Transgender people are at 25 times greater risk of abuse, assault and suicide than the general population, the study authors note. And as transgender rights come increasingly into the public eye, advocates fear that this could prompt a backlash against an already marginalized community.
During the south Florida effort, Broockman and Kalla set up an experiment in which 56 canvassers went door-to-door and encouraged active perspective-taking with 501 voters. They were asked to think of a time when they had felt mistreated for being different. The scientists also canvassed a control group of respondents about recycling. The researchers followed up with online surveys at three days, three weeks, six weeks and three months.
The scientists found that those who were asked to do analogic perspective-taking were significantly more likely to exhibit a higher tolerance toward transgender people than those who were in the control group. The effect, the researchers said, represented an even greater attitude change than the shift in American attitudes between 1998 and 2012 toward gays and lesbians.
“They’ve made their entire process enormously transparent,” Paluck said in an interview, “so that’s one reason to trust in the results. They’re part of a growing number of social scientists who have been responding to concerns about psychology, social science and economics and how untransparent their results are.”
Full Story Here. The Advocate has also covered this story. I don’t find this surprising in the least. The governor of South Dakota ended up vetoing their transgender hate legislation after meeting with transgender representatives and allies. I expect most people have a nebulous, fearsome image in their heads which is based on absolute ignorance. Being faced with regular people is probably enough of a shock to get people thinking.
Unfortunately, bigotry is still going like a world on fire, and Kansas, Tennessee, and SC are all jumping on board.
Sam Brownback, the Republican Kansas governor, is currently pursuing a policy change that would create more bureacratic barriers for transgender people to legally change the gender on their birth certificate.
As the law stands now, anyone in Kansas can change the gender on their birth certificate by “providing a medical certificate substantiating that a physiological or anatomical change occurred or by signing an affidavit saying that the gender was incorrectly recorded,” reports The Wichita Eagle.
Brownback proposes to allow a person to change the gender on their birth certificate only if they sign an affidavit saying the gender was wrongly recorded at birth and provide medical records to prove it. This would effectively prevent trans people from making post-transition alterations to their birth certificate.
The proposed new policy was developed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and would require no new legislation to enact.
A far-right South Carolina state senator has introduced a bill that would prevent local governments from adopting ordinances that affirm transgender people’s right to use the restrooms, locker rooms, and other sex-segregated facilities that match their gender identity.
Republican Sen. Lee Bright, who has a long anti-LGBT record, introduced Senate Bill 1203 Wednesday, reports The Post and Courier of Charleston. He promoted the bill using an argument that has been soundly, repeatedlydebunked — that transgender people somehow pose a threat to women and children. He also asserted that trans people’s gender is a figment of their imagination.
“There’s a segment of the population that believes that you ought to be able to use whatever restroom you identify yourself as being,” he said Wednesday, according to the paper. “So they think it’s OK for a man to use a woman’s bathroom if he thinks he’s a woman. From a safety issue, we don’t need men going in women’s bathrooms.”
UPDATE ON THAT LAST: S.C. Governor Comes Out Against Proposed Anti-Trans ‘Bathroom Bill’.
But according to The Washington Post, Nikki Haley, the state’s Republican governor, doesn’t see the need for SB 2013. “I don’t believe it’s necessary,” Haley said. “When I look at South Carolina, we look at our situations, we’re not hearing of anybody’s religious liberties that are being violated, and we’re again not hearing any citizens that feel like they’re being violated in terms of freedoms.”
Haley told reporters that she hasn’t heard complaints about trans people in South Carolina posing a danger to others in public bathrooms.
“I can see no logical reason why we would entertain such a ridiculous measure,” added state Sen. Joel Lourie, a Democrat who has often clashed with Bright. “We don’t need to join in this national conversation that can result in serious economic problems for this state.”