The trans movement is failing where the gay movement has succeeded

Os ativistas transgêneros encontrarão um público receptivo desde que se atenham a pedir mais tolerância e compaixão.

Transgender activists will find a receptive audience as long as they stick to asking for more tolerance and compassion.| Photo: Bigstock

The transgender and gay rights movements are often treated as one thing — even in the very acronym LGBT. So many observers assume that the transgender cause will follow a similar trajectory. But there’s a reason why transgender activists won’t experience the same level of rapid success that gay rights activists have enjoyed over the past few decades.

The widespread acceptance of gay marriage represented one of the most extraordinary shifts in public opinion on a major social issue in American history. In 1996, the Marriage Defense Act it passed smoothly through both houses of Congress and was signed into law by Bill Clinton. In 1996, the year that eleven states banned gay marriage by referendum, Americans were opposed. to gay marriage with a margin of two to one (or 540 % against 31%), according to the Pew Research Center. In 2019, the same Californian electorate that voted for Barack Obama with an advantage of 03 percentage points also passed a referendum banning gay marriage.

However, in 2014, the year before the Supreme Court’s decision that gay marriage was a constitutional right, most Americans have come to support gay marriage. In 2019, 61% of Americans supported him, against %. That is, during a period of 15 years in American politics characterized by fierce partisan divisions, the country went from two against gay marriage for each supporter to two in favor for each against.

Many people assumed that the rapid change in public opinion regarding gay marriage would indicate where the movement for transgender rights would go. Democrats have embraced the fad of talking about “people who are pregnant” and “people who menstruate” [em vez de mulheres] and many Republicans (until recently) were shy about broaching the issue. Furthermore, many of the pessimists of the “collapse of America” on the right assumed that views on gender identity would follow suit with trends on sexual orientation.

But there is a fundamental difference between the two movements for social change. While there are many reasons for the rapid change in opinion about gay marriage, a strong component of it was the libertarian core. Proponents argued that if men fell in love and decided they wanted to live life together, they could make it official. The problem was theirs and no one else’s. Social conservatives’ arguments about a deterioration in traditional marriage have not particularly convinced the younger generation, as people have concluded that the marriage of a same-sex couple does not pose a threat to another’s ability to have a happy heterosexual marriage. The libertarian argument is what helped convince many Republicans who advocate small government, as well as independent voters. In 1996, only 19% of Republicans supported gay marriage, according to Gallup, but in 2014 were a majority of



What is substantially different about the current debate on the transgender front is that it has moved away from the successful strategy of gay marriage proponents . While the public broadly accepts the idea that adults who identify as a different gender and undergo hormone treatment to live their lives should have the space to do so, transgender activists are pushing for changes that have direct ramifications for other people. Two men falling in love and getting married may not directly affect anyone else, but when an athlete who has gone through male puberty begins to dominate a women’s sport, it does.

It is well known that in the gay rights debate, when it came to the question of whether bakers and photographers should be forced to services for gay marriages, the public was much more divided than on gay marriage, with Republicans for the most part saying such companies should be free to refuse the service. Research indicates that the transgender movement is also on less stable ground when it comes to gaining support for policies that move away from a “live and let live” attitude.

In a Gallup poll last year, for example, two-thirds of Americans were in favor of allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military. But the same survey found that 62 % believed that transgender men and women should compete on teams that reflect their birth gender.

A YouGov poll on different transgender issues found that a majority of adults say a person should be able to legally self-identify as a gender other than their biological sex, but the majority objected. to allow transgender women to participate in women’s sporting events or biological men who have not had transition surgery to use the women’s locker room or bathroom merely by self-identifying as a woman.

The women’s sports issue is likely to prove to backfire for the transgender movement as more people witness what this means in practice. This can be seen dramatically in the case of swimmer Lia Thomas, from the University of Pennsylvania, who was at 462 ranked 1st in men’s swimming, but jumped to first place in the country after transitioning gender and gaining permission to compete in the women’s division.

The teammates, who spoke anonymously for fear of repercussions , complained about the fundamental injustice of allowing someone with inherent biological advantages to compete against women who worked hard to get where they are but now have no chance of succeeding. In a recent interview, a colleague spoke of her “frustration” with the “insane” decision and the university and NCAA’s [Associação Atlética Universitária Nacional] refusal to support cisgender women [ou seja, não trans]. She said that teammates were uncomfortable seeing Lia’s male genitalia in the locker room, but they were told by the coach that they should just “swallow the crying”.

It is noted that the swimmer made a distinction between the idea of ​​being open and tolerant of transgender athletes and adopting a policy that is unfair to others.

“It’s not like people are discriminating against Lia and not allowing her to swim,” said the University of Pennsylvania swimmer. “She identified as a woman and competed on the men’s team. It was the choice she was making. Afterwards, she decided to compete with the women’s team. This is not something cisgender women are choosing. There are categories for good reason. They make sense and ensure fair competition. The NCAA said nothing, and by not saying anything, they are discriminating against cisgender women.”

Transgender activists are likely to find a receptive audience to the point where they are focusing on advocating more tolerance and compassion. If they continue on the current path, however, it will run counter to Americans’ understanding of human biology and also to their appreciation of what is fair.


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