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Aired Mar 24, 2022

Being Queer & Neurodiverse

In addition to March being Bisexual+ Health Awareness Month, March 21-25, 2022 is the 20th National LGBTQ Health Awareness Week. In recognition of both, this episode of Something To Talk About Live, we will be discussing Dr. Robert T Muller’s article in Psychology Today, “Why Identifying as Queer Can Be Harder for Those with Autism” with advocates  Lydia X. Z. Brown and Kayley Whalen

Something to Talk About Live is a series designed by PFLAG National’s Straight for Equality program to create conversation about LGBTQ+ issues. Each week we offer an article on LGBTQ+ topics and suggest a few questions you can use to lead a discussion with your ERG, community group, or PFLAG chapter. 

We hosted a conversation about this article as a part of PFLAG Connects and Something to Talk About Live on Thursday, March 24. Did you miss it? You can still watch it here!  

Article: Why Identifying as Queer Can Be Harder for Those with Autism 

Source: Psychology Today 

Author: Dr. Robert T. Muller 

Questions for Discussion: 

  1. Before reading this article, were you aware that research shows that those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are less likely to identify as straight and/or cisgender than their neurotypical peers? Did the findings surprise you? Why or why not?

  2. One of the medical professionals quoted in the article notes that it is not uncommon for gender-diverse autistic people to experience extra “gatekeeping” in terms of accessing gender diversity-related care. What impact do you think that experience has on gender-diverse autistic people and their families? What are some of the ways this situation can be mitigated

  3. Are you aware of any changes that that LGBTQ+ organizations and spaces have made to be more inclusive of people that have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder? If so, what have those changes been? If not, what can you do to encourage the creation of spaces that are more inclusive?     

Bonus read: Check out research from 2020 and 2021 that highlight the intersection of LGBTQ+ identities and autism spectrum disorder. Our guests this week recommend Working with Autistic Transgender and Non-Binary People Research, Practice and Experience edited by Marianthi Kourti and Sincerely Your Autistic Child: What People on the Autism Spectrum Wish Their Parents Knew About Growing Up, Acceptance, and Identity edited by Emily Paige Ballou, Sharon DaVanport, and Morénike Giwa Onaiwu.  

About Our Guests:

Lydia X. Z. Brown, advocate and organizer

Kaylee Whalen, advocate and communications professional

Ways to Watch:

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