According to the San Francisco Chronicle, between 2019 and 2023, the number of students identifying as “gender non-conforming,” “nonbinary,” or “transgender” went from 0.6 percent of the student body to 1.9 percent with more than 2,000 of them declaring themselves “nonbinary.”
Of the total, nearly 0.2 percent consider themselves trans men, and 0.1 percent trans women. The outlet notes that it consolidated the categories of “nonbinary,” “genderqueer” and “gender non-conforming” under “nonbinary.”
Director of LGBTQ advancement and equity at UC Berkeley, Em Huang claims the shift has been noticeable as acceptance on campus has increased. “Over time I’ve definitely felt that shift, and I think that’s more representation of nonbinary staff members on campus, and more awareness,” Huang told the outlet. “We’re in a stage of folks recognizing that nonbinary folks exist, and we’re getting from there to understanding.”
The data showed that UC Santa Cruze had the largest number of people identifying in one of the categories, with 4 percent claiming to be nonbinary.
In September, California Governer Gavin Newsom boasted that his state had the “most robust” LGBTQ rights laws in the nation as he signed legislation that permitted K-12 students to use the restroom of their choice rather than their sex.
“These measures will help protect vulnerable youth, promote acceptance and create more supportive environments in our schools and communities,” Newsom said at the time.
A year ago, California became a sanctuary state for gender questioning minors, which allows children to come from other states and be placed on cross-sex hormones and have surgical procedures with or without parental permission. The law stated, “A court of this state has temporary emergency jurisdiction if the child is present in this state and the child has been abandoned or it is necessary for an emergency to protect the child because the child, or a sibling or parent of the child, is subjected to, or threatened with, mistreatment or abuse, or because the child has been unable to obtain gender-affirming health care or gender-affirming mental health care.”