In a survey conducted by LGBTQIA+ mental health organisation the Trevor Project, it has been found that over one in four LGBTQIA+ youth identified as non-binary, reports Time.
To define the term non-binary, it covers individuals who do not identify with the construction of a gender binary (male or female and in turn, do not identify solely with masculinity or femininity). According to Time, the term has often been associated with a transgender or transitioning person. The survey results showed that only half of the respondents who identified as non-binary also identified as transgender. Non-binary people often prefer gender neutral pronouns such as they/them.
The Trevor Project’s survey was conducted from October to December in 2020 and involved surveying 34,700 LGBTQIA+ youth in the US. The results were released Monday, July 12 and found that the individuals who identified as non-binary were from consistently different age, racial and ethnic groups demonstrating a diverse transcendence of backgrounds.
Jonah DeChants, a research scientist at the Trevor Project, believes that young people have developed a new language and fluency surrounding conversations about gender. “More and more young people are taking control over their gender identity, and finding language and terms that resonate with them.”
DeChants continues, “And expressing that in the world in [ways] that we haven’t necessarily seen in the past.”
According to the Trevor Project, misgendering and using incorrect pronouns is one of the leading causes of stress for LGBTQIA+ youth at risk. The results recorded that youth who didn’t feel that their identities were being affirmed had a 2.5 times higher rate of attempting suicide.
DeChant says, “Sometimes folks who are in that affirming position, like teachers, coaches or parents, we don’t always understand the impact that we’re having on a young person in that moment.”
So that is a key takeaway for me—that we can all be that person who provides that respect and affirmation for the trans and non-binary people in our lives,” says DeChant.