Toward Nonbinary Nuance in Research and Care: Mapping Differences in Gender Affirmation and Transgender Congruence in an Online National U.S. Survey

Aaron S. Breslow, Hailey Wojcik, Robert Cox, Nathaniel M. Tran, Melanie E. Brewster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To close gaps in transgender health research, we mapped trends in gender affirmation processes (i.e., social, legal, and psychological transitions) that are unique among nonbinary (NB) transgender adults when compared with transgender women (TW) and transgender men (TM). Methods: Data were drawn from the Columbia Trans Empowerment Survey (N=707), an online national study conducted between 2014 and 2015 in the United States. We used one-way analysis of variance tests, chi-square tests, Kruskal-Wallis tests, and post hoc analyses to estimate differences in gender affirmation processes and transgender congruence between: (1) NB adults, n=271, 38%; (2) TW, n=291, 41%; and (3) TM, n=145, 21%. We then identified bivariate correlations between variables of interest. Results: In the full sample (n=707), we found significant positive bivariate correlations between pursuing gender affirmation and transgender congruence. In terms of demographics, NB participants were significantly more likely to be queer (42.1%), polyamorous (25.5%), unemployed (44.8%), and younger (median=22) than TW and TM. They also reported taking significantly fewer gender affirmation processes, with significant differences between the three groups in terms of particular experiences. The NB participants also reported significantly lower rates of transgender congruence, specifically lower appearance congruence though similar gender identity acceptance. Conclusion: The NB transgender adults in this sample report unique identity-related characteristics, including significantly lower rates of medical/social transition as well as decreased transgender congruence. These data are among the first to describe unique pathways by which NB adults, TW, and TM may pursue gender affirmation and interact with providers as they navigate congruence, transition, and well-being.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-163
Number of pages8
JournalTransgender Health
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Keywords

  • congruence
  • gender affirmation
  • nonbinary
  • transgender
  • transition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

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