The tide appears to be turning against radical gender ideology in a big way.
Just this Saturday, a transgender cyclist won a North Carolina race by more than five minutes. Retired tennis star Martina Navratilova said of the result: “What a joke.”
A joke, indeed. It seems many Americans agree with Navratilova.
A new Gallup poll, released Monday, showed a marked shift in how Americans view transgender issues, especially in regard to sports.
“A larger majority of Americans now (69%) than in 2021 (62%) say transgender athletes should only be allowed to compete on sports teams that conform with their birth gender,” Gallup noted. “Likewise, fewer endorse transgender athletes being able to play on teams that match their current gender identity, 26%, down from 34%.”
The poll indicates that a wide swath of Americans is turning against the transgender movement, at least as it applies to men participating in women’s athletics. In fact, the shift was noticeable in almost every political and demographic group. Republicans, independents, and even Democrats all increasingly oppose biological males competing against girls and women.
Since 2021, the percentage of Democrats who think that biological males shouldn’t compete in female sports has risen from 41% to 48%. The new poll shows that 47% of Democrats say they should be allowed to participate, so it’s sharply divided—even in the political party that’s been relentless in promoting the transgender issue.
Americans familiar with transgender people on a personal level had an even more dramatic shift. Among those who say they know a transgender person, 64% say that males shouldn’t be able to play sports against females. That’s an increase from 53% in 2021.
Most of the respondents to the poll said that “changing one’s gender” is morally wrong, up from 51% in 2021 to 55% in 2023.
As my colleague Tyler O’Neil pointed out, Gallup’s numbers may even underestimate the shift on this issue, inasmuch as the phrasing of the poll questions muddied the water of what was being asked. For instance, it asks whether transgender athletes should be able to play on sports teams that “match their current gender identity or should only be allowed to play on sports teams that match their gender?”
Whether understated or not, the polling trend is encouraging.
Transgenderism has become an epidemic among young people, but many Americans are turning against the extreme ideological claims. There’s still some common sense left in this country, even if it no longer manifests itself in our cultural and ruling elites. The shift over the past few years is noteworthy because it has occurred despite a relentless campaign by the liberal media and the Biden administration to push the ideology to the absolute limit.
It’s not working. In fact, it may be actively turning many Americans against them.
It must also be said that a handful of brave people—most notably Riley Gaines and Chloe Cole, alongside other female athletes and detransitioners who have had experience with this issue—may be breaking through to the larger public with their message.
Courage can be infectious. Their stories have opened eyes to the breadth and depth of the problem.
This is mostly good news, but a word of caution is in order here. This is likely only the beginning of the fight. The Left isn’t sitting still and letting waning popularity for this issue dissuade it from codifying gender ideology into law.
For instance, California legislators are trying to pass a law to make parents who don’t affirm transgenderism for their child guilty of child abuse. The Biden administration aims to change Title IX law to prohibit states from banning biological males from competing against biological females.
The Left hopes that by changing the law, it can browbeat Americans into accepting the ideology, whether we like it or not. That strategy has worked for them in the past on other issues.
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