A new poll conducted by the liberal-leaning Washington Post / Kaiser Family Foundation found some fascinating new information about transgender individuals and their public identities. According to the poll, most adults who identify as transgender don’t actually consistently present themselves as the opposite sex. Only half of them do so all or most of the time. That means that the majority of transgender adults don’t necessarily fit the traditional gender binary that we’ve all been subjected to.
The poll also found that fewer than half of transgender adults identify as transgender women or men. Instead, a whopping 40% of them identified as “trans, nonbinary,” and 22% identified as “trans, gender non-conforming.” Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with these terms, nonbinary people feel that they don’t fit into the category of male or female, while gender non-conforming people feel that they don’t fit into conventional gender norms.
So what does all of this mean? Well, according to Josie Nixon, a 30-year-old who identifies as nonbinary, there’s a pushback against the idea that we have to fit into one of those binary boxes. As more and more young people explore their identities, they’re realizing that these boxes don’t necessarily represent them in a way that encompasses all of who they are.
“There are certainly binary trans men and women who fit well in those boxes and love being there, but I think there is a trend, especially as more young people find themselves, to say, ‘These boxes don’t do me justice, and they don’t represent me in a way that encompasses all of who I am, so I’d rather exist in between or outside those boxes.’”Josie Nixon
Now, let’s talk about medical transition. According to the poll, it’s actually quite rare among transgender adults. Only a small percentage have ever used puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones, and even fewer have undergone surgical procedures for the purpose of gender transition. “While social transition was common among respondents, medical transition was rare. Fewer than a third of transgender people had ever used puberty blockers or cross-sex hormones, and only one in six had undergone surgical procedures for the purpose of gender transition, according to the poll.”
But here’s the kicker; despite the lack of medical transition, a staggering 78% of transgender adults reported serious mental health problems. That’s compared to just 32% of the U.S. overall. That’s a concerning statistic, and one that we need to pay attention to.