Gallup asked more than 1,000 respondents three questions: Whether they favor or oppose openly trans people serving in the military, whether trans athletes should be allowed to play sports that match their gender identity and whether they know someone who is trans.
About 66% of respondents said they support allowing trans military service members, down from 71% the last time the question was asked in a 2019 poll, according to Gallup.
Around 62% of respondents said trans athletes should only be allowed to play on teams that match their gender assigned at birth rather than their gender identity.
About 31% of those polled said they knew someone who’s transgender. The percentage was highest among adults ages 18 to 29 — about 50% of respondents in that age group know someone trans, according to Gallup.
People who said they had trans people in their lives were also more likely to support a trans athlete playing on the team of their gender identity — about 40% of people with trans connections supported gender-aligning sports, as opposed to 31% among people who did not know a trans person.
Anti-trans bills likely influenced results, trans advocates say
Andy Marra, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund, said the findings reflect the “effects of a massive misinformation campaign” led by organizations and lawmakers behind the massive surge in bills that target transgender Americans.
“Transgender students simply want to play sports, spend time with their friends and be part of the team,” said Marra, who was not involved with the survey. “Across the country, transgender young people are seeing their lives come under attack and are feeling increasingly unwelcome and unsafe.”
“When any minority group has stayed largely out of public view to reduce the impact of social stigma and discrimination … the society at large has limited opportunities to get to know them,” she said.
The anti-transgender sentiment expressed in the new bills likely influenced the way the respondents answered the survey, she said.