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According to Gender Wikki: AutiGender is a NeuroGender identity in which one feels their gender is connected to their autism. Because those with autism may have difficulty understanding societal interactions, this can change their understanding of gender, making it difficult to describe.
AutiGender is also in UrbanDictionary as when someone’s autism affects (and/or influences) that said person’s gender.
We made it into UrbanDictionary!!!
It’s been a while, but last time I did a video on this topic (old video below), we weren’t in UrbanDictionary yet.
CW: Old video has my dead name in it.
So, now that we know AutiGender is when someone’s gender is influenced by being Autistic, but HOW can being Autistic influence someone’s experience of gender?
Before we go any further, it is important to note that (like with all things there is no one unified Autistic experience of gender) while many Autistic People feel as if their gender is influenced by our Autistic minds, not all Autistic People will identify with or relate to the AutiGender experience.
I also want to quickly define NeuroGender (briefly mentioned earlier).
NeuroGender is an umbrella term describing when someone’s NeuroDivergence influences their experience of gender to such a degree that they cannot separate their experience of gender from their NeuroDivergent one.
Because someone always goes there, I’m going to state the following 3 points as plainly as I can:
- This does not mean AUTISM is a gender.
- This DOES NOT mean NeuroDivergence IS a gender.
- These are terms used to discuss how the NeuroDivergent and Autistic experiences impact someone’s relationship with gender.
How does being NeuroDivergent, specifically Autistic, influence someone’s experience of gender?
Autism influences most things in my life, who I socialize with, the types of relationships I have, how I process information and my experience of the world around me.
Autism is tied into my hobbies, passions, interests, communication style and habits. It’s interwoven into how I interpret and fit within social contexts, structures, and hierarchies.
That’s why I say I am Autistic, instead of that I am “a person with autism” – because, for me, “with autism” sounds minimal for something so integral to my being.
Autism is NOT a separate thing that I “take with me” or something I can lave behind when I venture out (even if I wanted to).
Autism is not something I have “with” me. Autism IS me.
If I were not Autistic, I would literally not be the same person.Believe it or not, I like the person I am (NOT despite being Autistic, but BECAUSE of my Autistic mind).
Like with everything else, being Autistic has fundamentally shaped how I relate to gender, since gender is a social construct (and social constructs are one of those things that Autistic People don’t always fit neatly within).
For me, being Autistic means, I am willing to examine these social constructs under a magnifying glass, including gender and sexuality.
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.Gender for me was a costume, a role I stepped into, that 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.My gender role, the assignment I’d been given, never felt correct, and every reminder of that assignment brought scorn and discomfort.
For many years I complied with these labels because I didn’t know there were other options.
I also conformed because I was sure that nobody would understand what I was going through.I had a complex mask, that hid my NeuroDivergence, tied into what I felt was “socially acceptable behavior” for the gender that I was assigned at birth.
When I stopped preforming the “NeuroTypical” expectations, dropping that mask, evaluating how I really felt and saw myself (versus acting in a way that made others around me comfortable at my own expense), it became painfully obvious to me how much of my gender presentation was false and performative.
My NeuroDivergent mask had been interwoven into my gender mask, and the two, in my case, were inseparable.
I am nonbinary, and since I cannot separate my nonbinary experience from my Autistic, NeuroDivergent one, the labels AutiGender and NeuroGender apply (to me).
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