PolitiFact Slams Matt Walsh as 'Mostly False' on Suicide and 'Gender-Affirming Care'

March 13th, 2023 8:30 AM

PolitiFact took a month to get around to attacking conservative pundit Matt Walsh as "Mostly False" on associating rising youth suicide on what they call "gender-affirming care."

Grace Abels just signed on last month as a fact-checker on "LGBTQ issues," so we can guess she will constantly defend the LGBTQ lobby. She quoted from his February 8 testimony before the Tennessee state legislature: “The youth suicide rate has increased exponentially alongside trans affirmation. Trans affirmation causes the suicide rate, not the other way around.”

The quick summary at the top of the Abels article concluded: 

  • Although youth suicide rates and gender-affirming care are both on the rise, experts say there is no evidence the increases are related. 

  • Research shows that among youth, gender-affirming care is associated with reduced suicidal thoughts and depression.

Debating causation is tricky, but it's weird that radical activist groups like the Trevor Project constantly warn that the "trans" kids are much more likely to commit suicide, but it's constantly blaming that on "transphobia," not on gender dysphoria. Naturally, PolitiFact uses the Trevor Project to make the case against Walsh.

And the risk of suicide among trans youth, including suicidal ideation and attempts, trends higher than the general population, according to The Trevor Project, a nonprofit LGBTQ advocacy group. But trans youth make up about 1.4% of all U.S. youth — not enough to influence the exponential growth seen in the overall youth suicide rate.

Despite Walsh’s claim, research does not link surging suicide rates to gender-affirming care. Most available research suggests that suicidal behavior is reduced when youth have access to gender-affirming care. 

Are you sensing a rhetorical trend here? Once again, so-called Guardians of Fact are describing gender-denying treatments (including amputations) as "gender-affirming." Some version of "gender-affirming" or "gender affirmation" is employed in defiance of biological fact 28 times. That's not counting one reference to "gender-expansive youth."

The Trevor Project kept coming up in this "fact check."

2021 study published by the Journal of Adolescent Health relied on data from The Trevor Project’s 2020 survey of 34,759 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth ages 13 to 24. It found that use of gender-affirming hormone treatment was "associated with lower odds of recent depression … and seriously considering suicide" compared with those who wanted gender-affirming hormone treatment but did not receive it....

The risk of suicide is consistently higher for LGBTQ youth, with more than half of transgender and nonbinary youth considering suicide in the past year, and 1 in 5 attempting, according to The Trevor Project’s 2022 survey. The age at which LGBTQ youth are coming out or self-identifying is dropping, said Amy Green, head of research at Hopelab and former vice president of research at The Trevor Project. That means that young people are risking exposure to discrimination, rejection and victimization at earlier ages — all stressors associated with increased suicide risk, Green said....

Green said despite the growth, young people report having trouble finding care. "The Trevor Project consistently found that most transgender young people who wanted to access gender-affirming care weren’t able to access it," she said.

One might think PolitiFact is being funded by the LGBTQ lobby, from the sound of all this. That would be correct. Their 2021 Annual Report says the Gill Foundation backs their LGBTQ "fact checks."