What is AutiGender? – The Relationship Between Autism & Gender – An Autistic Perspective

Hey everyone, NeuroRebel here and this week, we’re going to talk about Autigender. All right, this is a highly requested topic and a few of you have asked me to cover this and talk about this so first let’s start out with a very, very official definition of Autigender.

According to LGBTA, Wiki:

“Autigender or Autism, gender is a neurogender, which can be understood in the context of being Autistic & when one’s Autism greatly affects one’s gender or how one experiences gender.

Autigender is not autism as a gender, but rather is having a gender that is so heavily influenced by autism that one’s gendered and autism cannot be unlinked.

Not all Autistic people will identify with Autigender, only those whose gender is influenced by them being Autistic.”

Transcript:

Hey everyone, NeuroRebel here and this week, we’re going to talk about Autigender.

[00:00:06] Wait –  Autism a gender? What’s that?

[00:00:10] Well, it is not what you think and if you want to learn more, stay tuned.

[00:00:51] All right, this is a highly requested topic and a few of you have asked me to cover this and talk about this so first let’s start out with a very, very official definition of Autigender.

[00:01:02]According to LGBTA, Wiki, “Autigender or Autism, gender  is a neurogender, which can be understood in the context of being Autistic or when one’s Autism greatly affects one’s gender or how one experiences gender.

[00:01:17] Autigender is not autism as a gender, but rather having a gender that is so heavily influenced by autism that one’s gender and autism cannot be unlinked.

[00:01:29] Not all Autistic people will identify with Autigender, only those whose gender is influenced by them being Autistic.”

[00:01:38] Wait – Neurogender? What’s that?

[00:01:41] Well, also on the same Wiki page, neurogender is described as when  one’s gender is in some way linked to being neurodivergent or their mental illness or other neurological condition.

[00:01:54] This is an umbrella term for any gender related to being neurodivergent, but can also be used as an identity on its own, similar to autigender, neurogender is talking about when gender is very heavily influenced by being neurodivergent so much so that you can’t separate your gender and neurodivergency.”

[00:02:15] Okay, now that we’ve got a few basic definitions down, I’ll share some thoughts on this.

[00:02:19] So first I want to restate that this is not saying that Autism is a gender or Autism as a gender.

[00:02:27] We are talking about how the Autistic experience impacts someone’s relationship with gender and this raises some really interesting questions:

[00:02:38] How does being Autistic influence someone’s gender? It’s interesting because there have already been quite a few studies that show that Autistic people, or my more likely to be transgender or transgender people are potentially more likely to be Autistic. And we’ve spoken about some of those before here on this channel, and we’re waiting for science to catch up on this, but none of this has really been a surprise to me, interacting with other Autistic people in the community. There are just a lot of us who are gender non-conforming.

[00:03:11] Also, talking about autism and how it relates to gender.  I’ve said before that I am an Autistic, I am not a person with Autism.

[00:03:20] That is because being Autistic impacts every part of my existence and who I am as a person and that includes my experience of gender. Like with everything else, Autism and being Autistic has fundamentally shaped how I relate to gender and since gender is a social construct and social constructs are one of those things that autistic people don’t always fit within… there are many people, well, who feel as if being Autistic influences their experience of gender. Well, I’m not alone on this, and a lot of us who don’t experience gender and the, the same ways as neurotypicals do or feel that we do not experience gender in the same ways of neuro-typicals do may identify with autigender.

[00:04:10] So for me, I was assigned female at birth, and that is just what it feels like. It feels like this assignment that was given to me that I had no say in. And I remember when I was about four or five, I was very, very distressed about this and I would often tell adults in my life that I was a mistake and I wished I’d never been born.

[00:04:33]I didn’t feel like a girl and I certainly didn’t want to grow up and become a woman and growing up, I related more with little boys and little girls. I enjoy the activities that little boys did, and I struggled to be around other girls. When I was around other girls I was definitely masking much heavier, especially when I was younger.

[00:05:01]Things only got worse and puberty. My body changed and then when I saw myself in the mirror, I no longer recognized who it was I saw as myself, and that’s a hard thing, even now.

