Non-Binary and Binary Gender Identity in Australian Trans and Gender Diverse Individuals

Ada S. Cheung, Shalem Y. Leemaqz, John W.P. Wong, Denise Chew, Olivia Ooi, Pauline Cundill, Nicholas Silberstein, Peter Locke, Sav Zwickl, Ren Grayson, Jeffrey D. Zajac, Ken C. Pang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Many trans and gender diverse (TGD) people have gender identities that are not exclusively male or female but instead fall in-between or outside of the gender binary (non-binary). It remains unclear if and how those with non-binary gender identity differ from TGD individuals with binary identities. We aimed to understand the sociodemographic and mental health characteristics of people with non-binary identities compared with binary TGD identities. We performed a retrospective audit of new consultations for gender dysphoria between 2011 and 2016 in three clinical settings in Melbourne, Australia; (1) Equinox Clinic, an adult primary care clinic, (2) an adult endocrine specialist clinic, and (3) the Royal Children’s Hospital, a child and adolescent specialist referral clinic. Age (grouped by decade), gender identity, sociodemographic, and mental health conditions were recorded. Of 895 TGD individuals, 128 (14.3%) had a non-binary gender. Proportions differed by clinical setting; 30.4% of people attending the adult primary care clinic, 7.4% attending the adult endocrine specialist clinic, and 8.0% attending the pediatric clinic identified as non-binary. A total of 29% of people in the 21–30-year-old age-group had a non-binary gender identity, higher than all other age-groups. Compared to TGD people with a binary gender identity, non-binary people had lower rates of gender-affirming interventions, and a higher prevalence of depression, anxiety, and illicit drug use. Tailoring clinical services to be inclusive of non-binary people and strategies to support mental health are required. Further research to better understand health needs and guide evidence-based gender-affirming interventions for non-binary people are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2673-2681
Number of pages9
JournalARCHIVES OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOR
Volume49
Issue number7
Early online date13 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gender dysphoria
  • Gender identity
  • Non-Binary
  • Transgender
  • Transsexualism

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