Survey Shows Growing Support for Transgender Rights Among Americans

A poll released by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that public opinion regarding transgender people appears to be growing in support, despite recent attacks from governmental and religious forces.

62 percent of Americans surveyed said their support of transgender rights has grown in the last five years. Only 25 percent said they’ve become more opposed over the same time period.

The numbers differ when looking at different political affiliations. More Democrats responded that they have come to support trans rights more over the years than Independents or Republicans (76 percent vs 64 percent and 47 percent, respectively).

“Increase in support for transgender rights tracks fairly closely with the large increase in support for gay, lesbian, and bisexual Americans,” Robert P. Jones, the CEO of PRRI, told TIME Magazine. Jones also noted that “having a close relationship with someone transgender is strongly correlated with holding more supportive views of transgender rights.” The number of Americans who reported being close with a transgender person has doubled since 2015.

Even a majority of religiously affiliated people reported being more supportive. 52 percent of white evangelical Protestants, 57 percent of white mainline Protestants, and 60 percent of nonwhite Protestants reported becoming more supportive of trans rights compared to five years ago.

Interestingly, Catholics were the largest group of religiously affiliated people to report being more supportive at 68 percent, despite the Vatican recently coming out in opposition of trans and gender non-conforming identities.

This data comes at a time when the Trump administration has been issuing numerous rollbacks on transgender rights, including banning them from serving in the military and rolling back transgender healthcare protections.

Despite the administration’s military ban, 63 percent of Americans favor allowing transgender people to serve.

“Generally, the Trump administration’s policy directions, such as refusing to collect data on transgender Americans and restricting transgender military service, are flying against the wind of support for transgender rights in the country,” Jones said. “Virtually every demographic group in the country, including Republicans and white evangelical Protestants, report they have become more supportive of transgender rights over the last five years.”