Study: 1 in 4 LGBTQ youth use pronouns outside gender binary

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Graphic courtesy of The Trevor Project

NEW YORK — The Trevor Project released a study on Wednesday that found that one in four LGBTQ youth use pronouns that fall outside the traditional gender binary.

The study used data from the Trevor Project’s 2020 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health to further explore pronoun usage among LGBTQ youth.

The results include:

  • 1 in 4 LGBTQ youth use pronouns or pronoun combinations that fall outside of the binary construction of gender. Although 75% of youth use either he/him or she/her exclusively, 25% of LGBTQ youth use they/them exclusively, a combination of he/him, she/her, or they/them, or neopronouns such as ze/zir or fae/faer.
  • Nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ youth who use pronouns outside of the binary opt to use combinations of he/him, she/her, and they/them. This included pronoun usage such as “she and they” or “he and they,” as well as using “she, he, and they” to express the nuances of their gender.
  • Some LGBTQ youth do use pronouns beyond those already familiar to most people. While 4% of LGBTQ youth reported the use of pronouns such as “ze/zir,” “xe/xim,” and “fae/faer,” or combinations of these terms with other pronouns, 96% of LBGTQ youth in our sample used pronouns that are familiar to most people by using either a combination of he/him, she/her, or they/them or one of these pronoun sets exclusively.

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