Transgender & Non-Binary Loneliness: How To Feel Less Alone
Despite the many reasons transgender individuals struggle with loneliness, there are several ways non-binary people can cope with feeling isolated and alone.
An African American Androgynous Person Wearing A Black Collared Shirt With A Serious Look On Their Face

After a friend of mine in college came out as trans, I saw how much happier he was.

He no longer had to pretend to be someone he wasn’t, and it was amazing to see him become more comfortable and confident in his own skin — and ultimately less lonely.

In general, people in the LGBTQ+ community are prone to loneliness and mental illness.

In fact, I also struggled with loneliness as a queer person.

There are a variety of reasons LGBTQ+ individuals struggle with loneliness, including hiding one’s sexuality or gender identity, and facing discrimination in different facets of life.

For transgender and non-binary individuals — people whose gender identities don’t align with their sex at birth — loneliness is also common.

In addition, a combination of social and emotional isolation both also contribute to trans and non-binary individuals feeling lonely, usually pointing to a need for more meaningful social connections.

Social isolation occurs when people don’t have enough social interactions on a daily basis. Emotional isolation, which occurs when individuals have a social network that they don’t fully connect with, manifests in feeling misunderstood or lacking support.

For trans and non-binary adolescents and young adults specifically, lack of family acceptance can increase the risk of loneliness and suicidal ideation.

Historically, transgender and non-binary identities were often viewed as problems to be fixed in western society — the World Health Organization only removed the term “transsexualism” from its International Classification of Diseases (ICD) in 2018 — and the medicalization of gender-nonconforming individuals resulted in negative practices such as “conversion therapy.”

Overall, attitudes towards transgender and non-binary people are changing at a societal level, but it can take time for gender-nonconforming individuals to feel the effects of these changes.

As a result, non-binary and trans loneliness is still common among the LGBTQ+ community.

Editor’s Note: This article is part of our ongoing series The Roots Of Loneliness Project: Unearthing Why We Feel Alone, the first-of-its-kind directory that comprehensively explores the phenomenon of loneliness and 80+ types that we might experience over the course of our lives.

Click the link to find resources and information on virtually any form of loneliness you may be personally experiencing.

How Transgender And Non-Binary People Can Cope With Loneliness

Everyone’s situation is different, but there are several ways gender-nonconforming people can cope with their loneliness, including:

  • Being aware of LGBTQ-friendly resources that can serve as a lifeline to you if you’re struggling emotionally or mentally.
  • Surrounding yourself with people who love and support you.

Support from family is especially important for youth and young adults, but if you don’t have support from family, search elsewhere — studies suggest that having your identity affirmed can improve your mental health.

  • Find other transgender, non-binary, and other LGBTQ+ people who you can talk to!

If you’ve recently come out or just want to meet up with other queer people, there are several different resources that can help you find fellow LGBTQ+ people in your area.

Other LGBTQ+ people can help you feel less alone, and you can share stories and trade advice with people whose experiences are similar to yours.

When you spend time with people who accept and love you for who you are, you don’t have to worry about hiding your true identity.

As a whole, having a supportive network can help you face challenges and celebrate the victories in your life.

  • Grow and learn to both accept, and be confident in, your gender identity.

This can be a slow process but can help you to better navigate life day-to-day.

Spending time with affirming people, politely correcting someone if you are misgendered, setting boundaries in a respectful manner, and focusing on positive emotions you feel when you can fully express your gender identity can help you feel more confident.

Trust that you know yourself, and trust that every part of you — including your gender identity — is worthy of respect, happiness, and love.

Do you feel lonely as a transgender or non-binary individual? Did you struggle to find affirmation of your gender identity from others? How do you cope with loneliness?

We want to hear from you!

Tell us about your experience by clicking on the “Discuss” link/button that appears at the end of this article to connect meaningfully with others in similar situations.

Have More To Say About This Topic?

At Women’s Health Interactive, we do things a little bit different.

Rather than commenting at the end of an article and getting no response, we thought it would be much more empowering to create a place where you can have a running discussion about the topics that matter most to you, moderated by the authors themselves!

Just click the button below and you’ll be taken to the LIVE discussion of this topic on our forum, where you can jump right in, lend your voice and get a REAL response!

Join The Discussion

Womens Health orange logoGet The Newsletter

Receive our passionately crafted, medically reviewed articles and insights — the stuff nobody else talks about but you want to know — delivered right to your inbox.
Have Your Say: Be empowered! Join our running discussion about this topic. Ask questions, lend your voice and get REAL responses from the author and our community.