From the Fringes to the Center
The trans movement was hatched, then, on the fringes of American academia. But how did it move so quickly to the center of American public life? Like many other things, it began with a flood of cash, as some of the wealthiest people in the country began devoting enormous sums of money to promote transgenderism.
One of these people is Jennifer Pritzker, who was born James Pritzker in 1950. After serving several years in the U.S. Army, Pritzker went into business, having inherited a sizable part of the Hyatt hotel fortune. In 2013, he announced a male-to-female gender transition and was celebrated in the press as the “first trans billionaire.” Almost immediately, he began donating untold millions to universities, schools, hospitals, and activist organizations to promote queer theory and trans medical experiments.
This money was allied with political power, as Pritzker’s cousin, Illinois Democrat Governor J.B. Pritzker, signed legislation in 2019, his first year in office, to inject gender theory into the state education curriculum and to direct state Medicaid funds toward transgender surgeries. Speaking before an audience of trans activists, he proclaimed:
[O]ur state government is firmly on your side, on the side of every gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer person in the state of Illinois. . . . Those of you in this room know better than anyone that marriage equality was never the endgame. . . . We’re gonna make sure that all transgender Illinoisans are ensured their basic human rights and that healthcare services are provided to them so that they can thrive.
Here’s an example of how this combination of well-funded activism and political influence works in practice: Pritzker-funded activists at Lurie Children’s Hospital (the largest children’s hospital in Chicago) provide local schools with training, materials, and personnel who promote gender transitions for children, using the hospital’s reputation to give their ideology a scientific veneer. And the more one investigates, the worse it gets. Children are exposed, for instance, not only to trans ideology, but to concepts such as “kink” (unusual tastes in sexual behavior), “BDSM” (bondage, domination, submission, and masochism), binders to flatten breasts, and prosthetic penises.
Lurie Children’s Hospital, through its outreach presentations in Chicago public schools, encourages teachers and school administrators to support “gender diversity” in their districts, automatically “affirm” students who announce sexual transitions, and “communicate a non-binary understanding of gender” to children in the classroom. The objective, as one version of the presentation suggests, is to disrupt the “entrenched [gender] norms in western society” and facilitate the transition to a more “gender creative” world. School districts are encouraged to designate “Gender Support Coordinators” to help facilitate children’s sexual and gender transitions, which, under the recommended “confidentiality” policy, can be kept secret from parents and families.
In effect, this results in a sophisticated school-to-gender-clinic pipeline. Teachers, counselors, doctors, and activists on social media and elsewhere—many of whom are employed or subsidized by members of the Pritzker family—push children in the direction of what Chicago-area “detransitioner” Helena Kerschner, recalling her own experience, calls “the trans identity rabbit hole.” And despite frequent claims to the contrary, this is not a temporary or reversible process. Of the children who begin puberty blockers, the medical literature suggests that approximately 95 percent move on to cross-sex hormones, and that 50 percent of the females who begin cross-sex hormone treatments move on to “trans-affirming” surgeries.
(Part 3 of 5 will appear in the next issue of Uncommon Sense. Stay tuned!)
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