The Feminine Boy Project Still Threatens Gender-Nonconforming People

This is actually the second posting of this article.  With permission of course:

By Cynthya BrianKate

(Author’s note: Since the original draft, some minor facts were found to be incorrect, and have been corrected.  Anyone who has questions can email me at the above address.)

For two decades the federal government funded a brainwashing project to keep children from “acting queer.”  This collaboration between ant-LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, transgender, Intersex) psychologists and “religious right” leaders, known as the Feminine Boy Project laid groundwork for current psychiatric abuses against transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

This was funded by National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) from 1972-1986.  The original stated goal on the grants was “treatment of prehomosexuality,” the, idea that if children were kept from stepping outside gender stereotypes they wouldn’t turn out gay.  When being gay was taken out the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) in the mid-to-late 1970s, the goal was changed to “treatment of pretranssexuality,” conflating gender identity and sexuality as the same, based in biased assumptions that anything other than stereotypical gender and heterosexuality were wrong. Children were declared “pathological” for behavior like boys playing with dolls, wearing dresses or helping in the kitchen, or girls climbing trees, playing with boys’ toys or wearing boy clothes.

Here are some of the main people who were involved.

Richard Green is a colleague of John Money., who instituted the “Money protocols” for nonconsensual surgeries on intersex children after forcing David Reimer to live as a girl, until Reimer changed back to male before killing himself.  During this “experiment” Green co-wrote the book Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment.  Green has made a career of pathologizing LGBTI people, including inflammatory comments like his “1995 Dateline” remark “plays with Barbies at five, sleeps with men at twenty-five.”  While head of the now-closed Human Sexuality branch of Stony Brook University ’s psychology department he got NIMH to approve nearly $1 million for the Project.

George Rekers belongs to several anti-gay fundamentalist groups, published his essay “Gender Identity Disorder” through notoriously anti-gay Family Research Council and is “scientific advisor” to NARTH (National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality), which claims to “cure” gays despite the American Psychiatric Association (APA)’s condemning “reparative therapy.”

They worked with doctors like Susan Coates, behaviorists like O. Ivor Lovaas and David Barlow and had the staff of several institutions at their disposal.

Several institutions were used to justify funding and brainwash children.  Fuller Theological Seminary is an Evangelical Christian college.  Mel White says in his book Stranger At the Gate that it was while he was a student at Fuller he was introduced to Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell and asked to ghost-write their autobiographies.  Rekers used Fuller to get funding for the Project and justify his involvement in it..  Logos Research Institute is a “religious-right” think-tank promoting fundamentalist “science,” currently funding actor Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort (known as YouTube’s “Banana Guy” for claiming bananas disprove evolution)’s edited edition of Darwin ’s Origin of Species.  Green used Stony Brook to get most of the NIMH grants and do most of the clerical, statically and administrative work of this “Study” and most of the brainwashing went on at UCLA, though others happened at New York City ’s Luke’s Research Hospital ’s Childhood Gender Identity Unit.  The NIMH grants archived in pgs. 257-258 of Phyllis Burke’s book Gender Shock allege that this last was connected with a grant to the Roosevelt Institute.

Green and Rekers called for patients through mental health practitioners who knew of prepubescent children who didn’t conform to gender stereotypes, mainly feminine boys, though there were some masculine girls.  Some were referred by school authorities for gender nonconformity, some brought in by parents.

Children were diagnosed using pseudoscientific “Gender tests” including the “Barlow Gender-Specific Motor Test,” using stereotypes to “measure” gender identity by whether children sit/stand/move like men or women “should.”  Diagnosed with “pathological gender development,” they’d be recommended for invasive behavior modification, including placement in special playrooms, repeatedly coached to choose gender-stereotypical toys with staff spying through mirrors.  Behaviorists like Shasta Mead directly interacted with children; slowly gaining trust to reinforce stereotypical behavior, repeatedly suggesting they’d rather wear or play with the “right” items.  Children were made to wear wrist counters to monitor whenever they thought about playing with the “wrong” toys.  Rewards and demerits were issued for “right” and “wrong” choices.  Parents were enlisted to police childrens’ choices, throw out toys, force boys out of the kitchen and” “steering” children more toward stereotypical choices at home as well as in the facility. This would go on until the child was declared “cured.”

