LGBT individuals have long shared a home in a community of the misunderstood. A community built not by our respective differences, but by being part of a collective ‘differentness.’ A community in part formed by a society that pressures all things different into one separate category of ‘abnormal,’ i.e., not cisgender and straight. Yet today our communities are moving towards acceptance at varying rates, according to several new Gallup polls. Can LGBT unity continue to exist as one entity, or are we bound to our individual identities?
A recent Gallup poll shows support for both same-sex marriage (64% in favor) and same-sex relationships (72% in favor) at an all-time high. Protestants, who generally rank much lower in support of gay rights than Catholics in the U.S., now hold a majority in favor of gay marriage (55%) for the first time in history. Signs also point to progress for Republicans and Independents in their growing support of gay marriage.
While America is moving in the right direction with regards to gay rights, the overall attitude toward trans rights is still up in the air. Another recent Gallup poll shows that less than half of Americans believe individuals should be allowed to use a restroom based on their gender identity, whereas nearly 50% want to see trans men and women forced into the bathroom of the gender assigned to them at birth.
It’s hard not to wonder if the widening acceptance of gay rights is causing a distance from the trans community. Has the gay community wavered in its support of trans rights? Some transgender and gay individuals have come out in favor of separating the LGB from the T as a form of progress for all communities involved. They bring up the distinct differences between trans and gay rights, and that while both parties can remain fervent allies of one another, there’s an importance that society separate the two, thus separating sexuality and gender. There are also transphobes that have begun a similar movement in the name of hate. In some sort of twisted irony, they have made claims that by needing hormones or surgery, transgender men and women are unnatural.
If there’s one thing that cannot be shaken, it’s the history the LGBT community has endured together. It’s impossible to look at the gay rights movement of the past without also looking at trans history. It would be like someone creating a film about the Stonewall Riots and excluding the predominant trans presence that ignited it.
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