion dollars. Information about how the foundation conducts its business comes from hacked computer files made public in 2016, when a group called D.C. Leaks posted more than 2,500 documents going back to 2008 from the foundation’s servers. (D.C. Leaks, 2016). The material reveals that although the foundation funds a great many small grass roots groups, its focus is on supporting large organizations with wide-ranging reach and media influence. (OSF U.S. Programs Board Meeting, 2014).
According to OSF’s 2017 budget document (OSF Budget, 2017), “Legal recognition of sex work and gender identity” was one of the 20 largest OSF funding concepts (the 20 making a total of $45.8 million) in 2017, handled through its Public Health Program.
A quick browse of their website gives you the lowdown on what they believe. Pushing for ‘self-identification laws’ are a prominent part. 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 alone. No medical or legal gatekeeping. OSF considers this an “essential legal right for trans people”. That’s clearly nonsense.
They also believe that identity should not be “governed by age restrictions”. And it advocates access to “hormonal therapy, counseling, and gender-affirming surgeries” on demand. This includes puberty blockers for youth.
So what projects are these philanthropists funding?
For our first example, let’s look at Transgender Europe, quite a big trans advocacy group that works in Europe and Asia across 44 countries.
Since it receives funding from both OSF and Arcus among others, on their website, of course, under issues we have “legal gender recognition” and the push for self-ID laws.
OSF gave $500,000 to Transgender Europe in the past two years. Transgender Europe also received $1,072,000 from the Arcus Foundation from 2010 to 2017. The organization’s projects include the Transgender Day of Remembrance, which is underpinned by a comprehensive database of victims throughout the world, Trans Murder Monitoring. The Transgender Day of Remembrance was widely observed in Britain in November 2017. In many universities, for example, candles were lit for each of the victims, the transgender flag was raised, speakers were invited, and services held. Searching university websites, we find over 2,800 webpages containing the phrase “Transgender Day of Remembrance”. This is despite the fact that transgender murders are exceedingly rare in the UK – eight in the past decade – and no transgender person was murdered in 2017 at all.
No similar amount of resources is devoted to compiling evidence and promoting commemoration of female victims of IPV. These data are compiled by Karen Ingala Smith, who receives no funding for this work. She started recording such deaths in 2009, under the rubric of Counting Dead Women. This was developed into the Femicide Census—in partnership with Women’s Aid—with minimal funding and pro-bono support by two legal firms. Despite the diligent research over many years, this has left barely a trace in British universities. The equivalent search on their websites yields fewer than a hundred webpages containing the phrases “Femicide Census” or “Counting Dead Women”.
Another organization worth looking at is The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which is now the National LGBTQ Task Force. According to Funders for LGBTQ Issues, it was one of the top 20 grant recipients in 2018.
The National LGBTQ Task Force has been criticized for ignoring lesbian issues by lesbian commentators, including conferences with only few or no lesbian events.
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’.
More gems include the following:
The Task Force is 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. And as I said, GLAAD now stands for nothing.
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.
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?
The Equality Network, Stonewall, the HRC, GLAAD, all increasingly devote a disproportionate amount of money and visibility to transgender issues at the expense of LGB issues, especially the L, which is close to disappearing.
As a sidenote, Alex Drummond, this man, who now identifies as a lesbian, sits on the Trans Equality Advisory Board of Stonewall UK.
Both Stonewall and the Equality Network have recently declined to support this statement.
“Exclusive same sex attraction is a valid and real sexuality, there is absolutely nothing objectionable about being exclusively same sex attracted, and those who are should be able to live their sexuality free from any form of hate, discrimination, coercion or harassment, and are fully supported by our organisation as part of the LGBT community”
LGBT Health and LGBT Youth Scotland declined as well.
