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r00tb33r
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06 Apr 2022, 10:16 pm

I was allowed to transition at 18 without question – but I regretted it
Interesting story.

I read in Tony Attwood's book on Asperger's Syndrome that the sexual orientation and gender abnormalities are heavily over-represented in individuals on the spectrum. Tony Attwood essentially suggested that the challenges with social conformity confuses autistic people into thinking they belong to such a minority. Personally, I agree with that opinion.


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Mona Pereth
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09 Apr 2022, 3:27 am

Here is a critique of some of Tony Attwood's ideas about autistic trans people: Problematic Professional: Tony Attwood.

I think it's wrong, and rather condescending, to say that "challenges with social conformity confuses autistic people into" thinking they are trans. I do think that people who have accepted that they are unusual in one way may then have an easier time accepting their unusualness in other ways. Also, autism generally seems to be correlated with freaky traits of many different kinds.

About the article you quoted:

Until very recently at least, medical transitioning was extremely difficult, bureaucratically speaking. Trans people had to jump through all manner of hoops, over a period of many years, to convince doctors and psychotherapists that they genuinely wanted and would benefit from a medical transition.

Perhaps in some places at least, transitioning has gotten a lot easier? The author of the article you linked to seems to think it has gotten TOO easy. I don't have independent knowledge of just how easy it has actually gotten these days. I would suspect that this varies a lot by location.

I do agree that it would NOT be desirable to end up with a whole lot of young people getting medical treatments that permanently destroy their fertility, but then wishing a few years later that they hadn't transitioned, so they could have babies the old-fashioned way.

What I don't yet know is how substantial a risk there is of this particular outcome, under current circumstances. I do know that transphobes are likely to exaggerate this risk.

Also I do know that, for many trans people, being able to transition, and having their gender identity accepted, is essential to their mental health. Therefore, making it bureaucratically very difficult to transition is BAD for most trans people.

Perhaps there's a happy middle ground between the extremely difficult old way and the possibly too-easy new way, if indeed the new way is too easy?

I sometimes wonder if, had I myself grown up in a world where transitioning was easy, I might have ended up being one of those people who transitioned medically and then regretted it. When I was little, I felt very strongly that I should have been a boy. In my teens, I thought of myself as neither a typical girl nor a typical boy. By my early twenties, I pretty much just thought of myself as a gender-nonconforming woman. Had I grown up in today's world, I suspect I would have grown up thinking of myself as trans or at least nonbinary.

So I can sympathize with the people who worry that too-easy medical transitions might result in a lot of people transitioning and regretting it.

But I would like there to be a solution that doesn't make life unnecessarily hard for trans people. We need a world in which gender non-conformity of all kinds is more accepted than it is now. We need a world in which trans people are more accepted and there is more acceptance of people who are gender-nonconforming without being trans.


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09 Apr 2022, 4:47 am

Both studies and my antidotal experiences here and elsewhere show that a much higher percentage of autistics have atypical gender identities.

As far as the the blog post by Fierce Autie that Mona linked to “He feels that people could “slump back into depression if trans status was embraced with impulsive and unrealistic hopes to fix autism.” I do not find this offensive but consistent with the Neurodiversity movement. He is clearly talking about a subset of autistic people. Impulsive decisions to fix autism be it chelation, bleach enemas or quack diets are often very harmful. I do not see how it would be any different if that impulsive decision to attempt to fix autism is to transition. I do not have full context here such as what question was he was replying to or the entire answer. That said he could have been more sensitive in his answer that transgender as with Autism is seen in many circles as fads.


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09 Apr 2022, 10:37 am

"Tony Attwood essentially suggested that the challenges with social conformity confuses autistic people into thinking they belong to such a minority. Personally, I agree with that opinion."

I agree too.

I'm always a bit dubious of an autistics persons gender identity when many never really developed a full grasp of their own personal identity beforehand. I always believed that someone can only form a true sense of their gender and sexual identity if they have a developmental age that matches their chronological age. Some autistics are wise beyond their years and can reach an objective stance on their gender without their autism possibly clouding their judgment.

Unfortunately many get stuck in a very developmentally immature state (it is autism after all). As a result their personality traits, abilities, self worth, confidence and future aspirations, basically what makes someone unique and mature are all extremely under developed and I wonder if individuals with such fundamental yet poorly developed traits can truly come to an impartial decision on their gender identity. If they do come up with a concrete gender identity for themselves which is conspicuously atypical and one that they publicly make a bit of a scene about, then it raises alarm bells for me whether they're simply making up for an undeveloped personal identity with an over exaggerated gender identity.

