The following is a sidebar to the feature “Trans Kids Under Fire” in the July/August 2023 issue. Read the full article here.

Notable data from recent Pew Center, Washington Post, Williams Institute, and Gallup surveys:

One in five Gen Z adults (born in 1997 or later) identify as LGBTQ+. Specifically, 1.4 percent of 13–17-year-olds and 1.3 percent of 18–24-year-olds in the U.S. identify as transgender or nonbinary. There are approximately 25 million 12–17-year-olds and 30 million 18–25-year-olds, so over 770,000 of them are trans or nonbinary. That means that in a school with 1,000 students, 14 will be transgender or nonbinary.

Six out of 10 transgender people identify outside the gender binary. In other words, they identify as nonbinary, gender fluid, and gender queer—not as a trans woman or trans man. Trans is an umbrella term that includes binary transgender people (those who transition to “the opposite sex”) and nonbinary people (those who consider themselves neither fully male   nor female).

While the majority of self-identified trans people want hormone treatment, fewer than half want surgical interventions. Because they don’t identify as “the opposite” of the    gender they were assigned at birth, nonbinary individuals—more than half of all transgender people—are less likely to desire a medical intervention.

The vast majority of trans adults say transitioning helped them. No study has ever found more than a three percent rate of detransition, and most of those studies found the major reason given for detransitioning was difficulty living as a transgender person, not a desire to return to their birth gender. Although one U.S. study found eight percent of the trans subjects surveyed had detransitioned, 62 percent of them had only done so temporarily.

Most transgender people realize they’re transgender in childhood. A third do so before the age of 10, and another third between the ages 11 and 17.

Photo by Alena Darmel/Pexels

Margaret Nichols

Margaret Nichols, PhD, CSTS, is a psychologist, sex therapist, and author of The Modern Clinician’s Guide to Working with LGBTQ+ Clients. She has more than 40 years of experience doing therapy with sex-, gender-, and relationship-diverse people, and she identifies as queer.