(LifeSiteNews) — A new report has exposed the funding and interests behind the advocacy of transgender ideology, showing how a disturbing experiment with a catastrophic ending paved the way for the development of an institutional machine pushing transgenderism throughout American political, educational, and social life.
Last Thursday, the American Principles Project Foundation (APPF) published “The Transgender Leviathan” by Pedro Gonzalez, journalist and associate editor of Chronicles Magazine. Running to nearly 40 pages, the report traces the origins and rise of the movement to normalize transgenderism.
The report, implicating “myriad” “powerful individuals,” found a “staggering” amount of money moving around various “corporations, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), political action committees (PACs), and governments.”
“It would be impossible to exhaustively list all the various entities involved in such a small space,” the introduction reads. “Instead, this report highlights and provides background on key individuals, institutions, and organizations so readers can inform themselves on how we arrived at this point, where it might lead next, and why we must fight back.”
John/Joan experiment: the sordid origins of transgenderism
The first three sections of the report explore key moments in the formation of the “transgender leviathan.” One of the earliest was an infamous experiment by psychologist John Money that helped lay the foundation for the embrace of gender ideology by American elites.
Money’s primary subject was David Reimer, a male who suffered a botched circumcision as an infant that left his penis “severely damaged.” Money, the founder of the Johns Hopkins Gender Identity Clinic who “enjoyed lifelong funding” from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), persuaded Reimer’s parents to have their 22-month-old child undergo “sex reassignment” surgery and raise him as a girl named “Brenda.”
As part of the “John/Joan experiment,” Money even forced David and his twin brother Brian to engage in “sexual rehearsal play” and showed them pornography at age 6, according to Reimer biographer John Colapinto.
The report points out how Money was particularly savvy in the promotion of his ideas on “gender identity” and “dismissed the criticism [of the experiment] as conservative political bias and a conspiracy against him.”
“Money’s influence stemmed not so much from clinical work but from his ability to promote his theories to a broader audience through his writing and the media,” the report argues, adding elsewhere that “his followers went on to occupy top spots at leading universities, research institutes, and journals, while his theories became the cornerstone of a whole medical field — pediatric endocrinology. He is even credited with introducing the terms ‘gender identity’ and ‘gender role.’”
At the time, major media outlets hailed the John/Joan experiment as a victory in favor of the idea that sex differences were socially constructed, not rooted in biology. But even they could not ignore what happened to Money’s subjects in the early 2000s.
Born with the given name “Bruce,” Reimer eventually discovered he was born a boy and took the name “David” at age 15, later attempting to reorient his life as a man through treatment, therapy, marriage, and raising adopted children. Tragically, Reimer committed suicide in 2004 at age 38 after a long struggle with depression. His brother Brian had committed suicide two years earlier by overdosing on antidepressants.
Despite growing condemnation of the John/Joan experiment itself, Money’s theories on sex as a “social construct” had managed to gain sufficient currency in the medical community. In 2009, just five years after David Reimer’s suicide, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism officially recommended puberty blockers for “transsexual adolescents,” which led to a proliferation of the drugs and the de facto “birth of a new industry,” as the report puts it.
Follow the money: the political and cultural forces normalizing transgenderism
Gradually the ideas of transgenderism began to take hold outside the medical community. As Gonzalez’s report notes, the development of transgenderism from a niche academic fad to a cultural and social behemoth could not have happened without ample funding, aggressive “top-down” messaging, and the cooperation of schools and other institutions.
“There are already numerous examples of hospitals and social workers forcibly facilitating or attempting to facilitate the transition of a child over parental concerns … ” the report says. “However, the starting point is often the classroom, where children are exposed to transgenderism or even transitioned behind their parents’ backs.”
The reach of transgender ideology to children beyond the classroom cannot be understated either. According to the report, the Drag Story Hour NYC nonprofit “has received $207,000 in taxpayer dollars since 2018 from city contracts for appearances at public schools, street festivals, and libraries.” And that’s just one example in one area of the United States.
“Nowhere is spared from this — from California to Texas and Wisconsin to Florida and Arkansas, staff in public and private schools all over the country expose children to LGBT ideology in general and transgenderism specifically. This often happens without parental consent or knowledge … ” Gonzalez wrote.
The political and financial power of the “transgender leviathan” runs deep as well. The report identifies the top ten organizations bankrolling the spread of gender ideology, based on 2018 data from Funders for LGBTQ Issues:
- George Soros’ Open Society Foundations ($8.9 million)
- Arcus Foundation ($6.3 million)
- Ford Foundation ($4.9 million)
- MAC AIDS Foundation ($4.1 million)
- Tides Foundation ($4.1 million)
- Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice ($2.3 million)
- Foundation for a Just Society ($2.1 million)
- American Jewish World Service ($1.7 million)
- Gilead Sciences ($1.7 million)
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ($1.4 million)
Per the report, many of these organizations and their leaders maintain “deep ties” with the Democratic Party and its most prominent figures, having donated large sums of money to former President Barack Obama and the Clinton Foundation, to name a couple of examples.
Believe it or not, even Republicans don’t necessarily have clean hands on the transgender issue. Gonzalez identifies Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner, the American Unity Fund, and the lobbying firm Ballard Partners as the three most significant GOP players in the “transgender leviathan.”
“Jenner’s 2021 California gubernatorial candidacy was largely the product of the connection between the American Unity Fund, a GOP nonprofit for LGBT issues backed by Republican megadonor Paul Singer, and elements within Donald Trump’s political camp,” the report reads. “Recall that Jenner attended Trump’s inauguration as a guest of the American Unity Fund. Then in April 2021, Axios confirmed that a group of former Trump administration and campaign personnel were laying the groundwork for and forming the core of Jenner’s team.”
As for Ballard Partners, its founder and president Brian Ballard has a known relationship with Donald Trump and was once called “the most powerful lobbyist in Trump’s Washington.” Since Trump left office, Ballard Partners has developed a working relationship with Freedom for All Americans, a group which has strongly supported the passage of the anti-family Equality Act to make “discrimination” based on “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” a federal civil rights violation.
Critics of the Equality Act have warned it would require employers and schools to use “preferred pronouns,” force healthcare workers to perform “sex change” surgeries or provide transgender drugs, allow gender-confused men to play on women’s sports teams, and entitle them to use women’s bathrooms and locker rooms.
Where do we go from here? How to push back against transgender ideology
To round out the report, Gonzalez offers guidance on effective political action against the “transgender leviathan.” Because widespread acceptance of gender ideology has only happened by means of political and institutional pressure, Gonzalez says a similar approach is needed to fight its pernicious influence.
In short, Gonzalez advocates for a “total approach to regain control of institutions big and small,” not just “legislation and investigations.” Although the recapture of institutions represents a long uphill battle, Gonzalez cites actions taken by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as steps in the right direction.
Last December, Paxton announced an investigation into AbbVie and Endo Pharmaceuticals for allegedly marketing puberty blockers to gender-confused children without prior approval for such a use. As for DeSantis, he signed earlier this year the Parental Rights in Education Bill that banned overt discussions of sexuality in classrooms with young children. The law has inspired copycat legislation in other southern states like Georgia and Alabama.
“For a long time, politics have been perceived as downstream of culture,” Gonzalez writes. “But the fact that transgenderism and like ideologies have been imposed by a manifestly top-down approach shows that it is possible to change the culture through political action. It is possible, in other words, to do more than merely slow the tide.”