The Monmouth University Polling Institute issued an erroneous and harmful report on the public’s supposed perception of issues facing transgender students in our state. We’re calling on them to do better by LGBTQ+ New Jerseyans.
On August 22, 2023, Monmouth University Polling Institute released a poll report titled “New Jersey: Majority Support Parental Notification for Gender Identity,” which was published – and widely broadcast – by NJ news and social media outlets.
As parents, family members, friends, colleagues, allies, and organizations representing the interests of transgender, non-binary, intersex, of New Jersey youth, we are deeply upset with the poll’s shortcomings. The poll demonstrates a complete lack of sensitivity towards the documented impacts of discrimination on transgender youth, and includes blatantly confusing, conditional and complicated questions regarding the preference for notification practices that would, if adopted, likely violate the Law Against Discrimination in New Jersey.
Were such a poll necessary, it should have provided clearly defined terminology for respondents. It should have demonstrated construction by people with competencies of LGBTQ+ issues, and actually sought the input of people impacted by the issues at hand. Not least, it could have been a poll that acknowledged the existence of transgender people by having gender options that allow respondents to indicate a gender identity representative of their experience and expression in the demographics.
We know that affirming homes and schools are vital to the mental health of LGBTQ+ youth. What is often left out is that mental well-being is a key indicator of a student’s academic success. When they don’t feel safe, their attendance drops and their grades deteriorate, in turn affecting their potential for post-graduation success.
The Polling Institute must do better by our most vulnerable young people.
Add your name below to join the vast coalition of people and organization’s calling on the Monmouth University Polling Institute to do better by LGBTQ+ New Jerseyans.
Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice
Robt Martin Seda-Schreiber, Chief Activist (he/him)
Carol Watchler, Community Outreach Coordinator
Sara Wasserman, Community Organizer (she/her)
Garden State Equality
Christian Fuscarino (he/him), Executive Director
Brielle Winslow-Majette (she/her), Deputy Director
Damien Lopez (he/they), Project Manager & Trainer
Lauren Albrecht (she/her), Director of Advocacy &
Make it Better for Youth
Kate Okeson (she/her), Co-founder & Program Director
Steve Koumoulis (he/him), Education Director
Aaron Potenza (he/him)
Principal, Potenza Public Strategies
Chair, NJ Transgender Equality Task Force
Alicia Raia-Hawrylak, Ph.D. (she/her)
The School Sociologist LLC
Celeste Fiore, Esq, (they/them)
Trans Affirming Alliance
Chris Budin (he/they)
Board Member Unitarian Universalist FaithAction NJ
Sussex County Democratic Committee Representative
Christopher F. Cannella (he/him)
Long time educator and LGBTQIA+ Education Activist
Robyn Gigl, Esq (she/her)
Attorney and Author