Broadly speaking, I usually ignore atypical gender identities of autistics unless they're well grounded autistics who clearly gave it some unbiased consideration first or autistics who's gender identity, regardless of what it is are clearly not a dominating factor in their life. If an autistic is 50 years old that acts like they're 12 and has shaved off their eyebrows and hair then It's a simple case of have a more serious think and come back to me later before I start calling you "zee".



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09 Apr 2022, 11:03 am

Mona Pereth wrote:
Here is a critique of some of Tony Attwood's ideas about autistic trans people: Problematic Professional: Tony Attwood.

I do agree that it would NOT be desirable to end up with a whole lot of young people getting medical treatments that permanently destroy their fertility, but then wishing a few years later that they hadn't transitioned, so they could have babies the old-fashioned way.

What I don't yet know is how substantial a risk there is of this particular outcome, under current circumstances. I do know that transphobes are likely to exaggerate this risk.

Also I do know that, for many trans people, being able to transition, and having their gender identity accepted, is essential to their mental health. Therefore, making it bureaucratically very difficult to transition is BAD for most trans people.

Perhaps there's a happy middle ground between the extremely difficult old way and the possibly too-easy new way, if indeed the new way is too easy?



I think that autistics or people who show autistics traits should be scrutinised considerably more than NT's before transitioning. As I said in a prior post, I think there is a world of difference between a NT or a emotionally mature aspie going to the doctor and asking to transition compared to an extremely immature aspie with a very poor sense of self identity.

I think anyone who portrays extreme emotional immaturity and just doesn't seem all "there" should come under more scrutiny before transitioning. Like you said there should be a happy middle ground but I feel a happy middle ground will actually entail more serious psychiatric screening which will by default ensnare a lot of autistics.

When I was younger I had gender identity problems of my own. I didn't know what I was into or who I was. I felt more female than male but as I found my feet I became happier being male. I felt lagging behind my peers emotionally and socially resulted in a fair bit of gender confusion when I was in my early to mid teens. Looking back, my autism was a big factor in that and it was not a true portrayal of my gender identity.



FleaOfTheChill
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09 Apr 2022, 11:46 am

8O
Are you for real right now?
Are you really trying to suggest that you don't think autistic people can be trans because they're autistic?
I get so sick of that kind of borderline transphobic crap...

Meh.



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09 Apr 2022, 11:55 am

FleaOfTheChill wrote:
8O
Are you for real right now?
Are you really trying to suggest that you don't think autistic people can be trans because they're autistic?
I get so sick of that kind of borderline transphobic crap...

Meh.


Which poster is that directed to?



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09 Apr 2022, 12:10 pm

FleaOfTheChill wrote:
8O
Are you for real right now?
Are you really trying to suggest that you don't think autistic people can be trans because they're autistic?
I get so sick of that kind of borderline transphobic crap...

Meh.

Not to mention that this type of rhetoric is incredibly ableist, and just perpetuates the idea that autistic people are all around too stupid to understand and advocate for themselves. Though who cares about that effect when there's an underlying agenda to serve. :roll:



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09 Apr 2022, 12:40 pm

Nades wrote:
FleaOfTheChill wrote:
8O
Are you for real right now?
Are you really trying to suggest that you don't think autistic people can be trans because they're autistic?
I get so sick of that kind of borderline transphobic crap...

Meh.


Which poster is that directed to?


It was directed to the OP, but it might as well be directed to anyone who agrees with the original post.



FleaOfTheChill
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09 Apr 2022, 12:45 pm

HeroOfHyrule wrote:
FleaOfTheChill wrote:
8O
Are you for real right now?
Are you really trying to suggest that you don't think autistic people can be trans because they're autistic?
I get so sick of that kind of borderline transphobic crap...

Meh.

Not to mention that this type of rhetoric is incredibly ableist, and just perpetuates the idea that autistic people are all around too stupid to understand and advocate for themselves. Though who cares about that effect when there's an underlying agenda to serve. :roll:


I got annoyed and hung up on the one component of the whole and didn't even think about that, and I know better. You make a valid point and then some.



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09 Apr 2022, 12:52 pm

FleaOfTheChill wrote:
Nades wrote:
FleaOfTheChill wrote:
8O
Are you for real right now?
Are you really trying to suggest that you don't think autistic people can be trans because they're autistic?
I get so sick of that kind of borderline transphobic crap...

Meh.


Which poster is that directed to?


It was directed to the OP, but it might as well be directed to anyone who agrees with the original post.


