Metro Weekly

Most Republicans think America has “gone too far” in accepting trans people

Meanwhile, most Democrats think we haven't gone far enough in accepting transgender people

Trans Pride flag, Photo: torbakhopper / Flickr

Most Republicans think America has “gone too far” in accepting transgender people, while 80% believe gender is determined by sex at birth.

The findings, part of a Pew Research Center survey, show a clear difference on transgender issues between Democrats and Republicans.

While 57% of GOP supporters think America has gone too far in accepting transgender people, 60% of those who are Democrat or Democrat-leaning think we haven’t gone far enough.

About a third of Americans say society has gone too far in accepting transgender people

A vast majority of Republicans think gender is determined by sex at birth, whereas almost two-thirds of Democrats believe gender can differ from assigned sex.

And Republicans are almost totally agreed on both matters, regardless of educational attainment. Conversely, the higher the educational attainment for a Democrat supporter, the greater their support for transgender issues — 72% of Democrats with a bachelors degree or higher think society hasn’t gone far enough in accepting trans people, versus 54% of those who didn’t complete college.

Outside of political affiliation, America is divided on trans issues. On gender being determined by sex at birth, 54% of adults think that’s the case, versus 44% who believe gender can differ.

On the matter of transgender acceptance, 39% think America hasn’t gone far enough, 32% think we’ve gone to far, and 27% think the level of acceptance has “been about right.”

In terms of exposure to transgender issues, 37% of Americans personally know someone who is transgender, and Pew found that knowing a trans person leads to greater acceptance of trans rights. Just over half of Americans (52%) who know a transgender person think we need to do more to accept trans people in America. Of those who don’t know a transgender person, only 31% support greater acceptance.

Bringing it back to politics, Democrats are more likely to know someone who is transgender — 43%, versus 28% of Republicans.

It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that the nation’s first ever transgender person elected to a state legislature is Democrat Danica Roem. Or, indeed, that it is largely the Republican party that continues to push anti-transgender “bathroom bills” around the country — though Democrats aren’t immune to this.

And, let’s not forget, the President — a Republican — wants to ban all transgender people from serving in the military.

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Rhuaridh Marr is Metro Weekly's managing editor. He can be reached at rmarr@metroweekly.com.