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Sexual Orientation Policy Tally

The term “sexual orientation” is loosely defined as a person’s pattern of romantic or sexual attraction to people of the opposite sex or gender, the same sex or gender, or more than one sex or gender. Laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation primarily protect or harm lesbian, gay, and bisexual people. That said, transgender people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual can be affected by laws that explicitly mention sexual orientation.

Gender Identity Policy Tally

“Gender identity” is a person’s deeply-felt inner sense of being male, female, or something else or in-between. “Gender expression” refers to a person’s characteristics and behaviors such as appearance, dress, mannerisms and speech patterns that can be described as masculine, feminine, or something else. Gender identity and expression are independent of sexual orientation, and transgender people may identify as heterosexual, lesbian, gay or bisexual. Laws that explicitly mention “gender identity” or “gender identity and expression” primarily protect or harm transgender people. These laws also can apply to people who are not transgender, but whose sense of gender or manner of dress does not adhere to gender stereotypes.

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A Closer Look: Bisexual Transgender People

The Bottom Line

There is little data on the experiences of bisexual transgender people. Research on LGBT people is growing, but when the data are disaggregated to look at the disparities or resilience of particular groups under the LGBT umbrella, the sample size is often too small to analyze with confidence.

The 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality, offers a unique opportunity to examine the lives, experiences, disparities, and resilience of bisexual transgender people. A Closer Look: Bisexual Transgender People analyzes data from the U.S. Transgender Survey, documents disparities for bisexual people and offers recommendations for remedying those disparities.

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