Since the mid-1990s, there has been a seismic shift in attitudes toward gay and lesbian people, with a majority of Americans now supporting same-sex marriage and relations between same-sex, consenting adults. However, support for transgender individuals lags far behind; a significant majority of Americans do not support the right of transgender people to be free from discrimination in housing, employment, public spaces, health care, legal documents, and other areas. Much of this is due to deeply entrenched ideas about the definition of gender, perceptions that transgender people are not "real" or are suffering from mental illness, and fears that extending rights to transgender people will come at the expense of the rights of others. So how do you get people to rethink their prejudices?
So, how do you get people to rethink their prejudices?
Melissa R. Michelson is Professor of Political Science at Menlo College.
Brian F. Harrison is a Lecturer at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and Founder and President of Voters for Equality.
They are authors of Listen, We Need to Talk: How to Change Attitudes about LGBT Rights.