In collaboration with the Human Rights Campaign, in 2014 Gender Spectrum released a ground-breaking report, “Supporting and Caring for Our Gender-Expansive Youth” that assessed the challenges, aspirations, and expectations of gender-expansive youth and teens in the US. This unique glimpse at gender diversity revealed that many young people are adopting expanded and more nuanced notions about gender, even in the face of the challenges that may ensue.
Youth across race, socio-economic status and geographic regions are rejecting binary notions of gender and instead identifying their own gender with an incredibly diverse set of names and descriptions. These gender-expansive youth (including transgender and other youth who perceive themselves to exist outside of traditional gender norms) are describing a wider, more flexible range of gender identity and/or expression, using terms such as “gender questioning,” “androgynous,” “agender,” and many more.
The report shows youth today have a growing understanding about gender’s amazing complexity and are expanding traditional notions of gender identity and expression. As the limitations of the binary gender system continue to be exposed, we see societal shifts emerging all around us. Facebook’s and Google +’s announcements about expanded options for gender on users’ profiles are but two examples of this shifting landscape that is opening up more accepting spaces for all of us.
This report reminds all of us how critical it is to be discussing these important issues with the youth in our lives, and you don’t need to be an expert in order to start the conversation.
Please view the report below or click here to open it on a new page.