A new Washington Post poll about Americans’ views of transgender athletes offers a lot to think about. I found the margins more interesting than the headline. Like, who are these 2% of people who think that transgender girls are at a physical disadvantage when they compete against cisgender girls in youth sports? Why would they think that?
Another takeaway is that 16% of respondents have a close friend or family member who is transgender. One in six! As a writer and cartoonist who works from home â€” but in New York City, the most diverse city in the country â€” clearly, I need to get out and meet more people. Last week, a Pew poll found that about 1% of Americans are nonbinary, a figure that rises to 3% for people ages 18 to 29. I know hundreds of people, including lots of Millennials. How come I don’t know anyone nonbinary in a country with 3.3 million of them?
But what I’ve been thinking about most is an issue that is so baked into our society that it is no issue at all: the idea that competition is a good thing.
Most respondents to the Post survey oppose allowing trans women to participate against cis women in competitive sports at any level. Yet a majority are also concerned that the mental health of transgender athletes might suffer as a result of such a ban â€” meaning that, even among some of those who view such competition as unfair,