Young vs Old: the generational divide in the transgender community

In July 2017, the government launched a survey to gather more information about the experiences of LGBT people in the UK. Over 108,000 people participated, making it the largest national survey of LGBT people in the world to date. It was a self-selecting survey so may not be fully representative of the LGBT community and the government has so far only released some of the data for analysis. However, there are some important differences observed between the generations in the transgender community.

The children (aged 16-17) who responded to the survey and said they were trans are mostly trans-identifying females or non-binary. In contrast the middle aged trans respondents (>45) are mostly late transitioning trans-identified males.

Many of the late-transitioning transwomen identity as lesbians.

Two-thirds of over 45s are males identifying as transwomen (TIM), one third non-binary (NB). Very few females over 45 are identifying as transmen (TIF).

Based on the available data we estimate that approximately one-third of late transitioning males are attracted to women only and call themselves lesbians.

Vast majority of LGB respondents over 45 are lesbian or gay. A third of these are females who are lesbians. Based on available data we estimate that 10% of respondents over 45 calling themselves lesbian were born male.

In contrast, trans children are more likely to be female and to identity as bisexual

The National LGBT survey included children aged 16-17. Unlike the dominance of Trans-identified males in the over 45 age group, the children who identify as transgender are mostly girls identifying out of girlhood.

Half of the trans-identifying children are attracted to both sexes. It is rare for them to consider themselves straight.

A quarter of the LGBT children responding to the survey identify as trans.

Less than half of the LGB children responding to the survey consider themselves lesbian or gay. Most are attracted to both sexes. This is in stark contrast to the 88% of over 45s who are lesbian or gay.

Conclusions

There are stark differences between the generations in the trans community. The reasons behind the gender dysphoria exhibited by both groups will be very different. We must be mindful of this when late-transitioning transgender males insist that the age of medical and legal transitioning for children should be lowered. Gender non-conforming children must not be used to validate the lives and identity of middle-aged transgender males.

The high % of male-born lesbians in the older lesbian population should also help the public understand why lesbians protested at and want to

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