Gender identity and sexuality are more varied among autistic people than in the general population – three to six times as common, in fact- with autistic people or, people with suspected undiagnosed autism, being more likely than neurotypical people to be non-binary (i.e., gender diverse). In terms of why this is the case, it is likely to be because the social rules/ societal expectations which govern the lives of neurotypical folk do not tend to apply to the same extent within the neurodiverse among us (i.e., those of us living with autism). This is perhaps due to the fact that people with Autism tend to feel as though they don’t really ‘fit in’ socially.
Now, it is this inability to ‘fit in’ as described above, which sees people with autism generally feeling more able to present themselves authentically than people without autism, a result of them being less influenced by the social norms which inform how they act in social situations. It could be because of this then that people with Autism, particularly younger people of school age with autism, can be subject to bullying, as they are more likely to go against the mainstream ideals of what is popular, whether that’s in terms of more trivial matters such as clothing and makeup, or more complex matters such as gender and sexuality, with them instead opting to forge their own path in life, expressing themselves freely in turn.
So, whilst the ‘differences’ in people with Autism may, to some, be thought of as a ‘hindrance’, to many, their differences will be regarded exactly for what they are, quite literal super-powers, thus serving to form a positive part of an Autistic person’s identity, as they take pride in their differences;
- Pride in not following the crowd,
- Pride in acting in such a way that is true to oneself,
- Pride in the ability to find, and excel in, one’s own path in life, regardless of what other people think, or say, about it,
all of which leads to more progress and diversity of thinking happening within society-
hence why Autism really is a ‘super-power.’