A Majority of Americans Believe in Bathroom Choice for Trans People

October 1st 2016

Willie Burnley Jr.

The tide may be slowly rising for transgender rights.

A majority of Americans now believe that transgender people should be able to choose their own bathrooms, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

The study comes with a big caveat: 51 percent of respondents believed that trans people should be able to choose their own bathrooms, but 46 percent of respondents believed that they should be required to "use the public restrooms of the gender they were born into."

Two-thirds of respondents aged 18 to 29 said they believe transgender people should be able to enter bathrooms that matched their gender identity.

The results revealed a country still deeply divided over the issue, half a year after North Carolina passed a widely condemned bill to prohibit transgender people from using the bathroom of their choice.

Activists have long argued that forcing trans people to use the wrong bathrooms would create unsafe spaces where they could be harassed or assaulted.

More than a third of people who expressed their transgender or gender non-conforming identity in school grades from kindergarten through 12th grade reported being physically assaulted, according to a national survey.

In North Carolina, a campaign to boycott the state economically after the bill passed has persuaded some of the law’s original proponents to turn against it. The economic cost to the state so far is more than $395 million, according to Wired.