Queering Autism
Any other AS Transwomen scared that you’ll be socially Forever Male?

Are there any other transwomen on the AS spectrum out there? I’ve never looked for a medical diagnoses on either, but I’m connected to both as deep parts of my identity. My older brother has been diagnosed with Aspergers, so at the least I see myself as a fellow-traveler to folks with autism. I know one other translady who has a very similar situation to me (her dad’s an aspie) and she’s having a real hard time too. I just wondered if there are more of us around the internet?

Since I’ve been transitioning, I’ve felt like I’ve had to learn social cues all over again. It feels like highschool again. It’s been helpful that I could watch cis and NT women and copy their habits and manners of speaking, but it just feels like there’s always a wall there. There’s a point that I can’t copy them quite believably and I think I trip and fall into the uncanny valley. I feel like there’s this performance of femininity that I really love and sometimes I feel like that, but I get such awful performance anxiety about everything. Maybe I shouldn’t try to pass for either…

And no one has said it out front but whenever I mess it up it just feels like I’m so MALE. I don’t think that other transwomen keep carrying male privilege with them, but I can’t control the words that come out of my mouth sometimes so I find myself being paternalistic or speaking for other people in really gross ways and I hate it. Anyone else have this same experience?

Upcoming documentary film on disability and sexuality!

Official announcement from grassroots disability justice performance project on upcoming documentary film

Sins Invalid: An Unshamed to Beauty in the Face of Invisibility (aka “Sins”) is a San Francisco/Bay Area based performance project that incubates and celebrates artists with disabilities, centralizing artists of color and queer and gender-variant artists as communities who have been historically marginalized.  For the last five years, our performance work has explored themes of sexuality, embodiment, and the disabled body to sold-out audiences.

Sins – The Film
We have reached nearly 4,000 people through live Sins Invalid performances.  But we’ve consistently heard from people who can’t make it to the Bay Area that want to experience Sins.  We’re proud to say that in conjunction with the Aepoch Fund we’ve almost finished making a 41-minute film that reflects our groundbreaking performance work and weaves interviews of artists and co/founders alongside unreleased performance footage to serve as an entryway into the absurdly taboo topic of sexuality and disability.

With this film, we can magnify our message that ALL people and communities are beautiful and valuable.  Imagine how many more lives and communities would change if people engaged in that simple message!  And, we still need you to premiere this film!!  Visit us at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dancersgroup/sins-invalid-an-unshamed-claim-to-beauty.

What We Have and What We Need
We’re in the final stages of production.  We are committed to completing the film – so committed in fact that we are donating personal resources to move it forward.  You know how artists stretch a dollar to make $100 worth of creativity happen.  We’re stretching but your partnership will premiere this film!

We are raising $15,000 through the online platform Kickstarter.  It will help us reach out to new communities – but there’s a catch.  Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform – so we will receive the funds only if we raise the entire amount.

Your contribution will help lead us through the end stages of film production – sound editing and creating music, correcting the color, adjusting the titles, beginning the distribution launch.

Please share in the truth that beauty always recognizes itself.  Be a part of completing a groundbreaking film on disability and sexuality. Visit us at http://sinsinvalid.org/.

What people say…
The world of enforced and embodied norms constricts all of us, regardless of where we identify on the spectrums of sexuality, gender, or ability.  In this project, people with disabilities are engaging in the wholeness of our bodies and our sexualities.  Visit us at http://kck.st/wgO4N5.  When people experience our shows they are deeply impacted:

"I am moved beyond words, moved to an emotional state that I can’t quite explain. Thank you for making this space possible!"- audience member 2011

"You are brilliant and beautiful and help me remember that so am I.  Thank you." - audience member 2011

"What makes Sins Invalid so powerful is that it thoroughly succeeds artistically and erotically, separate from the impact of its political message. Sins Invalid challenges its audience to think about sexuality, beauty, and disability in new and expanded ways. But Sins Invalid is also, quite simply, a hot, arousing, sexually charged evening of thought-provoking, imaginative sexual entertainment that only happens to be entirely by and about people with disabilities." - David Steinberg, SFGate

"One of the most powerful shows I have been to ever.  The creativity and expression and depth literally took my breath away." - audience member 2009

"Sins Invalid’s work is a vibrant necessity in this age of bland complacency. The art that is presented brings the intersectionality of race, gender, class, and ability and throws it in your face, forcing the viewer to come to terms with how these realities are not so different and yet so different for those with disabilities. And this is beautifully done with the erotic and the body." - Phem Magazine

"Mesmerizing, thought provoking and hypnotic, erotic and humorously joyful, sad, hopeful intense and rebellious." - audience member 2008

I’ll of course assume he’s completely ignoring the presence of autistic trans women

nicocoer:

draggle:

eateroftrees:

Because if autistic women are inconvenient for his theories about extreme male brains, autistic women who have absurd levels of distress over coercive masculinization are like… Yeah.

Brains: You can’t just arbitrarily stick genders on them.

(This is the guy who’s tests show that most women have male brains and who doesn’t think this is a problem SO I MEAN REALLY.)

Hell yes.  My best friend is an autistic transwoman and so very “stereotypically feminine”.  SBC’s tripe always reminds me of her, how very opposite his tripe she is.

Say, when is the Autism Women’s Network interviewing Simon Baron-Cohen on radio again?  Someone should ask him about transwomen.  I’m sure people must have asked him ‘bout ‘em before, but whatever drivel he replies with ought to be recorded.   

Anyone want to volunteer to be the call in question asker? (Prefer if it’s a trans autistic btw…)  

I DO know that he is/was supposed to be coming on the Autism Women’s Network Radio Show again SOON, if he hasn’t backed out. Unfortunately, it seems like he still hasn’t been scheduled in? I’ll have to talk to my executive director….

