Doubts about gender identity

My experience, based on a rather small sample, is that there is a strong overlap between being on the Spectrum and having at least some doubts about ones gender identity.  Possibly our lack of social awareness (= tact) means we are more ready to admit to something that most people would keep well hidden.  Possibly there is a real correlation.

At one point I found that of the four male Aspies regularly posting to a small forum, three had well developed female personas.  Too small a sample, but interesting.  Another forum member was a paintball ref and really one of the lads (and female).

Anyone else willing to speak for themselves?  Any parents noticed boyish girls or girlish boys?

  • It's an interesting question.  My partner who was my husband had treatment for gender dysphoria, transitioned from male to female and is now much happier.  Our son was diagnosed with Aspergers.  I think there's a genetic component to Autism - there's not usually held to be one with gender dysphoria as far as I know.  I myself am bi and mix in the bi community where there are a lot of neurodiverse and gender variant people and I see some overlap.  For myself I notice some AS type traits, and I'm on the butch side as a female ... definitely not the usual stereo-type woman.  I like the diversity of the bi community very much!

  • I have worked with many people with ASD who have expressed concern about their self-identity in general - people have told me, for example, how they have "adopted" various interests, mannerisms, & clothing styles from imitating those around them. Sometimes they have "switched" identities quite abruptly.

    I have seen several young people with ASD who have shown & expressed definite "gender dysphoria", & who have received some assistance with this via their local Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). One boy had a long-standing interest in female pop singers, which had extended into dressing up, & then into expressing more general dissatisfaction with being male.

    A Dutch study published earlier this year of around 200 young people referred to a Gender Identity Disorder (GID) clinic found 8% had co-occurring ASD, so there is some research evidence to support a link between the two.

  • "concern about their self-identity in general" - which could include gender identity.  Plus my point that we are likely to talk about something that it is "not done" to talk about.  That might mean there is not so large an overlap as I thought, but might not.

    I was a volunteer for a research project recently that specifically wanted people on the Autistic Spectrum with Gender Identity issues.  A small population, but they got their volunteers.

  • There is a lot of mixed messaging going on in this discussion from my personal observation.

    The distinctions of Dysphoria rather than Identity delay and the differentiations between sexuality and its ordinary developmental confusions, in my exprience would do well to have a "Datum" or two. ( central point of reference)

    Homosexual identity discovery is a process that can be very mixed and prolonged for those people not on the spectrum. The injection of social preconceptions and fears will only confuse further.

    Homosexuality is not Gender Dysphoria, but gender dysphoria can be experienced whilst discovering sexual identity. Mosly when it is a matter of discovery rather that a foregone matter of indivdual experience.

    The tendancies toward literallity is a key factor and component in this process, as is the modern option to sugically persue an individuals choices.

    The process of personal elimination will most certainly pass the issue or gender dysphoria, as it is a natural passage of questioning in the dicovery of sexual identity, that is not hetrosexuality.

    The normal ASD manner of extreems in assesment make this more so. The realities of surgery and the sexchange process will most certainly be an appropriate part of this understanding.

     It is paramount whilst discussing all sexual considerations not to be leading and to allow for very much longer assimilation processes. In a world that seeks to polarise and fix "who" and "how" we are. This fluid concept will enable greater health in any ASD person. This area has its own fluidity and is a very good basis to introduce the concept of hidden movement, WE DO FEEL.

    "Brain Sex" by Anne Moir and David Hassel is an informative book that gives the stepping stones of this emmence subject, a balanced and open basis from which to launch. It is not exclusive in it's findings but presents the basis of our development as sexual beings into a simple and informed context. The notion of homosexuality as a result of environmental hotility, whilst contentious, be it fact ? The presence of homosexuals as people of this world is as long lived as ASD and their dissenfranchised status throught the recent centuries is no different in it's struggle to the struggles we in the ASD Community face today. The Idea of a single linear status is clearly dispenced with.

