Gender Issues

, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 236–253 | Cite as

Transgender Friendship Profiles: Patterns Across Gender Identity and LGBT Affiliation

  • C. Reyn Boyer
  • M. Paz GalupoEmail author
Original Article


The present study explores the close friendship patterns of transgender individuals by considering the role of gender identity (trans men, trans women, non-binary) and LGBT affiliation (affiliated, non-affiliated) on friends’ identities. Participants were 495 transgender individuals who completed a questionnaire reporting their identities as well as the identities of their close friends. Friendship patterns were explored based on the number of friends who identified as transgender/cisgender, sexual minority/heterosexual, and LGBT affiliated/non-affiliated. Overall, participants reported more cisgender (vs. transgender) friends and more sexual minority (vs. heterosexual friends), suggesting that the majority of their friendships are experienced in a cross-gender identity context. However, important friendship patterns were distinguished across LGBT affiliation and gender identity of the participant. Trans participants who were LGBT affiliated (vs. non-affiliated) reported more transgender friends, more sexual minority friends, and more LGBT affiliated friends. With regard to gender identity, trans men reported more sexual minority and more LGBT affiliated friends when compared to trans women. In addition, trans women reported more non-affiliated friends than both trans men and non-binary individuals. Discussion focuses on the implications of the findings regarding the distinct experiences of trans individuals across gender identity and the common assumptions behind research that frames transgender experience within the larger LGBT community.


Transgender Gender identity Friendship LGBT community 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

This research was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board of the home institution. These guidelines ensured that we received informed consent by our adult participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Psychology DepartmentTowson UniversityTowsonUSA

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