Comparing trans-spectrum and same-sex attracted youth: increased risks, increased activisms

Tiffany Jones, Lynne Hillier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


Tran-spectrum youth include those who are gender questioning, transgender, intersex, genderqueer, and androgynous. Drawing on data from an Australian study of more than 3,000 same-sex-attracted and trans-spectrum youth aged 14 to 21, this article compares a group of 91 trans-spectrum youth from the study to “cisgender” same-sex-attracted peers (who feel their gender identity aligns more fully with their ascribed sex). Comparisons are made on topics including identity disclosure and support; experience of abuse; suicide and self-harm; and school experiences. The trans-spectrum respondents particularly reported experiencing homophobic abuse and suicide attempts in response to homophobia and cissexism significantly more often than their cisgender counterparts. However, an exciting finding of the study was that some of these youth were able to reframe social rejection of their identities using a variety of self-affirming strategies. They were also more likely to respond to discrimination through activism, and many held high hopes for the ways in which they might impact their worlds in the future. The article finally reflects on the special provisions needed for this group in areas such as youth services and education, and the need for individuals to be supportive of trans-spectrum youth who disclose their identities to them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287–307
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of LGBT Youth
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • abuse
  • activism
  • Australia
  • gender
  • gender identity
  • intersex
  • queer
  • resilience
  • suicide
  • transgender
  • youth


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