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?