Respect Equality

Fewer than 1 in 3 adults personally know someone who is transgender: poll

More than 70 percent of adults surveyed said they would support their children if they came out as trans or nonbinary or if they decided to use gender-neutral pronouns.
the transgender pride flag flying against the sky and the sun

Story at a glance

  • Just 29 percent of adults say they know someone who is transgender, according to new research from Morning Consult and The Trevor Project. Just 17 percent know someone who is nonbinary.

  • Just three percent of adults said they did not understand the term “transgender,” and 12 percent said they did not know the meaning of the word “nonbinary.”

  • A large majority of adults surveyed said they would be supportive if their child were trans or nonbinary or opted to use gender-neutral pronouns.

Fewer than 30 percent of U.S. adults say they personally know someone who is transgender, according to new research from Morning Consult and the Trevor Project, an LGBTQ+ youth suicide prevention and crisis intervention group, but more than 70 percent said they would support their children if they came out as trans or nonbinary.

Just 29 percent of adults said they know someone who is transgender, and only 17 percent said they know someone who identifies as nonbinary, according to a poll of more than 2,000 American adults.

Among those who do know someone who is transgender or nonbinary, 67 percent reported knowing one or two people. Just 9 percent said they know more than seven people, compared with 20 percent of adults who said they know more than seven people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer or pansexual.

Just three percent of adults said they did not understand the term “transgender,” and 12 percent said they did not know the meaning of the word “nonbinary.”


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Despite the relatively small percentage of adults who said they know a trans or nonbinary person, a large majority said they would support their children if they identified as either, or if they opted to use gender-neutral pronouns.

Notably, adults surveyed were more comfortable with the idea of their children using gender-neutral pronouns if they were generally aware of other people using them. Adults who were unaware of gender-neutral pronouns were roughly 2.4 times more likely to doubt their ability to understand or support their transgender or nonbinary child, according to the poll.

“The clear association between adults knowing someone who holds a particular LGBTQ identity and feeling comfortable with that identity emphasizes the need to amplify trans voices, increase the diversity of LGBTQ representation in media, and improve public education around sexual orientation and gender identity,” Amit Paley, the Trevor Project’s chief executive, said in a statement.

A recent Human Rights Campaign report found that more than 70 percent of adults believe trans people should “have equal rights and be able to live free of violence and discrimination,” but more than half of the 4,000 adults surveyed for the report were unfamiliar with topics and issues related to transgender and nonbinary people.

According to the HRC report, a person’s perception of trans and nonbinary people is greatly influenced by where they get their news, and outlets like Fox News, Breitbart, The Daily Wire and Newsmax “especially” contribute to the erasure of transgender and nonbinary communities by ignoring them altogether.

More than 50 percent of adults surveyed said the news and media they “regularly consume” did not mention trans or nonbinary people sometime in the last week.