    It took me Twenty years to clearly identify who I am, with regard to sex and sexuality. With the possibility of abuse as an added component of the vulnerability That is our ASD this can be a long and lonely and confusing journey. Before you seek to coach an ASD person on these subjects, please check your baggage at the door and inform yourself of the lives of those living the experiences you wish to understand.

    eg:

    There is a plethora of evidence and at times in each generation anger. Of hetrosexual interpretations of the gay community which is diversity on endorphines; being innaccurate because it does not consult the community it wishes to describe and represent. 

     5 generations of ASD and a fruit in the basket in every generation. I am the 3rd of these wonderful people and we have a great history. savants and more.

    I am the Butch alfa #1 survivalist, with a warrior mentality, All woman. All *** and All ASD 

  • A rather late response to Wolfbear.  I might be quicker if email notifications of replies work.

     

    I didn't mention homosexuality.  That is another question.

  • A rather late response to Wolfbear.  I might be quicker if email notifications of replies work.

     

    I didn't mention homosexuality.  That is another question.

  • Personally I am fond of the word 'androgeny'.

  • Well now I DID mention Homosexuality. As the experience of gender dysphoria and homosexuality have no problem in holding hand from time to time and I think is pertanant.

    This is a recognition of the observation rerarding presented mixed personas, the range of experience this can relate to is expansive and includes the question of both dysphoria in isolation and homosexuality as a finding in some as a result of initial dysphoria. The subject of sexual identity is vast and an area that in my opinion needs the broadest of approach and the gentlest of touches if any person is to find healthy expression and security.

    With this issue and its deamons (not a miss spelling) size nines, preconceptions and prejudices of any nature will make the journey for any ASD Adult tough enough, never mind the specifics of this condition, (ASD and Dysphoria) and how it is handled by NT's with fears and agendas, Sexual experience  in its many forms as an off limits matter for anyone with ASD is a revisit to victoriana and a recipe for exploitation and abuse.

    If there was a limit to the expectation of the subject dysphoria and its experiences, the issue of homosexuality was not part of that expectations, then I can understand your reserve, but get out more and read lots more!

    Does anyone else have another view on any other aspects of gender dysphoria and identity.  There is room surely for this discussion to include Trans-sexuality? Coss-gender presentations? plain old confusion? any takers ? any givers?

    Have some pride !

    "Closet closed"

  • I agree that homosexuality and gender dysphoria are commonly associated and lumped together as LGBT = anything non-mainstream to to with sex or gender.  They are also commonly confused, even by doctors.

    If a person transitions MTF or FTM and keeps their orientation, which is usual, they will be homosexual either before or more usually after, so that does link the two subjects even more.  They are still not the same condition though.

    The psychiatrist I saw about my doubts as to my gender identity said that I couldn't be trans-sexual.  His main reason was that trans-sexuals present in their early 20's.  There are a number of things wrong with his reasoning: for a start the only published figures I could find were from Leeds NHS and said the median age of presentation was 42.

    If I had gone to a doctor in my early 20's and said I thought I had gender dysphoria - which I wouldn't because the term had not been invented then - I think the most likely response would have been "Oh, you are telling me you are homosexual.  That's illegal, I'll have to tell the police."

  • Well put and a clear datum on the subject, whilst the journey you took was more like the blind alley myself and any other person takes, in the absence of labels. The light at the end of the tunnel lands each person on a different path. I merely wished to highlight that in this refracting process of gender identity and who am I, one of the out pipes is homosexuality and as you ahave eloquently presented transition is the conclusion and out pipe as another part of this.

    Have you ever considered before the advent of surgery as we know it what the healthy options in an inclusive society would be, how would a free person go about their life in a happy manner if they were able to do so and what would that be like for an inclusive people group to witness and then respond positivrely to. I have no reservations about the choice of transition and am in no doubt of the relief and orientation it provides for the recipient. I whish and have personally explored this issue in great depth and from a position of considerable innocence, ignorance and vulnerability. 

    Whilst the presententions of such social inclusion are limited, they do exist and have an emmence effect in the positive, as you state you clearly experience yourself in this time.

    To expand this in wider society was once a norm and 3500 years has passed. The hows and whys of our illuded neighbours are the rocks upon which we can flounder in this time.

    Proper intelegent stuff pleased to meet you.

    WB