Empirical data that shows people finding happiness is good news

We can make all kinds of arguments about what defines or doesn’t define a sex, but it really doesn’t matter — especially when it’s from a stock vanilla cishet person like Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, or me. What we should be discussing is the lived experience of trans people who are better acquainted with the actual life in a trans body.

So they did.

The report, called the 2022 US Trans Survey, presents an early look at findings from a survey of more than 92,000 people who identify as binary or nonbinary transgender adults. It is the first such report since the NCTE produced a survey of more than 28,000 individuals in 2015. Individuals were asked a variety of more than 600 possible questions. No respondent received all questions.

Importantly, the transgender survey is large but is not random. Although surveyors weighted the responses to try to account for biases, people who took the survey might still be unrepresentative of transgender people living in the US as a whole.

The report found that 94% of transgender individuals who live at least part of the time in a gender different from the one they were assigned at birth – in other words, who “transitioned” – were either “a lot” (79%) or “a little more satisfied” (15%) with their lives. Nearly 98% of respondents were receiving some kind of hormone replacement therapy, which made them “a lot” (84%) or “a little” (14%) more satisfied with their lives.

I don’t think the report will convince the opposition to shut the fuck up, unfortunately. I predict two responses. One, they’ll focus on the 6% (although it’s actually less than 1% who were unhappy after hormone treatments or surgery) and shriek about their ruined lives while ignoring the majority of successful outcomes, and not bothering to ask what went wrong in that minority. Two, they’ll point to the study as proof that they were right all along, see how seductive the trans lifestyle is? I remember how the anti-gay people moaned about how appealing the self-indulgent, self-gratifying, sybaritic gay life was, and how we must ban all gay references to keep our children from falling into the trap. This is the same thing. They’re going to call this study trans propaganda and ignore the actual data.

The one thing I can say as a stock vanilla cishet person is that no, I’m not going to suddenly shed all my sexual preferences and change my interests because I see somebody else having a good time. I’m going to be happy for them. What’s the matter with those people who’d rather others were unhappy?


  1. says

    Two, they’ll point to the study as proof that they were right all along, see how seductive the trans lifestyle is?

    Which is a clear indication of just how bad-faith their talking points are. Transitioning is a miserable experience that everyone regrets and immediately detransitions, but also Big Pharma wants you to try transitioning even for a moment because you’ll like it so much you’ll be taking medicine for life (and what could possibly be worse than getting health care?)

  2. says

    The point being they don’t actually believe any of it: they just say whatever they think in the moment can rationalize their pre-existing hatred of trans people.

  3. cartomancer says

    The self-indulgent, self-gratifying, sybaritic gay lifestyle is rather harder to secure than people are led to believe. The amount of work one has to put in to get any of it is frankly exhausting.

  4. raven says

    The Trans people haters always lie about everything.
    Which shows you how valid the basis for their hate is, which is about zero.

    One of their common lies is that Trans people often regret their decisions to transition.
    Here is what this new survey says about regret.

    Of those respondents on hormone therapy, 98% reported some degree of improvement in their lives; 97% of those who received some type of gender-affirming surgery reported the same.

    Only 3% of those who had transitioned in some way said their satisfaction with life had declined overall.

    Regret runs around 3% of those who transition.

    This is very low.
    Who hasn’t regretted something in their lives?
    It is a common and universal occurrence.

    .1. Half of all people regret getting married since the divorce rate is 50%.

    .2. According to a 2021 study published in PLOS ONE covering the United States and Europe, somewhere between 8 percent and 17 percent of parents regret having children.

    8% to 17% of Americans regret having children.
    This is a permanent irreversible decision that lasts at least 18 years.
    In theory anyway.
    Every day we read about children being killed by their parents. Many are abandoned to the foster child system, and parents walking out, usually the father but not always, and disappearing are very common.

  5. Hex says

    Before I started HRT, I was severely depressed most of my life. Had about a dozen suicide attempts, hospitalized multiple times. I hated the way I felt in my body, hated the gender expectations placed on me solely because of the organs I was born with, and thought there was no way out of my dysphoria other than suicide. HRT not only changed my body, but also regulated my mood in ways that helped make me far more stable. Getting the gender-affirming surgery I wanted obliterated one of the biggest sources of discomfort I had about my body. It helped give me confidence, I started meeting and socializing with more people, and now I have a wonderful community of loved ones (including two romantic partners of 3.5 and 2.5 years going strong) and I actually feel happy for once. I’ve introduced my parents to them and a few other friends and seeing me happier than they’d ever seen me before has alleviated any concerns they had when I initially came out to them.

