By Jonathon Van Maren
Over the last year or so, I’ve seen a lot of optimism from folks who think that at some point, the transgender train will finally slam headlong into the brick wall that is biological reality, and that people will wake up and stop playing along. Headlines like this one from last month in The Telegraph—“The cult of gender ideology is finally disintegrating”—are becoming more common. While there certainly has been a proliferation of positive developments, especially with the U.K.’s National Health Service coming out against puberty blockers and the mainstream media’s silo of silence on the dangers of “transition” starting to crack, I’m wary of getting too optimistic too soon. There’s a long way to go before we get a good idea of how this craze ends (if it ends).
There are, however, some interesting trends in public opinion worth mentioning. According to a recent Gallup poll, in 2021, 62% of Americans believed that “transgender athletes should only be allowed to compete on sports teams that conform with their birth gender.” In 2023, that majority has risen to 69%, with only 26% of Americans supporting “transgender athletes being able to play on teams that match their current gender identity,” down from 34% in 2021. This indicates that in the competing narratives of activists backing athletes like “Lia” Thomas and those supporting female swimmers such as Riley Gaines, sanity is steadily prevailing.
This shift, Gallup noted, “has occurred at the same time that more U.S. adults say they know a transgender person,” a percentage that has risen from 31% in 2021 to 39% now. According to Gallup: “Currently, 30% of those who know a transgender person favor allowing athletes to play on teams that match their current gender identity, down from 40% in 2021. Among those who do not know a transgender person, support is now 23%, down from 31%.” This seems significant, considering the fact that the trans movement has received unprecedented publicity and public support from the elites over the past several years.
Gallup also found that a majority of Americans, 55%, believe that “changing one’s gender” is “morally wrong,” while 43% believe that it is “morally acceptable.” In 2021, 51% of those polled believed that “changing one’s gender” is morally wrong, and 46% believed it is morally acceptable. The aberration, predictably, is Democrats—seven in 10 Democrats believe that “gender change is morally acceptable.”