But he believes the team’s findings are increasingly important to researchers concerned with the mental health of sexual minorities. Dr Rahman concludes: “We know that gay people who are strongly gender nonconforming report more anxiety and depression symptoms.
“Poor mental health in gay populations is partly due to societal stigma and victimisation. Our results suggest that being gender nonconforming and lesbian comes from ‘within’; there is little you can do about it. So gender nonconformity does not cause mental health problems, but it may trigger negative reactions from other people (like parents and peers) leading to mental health problems.”