Biden Administration Gives Universities and Children’s Hospitals $100 Million to Prop Up Transgenderism
As the number of children identifying themselves as transgender quickly rises, the Biden administration has assured Americans that it is both safe and normal for kids to undergo medical “transition” procedures. Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Rachel Levine, for example, has taken to social media to say that “gender-affirming care is medically necessary, safe, and effective for trans and non-binary youth” and has called chemical and surgical transitioning a “life-saving” and “critical tool” for pediatricians.
Behind the scenes, though, the Biden administration doesn’t seem so sure that the science is as settled as it claims. While telling the world that the sudden spike in transgender youths and adults is safe and natural, the Biden administration has poured an obscene amount of money into researching the devastating mental and physical health consequences that mysteriously plague people who have undergone “gender affirming care.”
According to a keyword search of USASpending.gov, a database of federal expenditures, the Biden administration has set aside or spent nearly $1.2 billion since 2021 for grants, contracts, direct payments, and loans to programs that use the word “transgender” in their description.
However, most of the payments since 2021 were not allocated for specifically transgender-related work and included “transgender” only as part of a diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) statement in the description. The $1.2 billion total is a testament to the rapidly ascendant power of government DEI departments under the Biden administration (the combined total from 2008 to 2020 was just $184 million), but the $1.2 billion total isn’t particularly useful for determining how much the Biden administration has spent on transgenderism. To get useful data, each individual grant and contract description had to be reviewed, and only those grants and contracts initiated in 2021 or later were considered.
What We Found
To isolate generic DEI statements from trans-specific spending, Capital Research Center combed through over 600 individual federal grants and contracts featuring keywords and phrases like “transgender” or “gender affirming” and identified over $104 million in payments to initiatives mostly or exclusively promoting, subsidizing, or studying transgenderism.
Despite the Biden administration’s assurances that “gender affirming care” is safe enough to be performed on children, most of this money was spent by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) commissioning medical research on a variety of horrific mental and physical health conditions that plague transgender people both before and after transitioning. Some of these studies even examined catastrophic side effects from the hormonal and surgical transition procedures that the administration insists are supported by overwhelming medical consensus.
In addition, many grants of a less sinister but equally wasteful nature put the federal government’s proclivity for downright absurd spending practices on full display.
To see a full list of the grants and contracts identified by our research, see the source spreadsheet, which includes links to original source documents.
Funding the Very-Much-Not-Settled Science
The Biden administration has already directed millions of dollars toward researching the health problems that plague transgender adults.
A combined $650,000, for example, was given to the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for studies examining how to manage the elevated rates of breast cancer in “transfeminine” people taking estrogen for long periods of time, while $1.1 million was awarded to UC San Diego (by the Department of Defense) to study their risk of prostate cancer. A further $1.3 million was given to the University of Minnesota just to develop a process to recruit transgender patients for future hypothetical cancer studies, since it’s currently difficult to obtain a group sample size large enough to be useful.
Cancer isn’t the only risk being studied.
The Boston Medical Center received $498,000 to study cardiovascular health problems in transgender people and how hormone treatments affect long-term heart health. Indiana University at Bloomington received $1.1 million to study why transwomen have an increased risk of asthma. Michigan State University received another $1.1 million to develop a framework for “modeling resilience as a multidimensional protective factor for transgender health disparities.”
The Trans HIV Epidemic
Millions were also spent on programs to study, treat, and reduce the staggering rates of HIV/AIDS infection in transgender people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 42 percent of transgender women surveyed in seven major U.S. cities in 2021 were HIV positive. That same year, the CDC estimated that 1.2 million total Americans (0.36 percent of the general population) were HIV positive. This indicates transgender people (at least in the seven cities) experience HIV at a rate over 100 times higher than the rest of America.
Leaving no stone unturned (and no dollar unspent) the government has funded expensive studies at a long roster of universities to examine this issue from virtually every angle.
Emory University for example, received $172,316 to study why pumping biological males with estrogen as part of “gender affirming hormone therapy” makes the rectal mucus of transwomen more susceptible to HIV infection. On the other side of that coin, the University of Alabama at Birmingham received $222,750 to study why pumping biological women with testosterone makes the vaginal and cervical tissue of transmen much more susceptible to severe tearing and HIV infection.
Another $3.5 million was awarded to John Hopkins University to create a nationwide study of transwomen to get a more accurate estimate of their “disproportionately” high the rate of HIV infection. The Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene, meanwhile, received $1.1 million to test the efficacy of an “evidence-based, trauma-informed HIV prevention” program for transwomen of color that claimed to reduce HIV infection rates by mitigating the effects of “intersectional stigma.”
“But what about an app to help promote HIV testing to transmen?” you might ask. Fear not, Columbia University received $660,723 from the Biden administration for MyPeeps Mobile, which was designed just for young transgender men.
Eliminating HIV is an admirable goal, and the transgender community is undoubtedly a good place to start in that work, but the administration’s policy of vigorously promoting gender-affirming care seems to be directly at odds with a goal they are spending millions of taxpayer dollars to reach.
Experimental Medicine Targeting Children
A bombshell study by the American Medical Association published this week revealed that an estimated 3,600 minors have undergone gender-affirming surgeries in the U.S. since 2016. It directly refuted the claims of transgender activists that such procedures are never performed on children. The Biden administration, for its part, has long acknowledged that these procedures are being performed on children, if only through its grantmaking. At least $19 million of the trans-specific grants that our research discovered paid for the promotion and research of transgenderism among children and young adults.
