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When I encountered this recent report from the Public Religion Research Institute yesterday, the thought occurred to me that my work here may be done.

Entitled Strong Majorities of Americans Favor Rights and Legal Protections for Transgender People, the report indicates that the job of educating the masses as to the importance of transgender rights may have run its course.

So I have to ask myself what else I can possibly accomplish.

1006 people responded to the PRRI Religion and Politics Tracking Survey during August 11-14 of this year.  The surveys were asked orally over the telephone, bilingually (Spanish/English) by professional interviewers, and supervised by Social Science Research Solutions.  All respondents were at least 18 years old.  29.7% of interviews were conducted over cell phones.

70% of the folks surveyed claimed to know what the term transgender means.  Another 24% had heard the term but not sure of the definition.  Only 5% had never heard of the term before.  Those who claimed to know what the term meant were asked to give a short definition.  39% stated it was someone who switched from one gender to another.  7% said it was someone who goes through the medical process of switching from one gender to another.  10% said it was someone born the wrong sex or born in the wrong body.  9% claimed it was someone who has identified with both genders.  6% hazarded that it was someone who acts or lives like the opposite gender and 5% that it was someone who identifies more with the opposite gender.  Only 2% said it was someone who has a different sexual preference or orientation.  2% think it is someone with both sexual organs.  8% were assorted other responses and 11% didn't know or refused to answer.  PRRI claims that 76% of the 91% of Americans who had heard of the term "transgender" could define the term essentially correctly without assistance.  In other words (math - math - math), 69% of Americans are able to define the term transgender without assistance.

Participants were given some statements to respond to as well.

Transgender people deserve the same rights and protections as other Americans.

67% of respondents completely agreed.  I have no idea what "mostly agree" means in this context, but 22% chose that category.  A total of 7% chose either "mostly disagree" or "completely disagree".

83% of white evangelical Protestants believed that transpeople should have the same rights and protections as other Americans, 93% of Catholics, 90% of white mainline Protestants, and 95% of those unaffiliated with a church.

86% of Republicans, 94% of Independents, and 92% of Democrats agree with the statement.

Legal protections that apply to gay and lesbian people should also apply to transgender people.

This one is a bit perplexing.  Only 49% completely agree, while 32% mostly agree.  13% either mostly disagree or completely disagree.  One wonders which of the rights that LGB people have are questionable for transfolk to have.  Serving in the military?  Bathroom usage?  What?

Congress should pass laws to protect transgender people from job discrimination.

The ENDA question.  48% completely agree and 27% mostly agree.  7% mostly disagree and 14% completely disagree.  Okay…more pushback here.  Apparently some people believe we should have equal legal protections, but employment is not one of them.

Solid majorities of every major religious group agree that Congress should pass laws to protect transgender people from job discrimination, including nearly two-thirds (65%) of white evangelical Protestants.

A majority (55%) of Republicans agree that Congress should pass laws to protect transgender people from job discrimination, as do overwhelming majorities of Independents (79%) and Democrats (86%).

I feel I am well informed about transgender persons and issues.

This was the job I assigned to myself.  30% completely agree and 37% mostly agree.  18% mostly disagree and 12% completely disagree.

There are always going to be those people who aren't informed because they don't want to be, who prefer to let their preconceived notions be their guide.  Heck, 30% thought W was doing a heck of a job.

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A bit of a demographic question revealed that while 58% of respondents had a close friend or family member who was gay or lesbian, only 11% reported that they had a close friend or family member who is transgender.

Also 74% of Americans favor the expansion of hate crimes laws to include gender identity, sexual orientation or gender, against 22% who oppose.  Even 64% of white evangelical protestants (who demonstrated the least support) favored including gender identity in hate crimes laws.  56% of Republicans, 79% of Independents and 84% of Democrats agreed.

Now if someone in the federal government would only start working to apply the law.

So.  Is my work here done?  Or should I let the guy last night who basically claimed that "if transpeople aren't dying, then trans issues are unimportant" (and when told that trans people were dying, said that was a different issue) indicate where I should go from here.

You know the guy who told me

you by the sounds of it sound like a very white privileged person who doesn't give a d@mn about anyone outside of your own "rights"

That pretty much makes me want to walk away right there.

Or I could stay and hope what I do might wear down the 8% of democrats who don't believe that transpeople should have rights and protections equal to other members of our society and the 14% of Democrats who do not believe that an ENDA that includes transfolk should be passed by Congress.

Of course it has seemed that a large part of that 14% are actually members of Congress.  Maybe that's the problem.

So I will have to do some contemplating for sure.  I certainly don't need the crap that is so blithely hurled my way.

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