I mostly agree with it but some autistics can still be trans. There does however appears to be a very strong link between poor social and emotional development and being trans. That said, provided an autistic isn't too badly afflicted by those traits to the point where it might effect their sexual development then they can still make a reasonable decision on both being trans and transitioning.

Lower functioning autistics or ones with more severe social and emotional problems however I've always had a bit of confusion about whether they are trans because they actually are trans or trans because they don't have the toolset to properly dissect their gender identity. I feel a modest chunk of autistic trans might be simply trying to fill voids in their poorly developed personal identity by doubling down on their gender identity.

Autism being a spectrum muddies the water with finding out specifically why autistics seem many magnitudes more likely to be trans or "trans".



Mona Pereth
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09 Apr 2022, 2:46 pm

Nades wrote:
When I was younger I had gender identity problems of my own. I didn't know what I was into or who I was. I felt more female than male but as I found my feet I became happier being male. I felt lagging behind my peers emotionally and socially resulted in a fair bit of gender confusion when I was in my early to mid teens. Looking back, my autism was a big factor in that and it was not a true portrayal of my gender identity.

I would suggest that, whenever you discuss this issue, you emphasize your own personal experience, as described above.

Otherwise, saying stuff like what you said in the remainder of your post just sounds very condescending.

I think the point should be that both trans people and people with only temporary gender dysphoria have legitimate needs, and that finding an appropriate balance of both is difficult.

Perhaps the best solutions, in the long run, might involve raising all children in as genderless a way as possible, perhaps calling all children "ze" until they reach puberty, encouraging all children to excel at whatever their individual talents and inclinations might turn out to be. That way a child's gender identity could emerge naturally, on its own, without the kinds of social pressures that can make life hell both for trans kids and for temporarily trans-like kids.


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Mona Pereth
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09 Apr 2022, 3:15 pm

Nades wrote:
It's a simple case of have a more serious think and come back to me later before I start calling you "zee".

How about we just routinely call ALL children "ze," and avoid subjecting them to gendered expectations of any kind, until they reach puberty?

I vaguely recall reading somewhere that one of the Scandinavian countries is taking this approach.


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09 Apr 2022, 3:46 pm

Mona Pereth wrote:
Nades wrote:
When I was younger I had gender identity problems of my own. I didn't know what I was into or who I was. I felt more female than male but as I found my feet I became happier being male. I felt lagging behind my peers emotionally and socially resulted in a fair bit of gender confusion when I was in my early to mid teens. Looking back, my autism was a big factor in that and it was not a true portrayal of my gender identity.

I would suggest that, whenever you discuss this issue, you emphasize your own personal experience, as described above.

Otherwise, saying stuff like what you said in the remainder of your post just sounds very condescending.

I think the point should be that both trans people and people with only temporary gender dysphoria have legitimate needs, and that finding an appropriate balance of both is difficult.

Perhaps the best solutions, in the long run, might involve raising all children in as genderless a way as possible, perhaps calling all children "ze" until they reach puberty, encouraging all children to excel at whatever their individual talents and inclinations might turn out to be. That way a child's gender identity could emerge naturally, on its own, without the kinds of social pressures that can make life hell both for trans kids and for temporarily trans-like kids.


So anyone with the same opinion as me is condescending if they didn't have the same issues as me but if they did then its not? How does that work? Being trans or having issues with it doesn't make someone more authoritive on the subject than anyone else. This appears to be a problem on wrong planet where being part of a minority group is somehow perceived as an authoritive rank in itself allowing them to be dismissive of the opinions of others because they don't fit into said minority group.

Be honest, you would have been dismissive of my opinion if I didn't say I had my own issues wouldn't you? You basically said you would. Who someone is doesn't detract (or enhance) what they think and say.


Calling kids "ze" is stupid too. Seems like it'll cause more confusion for kids.



r00tb33r
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09 Apr 2022, 11:49 pm

FleaOfTheChill wrote:
Nades wrote:
FleaOfTheChill wrote:
8O
Are you for real right now?
Are you really trying to suggest that you don't think autistic people can be trans because they're autistic?
I get so sick of that kind of borderline transphobic crap...

Meh.


Which poster is that directed to?


It was directed to the OP, but it might as well be directed to anyone who agrees with the original post.

Re-read OP. If still having trouble, re-read again until fully understood.

Tony Attwood's point is that these anomalies are over-represented in people on the spectrum. This does not imply that autism and gender dysphoria are mutually exclusive, it just means that it is expected to be closer the the baseline of the rest of the population.


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r00tb33r
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09 Apr 2022, 11:51 pm

HeroOfHyrule wrote:
there's an underlying agenda to serve. :roll:

Don't forget to shine the tinfoil hat. :doh:


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