Americans Increasingly Support Transgender Rights

Amid rollbacks of federal protections for transgender individuals, a new PRRI survey finds that 62% of Americans say they have become more supportive of rights for transgender individuals over the last five years, compared to just 25% who say they have grown more opposed.

The survey finds that 63% of Americans, including 47% of Republicans, 47% of Americans who view Trump favourably, and majorities of almost every major religious group support transgender military service.

Increasing and Widespread Support for Transgender Rights 
Seventy-six percent of Democrats, independents (64%) and Republicans (47%) all say they have become more supportive of transgender rights in the last five years. Conservative Republicans (40%) are the only ideological group with less than half reporting increased support for transgender rights; even among this group, only 43% report they have become more opposed to transgender rights over this period.

“This broad and growing support for transgender rights from nearly every group and across party and religious lines demonstrates just how dramatically American attitudes have shifted across the last decade,” notes PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones. “This emerging consensus of support for transgender rights and increasing comfort with transgender people, especially among more conservative groups, is a sign that we may be seeing the beginning of the end of transgender issues being used as political wedges.”

Notable Findings

  • 24% of Americans report having a transgender close friend or family member.
  • 46% report having a bisexual close friend or family member and 68% report having a gay or lesbian close friend or family member.
  • Nearly two thirds (63%) of Americans today favour allowing transgender people to serve in the U.S. military. This level of support is virtually unchanged from 2017 (64%).
  • Republicans have grown more supportive of transgender military service, up from 37% in 2017 to 47% today.
  • 45% of Americans favour policies that would require transgender people to use the bathrooms consistent with their sex assigned at birth (47% oppose).
  • 63% of Americans say they would be somewhat or very comfortable having a close friend tell them they are transgender.
  • 56% of Americans say they would be somewhat or very comfortable with learning a teacher at their local elementary school is transgender.
  • 48% of Americans say that they are somewhat/very comfortable vs. 48% somewhat/very uncomfortable) with having their child tell them they are transgender.


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