Catholic Civil Rights Leader: Washington Post Fails to Mention Its Recent Poll Revealed 78 Percent of Transgender Adults Had Serious Mental Health Problems Growing Up

Catholic League President Bill Donohue observed Monday that The Washington Post neglected to mention in its news story about its own poll on transgenderism that trans individuals reported a more significant percentage of mental health concerns than all adults surveyed.

Bill Donohue noted that The Post’s “2517-word story, published May 5, covers just about every aspect of the 26-page survey except for the issue of mental health.”

“It is hard to believe this was an oversight,” he wrote in his post.

Respondents to The Post/Kaiser Family Foundation survey were asked survey questions from a leftist perspective, e.g., “gender assigned at birth,” which generally includes the boilerplate statement when it comes to mental health issues and transgender individuals that claims “any mental health problems that trans persons have is a result of discrimination,” as Donohue wrote in his post.

As the poll states, the survey “was conducted November 10 – December 1, 2022, online and by telephone among a nationally representative sample of 515 U.S. adults who identify as trans and another 823 cisgender U.S. adults who do not identify as trans and their gender is the same as their sex assigned at birth.”

In response to a question about whether respondents experienced “serious mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety, while “growing up as a child or teenager,” 32 percent of total adults answered “yes” as opposed to 78 percent of total transgender persons.

The survey also asked participants if they would describe their childhood as “Very/Somewhat happy” or “Somewhat/Very unhappy.”

Of all adults, 81 percent also responded their childhood was either very happy or somewhat happy, while only 53 percent of transgender individuals responded the same.

Among all adults, only 13 percent said that they had an alcohol or drug problem while growing up as a child or teen, but 29 percent of transgender individuals responded the same.

When respondents were asked “how often have you felt” various emotions in the past 12 months, 45 percent of transgender individuals said they have felt “lonely,” compared to 21 percent of adults; only 29 percent of trans people felt “hopeful,” compared to 50 percent of adults; 48 percent of trans felt “depressed,” while 22 percent of adults felt the same; 56 percent of trans felt “anxious,” compared to 31 percent of adults; and 40 percent of transgender individuals felt “happy,” as opposed to 59 percent of adults.

Among transgender respondents, 43 percent said they had experienced suicidal thoughts over the past 12 months, while 16 percent of adults said the same.

“Why didn’t WAPO mention any of this in its news story?” asked Donohue.

As he points out, the survey does not suggest evidence to support the view that mental health issues among transgender individuals are the result of discrimination and harassment.

For example, 72 percent of trans respondents said they had never “moved to a different part of town or a different city or state” due to needing to be in “a more accepting place.”

Of the trans survey participants, 83 percent also said they had never been refused “gender-affirming treatments or health care” by a doctor or health care provider.

Yet, during an interview in April 2022 with National Public Radio (NPR), Dr. Rachel [Richard] Levine, the U.S. assistant secretary for Health and Human Services (HHS), said, “Trans youth in particular are being hounded in public and driven to deaths of despair at an alarming rate,” appearing to make the claim that children who are not immediately “affirmed” in their new “gender identity” are likely to commit suicide.

Levine condemned state legislation intended to curb child gender transition, citing the Trevor Project’s data that “52 percent of all transgender and nonbinary young people in the U.S. seriously contemplated killing themselves in 2020.”

“Think about how many of them thought it was better to die than to put up with any more harassment, scapegoating and intentional abuse,” Levine said.

In a recent video from the series called “Authentic Voices of Pride,” produced by LGBTQ Nation, Levine acknowledged there are “disparities” between the health needs of LGBTQ+ people and others because it is known that LGBTQ+ individuals have higher rates of:

  • Chronic illness
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Mental health issues

Yet, Levine said that “there’s nothing inherent in being ‘on the rainbow,’ so to speak, that would lead someone to have these mental health difficulties.”

“It’s because of the systemic oppression, systemic racism that we have seen in the United States and in the United States healthcare industry which has led to these really historic inequities,” the HHS official said.

“It is not societal rejection of trans males and females that is at the root of their problem—their problem lies deep within themselves,” Donohue argues nevertheless. “They are unhappy, lonely, depressed persons who are more likely to engage in self-destructive behaviors. That’s not normal. Their mental health problems are a reflection of their sexually confused status. They need help.”

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Susan Berry, PhD, is national education editor at The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Transgender Person” by Baran Lotfollahi.


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