Autigender – The Main Misconception

scrabble tiles on paper cutouts on white surface

Gender is a spectrum – it’s not a straight line or a two-axis graph. It’s a spectrum. A gender that is often overlooked, but regularly experienced by Autistic individuals, is Autigender. 

However, it’s regularly debated, often gatekept from the Gender Non-Conforming community, and has many misconceptions. Let’s discuss it. 

I want to clarify before we continue that I am an AuDHD person (someone with Autism and ADHD). I don’t solely identify with Autigender as it doesn’t fully encompass my experience of gender as a whole.

Autigender – the experience of Autism having a solid, unlinkable influence on someone’s gender identity.

So, what is Autigender?

As the definition above explains, it’s a gender identity or experience that only Autistic people can experience. The main misconception around Autigender is that it makes Autism a gender – which is not the case.  It’s simply the experience of Autism influencing their gender rather than Autism being their gender. 

woman holding cardboard pieces with drawings

My way of explaining this is:

As someone who wasn’t diagnosed with Autism until adulthood, I learnt to mask as a child and continued through my life. That mask is a girl or a woman – because that’s the gender I was assigned and the gender I was raised as. Therefore, when I mask in public – I typically appear as a woman. My Autism, specifically my masking, highly influences my gender expression when I’m forced to be normal

But, outside of Neurotypical environments – I’m Non-Binary in every way. In reality, gender has no hold over me. I’m not drawn to being a woman or a man; I’m not drawn to being perceived in a specific way. I don’t want to be feminine, masculine, or androgynous all the time.  I feel, simply, Non-Binary. And being in a Neurotypical environment doesn’t change that, but it does change how my Autism makes me act and present. For Trans and Gender Non-Conforming Autistic people, this is a common experience, especially when they didn’t receive a diagnosis until their teen years or adulthood.

Another misconception is that Allistics [a non-autistic person] can be Autigender. This is incorrect. Autigender can only be experienced by Neurodivergent people. Because Autism isn’t a gender, you need to have Autism to experience Autigender. 

While it has been seen that some Allistics have identified as Autigender in an attempt to “make Autism a gender” – it’s not common and usually gets shut down before it gets anywhere.  Because it’s something that, even after pointing out, Allistics keep contradicting: AUTISM IS NOT A GENDER.

Let me know if you want me to cover other gender identities, expressions and experiences!



error: Alert: Content selection is disabled!!
%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close