Americans are still divided on transgender rights and identity.
A new study, carried out by Pew Research Centre, revealed that almost half of respondents said transgender people should be required to use the restroom of the gender assigned to them at birth, with only 51 per cent of respondents supporting transgender people’s choice.
These polls reveal just how unsettled these issues are in American culture. Earlier this year, for example, the state of North Carolina passed a discriminatory, statewide piece of legislation, despite opposition from the Department Of Justice. This legal change effectively bans transgender people from using the bathroom matching their gender identity.
It seems that, for many Americans, the separation of gender from sex is still a relatively new concept.
The Pew Survey revealed that less than 30 per cent of respondents said that they knew somebody personally who identified as transgender, in contrast to 87 per cent who said they knew somebody who was gay, bisexual or lesbian.
Because being transgender is about identity and not sexuality, many people outside the LGBT community are confused as to what being transgender actually means.
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Many transgender people are also gay, lesbian or bisexual, and also part of the LGBT umbrella. However, being transgender is about someone’s gender not being in alignment with the one assigned to them at birth. As an example: It is entirely possible for a transgender person to be transgender and not be interested in sexuality at all.
The good news is, there seems to be a growing trend of acceptance amongst the general population. If we take into account data from two years ago, where 80 per cent of the population considered that transgender people should stick to the bathrooms corresponding with the gender they were assigned at birth, it’s reasonable to confirm that transgender acceptance has grown by 29 per cent in these last two years.
It seems like our fight has not been in vain.