Do Americans Really Hate Trans People Now?

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

TLDR: The author argues that perceptions among transgender people that Americans hate trans people are skewed by radicalized views and such conclusions lack nuance. Research suggests support for trans people is increasing in the United States, especially among young, progressive Americans, with the majority of Americans favoring protection for transgender individuals.

I read a story on Medium recently that took the United States to task for hating transgender people. It’s author recently listened to a podcast series about parents navigating difficulties they face as parents of trans kids.

What happened here is instructive. The author took a country of over 300 million people and reduced every person into transphobic bigots. How she got to that conclusion shows how powerful stories create reality. Her example also shows why it’s a terrible idea to look at things that make us feel shitty.

Let’s take a look at what happened here so we can learn from the wonderful gift this author gave us. Then, let’s look at what really is happening with American’s views about transgender people.

Radicalization: it’s not a good look

So the author, who is trans, listened to what supposedly is a supportive podcast for those with trans kids. I’m not including a link to it, or to the author’s post, because I prefer offering empowering and supportive content. Not content that radicalizes people. Especially content that doesn’t appreciate the bigger picture. A bigger picture that screams: Hey! The world is getting better and better for transgender people!

Apparently, according to the Medium author, the United States is an “ocean of hate” and this podcast represents an island of queer positivity. And yet, according to the author, the podcast focuses on how these parents are “terrified”, “worried” and “concerned” about the lives of their trans kids.

How is terror, worry and concern positive?

The deeper into her article we get, the more it becomes clear that the Medium author lost perspective. Binging the podcast got her all riled up. What’s really interesting is, in her article she critiques the United States as a hatred-filled radicalized “banana republic” while at the same time expressing views herself which border on hate. Views which are way off the mark about what is really happening in the United States.

In other words, she allowed the podcast to radicalize her beliefs. And in her radicalization she has become the very thing she’s attacking: someone who allowed herself to adopt a drastically skew perspective of what’s really going on. Then she lashed out with judgements about people she doesn’t know.

Transphobic people are doing the exact same thing.

Radicalization is not a good look. It doesn’t matter if liberals or conservatives do it. It doesn’t matter if transphobes or transgender people do it. It’s the same. It’s disempowering, and it’s ugly.

Is America An Ocean of Hate?

But more importantly, radicalization backfires. It turns the radical into a parody of him or herself. And, taken to the extreme, it tends to get a lot of people hurt. Often that includes the radical. Every mass shooter is a radical. So is every suicide bomber.

That’s enough about the article and the podcast. Let’s instead now look at what “America” really thinks about transgender people. This is going to be interesting…

For a more balanced look, let’s turn to Pew. Pew is a leading research firm. It gathers public opinion on almost everything. Including opinions Americans have about the transgender phenomena. What did Pew find in their research? Well, like I wrote above, it’s interesting:

Most [Americans] favor protecting trans people from discrimination, even as growing share say gender is determined by sex at birth.

Pew Research

Here’s what that looks like in a graphical breakdown:

Yes, people are still stuck thinking a person is a man or woman as determined by sex assigned at birth. But you know what almost totally is to blame for that? SCIENCE. That’s right! Science has convinced people there is nothing beyond physical reality. And most people swallow that crap hook, line, and sinker. So they believe sex and gender is a physical construct. It’s not.

Sex and gender are determined well before birth. And that determination is A CHOICE.

Cultures that pre-date science knew better, as many trans people know. That’s why Hijras and two-spirit people have been things far longer than modern civilization, to mention two examples.

Youth change reality

Meanwhile, as old, crusty farts holding to conservative views die off, young people’s attitudes are more closely matching a more nuanced view of transgender people. Their views also promise better futures for such people. Look at this, for example, which also is from Pew:

In other words, in America, the younger the American you ask, the more supportive that person will likely be. Moreover, politically progressive people lean more supportive as well.

So where are these radical, hating, transphobic Americans? Is America really an “ocean of hate”?

These data seem to debunk the assertion. Just ten percent of Americans express strong opposition or just opposition to the transgender phenomenon. That means LESS THAN TEN PERCENT “strongly” oppose. Meanwhile, an overwhelming 64 percent of Americans STRONGLY FAVOR or FAVOR protecting transgender people. It seems, then, that America is an ocean comprising a majority of tolerance, acceptance and support. “Hate” is an exception to the American norm.

Let’s look at another source

Ipsos is another polling agency. Last year, they conducted a poll of Americans on the transgender issue. That poll showed strong disinterest among Americans for having trans women, for example, compete in women’s sports competitions. But other results they found are consistent with Pew’s.

On providing gender-affirming medical care, for example, Ipsos found an overwhelming majority of Americans support such policies. Read that headline below carefully. It’s not written very well in my opinion:

A better headline would have been “The majority of Americans SUPPORT GIVING trans youth gender-affirming care”. Here’s another Ipsos graph presenting the same information. It may be easier to understand. An interactive one can be found on the NPR website. You’re wanting to look at totals representing the “opposed” categories.

It’s getting better!

What shall we take away from all this? Well, first, your stories (beliefs) matter. They shape your reality. They also determine your behavior. The Medium author’s radicalized beliefs caused her to write a way inaccurate story about the United States. And that happened because she listened to a “supportive”, “positive” podcast for parents of trans youths.

Stories/beliefs also attract to us evidence that will tell us our stories/beliefs are “true” . So if we think the world is terrible for trans people, that’s what we’re going to see. But that doesn’t mean that’s the whole story.

Sure, there are those who hate what trans people represent. Those people are frightened by what they see. Trans people confront their long-held beliefs. But that’s not your problem! Indeed, no trans person need encounter such people. Not if they don’t want to.

One of my mentors putting it plain. Those who hate you hate out of their own suffering.

The problem is, a lot of trans people want to encounter them. They don’t intentionally want to. But their beliefs, choices and actions cause them to encounter such people. Some do it because they believe they’re changing the world. That’s great. But others do it while not knowing they’re doing it.

What we resist persists! What we complain about we get more of! If we stop putting attention on the tiny minority of people out there living their lives in deep pain, those people will gradually self-select themselves out of our experience.

And, if we put our attention on all that’s going great for trans people, we’ll see more of that. Then we’ll feel better about life. We’ll feel better about OUR lives. And when that happens, our lives WILL GET BETTER.

That’s how the Universe works.

Don’t believe me, try it

Now, you may think you have enough evidence to prove what you just read wrong. That just proves my points! Don’t take my word(s) for evidence! Test it out! The Universe will prove it to you! That’s guaranteed because that’s how the Universe works.

It continuously wants us to know life can be as great as we want it. That’s why, when we focus on things we think are “going wrong” we feel bad. We feel bad because that feeling tells us we’re not looking at the world the way we couldlook at it. And, as a result of looking at it the way we could, we could feel better. And then have a better life.

If you try it, if you try looking for evidence of everything going right, evidence will show itself to you. But you must know where to look to see it. Otherwise, you miss it. I can help you not miss it. Let’s chat.

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