In the binary gender system, genderqueerness is unintelligible and abjected. Individuals who identify as a gender that does not fit the traditional binary system tend to experience higher levels of social discrimination. A 2012 study from the National LGBTQ Task Force showed that genderqueer and other non-binary individuals were more likely to suffer physical assaults (32% vs. 25%), experience police harassment (25% vs. 19%), and suffer sexual assault (15% vs. 19%) compared to transgender individuals who identified within the gender binary (i.e., trans men and trans women). Genderqueer individuals also reported higher rates of harassment in K-12 school (83% vs. 77%), and sexual assault in K-12 schools (16% vs. 11%). This study reported that genderqueer and other non-binary individuals were more likely to be people of color (30% vs. 23%) and younger (under 45) than binary transgender people (89% vs. 68%). Responders who identified as neither male nor female were less likely to be white and more likely to be multi racial, Black, or Asian, but less likely to be Latin-American/Spanish in origin compared to those who identified as male or female. The study showed that despite genderqueer and other non-binary individuals having received significantly higher education than those who identified within the gender binary, they were more likely to be living in extreme poverty (under $10,000 yearly) than those who identified within the gender binary (21% vs. 14%). They were more likely to be involved in underground economies for income (20% vs. 15%) than those who identified within the gender binary. Respondents disclosed brutal effects of discrimination, which had grave impacts, as 43% of genderqueer participants reported attempting suicide compared to 40% of transgender individuals that identified within the gender binary.
Social discrimination in the context of discrimination against non-binary and gender non-conforming people includes hate-motivated violence and excusing of such. According to a 2016 study from The Journal of Sex Research, one of the most common themes of discrimination for genderqueer people is the incorrect use of preferred gender pronouns. The study labeled this as 'nonaffirmation', and it occurs when others do not affirm one's sense of gender identity. Participants within this study also reported experiencing gender policing. An article from the book Violence and Gender, states that this experienced violence and discrimination leads to high levels of stress. This article stated that non-binary participants are less likely to experience hate speech (24.4% vs. 50%) compared to trans men and equally as likely (24.4% vs. 24.4%) as trans women, yet genderqueer/nonbinary participants, along with trans women are more likely than trans men individuals to be concerned about the safety of themselves and others.