Pew Research: More than 5% of Americans under 30 now identify as transgender or non-binary

More than 5% of U.S. adults under the age of 30 identify as transgender or nonbinary, according to new findings released by Pew Research Center on Tuesday, while 1.6% of U.S. adults of all ages fall into that category, meaning that their “gender is different from the sex they were assigned at birth.”

Within that 5.1% of young adults, 2% are trans and 3% are nonbinary, with an even higher 3.1% of young adults under 25 identifying as transgender. 1 in 5 people said they knew someone who is transgender or non-binary.

“Anti-trans rhetoric and legislation is being pushed by extremists across the country because they need a political target to paint as scary and other  as more Americans come to personally know the trans and nonbinary people in their lives, they can recognize these attacks for what they are: A campaign of hate based on lies,” Olivia Hunt, policy director with the National Center for Transgender Equality, told Yahoo Life.

The findings about how many people know a trans person, she adds, “make it clear that trans people can be known and out as ourselves, and that we have our place in our communities.” 

Hunt went on to say, “Transgender people have always known we’ve been undercounted in population studies, whether it’s because questions were asked in ways set up, either designed or accidentally, to not capture all transgender people’s information, but also because you have trans people not wanting to out themselves to survey takers … for fear of discrimination … as well as a lot of people who were not able to be out as transgender.”

Archie Crowley, who is a transgender and nonbinary doctoral student at the University of South Carolina, was in the process of discovering themselves a decade ago said one of the first sources of information they looked to was transgender people sharing their experiences on YouTube.

“Now people younger than me are pointing to TikTok and Instagram,” said Crowley, who serves as a facilitator for Midlands Area Transgender Support Group in Columbia. “People are able to create and put out their own stories, whereas before, the only way we would find out information was through other media gatekeepers.”

Pew conducted its survey of 10,188 U.S. adults between May 16 and May 22, and weighted it to be representative of the U.S. adult population by gender, race, ethnicity, partisan affiliation, education and other categories. It was part of a larger study, more results of which will be released later this summer.

Some of the new findings were politically divided, with Democrats and independents who lean Democratic more likely than Republicans and Republican leaners to say they know a transgender person. “But Republicans are catching up,” the report notes.

“We have been measuring some of these things since 2017, such as the percentage of people who know someone trans,” Pew research associate Anna Brown tells Yahoo Life.




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