This Project was declared “successful” though it succeeded only in traumatizing children “Becky,” for example, was declared “successfully cured” because the eight-year-old saw a male orderly old enough to be her father as her “boyfriend.”  The “poster child,” called Kraig by Rekers and Kyle by Green, attempted suicide.  Another Project survivor has written a play called “the Blue Dress,” dramatizing the abuses suffered.    None of this stopped expansion of “Gender Identity Disorder” (GID) and “Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood” (GIDc) to pathologized/transgender/gender-nonconforming people, no matter how emotionally healthy.  The DSM-IV guidelines even specify boys playing with Barbie as a “symptom.”

Stony Brook’s administration denies Green ever taught there, despite the NIMH grants archived in Phyllis Burke’s book Gender Shock and Green thanking his Stony Brook staff in his book The Sissy Boy Syndrome, with several still working there today.  Both books can be found in that university’s student library.

In 1980 Dylan Scholinski, a young transgender man then named Daphne, was incarcerated in psychiatric institutions for years under “Gender Identity Disorder.”  His memoir The Last Time I Wore A Dress shows his school reported him to psychiatrists and he was diagnosed using the Barlow Gender Motor Test and treatment including forced makeovers.  In 2000 a six-year-old child was taken away from loving parents for “exacerbating a mental disorder.”  The “disorder?”  Aurora Lipscomb told her parents she was not a boy but was a girl, and her parents supported her decision to live as a girl.  Because her parents “exacerbated” her “gender identity disorder” the court took Aurora from loving parents and put her in a household where for four years she was forced to live as a Christian boy rather than a Jewish girl.  She is out of that home and healing from the experience, which she should have never had to go through.

Currently there’s a push to rewrite the DSM to make it even more pathological toward transgender, gender-nonconforming and intersex people.         These changes were proposed by Ken Zucker and Ray Blanchard.  Zucker’s been pathologizing LGBTI people for many years,  has run Clarke Gender Institute, whose handling of transgender and intersex have so angered both communities that some activists call it “Jurassic Clarke” and as expert in the Lipscomb case, recommended the court take Aurora Lipscomb from her family.  Blanchard is a colleague of J. Michael Bailey, author of racist, LGBTI-phobic book called The Man Who Would Be Queen, and advocate for selective abortion of “gay babies.”  Blancahrd helped write the discredited gender theories Bailey based his book on and both and belong to eugenicist think-tank Human Biodiversity Institute, whose membership include anti-immigrant group VDARE and the author of The Bell Curve, which claimed African-Americans were intellectually inferior.

The proposed changes include renaming GID “Gender Incongruity Disorder,” putting anyone who in any way steps outside gender stereotypes at risk for being declared mentally disordered, not only transgender people but also possibly gay, lesbian and bisexual people, as well as feminine men and masculine women.  These also include adding intersex to the list of gender disorders, which makes no sense as intersex is a physical variation, being biologically in between male and female, having nothing to do with mental health.

The APA has likely closed the period for public comment on their website at but I’d still recommend writing to them there and I certainly recommend writing them at to let them know you don’t want them to put these changes through.


