A groundbreaking study by the Williams Institute has found there are more than 1 million nonbinary adults currently living in the United States. The term is used to describe people who don’t identify only as male or female. “That number says, ‘This is part of who you’re talking about when executive orders are signed to protect people against discrimination,’” Bianca Wilson, one of the study’s authors, was quoted saying. As The Washington Post notes, that number is just short of the population of Dallas. The study found that most nonbinary adults in the U.S. are young, white, and reside in urban areas. Many also were found to struggle with mental health and psychological distress, and more than half said they had been physically or sexually assaulted. “Research has shown that the stress from being a minority — stress from being a sexual and gender minority in particular — is related to psychological distress,” Wilson said.
Joel Baum, the senior director at the nonprofit Gender Spectrum, told the Post the study will make it harder for people to dismiss others’ identities and experiences, since there are now numbers to back it up. “It’s almost like a stake in the ground, right?” Baum said. “Saying, ‘Here we are.’”