“The Default Is Just Going to Be Getting Misgendered”: Minority Stress Experiences Among Nonbinary Adults

Em Matsuno, Nat L. Bricker, Elizabeth Savarese, Roger Mohr, Kimberly F. Balsam

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Scopus citations


    Nonbinary people make up approximately one third of the broader trans community, yet most research on trans populations focuses on the experiences of binary trans people (i.e., trans men and trans women). Research has begun to indicate that mental health disparities may differ between binary and nonbinary trans populations and that nonbinary people may be at even greater risk for some mental health disparities compared to binary trans populations. Minority stress theory provides a framework for understanding the mental health disparities among LGBTQþ populations. However, research has yet to examine the unique minority stress experiences among nonbinary people. This qualitative study conducted by an all nonbinary team of researchers aimed to comprehensively identify the minority stress experiences of nonbinary people. Data were collected from five focus groups and six individual interviews with a diverse sample of nonbinary adults living in geographic areas across the United States (N = 29). Thematic analysis was applied with a deductive approach using the gender minority stress model (Testa et al., 2015) as a framework for identifying themes. Similar to the gender minority stress model, which focused on binary trans populations, nonbinary participants in this study reported experiencing discrimination, rejection, harassment/violence, misgendering, internalized stigma, anticipated minority stress, and concealment, but in unique ways. Newly identified minority stressors were binary normativity, interpersonal invalidation, burdening, gender dysphoria, and mental/emotional labor. Results advance minority stress theory as it applies to nonbinary populations and provide important implications for clinical interventions, policy, and future research.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalPsychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity
    StateAccepted/In press - 2022


    • Genderqueer
    • Nonbinary
    • Qualitative research
    • Thematic analysis
    • Transgender

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gender Studies
    • Psychology(all)


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