Survey: Almost Half of Trans-Identifying People Have Considered Moving to a Blue State
In December, The New York Times’s Jamelle Bouie wrote, “[I]f you want a real sense of the differences between America’s two major parties, … all you have to do is look at the states.” Why? According to Bouie, it’s because “red states and blue states are becoming different countries.” That’s quite the statement to make. However, when you dig deeper, it may not appear all that outlandish after all.
A survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) showed that 47% of over 92,000 transgender and nonbinary-identifying respondents “said they had thought about moving to another state at some point during the past year” due to bills combatting LGBT ideology. According to the results, at least 5%, roughly 4,500 people, have moved already.
The survey collected data between October and December of 2022. The Hill reported that in that year, over 300 bills were introduced in several states aimed at the LGBT agenda. Over 500 bills were introduced in 2023, and 2024 has started off strong with already 400 bills introduced or rolled over from the previous year. The Hill also wrote that the states that contributed the most to the laws people wanted to move away from were Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.
Many of the voices commenting on the survey claimed it proved “how pervasive and damaging … discrimination” is for LGBT-identifying people. Others claimed it was “astonishing” to be forced to move to feel “safe.” However, I would argue these results do not point out any form of discrimination as much as a form of self-governed separation. David Closson, director of the Center for Biblical Worldview at Family Research Council, said it well to The Washington Stand when he emphasized, “It’s going both ways.”
He continued, “I think our worldview, in one sense, is getting nationalized.” He added that “people are fleeing red states” just as “people are fleeing blue states” as they sort “themselves out by worldview.” And in many ways, Closson emphasized that this “self-sorting” is happening “at a degree we haven’t seen before.”
In a “Washington Watch” episode from December 2022, Carl Trueman, a theologian and ecclesiastical historian, shared, “We’ve increasingly focused upon inner feelings as defining who we are.” And if that was true two years ago, it’s certainly all the more true today. He further discussed how this affects the way we view politics. For those who identify with the LGBT narrative, it’s not so surprising to see their reaction, especially today, to the legislation being passed and introduced that counteract with their worldview.
Trueman said, “Once you make sexual desire, once you make inner feelings, the core of who you really are, then legislation that restricts those feelings, legislation that restricts the legitimacy of expressing those inner feelings outwardly, becomes personally oppressive and becomes a matter of political contestation and a matter of political urgency.” Ultimately, he stated, we have a “sexualization of psychology and the politicization of sex.”
Referring to the modern day, Closson stated, “I’m not at all surprised that people with left-leaning political ideologies or liberal worldviews are [increasingly] wanting to be around like-minded” individuals. He also mentioned that he’s not surprised about where they are fleeing to. As he put it, “[T]he closer you get to a coast, the closer you get to a city, and the closer you get to a campus, the more likely you’re going to find a constellation of liberal thinking.”
According to Closson, believers should see this situation as an opportunity.
More specifically, he added, “[A]s Christians, we need to realize that these types of people …. are our mission field. If they … feel that they are being persecuted for their beliefs on whatever the issue is, we need to have compassion. But we also need, [as] Ephesians 4:15 says, to speak the truth in love. And so, we speak the truth related to God’s design for marriage and sexuality” in the most loving way we can.
Closson concluded, “For Christians, this is something that demands our attention because we all know the culture has lost the battle for truth. [But] we’re losing it in the church as well.” Rather than that being a source of discouragement, it should embolden us to stand firm in the truths of Scripture and proclaim them throughout the world — no matter how divided it becomes.
Sarah Holliday is a reporter at The Washington Stand.