The Remarkable Rise of Transgender Rights

Jami K. Taylor, Daniel C. Lewis, and Donald P. Haider-Markel

How a small, seemingly marginalized group becomes a political force


While medical identification and treatment of gender dysphoria have existed for decades, the development of transgender as a “collective political identity” is a recent construct. Over the past twenty-five years, the transgender movement has gained statutory nondiscrimination protections at the state and local levels, hate crimes protections in a number of states, inclusion in a federal law against hate crimes, legal victories in the courts, and increasingly favorable policies in bureaucracies at all levels. It has achieved these victories despite the relatively small number of trans people and despite the widespread discrimination, poverty, and violence experienced by many in the transgender community. This is a remarkable achievement in a political system where public policy often favors those with important resources that the transgender community lacks: access, money, and voters. The Remarkable Rise of Transgender Rights explains the growth of the transgender rights movement despite its marginalized status within the current political opportunity structure.

The Remarkable Rise of Transgender Rights not only is the first comprehensive treatment of the success of the trans rights movement, but also serves as a blue print for any other ‘essentially contested rights’ movement. If I may make a bold prediction, this will become the model by which other rights treatment books are structured and judged.”
—Charles Anthony Smith, University of California, Irvine
“The authors have done an excellent job in tackling a complicated and compelling set of issues with humanity, eloquence, and rigor.  This book will be of interest to faculty, to students, and to members of the larger LGBTQ community, including activists. Highly recommended!”
—Craig Rimmerman, Hobart and William Smith Colleges
“How did a minority group within a minority group become recognized in a majoritarian political system?  The Remarkable Rise of Transgender Rights details the complex path of this stunning development in the LGBT movement and U.S. politics over the past thirty years.  This is an important book that should be read widely.”
—Susan Burgess, Ohio University
Cover: Credit Dan Adamson

Jami K. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Toledo.
Daniel C. Lewis is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science & International Relations, and Faculty Fellow for the Community Policy Institute at Siena College.
Donald P. Haider-Markel is Professor and Chair of the Political Science Department at the University of Kansas.

Praise / Awards

  • "This is another book book backed up by an impressive array of quantitative and qualitative data, including several national surveys; the power of the various chapters is also supplemented by the authors' decision to coauthor several of them with noted experts in LGBT politics subfields, including Andrew Flores, Patrick Miller, and Barry Tadlock on public opinion; Jason Pierceson on judicial politics; Mitchell Sellers on executive branch politics; and Ryan Combs on health care politics...[which] allows for individual chapters to be strongly in conversation with their relevant literatures and enhances the overall quality of the book."
    --The Journal of Politics
  • "The book’s scope and depth offer readers a comprehensive introduction to the current trans policy landscape ... Versatile and accessible to readers in any field, it would be a  useful text for graduate and undergraduate courses in Public Policy, Law, Legal Studies, Sociology of Law, and Political Sociology."
    --Gender & Society
  • "This book is required reading for anyone interested in the transgender movement and its transforming impact on US policies...Highly recommended."
    --Choice Reviews
  • "Careful organization lends academic heft and value to the volume ... This book is strongly recommended for academic and law libraries, attorneys with a civil rights practice, government and nonprofit leaders invested in greater equality, and anyone wishing to learn more about gender identity and the law."
    --Law Library Journal
  • "This comprehensive and well-written explanation for the successes of the transgender movement is sure to become a standard reference for scholars of LGBTQ politics as well as for community activists hoping to protect those accomplishments and push for future gains."
    --Perspectives on Politics
  • "An exciting new resource for teaching community-engaged practice, policy, advocacy, and human rights courses within social work education ... [The authors'] 'cautious optimism for the future' injects a welcome note of hope for all those working for equity and social justice."
    --Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work
  • Honorable Mention: American Political Science Association 2018 Human Rights Section Best Book Award

Look Inside

News, Reviews, Interviews

Listen: Daniel Lewis interviewed on Link | 8/29/2017

Read: The Remarkable Rise of Transgender Rights featured on Inside Higher Ed Link | 10/26/2018

Read: Daniel Lewis interviewed by The Promethean Link | 11/02/2018

Read: Don Haider-Markel interviewed by University of Kansas Link | 11/07/2018

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 440pp.
  • 18 charts, 7 maps, 32 tables.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2018
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-07401-3

Add to Cart
  • $94.95 U.S.

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  • Transgender rights; LGBT; rights; Public policy; Public opinion; American politics; U.S.; America; Social movements; State politics; Interest groups; Judicial politics; Legislative politics; Executive politics; Federalism; gender; interview; equality; legislation;