Americans still have a long way to go on transgender education and acceptance, as evidenced by a recent study on people's feelings about trans individuals. A shocking number of people aren't open to having trans people in their lives, in relationships or even as friends.
A survey by YouGov of more than 2,000 participants found that 27% of respondents were not open to being friends with anyone who identifies as transgender , even though around 40% said they personally know someone who is trans.
The good news, of course, is that 73% of the respondents must have answered that question with an either positive or neutral reaction. But the results get even more troublesome when it comes to relationships.
Only an average of 17% of respondents said they would consider being in a relationship with someone who is trans or non-binary. The stats drop even lower when asked about sex. Respondents were asked if they would be open to the idea of engaging in a sexual act of any kind with someone who is transgender or non-binary, and only 15% answered yes to the idea of sex with a trans man or non-binary person. Only 13% said they'd be open to sex with a transgender woman.
While it's important to note that everyone has sexual preferences and we shouldn't shame them for that, it's not hard to imagine that statistics like this stem from a place of fear or ignorance. The greater public still doesn't understand what it's like to be or to love a transgender person, and that could be coloring their views here.
In fact, the study suggests that a good portion of Americans are also misinformed about transgender people. A staggering 39% of respondents think being transgender is a choice, and more than 20% still believe it's a mental illness. Hopefully those respondents will soon catch on to the fact that being transgender is neither a lifestyle choice nor a disorder — so-called "gender identity disorder" was removed from the DSM in 2013.
While we've made some strides in transgender rights and representation, this study suggests that a good portion of America still has a lot to learn.
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