Exploring the diversity of gender and sexual orientation identities in an online sample of transgender individuals

Laura E. Kuper, Robin Nussbaum, Brian Mustanski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

238 Scopus citations


Although the term transgender is increasingly used to refer to those whose gender identity or expression diverges from culturally defined categories of sex and gender, less is known about the self-identities of those who fall within this category. Historically, recruitment of transgender populations has also been limited to specialized clinics and support groups. This study was conducted online, with the aim of exploring the gender identities, sexual orientation identities, and surgery and hormonal statuses of those who identify with a gender identity other than, or in addition to, that associated with their birth sex (n=292). Genderqueer was the most commonly endorsed gender identity, and pansexual and queer were the most commonly endorsed sexual orientation identities. Participants indentified with a mean of 2.5 current gender identities, 1.4 past gender identities, and 2 past sexual orientation identities. The majority of participants either did not desire or were unsure of their desire to take hormones or undergo sexual reassignment surgery. However, birth sex and age were significant predictors of bottom surgery and hormone status/desire, along with several identities and orientations. This study explores explanations and implications for these patterns of identification, along with the potential distinctiveness of this sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-254
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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