Trying To Be Yourself: Living Conditions and Experiences of Transgender and Non-binary People in China and the US
Author : Sitian Chen
Chengdu Foreign Languages School, Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Transgender and non-binary individuals have been invisible in society until recent days. They often experience stigmatization and discrimination in multiple aspects of life, affecting their academic performance, career, and health. This study examined binary and non-binary transgender people’s lived experiences and conditions in both China and the U.S., including their level of identity disclosure, self-perception of their gender identity, their level of identity confusion and deception, possible consequences of coming out, the experience of explicit discrimination, and their somatic responses. The study was conducted through a survey about transgender and non-binary individuals’ living conditions and experienced discrimination with 63 valid responses This paper compared the participants’ nationality and binary identity to see how these two variables influence transgender individuals’ lived experiences. Results indicated that nationality significantly affected one’s level of identity disclosure, confusion, and deception evaluated by others; binary identity and nationality had a significant effect on one’s experience of explicit discrimination. In addition, the result showed that binary and nonbinary people in both countries experienced discrimination, prejudice, and mental and physical disorders. This study proposed a recommendation for future research directions for scholars and suggestions for authorities and medical institutions about how to improve transgender and non-binary people’s lives.