While an additional response of “no service” would not prove this out, the responses would be interesting. A study some years ago showed that prevalence of crossdressers in military is three times as great as it is in the general population. I have demographic research based on interviews with nearly 200 crossdressers looking to join a crossdresser support group. I compared results to other survey data. One of many conclusions was that applicants with military or law enforcement backgrounds is surprisingly high.
I have used my demographics to develop an 11-question multiple choice quiz which I give to university classes and other groups interested in such things. I compare results to what one might expect from random guessing. When designing the questionnaire I expected most respondents to ace the quiz. I discovered, however, that random guessing often produces more accurate results than perceptions of even those well educated in gender topics. One of my questions centers on this topic.
As time has advanced and awareness and acceptance of the transgender population has increased, I figured scores would improve. But the reverse is true. Why? We tend to draw personal conclusions from personal observations.
As just one example, many may be unaware of the prevalence of crossdressers in our midst unless we attend a drag show or see a TV show centering on this topic. So someone might reason, for instance, “performers in drag shows crossdress; most performers in drag shows are gay; therefore most crossdressers perform in drag shows and are gay.”
Or see if this fits closer to home: “A MtoF crossdresser usually uses the women’s restroom when dressed. Someone using a ladies’ room must believe they are a lady. To use a lady’s room one must identify as a woman.” Ergo: some legislation mandates that one should use the restroom for the sex with which they identify. A male who identifies as a male but dresses as a female must use the men’s room when dressed as a female.
I now realize that my primary goal in asking such questions should not be to educate folks on what is the most accurate answer, but on helping folks realize how easily our conclusions are influenced by perceptions based on limited personal observations, which can easily lead to false conclusions. It is critical to be well informed of the facts before offering an opinion which can often cause more harm than good, even lead to legislation which can be harmful to many in our community.
Of hundreds who have taken my quiz, encompassing all sections of the population, including transgender people and professors of gender topics, no one has ever aced the quiz. Even those of us in the community know far less than we think we do. Personal experience and conclusions drawn therefrom is often a poor barometer for generalizing and projecting to broader populations. We can all benefit by keeping an open mind and recognizing how different we truly are, yet how we ALL serve positive purposes, ALL deserve positive recognition and acceptance for who we are and our right to be who we are, and ALL have unique roles places in a society which can only benefit by synergizing our differences into something greater than any ONE of us can realize on our own.
Indeed, we thank ALL those who have served for their service, guarding our freedom to do and be who we wish, helping make the world a far better place.