Positive media exposure of transgender people has been growing steadily over the past few years, peaking when Bruce Jenner, an Olympic hero and patriarch of America's most famous reality TV clan, debuted her new identity as Caitlyn Jenner on the cover of this month's Vanity Fair. The question, however, is how much Jenner coming forward very publicly with her transition will help general acceptance of transgender people. Well, Quinnipiac decided to find out amongst Florida voters and the results are mostly mixed.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, younger people are much more accepting than older Floridians, while women are significantly more accepting than men.
Qunnipiac first decided to test Jenner's favorability ratings like she was a politician. They found 33 percent of Floridians say they have a favorable opinion of Jenner, while 29 percent say they have an unfavorable opinion. Jenner has a negative seven percent favorability split amongst men, while she enjoys a positive 14 percent favorability split among women.
The Q Poll then asked how much "social acceptance" respondents felt there was in America today for transgendered people. They found 22 percent said there was "a lot," 36 percent said "some" and 31 percent said "a little," while 4 percent said "none at all." These findings remained more or less statistically the same across demographics.
Respondents were then asked whether they thought general acceptance of transgender people would be a good or bad thing for the country. Only 1/5th said it would be a bad thing. Again, women and 18 to 34-year-olds are noticeably more supportive.
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The poll found 29 percent said Jenner's story will make people more accepting of transgender people. Just 7 percent said Jenner's tale would make people less accepting, and 55 percent said it won't change.
One a personal level, however, when respondents were asked if Jenner's story made them change their mind about transgendered people, very few said it actually did. Just 12 percent of men actually said it had made them less accepting.
Of course, transgender rights have been an issue for both many local governments in Florida in recent years and the state government as well. Miami-Dade County finally passed an ordinance adding gender identity to its human rights ordinance. Meanwhile, a bill that would have effectively banned trans people from using their bathrooms of choice in public died in the state House this session.