Transgender activism is failing. Badly. A new Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll is definitive. Americans aren’t buying the trans fairytale about magical, shapeshifting creatures who can will themselves into anything they want and live happily ever after. “Most Americans don’t believe it’s even possible to be a gender that differs from that assigned at birth,” report Laura Meckler and Scott Clement. And if the poll didn’t use the false and misleading “assigned at birth” formulation, you can bet that the number of Americans who say that gender is a simple chromosomal reality would be even greater than the 57 percent majority reported here.
The Post’s report on the poll is an exercise in struggling with harsh facts, beginning with the headline: “Most Americans support anti-trans policies favored by GOP, poll shows.” It’s not “anti-trans” to recognize that sex is immutable. It’s pro-reality.
And the numbers reveal a much saner country than you might infer from observing media and politicians. Not only do majorities in every age category believe that one’s sex is locked in at birth, but most Americans are opposed to trans females competing against biological females at every level of athletics—from youth sports (62 percent) to the pros (65 percent). Sixty-eight percent of respondents are against access to puberty blockers for children aged 10 to 14 and 58 percent oppose hormonal treatments for trans teens aged 15 to 17. Large majorities believe it’s “inappropriate for teachers to discuss trans identity in elementary schools.” For kindergarten through third grade, 77 percent are against it; for fourth and fifth grades, 70 percent are against. A slim majority (52 percent) support such discussion in middle schools and a full 64 support it in high schools.
How did this happen? In 2012, the country flipped in favor of same-sex marriage virtually overnight. This left vast activist networks suddenly without purpose. Money, contacts, lobbying know-how—all of it rendered useless. Well, that can’t happen. In the manner of MoveOn—which was founded to defend Bill Clinton from impeachment and then transformed into an anti-Bush group once Clinton was out of office—the gay-marriage movement was repurposed. But its new cause has proved too much for too many. And it has replaced disenchanted former allies with a new generation of unhinged radicals. These extremists overplayed their hand, wallpapering the world with anti-scientific, face-value lunacy and insisting that if you didn’t believe it, you were a monster. The more that Americans were exposed to this stuff, the more they rejected it. Numbers bear that out, too. The Post reports: “The Pew Research Center found 60 percent last year saying one’s gender is determined by the sex assigned at birth, up from 54 percent in 2017.” This is what happens when you embrace a self-discrediting cause.
The wave of progressive coping that’s coming our way will be spectacular. From the Post: “interviews and other poll findings suggest that many Americans hold complicated and sometimes contradictory views on the subject.” What’s their example of such a contradictory view? “While a majority of Americans oppose access to puberty blockers and hormone treatments for children and teenagers, for instance, clear majorities also support laws prohibiting discrimination against trans people, including in K-12 schools.” As if it’s inconsistent to oppose both the medical disfigurement and social mistreatment of children.
That’s only a contradiction in the bubble-mind of identitarian zealots, who genuinely believe that the average American opposes puberty blockers or hormones for children because he’s a bigot. Some parts of corporate and political America have been captured by these types. But as Americans continue to make their opinions known, as consumers and voters, gender sanity will retake institutions. If the Washington Post is an indication, it’s going to be an entertaining process.