Transphobia is a powerful force in American politics, but young voters are leading a cultural shift toward inclusion

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By Erin Thomas

Conservative The politicians to have designed a moral panic around the existence of transgender people in America. Across the country, dozens of states are accelerating legislation aimed at banning transgender children from playing sports and prohibiting them from continuing their medical transition. In Texas, Governor Abbot has directed Family and Protective Services to investigate doctors, nurses, teachers, and parents who help children get gender-affirming care and accuse them of child abuse.

A new Data For Progress poll reveals the powerful resilience of transphobia in American politics. While a slight majority of voters believe the increased rights and visibility of transgender people have made society better, a significant portion believe it has made society worse. Similarly, while a slight majority of voters think the government should protect transgender rights, a significant portion disagree. These opinions vary greatly by age, party affiliation, and whether or not someone personally knows a transgender person. As older Americans are less accepting of transgender people, younger voters are leading a cultural shift toward a more inclusive political culture.

Young adults are more likely to know a trans person

47% of likely voters ages 18-29 say they personally know someone who identifies as transgender. Across all age groups, only 26% of likely voters say they personally know someone who identifies as transgender.

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