Saturday, 15 April 2017

Non-Binary and other gender variations - An autistic majority? 

I'd recommend people have a look at this fab survey.  Here's a summary of one of the pages.  Over 1300 autistic individuals were asked questions about their gender and sexuality.  It was a self-selecting survey, from a person's social networks, so it is useful for discussion, not a 'final answer'.  But what a great discussion this is.  

We know from other research that some 30%+ of autistic people self-identify as part of the LGBT+ community.

But is the statistic that low?

The link will take you to the data.  The picture above shows a snapshot of it.  Some gave more than one answer.  

Truly a diverse group of wonderful people.

To give one example, "Non-binary"; identifying as neither wholly male, nor wholly female. 34%

Gender identity is a spectrum, and not just one spectrum.  
Does a person identify as one gender, but have a body that is the other gender?  Where on that spectrum are they?
Do they dress in ways totally aligned with one gender, or with other, or a mix of both?
Do they have a physical body which is completely male, completely female, or one that falls elsewhere on that spectrum?

There are many ways to identify gender. And many ways to address someone who is not male/female.  It's polite to ask how someone wishes to be addressed.  

When we talk about identifying the women who are missing from autistic diagnosis, we also need to question whether that is all we are missing.

Are we missing the non-binary individuals also?  How many others are we missing?

We are barely at the beginning of understanding autism.  Very proud to be part of this community.

Thank you for listening.