WHAT THE FUCK

tal9000:

eateroftrees:

I keep trying to read that article reviewing Simon Baron-Cohen’s book and get like, two paragraphs further before I come across something mind-blowingly ignorant I want to throw the book across the room. Except it’s a review of the book, and the review’s okay :P  The book is the problem.

Like holy gods he said we don’t need to bother diagnosing autistic women because they can act better. WHAT THE FUCK.

Oh wow. What the fuck.

eateroftrees:

pianycist

replied to your

post

: WHAT THE FUCK

Also, a consequence of “autism = super male brain” is “no such thing as feminine autistic trans or cis women” which is definitely false. Not that autistic people get to have self-determination of their own genders, acc. to SBC. x_x

Yep I was writing that rant just when you were saying that.

I’ve noticed he’s done studies of autistic trans men (HORRIBLY CISSEXIST STUDIES but yeah) because, oh hey those support his ideas! …the fact that there might be a higher than normal number of autistic trans men supporting his claims is, of course, sort of undermined by the fact that there are autistic trans women at all, let alone that there may also be a higher than expected number of us, too.

(I don’t have solid statistics on this; unfortunately.  Part of the problem when 95% of autism research is incredibly ableist and 95% of science about trans people is horribly cissexist is that there’s a bit of a lack of information here. >.<)

A Less-than-positive Review of John Elder Robison’s Latest Book

Since it was released in March, John Elder Robison’s Be Different: Adventures of a Free-Range Aspergian has received overwhelmingly positive reviews. Over on the Community blog at Feministing, I posted a much more critical review:

http://community.feministing.com/2011/06/22/same-diff-a-review-of-be-different-adventures-of-a-free-range-aspergian-by-john-elder-robison/

codeman38:

The mother of a four year, eleven month old boy saw that program that afternoon. She noted the list of symptoms that the expert gave and concluded that there was something seriously wrong with her son. She and her husband decided to take their young boy to UCLA for treatment to prevent him from growing up to be gay.

That young boy came under the care of a very young grad student by the name of George Alan Rekers. The boy’s treatment would become a subject of Rekers’s doctoral thesis, and the astounding success that Rekers claimed in curing the young boy would mark the start of a very impressive career. Rekers would write about “Kraig” in at least twenty publications during his career, a career which included becoming a very important activist in the promotion of anti-gay causes.

Hit the link to read further details of this… rather scary experiment.

If some of the concepts behind the experiment sound familiar from a different context? One of the doctors who led the experiment was named Ivar Lovaas. Those of you who’ve done research about autism might be familiar with that name.

Yeah, it’s the very same guy who came up with one of the most popular behaviorist programs to make autistic kids act more neurotypical.

And yet…people don’t see the parallels whatsoever…

Both mildly autistic people and bisexuals are also sometimes seen as not being legitimate spokespersons or members of their respective categories/communities because they are not deemed autistic or queer enough. Both are invisible minorities. People can chose to “come out” but if not their identity is supposed to be protected. One’s diagnosis of autism is hidden away in medical files. While that is necessary, it has the effect of promoting the concept that autism and similar conditions are the shameful medical “problems” of isolated individuals.

soilrockslove:

anarchoautie:

politeyeti:

abigq:

eateroftrees:

allies-person:

And even if his findings were reasonably accurate, that still would not validate the “extreme male brain theory.” It might just mean, for instance, that autistic people are more likely to be LGTBQIA, which…

Duyukdv: “Reblogging for commentary, and general interest in the subject. Bolded a bit I really identify with, as well. It’s still hard for me to tell if I’m agender, or just something else entirely. Actually, I was in my 20s before I realized that most people really do have some internal sense of gender. I could tell there was something I just wasn’t understanding there, and didn’t go off into the whole obnoxious “totally socially constructed figment of the imagination” thing—but either readily available option seemed like a giraffe or something to me. (Also reminded: had one hell of a time with the power hierarchies I ran into later, actually, with basically no emphasis on that when I was a little kid. Still do, though I understand they exist. Your “respect” is not my respect, no.)”

Yeah, I’ve noticed the pattern too.  It makes sense that if you’re not inclined to get your brain impressed into your brain, hard… that it would apply to a few other categories of how things are “supposed to be done”.

I also am trans*-y.  I’ve had certain experiences with my body that match up with “male” body parts, although I’m also generally content.

I don’t know if this makes me an androgyne or a kind of trans-man or a semi-man kind of woman, though. And I’m not sure I “get” gender as something divorced from bodies and feelings in general.  So maybe I don’t have such a good grasp of this whole gender thing anyway. :)

Response to the post about the CAFAB->Men and Autism article

alexthefab:

nowisgreater:

[snipped earlier discussion]

The fact that there was a trans woman involved makes NO FUCKING DIFFERENCE when the results were such transphobic shit as “trans men are silly deluded girls who think that because they’re not pretty princesses they must be boys”. From her “warning”, it sounds like she fully believes that trans guys who are autistic or leaning towards autistic are not really trans, but just confused (much like many older trans people, both men and women, insist that younger trans people are just doing it to be trendy).

Fuck that - I was and always will be a pretty princess. And all my friends are girls.

I think this is the article.

This shit is transphobic AND ableist/anti-autism at the same time. What even…? Are trans guys now required to pass as neurotypical in order to access hormones?

I hate to say this, but I’ve heard stories of therapists specializing in providing sign off for people looking to undergo transition telling a person they had to stop doing certain things to get sign off- all of which were Autism related traits. (If you have an experience with this, please do submit. If you’d like to do so Anonymously, send us an Ask.)