An irate reader, Felix, commented on our article “Are there any gays and lesbians who are autistic” saying it was biased towards unhappy, bisexual women. So, this article addresses our reader Felix’s criticism and delves further into articles that answer the question we asked, well, “Are there any gays and lesbians who are autistic?” and why is it so difficult to get an answer to the question? This article is for our reader, Felix.
We found two articles:
(1)Co-occurence of Autism Spectrum Disorder in individuals with Gender Dysphoria. This is not a rare phenomenon, notes this article in what was a poster presentation in a conference in Chicago in 2009 by a group of psychologists from Netherlands. To know their names you may click here. They noted that only case studies have been published by authors with very different views. Yet, their clinical experience suggested that the co-existence of gender dysphoria (they explain that it is individuals unsure of their sexual orientation or not specified gender orientation or a not otherwise specified diagnosis) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is not a rare phenomenon. They found that the developmental trajectory of individuals with the two disorders vary considerably and each requires a special clinical approach. They found that 6% of 233 children and adolescents could be diagnosed with this. You may click here to read this article’s 2009 abstract in more detail.
(2)An exploration into dual citizenship – homosexuality and autism, and changing the work environment.
By Terry Walker.tiggerworld1 at earthlink.net, on 2003 October 2. You may click here to see the articles and the slides. They also have a links for the impatient to quickly read the relevant details.
You may directly reach their link to a summary for the human resources department by clicking here.
Terry Walker presented as an autistic in the GLTB “dual citizenship” workshop of the “Out & Equal” with suggestions for workplace changes to an audience of 600 people focussed on improving the workplace environment. He emphasized that he could speak only from his own experience and it in no way represented all autistics or all queers (his words), but felt this was the proper venue to record his observations. Terry says: Quote
Why link autism advocacy with gay advocacy?
The short answer is that I’m certain both communities would benefit from the association.
The experience of being gay is not the same as the experience of being autistic. I am both, and I recognize this difference. The experiences, however, do have similarities in both their fundamental nature and their historical background. (I’ll explain those two points in a moment.) Furthermore, I think that these ties could and should be strengthened as part of the emerging Neurodiversity movement. GLBT, Autistic, and Allied people would make a strong force for change in social attitudes and business practices concerning “differently-brained” employees. I encourage these communities to interact in pursuit of that goal.
Both communities share the “minority experience”, the frustration of feeling compelled to adjust to social expectations in a larger world that was designed for different norms. We share a need for restructuring society in a way that will allow us to participate fully. Unquote.
You may read further by clicking here. It is really poignant reading. Please, tell us your views here. We want to hear how you are adjusting in this society with “dual citizenships” and what suggestions you have for a better, more inclusive society.
Are there gay and lesbian autistics?