Exploring Nonbinary Gender Identities: A Qualitative Content Analysis

Sarah E. Conlin, Richard P. Douglass, Dylan M. Larson-Konar, Melissa S. Gluck, Cassandra Fiume, Martin Heesacker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study presents a qualitative exploration of nonbinary gender identities from a counseling framework. We studied 14 participants in an open-ended, online format, all of whom self-identified with nonbinary gender identities. Our analysis explored five primary themes: (a) identity development, (b) heterogenous identities, (c) the identity-expression divide, (d) invisibility and stressors, and (e) resilience and support. Participants’ experiences in counseling and practical implications for counselors working with nonbinary clients are also discussed, including cautions against assumption making, increased need for training and education about nonbinary clients, and nonbinary clients’ perceptions of counselor openness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-133
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of LGBT Issues in Counseling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • Counseling
  • content analysis
  • gender identity
  • gender nonconforming
  • nonbinary


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