Sources, Additional Information and Proof:

1)      Aurora Lipscomb archive,

2)      Burke, Phyllis, Gender Shock: Exploding Myths of Male and Female, Anchor Books

3)      Colapinto, John, with Reimer, David, As Nature Made: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl, Harper Books, 2000

4)      Conover, Pat, Transgender Good News, New Wineskins Press 2002

5)      DSD Fact Sheet, Organisation Intersex International, found at

6)      Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV-TR (Text Revision), American Psychiatric Association

7)      DSM-V Committee feedback link,

8)      Exposing Junk Science About Same-Sex Behavior, found at

9)      Green, Richard, The Sissy Boy Syndrome and the formation of Adult Homosexuality, Yale University Press 1987

10)  Green, Richard, and Money, John, Transsexualism and Sex Reassignment, Johns Hopkins Press 1969

11)  J. Michael Bailey’s statements about wanting to abort “gay babies, found at

12)  “Kirk Cameron’s ‘Origin Of Species’ Plan: Ex-Actor To Distribute 50,000 Altered Darwin Books,”

13)  NARTH Scientific Advisory Board,

14)  Petition, “Objection to DSM-V Committee Members on Gender Identity Disorders.”

15)  Proposed DSM-V Revisions,

16)  “Queer Science,” Southern Poverty Law Center Intelligence Report,

17)  Rekers, George, Gender identity disorders, Family Research Council of America 1985

18)  Scholinski, Daphne,, The Last Time I Wore A Dress, Riverhead Trade 1998

19)  Serano, Julia, Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, Seal Press 2007

20)  TG Crossroads article archive of Ken Zucker’s pathologizing LGBTI people,

21) The Blue Dress (play written by a survivor of the Feminine Boy Project),

22)  TS Roadmap archive on Ray Blanchard,

23)  TS Roadmap archive of transgender criticism of J. Michael Bailey,

24) White, Mel,  Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America , Plume Books 1995

25)  Wilkinson, Stephanie, “Drop the Barbie!: If You Bend Gender Far Enough, Does It Break?”, Brain, child the magazine for thinking mothers, 2001,

3 Responses to “The Feminine Boy Project Still Threatens Gender-Nonconforming People”

  1. Willow Arune Says:

    With respect, a fair bit of this article is a distortion.

    One example – and I use this as I did everything possible to follow up on the alleged “fact”.

    I discussed this directly with Bailey and Blanchard. The “think tank” sounds so grand. It was only a damn discussion groujp on the Internet. That’s it. Someone did a page that appeared on the Web for a time, but who did that and when is unknown. Members were few and just like any other discussion group on the Web, did not agree with everyone or anyone in the group. Short lived, it was blown totally out of proportion. Sure, Derbyshire and others were in there, but that does not and did not mean all agreed with him.

    Did everyone on SNSC agree with everyone else? Or here? Of course not. The name sounds just grand. I lost a lot of respect for the SPLC when their reporter did nothing to investigate this before publication – and I mean nothing. Theri article used this and added fuel to a fire. Nothign to it, not one thing.

    So to me, if only me, a lie repeated by “lots of people” only shows shallow research.

    Bear this in mind. in every court case, both sides think they are going to win. Each side can cite case after case supporting their positon, and facts after “facts”. I suggest you try to prove the allegation – not by citing bias reports that all go back to ONE SOURCE.

    Distoritions like this have been used by sloppy writers to feed their own bias and prejudice. Lots of people beleive, as they do not have the time or take the trouble to look further. WMD and 9/11 – rem ember??

    • Suzan Says:

      With all due respect Willow you are a pathetic collaborator in the oppression of transsexual and transgender people. A happy member of the “joy division”.

  2. Andrea B. Says:

    @ Willow Arune

    You are an apologist for abusers.

    SPLC investigated thoroughly.

    Bailey is a racist, plain and simple. He considers people of Latin-American origin to be more suited to prostitution than other groups. That is blatant racism. Only a racist would defend Bailey in any form.

    To be a member of the Human Biodiversity Group, being racist is a requirement.

    VDARE is a nazi group, made up solely of nazi’s.

    Blanchard’s constant promotion of autogynephilia to increase hatred and misunderstanding of women born transsexual is hate speech.

    Kenneth Zuckers refusal to allow a TS child to follow a normal puberty for there target sex is child abuse, plain and simple.

    Any person opposing the right of a child born transsexual, not to have a puberty in there target sex, is a child abuser in my opinion.

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