Bisexuals and transgender individuals have not yet been identified as distinct markets by marketers, so little research is available specifically about them, and few media serve these two groups.
Overall, less is known about the incidence of bisexuality than homosexuality, due in large part to a lack of agreed upon definition and taboo of sexual orientation research. Once again, as with gays and lesbians, is being bisexual defined by how one identifies, or is it behavior? If so, is it just same-sex thoughts, or must it be actions? Same-sex relationships or just sexual activity? How much, how often, and for how long?
British research in 2006 of hand preference on the BBC Science and Nature web site (and published in the journal Brain and Cognition) found that 4%-4.5% of 255,000 male respondents with right- and left-handedness incidentally reported that they were bisexual. Among females, 6.2%-6.3% of right- and left-handers reported they were bisexual, compared with 15.6 per cent among the more ambidextrous.(9.2% of the male and 15.6% of the female ambidextrous did so, suggesting some correlation with sexuality.)
Health service organizations seeking to educate about HIV/AIDS avoid using the terms "gay" or "bisexual," instead calling them "men who have sex with men" or MSMs. This is because many men who have same-sex relations don't apply "gay" or "bisexual" to themselves -- they are also called being on the "down low" or "DL" in street vernacular. This applies to men who may be married or otherwise are not open about their attraction to men, and may only engage in occasional same-sex behavior to keep up appearances and live up to family or society expectations that they be heterosexual. However, marketers do not seek to reach these individuals.
Transgender people may represent 1% of the population (equalling 3 million Americans) or less, according to the National Center for Transgender Equality, and they generally remain poorly understood. Their population is made up of male-to-females (M2F), female-to-males (F2M -- also known as transmen or transmales), and the intersexed, whose sexuality is a distinct issue from their gender. They may or may not be homosexual, either before or after gender transition. Most transgender individuals live their daily lives as a different gender than they were raised as. Many have not had genital surgery due to high costs, insurance companies' refusal to pay for such surgery, and surgery's shortcomings (particularly for F2M transitions). Not all people who have transitioned their genders may actually identify as "transgender," but simply as their new gender instead.
Being transgendered should not be confused with cross-dressing and transvestitism, which is an entirely separate matter and often practiced as a sexual fetish by heterosexual men. It also should not be confused with female impersonators/drag, which is entertainment performance popular in gay bars and popularized by stars such as Dame Edna (a heterosexual) and RuPaul, and many films including "La Cage Aux Folles," "The Birdcage," "Some Like It Hot," "Tootsie," "Mrs. Doubtfire," "Priscilla: Queen of the Desert" and "To Wong Foo."
Historically in Asia, there is a greater acceptance of male-to-female transgender people. Over the ages, such people were known as eunuchs -- men who have been castrated -- and were widely revered.
Some transgender individuals are born intersexed with ambiguous genitalia (in ancient Greece, they were known as hermaphrodites, based on the story of Hermaphroditus, son of Hermes and Aphrodite), while others emotionally feel a lifelong incongruence between the gender they were born and raised into, versus how they feel inside. There is little data on the incidence of either, but national transgender group GenderPac leader Riki Wilchins estimates there are "probably more than 100,000" in the U.S. A mid-1990s European study, cited by the American Psychiatric Association, says full full gender reassignment surgery occurred in 1 in 11,000 men and 1 in 30,000 women. But many people do not undergo the full surgery and still live as transgenders.
More information is available on transgender web sites National Transgender Advocacy Coalition,International Foundation for Gender Education, NCLR and National Center for Transgender Equality, among others.
Among marketers, makeup companies have been first to embrace transgendered individuals, including MAC Cosmetics in the U.S. and Palgantong Fania in Korea.
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