• Variations in Orientation, Identity, Addiction, and Compulsion (E Coleman and J Vencill, Section Editor)
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Non-binary/Genderqueer Identities: a Critical Review of the Literature


Purpose of Review

The goal of this paper is to give current understanding of non-binary/genderqueer identities, non-binary mental health trends and identity development, unique experiences of non-binary individuals, and recommendations for clinicians and researchers.

Recent Findings

About one third of individuals who identify as transgender primarily identify as non-binary. Recent studies found that non-binary people are at higher risk for suicide, experience more psychological distress, and experience higher levels of depression and anxiety. New studies on identity development of non-binary individuals provide explicit and fluid understandings of gender identity development outside of male/female, man/woman, and boy/girl.


Overall, little research is focused on non-binary individuals even though non-binary people make up a significant portion of the transgender community and experience even greater negative mental health risks. Non-binary people face several challenges in a society that is structured around binary gender identities. We encourage psychologists to challenge the dominant binary assumption about gender and create environments that include and affirm non-binary individuals.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Emmie Matsuno.

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Conflict of Interest

Emmie Matsuno and Stephanie L. Budge each declare no potential conflicts of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article contains no studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Variations in Orientation, Identity, Addiction, and Compulsion

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Matsuno, E., Budge, S.L. Non-binary/Genderqueer Identities: a Critical Review of the Literature. Curr Sex Health Rep 9, 116–120 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11930-017-0111-8

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  • Non-binary
  • Genderqueer
  • Transgender
  • Gender identity
  • Transgender mental health