    That’s why the upswing on GOP attacks against us, leaving half the country uninhabitable safely for us, has been especially horrific. For decades of our lives, we’ve suffered, with many of my friends not surviving past their 20s, but many of us finally found happiness and community and meaning, and the GOP wants to absolutely eradicate us and the Democrats won’t do anything of substance. The former is a party that wants to put us into concentration camps and the latter is a party that will let them and criticize anyone who fights back as being “uncivil”. They are so obsessed with law and order that they will allow genocide if it follows the law (or in the case of Palestine, straight up encourage it). My life so far has taught me that while there is good in the world, systems of power need dismantled if there is ever to be any ongoing justice for people like me, and more people need to advocate for radical systemic change and direct action if there is to be hope, which unfortunately does not seem to be a message barely anyone outside of the most marginalized groups seems to understand right now.

  6. dstatton says

    II think you have it right. They can’t stand to see them happy. They lead miserable lives. I have always said that I favor gay marriage because it makes them happy. They are against it for the same reason.

  7. brightmoon says

    I had always thought about Christine Jorgenson as happy after transitioning so I kinda thought that the anti trans crowd was missing something in their tales of trans woe. I never realized over 95% were happy to have transitioned . 🤯 and glad for it .

  8. John Morales says

    In the news: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/feb/08/japan-transgender-man-status-change-ruling-court-sterilisation

    A court in western Japan has approved a transgender man’s request to have his gender changed in official records without undergoing sterilisation surgery, the first known ruling of its kind since the country’s top court struck down a surgery requirement for such record changes.

    Tacaquito Usui, 50, could get the gender listed for him in his family registry updated to male, the Okayama family court’s Tsuyama branch ruled on Wednesday. Usui’s original application for the revision was rejected five years ago.

    “It’s like I’m standing at the start line of my new life,” he said during a televised news conference after the ruling came out. “I’m so excited.”


    The Okayama court found that the hormone therapy Usui received made him eligible for gender affirmation. Usui welcomed the recognition, saying he thought the law in Japan might be evolving faster than public awareness.

    Many LGBTQ+ people in Japan still hide their sexual orientations and gender identities due to fear of discrimination at work and schools. The country remains the only Group of Seven member state that does not allow same-sex marriage.

  9. StevoR says

    The puritans, the haters, always somehow hate to see people being happy.

    From Prohibtionand dnacing topeople being trans.

    Its like they think being miserable is mandatory just becoz they are and people can’t enjoy life for ..some reason.

  10. StevoR says

    They think aloving and merciful diety wants everyobne to ..be repressed and depressed and suffer and be intorment becoz .. Y?

  11. John Morales says

    In the news: https://slate.com/technology/2024/02/transgender-youth-health-care-regret-pamela-paul-nyt-data.html

    Now, I have no particular stake here. I’m not trans, I don’t work in that area of health care, and I’m a cis man. I am, however, an epidemiologist, and I spend a lot of my time checking scientific facts that are online with the goal of helping people better understand health, science, and how the media covers those things. In this case, one key question arose from the New York Times piece that author Pamela Paul did not really answer: What proportion of people who access medical care to transition genders regret doing so?

    You might answer, “Why does anyone care?,” which is, to be honest, not unreasonable. Some proportion of people experience regret for any medical procedure, from chemotherapy to orthopedic surgery. Nonetheless, we don’t see op-eds about the awful risks of hip replacements. It’s inevitable that some percentage of teens who transition will regret it; the real question is whether the medical care is beneficial on the whole—not whether the occasional person later regrets a medical choice they made in their youth.

    It’s also important to note that we don’t really care about the crude *number* of people who regret transition, we care about the rate. If more people choose to transition, then more people, in total, will regret it. If the number of people transitioning goes from (to use arbitrary numbers) 1,000 to 100,000, but the number of people regretting it goes from 50 to 100, then the rate has dropped massively and it’s a very good thing, even though the crude number has doubled.

  12. Silentbob says

    Just to cast raven’s excellent comment #5 into harsher relief: Focussing specifically on surgery – y’know the “mutilation” and “irreversible damage” that’s supposed to be a big problem – out of thousands of trans people, 1% reported significant dissatisfaction following surgery. 97% reported greater satisfaction after surgery, the overwhelming majority being “a lot” more satisfied.

    Here’s a graphic (courtesy of Oolon).

    Any time your have bigots claiming we have to ban or restrict medical transition because of the possibility of “regret”, show them this graphic and ask why they think the 97% should be condemned to dissatisfaction for the rest of their lives to supposedly save the 1%. It’s insane.


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