In the past decade, the transgender community has made huge strides increasing visibility -- and making it clear that trans folks are not sexual predators, but are in fact more at risk for sexual assault and other violence. Trans people are the ones whose safety and human rights are at risk.
Despite that hard work, it turns out many cisgender folks still don't have positive attitudes about their trans neighbors. Nontrans folks still don't get that transgender people just want regular lives, jobs, relationships, and rights, and to be treated with a little dignity.
New data from YouGov confirms this sad truth. The market research company surveyed hundreds of cisgender folks, about their attitudes toward trans individuals. The results weren't the most heartwarming.
Of 1,682 cisgender respondents who answered the question, 24 percent believed that being transgender is either "definitely" or "probably" a mental illness, and 47 percent believed that being transgender is also either "definitely" or "probably" a choice.
While the analyses didn't look at this directly, one could hypothesize that knowing a trans person might make respondents less likely to believe being trans is a mental illness or choice. Unfortunately, only half of the 2,191 people surveyed said they knew someone who identified as transgender.
Still the majority said they would support their best friend if they came out trans: 52 percent said they'd "strongly support" while 19 percent said they would "somewhat support" their best friend if they were trans.
YouGov also explored love prospects for transgender individuals. Only 17 percent of male respondents said they would be open to dating a trans woman, and only 21 percent of female respondents said they'd be open to dating a trans man. Although roughly 75 percent of study respondents identified as heterosexual, nearly as many said they'd be open to dating a same-sex trans person (16 percent of female respondents would date a trans woman while 14 percent of male respondents said they'd date a trans man).
Oddly, fewer admitted they'd have sex with a trans person than date them; only 14 percent of males said they'd have sex with a trans woman and 17 percent of female respondents said they'd have sex with a trans man. When it comes to nonbinary trans people, 14 percent of men and 15 percent of women would consider having sex with such a partner. A higher number -- 19 percent of females and 16 percent of males -- would consider dating someone with a nonbinary gender.