[00:05:16] I know that nobody sees and experiences me in the way that I see myself and I don’t think anyone ever will.

[00:05:27] My experience of myself has always been that of a more masculine character trapped in this small curvy, fragile body with this, the high pitched voice.

[00:05:40] I grew up having more male friends, and I felt like being called one of the guys and people mentioning that I “thought like one of the guys” was the ultimate compliment to me because it made me feel seen, but eventually because I had the meat suit that people associated with the assignment I had been given, I started to go along with things for a lot of years just using the labels of girl, woman, she and her, because it was expected of me and often just much easier.

[00:06:18] I would present myself in a hyper feminine way – over the top, because I thought in order to be a girl, I needed to wear all this makeup, skirts, heels, tights, do all of  these things, dress in a certain way.

[00:06:36] And if I did that stuff enough, it must make me a girl because that’s what girls do, which is not a healthy idea of, or representation of what it means to even be a woman or a girl, because women and girls are still women and girls, even if you remove their makeup and their clothing.

[00:06:58] And wel….  that’s not what I meant to say!!! But you know what I mean? These things aren’t what makes the woman, but it was just, often easier for me to present myself outwardly in a very stereotypical female presentation, even if on some days it felt like an elaborate lie, a costume.

[00:07:22] I put it on as part of my mask as an Autistic person, playing a part, trying to blend in and to be treated better by people in society.

[00:07:33] I would comply with these labels because I, one didn’t really think there were other options, and I conformed because I was also sure that nobody would understand what I was going through. Not because I actually related to the labels or felt as if they ever fit me.

[00:07:51] I was a girl because… you, know, I was just not going to push back. “Okay. If you say so. Sure. Whatever, I’m a girl. Okay.”

[00:08:00] I feel as if being Autistic means, I am willing to examine all of these social constructs under a magnifying glass, including gender and sexuality.

[00:08:13] And like with many things being Autistic means that I don’t fit into the box. I make my own box. I am the square peg that can’t be put through the round hole without damaging the peg and my experience of gender is no different.

[00:08:33] I don’t fit neatly into societies, check boxes. There are certain things that as an Autistic person, I just see society doing and say, Yeah, that’s a big, no sakes – I don’t get it and I don’t know why I want to do it just because everyone else is doing it.

[00:08:50] And honestly, I’m much happier in life when I don’t do this and I go along with how I feel instead of just conforming to society’s norms and doing what I think society expects me to do.

[00:09:03] Something I have learned about myself since being diagnosed autistic over the past four years, I have been gradually unwinding the mask that I had made for myself and then I realized that a very big part of my mask and socially performing in a way that is “socially acceptable” – quote, quote, quote, air quotes, because society it’s a social construct. Society says this is acceptable. So according to who, right?

[00:09:31] I realized that before I was diagnosed Autistic, and before I knew I was Autistic, because people had told me so often that my experiences, my needs and the things that I even enjoyed were either not valid or silly, or I was being over sensitive. I had stopped advocating for my needs. I had stopped doing the things I wanted to do. I had stopped living the life I wanted to live and was just this robot going along with conformity.

[00:10:03] I had this complex mask and a huge part of that mask is behaving in a way that is acceptable for the gender that I was assigned at birth and since unmasking over the past four years, that piece of the mask has also begun to fall away as I get to know myself and evaluate how do I really feel and see myself versus how do I think I should act for society’s benefit instead of my own?

[00:10:41]If you found today’s video useful, helpful, even slightly educational, please share it to help me reach other people who may find this content useful to them as well. I work very hard to put videos of quality content out every week, so don’t forget to subscribe and turn on notifications, so you don’t miss a video.

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[00:11:16] A huge, huge thank you to my Patreon supporters and Facebook subscribers. I could not do this without you. You pay for my transcription and closed captioning and help to ensure I can continuously put out great free content like this one.

[00:11:33] Thank you so much. And thank you to anyone who shares my video. Sharing is caring.

[00:11:38] I am so grateful for each and every one of you. I will talk to you next week. Bye.

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