A 2016 Harris Poll conducted on behalf of GLADD found that 1% of Millennials identify as being gender-fluid in the U.S. The U.S. Census data in 2016 has estimated that there are 71 million Millennials living in the United States. This would mean in 2016 that 71,000 people in 2016 identified as being gender-fluid! That’s a lot of people on a topic that is still largely ignored.
A recent poll in a California high school was conducted and 22% of the senior class self-identified as being gender-fluid. That’s a big number compared to the study of Millennials in 2016 and was an informal poll, which may not be as accurate as the data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, yet it certainly is a term that needs to be explored.
So what is the definition of Gender-Fluid?
The Oxford English dictionary’s definition of gender-fluid is defined as rather than committing to a single definition, those identifying with this label may fluctuate between differing gender expressions over their lifetime, or express multiple aspects of various gender markers at the same time. A gender-fluid individual may also identify as bi-gender - shifting between masculine and feminine; or as tri-gender - shifting between these and a third gender.
The term gender-fluid may appear non-committal and misunderstood as to what gender they are at any given time. It can become even more confusing when there are those who self-identify as gender-queer, non-binary and bi-gender, all on the gender spectrum, but each with a different definition. Yet, for each of these groups there are distinct labels that are being used.
Check out my latest interview on my Shades of Gender radio podcast on KGAY106.5, Shades of Gender, with Vera Wylde, a gender-fluid burlesque dancer and author from Vermont, as we continue to learn more about the people behind the gender labels. And, yes, Vera is one of those Millennials! She has a child from their first marriage and in an almost four year relationship with a bi-sexual woman. Vera shares with us her gender journey and what it means to her to be gender-fluid!