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Blacks are split on transgender and nonbinary equality

Discussions about gender equality and feminism have a long history among Black Americans and according to a recent Pew Research Center study,


Six-in-ten adults say Blacks should prioritize the struggle against racism over other inequalities.

Discussions about gender equality and feminism have a long history among Black Americans and according to a recent Pew Research Center study, Black adults are split over how much society should accept transgender people.

The Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan, non advocacy fact tank that informs the public about the  issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. The Center conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, computational social science research and  other data-driven research.

In recent years, Pew Research Center has conducted multiple studies that focus on gender and  gender identity.

According to the Pew final report, “Black Americans Firmly Support Gender Equality but Are Split on Transgender and Nonbinary Issues,” about six-in-ten non-Hispanic Black adults (62%) say Black people should prioritize the struggle against racism over other inequalities. Meanwhile, three-in-ten Black adults say the opposite: that racism should not be prioritized over other inequalities.

Among the 30% who say racism should not be prioritized, most say this is because racism is just as important as other inequalities or that racism is interconnected with other inequalities.

According to the Williams Institute, at least 1 million Black adults in the U.S. are lesbian, gay,  bisexual or transgender (LGBT), making up 12% of the nation’s LGBT population.

LGBT Black  Americans are younger than non-LGBT Black adults, with nearly 60% under age 35 compared with 34% of non-LGBT Black adults. Women comprise a larger share of LGBT Black adults than of  non-LGBT Black adults, and LGBT Black adults are slightly less likely to live in the South than the  rest of the Black population.

Black LGBT and non-LGBT adults do not differ in their sense of belonging to their own race. Nearly half of both groups say they feel connected to Black communities. And 62% of Black lesbian, gay or bisexual adults and 29% of Black transgender adults say they feel a part of the  larger LGBT community.

Still, over half of Black LGBT adults (55%) say the city or area they live in is not a good place for  transgender people, and 39% say their areas are not safe for lesbian, gay or bisexual people. The majority of Black LGBT people say they  have experienced verbal insults or abuse (79%)  or have been threatened with violence (60%).

Only 13% of non-Hispanic Black adults  say that U.S. society is extremely or very  accepting of transgender people.

However, Black adults are split in their views  on how accepting society should be. While 36%  say society has not gone far enough in accepting transgender, 31% say the level  of acceptance in society has been about right and 29% say it has gone too far.

And while  about four-in-ten Black adults (41%) say views  about transgender people and issues are changing at the right speed, roughly a third (34%) say they are changing too quickly.

When it comes to sharing their  views about gender and gender  equality, Black adults are more likely to do so in conversations with family or friends (51%) than to post or share content.

Black Americans are more likely to know someone who is transgender or nonbinary  than to identify as such themselves. About 1.4% of Black adults are transgender or nonbinary. However, 35% of Black adults say they know someone who is transgender. And among  those who have heard at least a little about people who do not identify as a man or woman, 26%  say they know someone who identifies this way.

While there are no clear majority opinions on these issues among Black adults, they are less likely  than the general public to say our society has gone too far in accepting people who are transgender  (29% vs. 38%).

More than 25,000 respondents were recruited through national, random sampling of residential  addresses. Recruiting panelists by mail ensures that nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of  selection. For more information on the four focused surveys conducted for the report, which were held from 2019 to 2022, visit