Can't believe we have to say this, but they are not.
If you think that corporations changing their profile pictures into rainbows means that the LGBTQ+ community has achieved equal rights, then I have some pretty awful news. Despite having zero evidence to back up their opinions, a recent survey from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) found that a majority of Republicans — a gag-worthy 63% — believe that trans adults “are trying to indoctrinate children into” being trans.
The SPLC, a non-profit that monitors and fights hate groups around the country, paired up with Tulchin Research to poll 1,500 American adults and gauge the extent to which emerging far-right ideas, including the notion that trans people are spreading some sort of trans agenda, have infiltrated the mainstream Republican Party. Unfortunately, it seems like those ideas have been pretty successful so far.
They also found that, among all the respondents, one-third of adults (including 23% of Democrats and 39% of Republicans) believe that trans people are a threat to children and nearly half believe that “gender ideology” has corrupted American society. In case you don’t know, gender ideology is a global conspiracy theory behind a bunch of homophobic and transphobic laws, including Florida’s so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which theorizes that “elites” are trying to destroy society by imposing new ideas about gender and race.
Conservatives in America always seem hell-bent on finding a group of people to scapegoat, whether it’s immigrants, people of color, or the LGBTQ+. Their new favorite target is now trans people, but they’re drawing from an old, tired playbook: The current anti-trans campaign is very reminiscent of the “Save Our Children” campaign of the 1970s, in which fundamentalist Anita Bryant infamously said that “homosexuals cannot reproduce, so they must recruit.”
We should all be concerned about growing anti-trans sentiment and make the effort to talk to the people in our lives who might be prone to right-wing misinformation. But we should also take some comfort in knowing that if history has been any indicator, bigoted lies like this will — just like Anita Bryant — age horrendously.