“LGBT Health did not respond to any of our attempts to secure a response from them in regard to our statement, even after discussing our email with us in a phone call and reassuring us they would respond. LGBT Youth Scotland replied to say they had received our emails, but did not give their support for our statement and ignored our further attempts at contact. Stonewall told us ‘we cannot help you with that’, so they formally declined. And the Equality Network told us they never provide support for statements they don’t write themselves, however they did go on to confirm with us that they do not consider women to be lesbians on the basis of being female homosexuals, because the only way they define the term ‘lesbian’, is based on gender identity (so for example they would not, then, consider women who are solely attracted to other females regardless of their identity, as lesbian women).”(see page 24: secureservercdn.net/188.8.131.52/hjn.a49.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/FEMALE-ONLY-PROVISION-REPORT-1.pdf )
Another name to add the our list of trans benefactors, after Stryker and Soros, is Col. Jennifer Natalya Pritzker, a trans lesbian, who transitioned in August 2013. The Pritzkers are an American family of philanthropic billionaires worth approximately $29 billion, whose fortune was gestated by Hyatt Hotels and nursing homes. They now have massive investments in the medical-industrial complex through the Tawani Foundation (number 14).
Some of the organizations Jennifer owns and funds are especially noteworthy to examining the rapid induction of transgender ideology into medical, legal and educational institutions. Pritzker owns Squadron Capital, an acquisitions corporation, with a focus on medical technology, medical devices, and orthopedic implants, and the Tawani Foundation, a philanthropic organization with a grants focus on Gender & Human Sexuality.
Pritzker sits on the leadership council of the Program of Human Sexuality at the University of Minnesota, to which he also committed $6.5 million over the past decade, funding their National Center for Gender Spectrum Health. The Center advocates it’s ‘Gender Affirmative Lifespan Approach’ or GALA™ The developer of the GALA model is Dr. Dianne Berg who is a member of the Child and Adolescent Committee of WPATH, which received hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding from Pritzker to fund standards of care and conferences.
Among many other organizations and institutions Pritzker funds are Lurie Children’s Hospital, a medical center for gender non-conforming children, serving 400 children in Chicago. Pritzker, through their Tawani Foundation has donated $525,000 to Lurie Children’s Hospital’s ‘Gender And Sexuality Development Program’ since 2015, after the also donating the clinic’s initial seed funding in 2013. This donation would match donations to the public so the donation in reality eventually totalled $1.5 million.
Pritzker also funds the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago and a chair of transgender studies at the University of Victoria (the first of its kind). This donation was reportedly worth upwards of $2 million. They now have a ‘trans inclusion’ policy at their university. UVic also provide anti-racism education, but nothing about sexism or homophobia. It advises students to:
He also funds the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto and the American Civil Liberties Union and his family funds Planned Parenthood, two significant organizations for institutionalizing female-erasing language and support for transgender causes. Planned Parenthood also recently decided to get into the transgender medical market.
Jennifer Pritzker funds strategically, as does his family, by giving to universities that become beholden to his ideology, whose students go on to spread gender ideology by writing pro-trans articles in medical journals and elsewhere.
Here are just several current activities of Pritzker-funded medical school alumni and recipients of Pritzker money.
- James Hekman founded the LGBT medical care center in Lakewood Ohio.
- David T. Rubin sits on the advisory board of Accordant/CVS Caremark, the largest pharmaceutical chain in the United States. CVS acquired Target department stores’ pharmacies in 2015. Target, of course, is the site of a major social controversy about unisex bathrooms and is a corporate funder of the trans-pushing Human Rights Campaign activist group.
- Loren Schecter is the author of the first surgical atlas for transgender surgery, author of pro-trans journals, was awarded for legal advocacy of transgenders, performs reconstructive surgeries, and is director of transfeminine conferences sponsored by World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH). He also performs reconstructive surgeries at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
- Schecter is also the “surgeons only sessions chair” on the Scientific Program Committee of the newly formed United States arm of WPATH (World Professional Association of Transgender Health), USPATH, holding conferences in Los Angeles for surgeons in transgender surgeries.
- Robert Garofalo, a gay man, is director of the St. Lurie children’s gender clinic, head of the hospital’s division of adolescent medicine, and a professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University, which J.B. Pritzker (whom we will meet later) funds.
- Benjamin N. Breyer is chief of urology at San Francisco General Hospital and a professor at the University of California at San Francisco, specializing in transgender surgery.
- Nicholas Matte teaches at the Mark Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto, with a specialty in queer studies. Jennifer Pritzker also funds the Bonham Centre. Matte lectures around the country on transgender issues, and espouses the idea that we are not a sexually dimorphic species.
