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NYT's inspired Trans vs. Gay Discussion Unearths Surprising Stats from Earlier Survey

NYT's inspired Trans vs. Gay Discussion Unearths Surprising Stats from Earlier Survey


A media mainstay asks the question and activists jump to answer. But do these Pew survey stats belie the truth?

A New York Times article earlier this week that questioned whether gay rights and trans rights were still allies in 2013 inspired a flurry of follow up op-eds from notables like historian Susan Stryker, Orange is the New Black star Laverne Cox, author Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore, and many others. Amidst the debate over whether there are shared objectives, support, and interests between the LGB and the T, some activists resurrected a little discussed segment of a Pew Research study from earlier this year.

In the expansive Pew survey, self-identified lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender individuals were asked about the importance they attach to their own sexual orientation or gender identity, and in the sense of community they share with other LGBT adults.

While a larger percentage of gay men and lesbians feel they share concerns and identity with other gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, almost half of those in each respective orientation say that they feel they do not have any common concerns and identity with transgender people: 48% of gay men and 53% of lesbians said they feel they have no shared concerns and identity with trans people, while 51% of bisexual men, and 39% of bisexual women said they shared no common identity feature with trans folks.

All of those numbers change, however, among people who responded that their sexual orientation is critical to their self-identity. In that case gay, lesbian, and bisexual people were more likely to identify with transgender people and their issues.

Though the Pew results indicate that trans people were asked the same question, the results don't appear to be posted online.

Now activists of all stripes are wondering how to change those numbers. What's your take?

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