According to a published report, American teenagers are embracing gender fluidity more than ever before. While the number is still relativity low, CNN reports there is a sharp increase, “Almost 3% of Minnesota teens did not identify with traditional gender labels such as ‘boy’ or ‘girl.’ That number is higher than researchers expected. A UCLA study from a year ago estimated that 0.7% of teens identified as transgender.”
Young people are clearly challenging gender norms and with outlets like social media, there is definitely a way to find a tribe of people who may also not relate to traditional gender labels. However, as CASSIUS reported, these studies change when race is involved, “More young Black men and women identified as mostly or completely masculine or feminine in comparison to their white peers. Forty-three percent of Black young people say they believe young men face a great deal of pressure in comparison to the 28 percent of white young people.”
Clearly, the pressures of Black manhood and masculinity should not be lost on these numbers. Arguably, white youth may feel more comfortable being gender fluid while Black youth might feel restricted due to the intersections of race and patriarchy. In addition, queer youth of color are more likely to attempt suicide rather than their white counterparts. Hopefully, we are all moving to a more inclusive space, regardless of our gender identity.