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New Poll Illustrates High Support Among Parents for Transgender, Nonbinary Children

BY: Trevor News
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  • Most adults would be willing to take all actions tested to support their child if they came out as transgender or nonbinary, including: encouraging other family members or friends to respect their gender identity (71%); use their chosen name and pronouns correctly (69%); and not vote for political candidates that support anti-transgender policies (65%)
  • A majority of parents would be comfortable if their child came out as LGBTQ, including over half if their child came out as transgender or nonbinary (54% and 57%, respectively)
  • Most parents (57%) would be comfortable if their child started using gender-neutral pronouns (they/them) to express their gender identity versus non-parents (41%)
  • 69% agree that parents, not politicians, should have the ultimate say over whether or not their child receives transgender medical care

June 29, 2023 — The Trevor Project, the leading suicide prevention organization for LGBTQ young people, released a new poll of U.S. adults today that finds high levels of support among parents for their children if they were to come out as transgender or nonbinary, and are prepared to take action to support if their child were transgender. The poll, conducted by Morning Consult between April 12-14, 2023, 2023, among a national sample of 2,200 U.S. adults, examined perspectives surrounding a number of issues impacting LGBTQ+ young people. The full analysis can be found here.

These data are published as more than 600+ anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced and considered in states across the country so far in 2023 — with a majority of them targeting transgender and nonbinary young people.

“Transgender and nonbinary young people are our friends, family members and neighbors, and  every young person needs support and affirmation in order to thrive. Trevor Project data shows that the support of at least one accepting adult can reduce the risk an LGBTQ young person will attempt suicide by up to 40%. As transgender and nonbinary young people continue to experience unprecedented targeting and stigmatization in the current political climate, it is cause for hope to see that most parents are ready to be that life-saving adult,” said Kasey Suffredini (he/him), Vice President of Advocacy & Government Affairs. “Beyond just parents, most U.S. adults would take actions to support their transgender or nonbinary child, including 79% who indicated they would stand up for them if they were being mistreated and nearly 2 in 3 who’d be willing to not vote for political candidates that support anti-transgender policies. This is an incredibly challenging moment for transgender and nonbinary young people, but together with this supermajority of supportive adults, we will build a brighter and better future for all our young people — and we will make sure they are with us to see it.”

Key Findings Related to Parental Support:

  • A majority of parents would be comfortable if their child came out as LGBTQ, including over half if their child came out as transgender or nonbinary (54% and 57%, respectively)
  • Most parents (57%) would be comfortable if their child started using gender-neutral pronouns (they/them) to express their gender identity 
  • Most adults would be willing to take concrete action to support their child if they came out as transgender or nonbinary, including:
    • Stand up for them if they are being mistreated due to being transgender or nonbinary (79%);
    • Talk with them respectfully about being transgender or nonbinary (78%);
    • Be welcoming and kind to their LGBTQ friends or partner (75%);
    • Encourage other family members or friends to treat them with respect (71%);
    • Educate themselves about transgender and nonbinary people and the issues they face (73%);
    • Use the correct name and pronouns (69%);
    • Support their gender expression through their physical appearance, clothing, hairstyles, and behavior (69%);
    • Not vote for political candidates that support anti-transgender policies (65%);
    • Find a faith community that affirms and respects them (61%);
    • Take them to LGBTQ-related events or celebrations (64%);
  • Most adults (69%) agree that parents, not politicians, should have the ultimate say over whether or not their child receives transgender medical care

The poll examined perspectives among U.S. adults around a number of other LGBTQ-related topics. Additional key findings are included below:

Knowing LGBTQ People:

  • Two-thirds of adults report personally knowing someone who identifies as gay or lesbian — however, only 29% of U.S. adults report personally knowing someone who identifies transgender and 1 in 5 report personally knowing someone who identifies as non-binary.
  • 12% of adults personally known an LGBTQ person who has died by suicide, including a fifth of Millennials, parents, and urban adults (21%).

LGBTQ Topics in Schools:

  • A majority of adults are supportive of requiring schools to teach about LGBTQ identities and relationships (54%) and for schools to develop suicide prevention policies with a focus on LGBTQ youth (68%)
  • An overwhelming majority of adults agree (81%) it is appropriate for K-12 students to learn about LGBTQ-related issues

Conversion Therapy:

  • Most adults oppose anyone, including religious ministries and licensed therapists, attempting to change a young person’s gender identity or sexuality (53%+)
  • 57% of adults oppose anyone actively trying to change a young person from being gay to being straight and 54% oppose anyone actively attempting to convince a transgender young person that they are not transgender

If you or someone you know needs help or support, The Trevor Project’s trained crisis counselors are available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386, via chat at TheTrevorProject.org/Get-Help, or by texting START to 678678.

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