Gender transition shapes perceived sexual orientation

Julia Spielmann, Chadly Stern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We examined whether and why the amount of time a transgender person has spent transitioning influences perceived sexual orientation. We found that transgender individuals who had spent more time transitioning were more likely to be categorized as straight (vs. gay), and that greater gender typicality in part accounted for shifts in perceived sexual orientation. These perceptions were not contingent on whether people made judgments about how they personally felt or what the average person would say. Overall, these findings support the idea that gender and sexuality intersect in people’s minds, and that shifts in one can lead to changes in perceptions of the other. We discuss how these findings contribute to understanding perceptions and experiences of transgender individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-477
Number of pages15
JournalSelf and Identity
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021


  • Transgender
  • gender typicality
  • perceived sexual orientation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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