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Poll: Majority of U.S. Adults Oppose Anti-LGBTQ Education Policies, Agree that Transgender Youth Should Have Access to Gender-Affirming Care

BY: Josh Weaver
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A majority of adults oppose banning books and censoring curriculums on LGBTQ topics, and a plurality felt that ages 5 to 11 (elementary school) are the most appropriate ages for students to learn about LGBTQ topics in classes like history, English, and health education.

Only 1 in 3 adults polled said lawmakers should have the ability to outlaw gender-affirming medical care for minors even if such a ban is against the recommendation of doctors and major medical associations.

March 30, 2022 — The Trevor Project, the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) youth, released new polling data today examining U.S. adult perspectives on a variety of issues impacting LGBTQ youth, including LGBTQ content bans and gender-affirming medical care. The poll was conducted by Morning Consult between Feb. 18-19, 2022 among a national sample of 2,210 U.S. adults. The full polling data can be found here. 

The poll finds that a majority of U.S. adults oppose blocking students from accessing LGBTQ resources and educational content on the internet at school (57%), banning books on LGBTQ topics from school libraries (56%), and banning classroom discussions about LGBTQ topics — including sexual orientation and gender identity — in school (52%). Further, a majority of adults agree that transgender minors should have access to gender-affirming hormone therapy (55%) and puberty blockers (52%) if it’s recommended by their doctor and supported by their parents.

“This poll emphasizes just how out of step recent political attacks aimed at LGBTQ students and their families are with public opinion. A majority of adults reject the government overreach we’re witnessing across the country — whether it’s banning books, censoring school curriculums, or intervening in medical care decisions that are best left to doctors and parents,” said Sam Ames (they/them pronouns), Director of Advocacy & Government Affairs for The Trevor Project. “All LGBTQ young people deserve access to safe, affirming learning environments and the health care they need. We urge lawmakers to look at these data and to listen to their constituents’ concerns before pushing politically unpopular, misguided policies that will cause real harm.”

This polling comes amid intense national debates around banning LGBTQ topics from the classroom and criminalizing the provision of gender-affirming medical care to transgender and nonbinary youth. 

On Monday, Florida’s governor signed into law House Bill 1557, widely known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would ban classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity “in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.” However, when asked in an open response question — “At what age do you think it is appropriate for students to learn about LGBTQ topics in classes like history, English, and health education at school?” — a plurality of adults (38%) reported ages 5 to 11 (aligned with elementary school). More than half of adults polled (55%) specifically support including information on LGBTQ identity and relationships in health education classes at school. 

Only 1 in 3 adults polled said lawmakers should have the ability to outlaw gender-affirming medical care for minors even if such a ban is against the recommendation of doctors and major medical associations. Yet, lawmakers have repeatedly contradicted medical consensus and best practices by introducing dozens of bills across a majority of states seeking to ban trans youth from accessing gender-affirming care – where more than a third of trans youth are estimated to be at risk of losing access to gender-affirming medical care. In February, the governor of Texas took it a step further, illegally ordering state child welfare agencies to investigate parents who support their trans kids with this care as “child abusers.” The invalid investigations have since been halted following a statewide injunction from a Texas judge.

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. 

About The Trevor Project

The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and mental health organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people. The Trevor Project offers a suite of 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention programs, including TrevorLifeline, TrevorText, and TrevorChat as well as the world’s largest safe space social networking site for LGBTQ youth, TrevorSpace. Trevor also operates an education program with resources for youth-serving adults and organizations, an advocacy department fighting for pro-LGBTQ legislation and against anti-LGBTQ rhetoric/policy positions, and a research team to discover the most effective means to help young LGBTQ people in crisis and end suicide.

MEDIA CONTACT:

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