- Mark Hyman is the Pritzker Foundation Chair in functional medicine at the Cleveland Clinic and director of the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine. Cleveland Clinic conducted the United States’ first uterus transplant.
- Baylor College of Medicine is on the receiving end of the Pritzker School of Medicine’s “pipeline programs” for people studying to be doctors. Baylor is where the nation’s first child was born from a uterus transplant as part of an experimental program funding the procedure for 10 women in order to develop uterus transplants ultimately health insurance and taxpayers will pay for rather than being relegated to elective infertility treatment.
Apart from their transgender donations, Pritzker is extremely right-wing.
Many of the candidates and representatives Pritzker has donated to vote heavily in line with Donald Trump. Among those who Pritzker has donated to is John Katko, a prominent anti-choice Congressman of New York, who has voted multiple times to defund Planned Parenthood. He has also donated to primary candidates like Jeanne Ives who called homosexual relationships “disordered” and Senator Martha McSally who voted against same-sex marriage and ENDA. Another name is Josh Mandel, a climate change denier who openly supported alt-right racists who believe in conspiracy theories about ‘white genocide’.
Priztker donated $225,000 to the Trump Victory fund during the waning days of the 2016 election season. Pritzker has continued to donate millions of dollars to Donald Trump’s re-election campaign for the next general election in 2020. He has also donated tens of thousands of dollars to the RNC, the Republican Senatorial Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee.
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, through their Tawani Foundation also appears to be providing the primary funding for the transgender military issue, with millions in donations given to the Michael D. Palm Center since 2015. The entire front page of their website is devoted to the trans in the military issue. I doubt this is coincidental.
But more worrying are the donations to the World Professional Association of Transgender Health.
Pritzker was one of the main funders of the new WPATH standards of care published in 2018. Pritzker gave a total of $250,000 to WPATH that year, including $200,000 to the new standards of care. Previously, they made a $50,000 donation to WPATH in 2015.
Being financial supporter clearly gives Pritzker huge leverage over these new standards of care. Isn’t this a basic breach of medical ethics on the part of WPATH? Patients who want a specific form of treatment should not be funding the new standards of care that say they need this type of treatment! It introduces far too much bias into the equation. The money Pritzker has donated is substantial — but any ethical organization would have said no. WPATH has not.
The seventh edition of those same standards of care, released in 2011, have been criticized by a Canadian medical professional, who wrote under a pseudonym for fear of losing her job:
In “Guidelines We Can Trust”, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) states that a key factor in eliminating bias and conflict of interest (COI) is taking care in the composition of guideline committee members. Obvious financial COIs such as affiliations with pharmaceutical companies are a given. There are other significant sources of conflict of interests, however, that also must be considered.
According to IOM, examples of non-commercial financial activities include research grants and support from foundations or other nonprofit organizations for the person’s work or their institution. A person whose work or professional group is fundamentally jeopardized or enhanced by a guideline recommendation is said to have intellectual COI. Other intellectual COIs include authoring a publication or acting as an investigator on a peer-reviewed grant directly related to the recommendations under consideration.
When looking at the WPATH committee who worked on the current SOC document, a cursory examination of the members reveals that every one of the members have significant COIs. All of them either receive income based on recommendations in the guidelines, work at clinics or universities who receive funds from advocacy groups, foundations, or pharmaceutical companies who heavily favour a certain treatment paradigm, or have received grants and published papers or research in transgender care. The majority of the members are from the US, and six of them have affiliations with the same university–the University of Minnesota Program in Sexuality, which is primarily funded by a transgender advocacy organization (Tawani Foundation).
Eli Coleman, the committee chair for the WPATH SOC, who IOM guidelines stipulate should be completely free of conflict of interest, has his very position at the University of Minnesota funded by Jennifer Pritzer, a trans person and head of Tawani. In fact, there are press releases of Eli Coleman in 2017 thanking Jennifer Pritzer profusely for a generous donation, which adds up to 6.5 million dollars that Tawani has given to the university. Tawani also funded WPATH SOC development. Another advocacy group, Gender Identity Research and Education Society (GIRES) funded the translation of the SOC into various languages.
