Transgender and assigned sex

Question:  How many people in the ace community are transgender, and how many are a different gender from the one assigned at birth?

“Transgender” is sometimes defined as having a gender which is distinct from the sex assigned at birth (SAAB). However, this definition fails on a large scale, particularly among people who neither identify as women nor men (non-binary people).  We already know from previous surveys that the ace community is dominated by women and non-binary people.  What remains is an analysis of SAAB and trans identity.


Gender and trans colorFigure 1: Gender in the ace community, including whether people identify as trans.

In the survey, we asked respondents for their current gender identity, and whether they identify as trans (note that we use “trans” and not “transgender”).  Among ace women, 1.3% identified as trans, 96.6% did not identify as trans, and 2.0% were unsure.  Among ace men, 17.5% identified as trans, 79.6% did not identify as trans, and 2.9% were unsure.  Among non-binary aces, 30.5% identified as trans, 41.8% did not identify as trans, and 27.6% were unsure.

Note that non-binary people are a heterogeneous category, combining people who identify with other genders, people who identify with no genders, and people who identify only partially as men or women.  Further analysis of this category will be done at a later time.

Gender historyFigure 2: Gender history in the ace community

The above graphic shows the prevalence of different gender histories in the ace community, with the thickness of each line proportional to the size of the group.  The color indicates the percentage of people who identify as trans.  For the purposes of the color scale, trans people and people unsure whether they identify as trans were lumped together.  Note that “history” does not necessarily mean that people’s gender changed over time; SAAB may or may not reflect a person’s gender at birth.

The color scale doesn’t make it clear, but there are a small number of people who identify with the gender corresponding to their SAAB, but nonetheless identify as trans or are unsure if they are trans.  If we take these people, along with all people who identify with a gender not corresponding to their SAAB, this makes up 30.6% of the community.


We find that 30.6% of the community either identifies with a gender that mismatches their SAAB, or identifies as trans (or is unsure).  This is very large compared to the general population, although much of it comes from the 26.1% who are non-binary.

Although “trans” is sometimes defined as having a gender which mismatches one’s SAAB, we find that there are many female-assigned non-binary people and male-assigned women who either don’t identify as trans, or are unsure.  As a result, only 11% of respondents identify as trans, and 9% are unsure.

Interestingly, it seems that male-assigned people are more likely to identify as women than as non-binary, and female-assigned people are more likely to identify as non-binary than as men.  It’s possible that these results reflect wider trends in non-binary people, rather than being specific to the ace community.

3 thoughts on “Transgender and assigned sex

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