In August 2022, months before President Joe Biden publicly endorsed hormone replacement therapy as safe for minors, HHS pledged $1.1 million to Childrens Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati to study “thrombosis risk in transgender adolescents and young adults starting gender-affirming hormone therapy.” The hospital said the risk of thrombosis, or severe blood clots, is elevated when a young person is taking “gender affirming” hormone treatment, particularly if they are being administered estrogen.
A similar $500,000 study at Yale also studied the “cardiometabolic effects of gender-affirming hormone therapy in transgender adolescents” and hypothesized that “altered hormonal milieu is the major driver of increased cardiometabolic risk in transgender youth.”
There was also a great deal of research into the mental health problems that transitioned children face.
A $136,000 HHS grant to Princeton examined the “psychological consequences of medical transition in transgender youth.” Princeton acknowledged that “transgender youth experience higher levels of mental illness” and conceded that there is currently not enough evidence to support the idea that gender-affirming care is psychologically beneficial for children. As the grant says:
Legislators throughout the US have recently introduced bills that would ban transgender youth from accessing puberty suppression and hormone therapy, asserting that these interventions are not psychologically beneficial. Five studies to date have longitudinally examined the relationship between one or both of these interventions and mental health in transgender youth. However, these studies have had relatively small samples, none have been able to isolate the effects of endocrine interventions, none have included a cisgender comparison group, and none have examined the mechanisms by which endocrine interventions might improve mental health. [capitalization adjusted]
In other words, according to Princeton, no satisfactory evidence suggests gender-affirming care confers a psychological benefit to kids and young people. Despite this, Princeton University Health services continue to offer gender-affirming hormones and surgeries to students.
The administration also generously funded a $2.3 million study at Nationwide Children’s Hospital to examine the long-term negative mental health consequences of supposedly reversible pubertal hormone blockers, admitting that “the overall impacts of [gonadotropin releasing hormone antagonists] treatment have not been systematically studied.”
The study was first approved for funding by the HHS in July 2021, but in October 2022, President Biden called legislation proposing to ban the use of puberty blockers on transgender minors ”outrageous” and “immoral,” while his administration sued Tennessee to prevent the state from enacting such a law.
Other grants even focused on supporting behavior that many in right-leaning political circles have dubbed “grooming,” though the use of the term is considered highly controversial. The Seattle Children’s Hospital, for example, received $143,057 to develop a telehealth clinic for “gender diverse youth” and another $216,453 for programs to help promote healthy sexual relationships among “transgender and gender expansive youth.”
One particularly troubling $161,192 grant to the University of Wisconsin funded a study to determine how social media influencers can encourage kids to explore their gender identity without their parents’ knowledge. Another $203,050 was paid to the University of Nebraska to create an experimental “online mentoring program” in which transgender children could be paired up with a transgender “adult mentor” to discuss, among other things, “self-harm, alcohol and drug-use, [and] sexual risk-taking.”
One of the largest, a $3.3 million grant to the Boston Children’s Hospital that has already been widely reported, commissioned an “interactive educational digital platform” designed for transgender children to explore.
Another grant, awarded to a mysteriously redacted recipient in New Jersey, spent $138,000 on a study of “social preferences among transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender typical children.” Only HHS and the undisclosed recipient know what that means.
A Sprinkling of Government Waste
Besides the truly sinister targeting of children and horrifying medical experiments, much of the transgender-specific spending our research identified is just hilariously wasteful.
The Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Art & Culture received a total of $65,000 for its “Queer arts festival.”
The YR Gaitonde Medical Educational and Research Foundation in India received nearly $50,000 from the Department of State “to sensitize employees in Hyderabad and Chennai toward transgender persons in their workforce.”
The Federation of Sexual and Gender Minorities, Nepal received $2,315 to provide English classes for “professional transgender women makeup entrepreneurs.”
The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art received $20,000 for an exhibition featuring portraits of transgender people by contemporary photographer Mark Seliger.”
Another $10,000 was given to Oregon Arts Watch by the National Endowment for the Arts to “support the creation and publication of a series of written and photo essays featuring gender nonconforming and transgender people.” So far, the Oregon Arts Watch website shows that the grant has paid for a total of six articles (with photographs) so far, all written by the same author. At the current pace of two-thirds of an article per month, the $10,000 grant will have paid for eight articles by the conclusion of its one-year term, coming out to $1,250 per article.
The Fundacion Grupo de Accion y Apoyo a Personas Trans received $125,000 to support “the rights and safety of transgender people” in Colombia, the Universidad de los Andes received $25,000 to raise awareness of transgenderism in the Colombian opera scene, and an unidentified “foreign awardee” received $10,000 to promote the “insertion of trans people in Colombia.” At an average cost of $3 per-meal in 2023, the money the Biden administration has spent promoting transgenderism in Colombia could have paid for over 53,000 school lunches.
HSU Development was given an $833,361 contract to build one single gender-neutral bathroom on the first floor of a government building. In fact, the Biden administration has spent $3.7 million on gender-neutral bathrooms alone since 2021.
Who Can you Trust?
Despite the assurances that the Biden administration, universities, children’s hospitals, and activists have give the public, the science is not settled on transgenderism. The institutions that promote “gender-affirming care” across the U.S. are the exclusive beneficiaries of a small government-funded industry that has been erected around treating and studying the catastrophic mental and physical health consequences that result from it. The universities that deluge impressionable students with gender theory, the hospitals that provide the surgeries and pills, and the activist groups and community centers that promote transgenderism to the world are all raking in enormous grants to fix the problems that they helped cause.
There is simply no way to trust “the science” or “the experts” on this issue. It would be akin to trusting a tobacco company on the negative side effects of cigarettes.
This is particularly true since the leading scientists and experts in this field have remained silent when the very administration funding them voices support for conclusions about the safety of transgenderism that are at odds with the basic premises of their ongoing government-funded research.