There was also an “anonymous donor” who supported guideline development. Did the anonymous funder want a certain outcome from the recommendations? Who knows?
Three of the same committee members for the WPATH Guidelines, also served on the Endocrine Society guideline committee, which means intellectual COI is at play. Any recommendations based on faulty conclusions in the WPATH guidelines would potentially have been duplicated in the Endocrine Society guidelines.
At least four committee members are or were editors of transgender research journals. In the US, 50% of editors of research journals take industry payments, and yet they do not need to declare conflicts of interest.
The WPATH SOC chair, Eli Coleman, is also an editor of a transgender journal and started another journal in the past.
WPATH is not the typical professional organization that develops clinical practice guidelines. WPATH is a hybrid professional and activist organization, where activists have become voting members and have served as president. In fact, it can be argued that WPATH is activist-led rather than evidence-led, as witnessed at their conferences. Their guidelines are just following what is being performed in gender clinics based on informed consent.
WPATH did not perform a systematic review to draw conclusions for their recommendations in the SOC. Perhaps WPATH already knew that there would be no evidence for their recommendations, as they state this numerous times throughout the guidelines. There are assertions such as: “To date, no controlled clinical trials of any feminizing/masculinizing hormone regimen have been conducted to evaluate safety or efficacy in producing physical transition.” (WPATH SOC Version 7)
They then proceed to recommend hormones with no rationale given.
In fact, no rationale is given as to why a medical model of affirmation is recommended in the first place.
A literature search performed by ECRI shows that no systematic research or review has been conducted to see if any non-medical therapy could be successful, in order to avoid a lifetime of medication and surgeries. The assumption that thoughts and feelings are unchangeable, while the body should be changed, is the paradigm that is assumed in this document with no rationale given. A lifetime of off-label medications and multiple surgeries are assumed to be preferable to the option of considering treatment to help people be at peace in their natural bodies.
In light of the COIs described above, we can see that there are many benefits to a medicalized model for the committee members, both financially and for their careers. If evidence showed that a non-medical treatment for gender dysphoria was more effective, would committee members be inclined to recommend this treatment, at great cost to their income and careers?
The public (including media and other medical professional bodies) blindly trusts that the recommendations for transgender care have come out of robust scientific research and objective guideline development. However, even WPATH SOC committee members and transgender clinicians have repeatedly admitted that there is no long-term research to show that benefits outweigh harms in transgender treatment, whether it is social transitioning, puberty blockers, hormones or surgery.
When someone says “transition-related care is safe, effective, and supported by the entire mainstream of the medical community”, they are basing their faith unquestioningly on guidelines that were developed by people and organizations with conflicts of interest, with no systematic review, and with no evidence of safety or efficacy of treatment. These “guidelines” do not meet inclusion criteria for any clinical guideline database and have not received an endorsement from any professional body in Canada. And yet, WPATH guidelines are given as the rationale to support the unthinkable: to physically harm a distressed and vulnerable population.
WPATH has been criticized not just by professionals, but also 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: a) Based on incomplete patient records and insufficient follow up. It distresses us to see academic publications and other claims regarding our bodily experience that imply a level of follow-up that has simply not occurred. […] 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. b) 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.
3. Providing insufficient aftercare including but not limited to: a) Minimizing the severity of symptoms experienced by post-op patients, advising them to delay seeking treatment, escalating the severity of the complication(s) and b) Directing patients to return home without provisions for continuity of care, leaving us ill-equipped to address time-sensitive complications.
4. Providing patients with inaccurate medical information both within and outside their practice, including: a) Board-certified plastic surgeons claiming to be unaware that nerve coaptation exists and/or is effective in trans male bottom surgery, despite the 35-year history of this technique³ and documentation of its efficacy in providing sensation; and b) Claiming that all hair follicles can be treated in one electrocautery session intra-operatively
5. Offering experimental procedures without a) Counseling patients as to the experimental nature of the procedures and b) Following the outcomes of these procedures to the degree that would be necessary to meet the burdens of informed consent for subsequent patients.
And this brings me straight to the next chapter: to understand not only where this money is coming from, but why, we have to look at the medicine, at the science behind the trans movement. And that’s my next post.