It turns out that the controversial bathroom debate, which has closely divided much of the American public, is actually not nearly as much of a debate for Millennials.
According to a recent USA Today/Rock The Vote survey, Millennials are not as divided as the rest of the nation on the issue of transgender individuals’ use of public restrooms. The survey found that 18-35 year olds believe, by a 62% by 32% margin, that transgender individuals should have the right to use a restroom associated with the gender they identify with as opposed to the sex listed on their birth certificate.
In an interview with USA Today, one polled Millennial explained: “We have bigger problems in life than focusing on somebody’s gender… It is their life; they are not hurting anybody, and we should be focusing more on what is actually more important, like terrorism and drug trafficking.”
By comparison, Americans who are older than Millennials are much more closely divided on the issue of transgender bathroom usage. In a Reuters/Ipsos poll, 43% to 41% of overall American public believe that transgender individuals should be limited to using a public restroom for the gender that they were born.
If you look at the data even closer you will see that Millennials identify more as “liberal” or “libertarian” when it comes to social issues; in particular, 53% of this new generation think of themselves as liberal, but only 26% self-identify as conservative. However, this population is more closely divided on non-social issues, like on economic issues and foreign policy.
So while Millennials are frequently known for their need for instant gratification and on-demand services, their desire for flex hours and telework options, their connectivity and constant Facebook updates, and their willingness to wait for marriage and other commitments in life, it appears we can now have some faith that Millennials will help the American public past some of the discriminatory beliefs of the past.