Study Shows Who Is More Likely to Support Transgender Rights in the United States

For Immediate Distribution
Sept. 24, 2015

Lauren Jow,, 310-206-0314

LOS ANGELES — People who think they are more informed about transgender people or know someone who is lesbian or gay tend to be more supportive of transgender rights, according to a new study by Andrew R. Flores, public opinion and policy fellow at the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law.

The study, titled “Attitudes toward Transgender Rights: Perceived Knowledge and Secondary Interpersonal Contact,” is the second peer-reviewed scientific study examining Americans’ attitudes about transgender people and rights.

Key findings from the report include:

• Knowing someone who is lesbian or gay positively affects attitudes toward LGB rights such as marriage for same-sex couples and, by extension, attitudes toward transgender rights.

• Knowing someone who is transgender does not necessarily affect attitudes on transgender rights, but the research is limited.

• People who have higher levels of educational attainment are more likely to feel more familiar with transgender people and rights, so it is likely that college fosters greater support for transgender people.

• The factors that usually predict people’s positions regarding lesbian, gay and bisexual rights are similar to those that predict transgender rights.

Much research is still needed on how transgender story lines in the media and direct contact with transgender people may impact Americans’ views on transgender rights.

Since the transgender population is much smaller than the LGB population, finding a positive relationship between LGB contact and transgender rights shows promise that the LGBT community creates supportive attitudes for all those in that community.

Click here for the full report.