Survey: Acceptance, Gender, Sexuality and Body Image

This is final batch of survey questions. 😦

Answers to the other surveys continued to come in for weeks after I posted them. If you want to go back and take a look, here are links to past weeks:

Special Skills and Fun Stuff

General Coping Strategies


Sensory Sensitivities

Work and School Strategies

This week’s questions are about acceptance and gender/sexuality/body image. You can answer here or at Survey Monkey, wherever you feel most comfortable. (I’m going to break from pattern and answer anonymously this week, because . . . reasons.)

I’ve created two separate surveys at Survey Monkey:

Acceptance survey questions

Gender/sexuality/body image questions

As always, this is open to anyone, regardless of official diagnosis.


  1. Do your friends and family ask you about your diagnosis? Do you feel supported by them?

  1. Do you ever feel ashamed to be autistic/technically disabled/different? Especially after spending a big chunk of your life as a ‘normal’ person?

  1. Do you all experience a lot of double standards regarding your autism, and how do you deal with this? For instance, it annoys me so much that an NT person can move their hands around, fiddle with clothing etc, but when I do it, it’s stimming and therefore A Bad Thing in the eyes of others.

  1. If you could be neurotypical, would you want to be?

  1. How often do you hear someone use autistic as a pejorative?

  1. Before you realised you were autistic did you ever understand yourself as being somehow not human or not from your culture of birth? (e.g. an alien from the wrong planet or born into the wrong country, century or species etc)

Gender/Sexuality/Body Image

  1. How do you relate to gender? What is your understanding of the word/concept?

  1. Has there been a point in your life when you felt that you wanted to be, or were meant to be, a gender different to the one you were raised as? (If so, why do you think this was, how old were you, how long did this last?)

  1. Do you currently believe in or follow gender roles and stereotypes? (for example, roles/rules about how you’re meant to dress and present yourself, what interests you’re meant to have, how assertive/emotional/nurturing/etc you’re supposed to be, what role you’re supposed to take in personal and professional relationships, etc)

  1. If you are some variety of transgender or answered that you’re gender nonconformist in some way, do you think that this is in any way related to your autistic traits? Do you think you ‘do gender’ or ‘do transgender’ differently to other people because you’re autistic?

  1. Is your sexuality, romantic orientation or preferred relationship structure different from our cultural norms in some way? If so how does this differ and do you think this is related to your being autistic?

  1. Have you ever had any difficulties with your self image, if so how did these manifest? (such as physical/bodily gender dysphoria, body dysmorphia, eating disorders)

124 thoughts on “Survey: Acceptance, Gender, Sexuality and Body Image”

  1. anonymous answers:

    Q7: I am cis-female. I have gender-diverse friends.

    Q8: As a child I wanted to be a boy, because boys were ‘good’ and got to do fun, active and creative things (I have an older brother). I was not good at being a girl: quiet, seen but not heard, obedient and subservient. I loved climbing, swinging, building things, as well as dolls and stuffed animal tea parties.

    Q9: Not in order to conform, but I do do ‘girly’ things that I enjoy. I enjoy baking, cooking, child-care (I’ve been a Foster Parent, run a home daycare, and now am studying to be a Special Needs Educator). I love crafts and sewing.
    I also enjoy doing home repairs (electrical, plumbing). I garden and I design my own landscaping.

    I have a wife, but her personality is more ‘boi’ than mine.

    Q10: I believe that my autism has made me see the world differently. I don’t do things JUST because someone thinks I ought. I never have. (DX 2013, age 40).
    When someone says I ‘ought’ to do or be a certain way, I’ve always asked why? If I’m given a reasonable, logical response to ‘why’, I’ll consider following through with the directive, but only if I agree with the argument ‘why’. If I don’t, I won’t.

    Q11: I am a polyamorous bisexual. I prefer poly-fidelity.

    Q12: Not really. I just didn’t like myself for always being ‘wrong’ no matter how hard I tried to be ‘right’.
    Then I realised that ‘I’ wasn’t the problem, that others’ expectations of me was. I gave up on conformity long ago.

  2. anonymous answers:

    Q7: I think gender is a sociological construct. Things we once decided/developed should be a certain way, just to make things ‘clearer’. But now a lot of people see gender constructions as gospel truth and I think that is dangerous. Especially because it makes for stereotypes/ideas that are mostly opposing and diminishing to women.
    If it was less set in stone and more open to personal interpretation, that would be great.
    So though, I see myself as female, I don’t feel attached to it, but I do respect people who are (it’s a personal choice) as long as other people don’t decide for other who they should be and in which restricting and harmful box they should fit.

    Q8: Yeah, but more to try out, switch it up. Or better: Wanting to live without these things that seem to decide so much in your life (how you’re treated, what people tell you you should be/are like). Like gender-neutral. And I think since I was about 6 or so? I didn’t understand the all the fuss. It still lasts, but I don’t feel any dysphoria, I just do what I like. Or at least I try to do, because sometimes shit gets in your way.

    Q9: Nope. See above. Also Cordelia Fine has a really good book deconstructing this: Delusions of Gender (summary:

    That doesn’t mean I don’t follow them sometimes, but the difference is: If I WANT to. Now sometimes it’s hard to see what I want, because gender is so culturally ingrained, but that’s okay. Also we don’t really know for sure if some gender roles do exist biologically, but what I think I know and what I’m convinced of is that they are heavily culturally ingrained and most importantly: Rigid. And I personally think the rigid part is the most harmful, because it makes us not see people/groups of people as real persons!

    Q10: I’ve heard/read that autistics are often different with gender. I think that’s maybe, because we might miss the unwritten rules and/or are more forced to think about them, because we realize we don’t understand and seem to do genderroles ‘wrong’ sometimes.
    Okay, maybe I should speak for myself, but I think that’s the case for me. On the other hand, if you know the rules, they are very clear lines to follow and handy to fall back on in some overloaded social situations (I’ve caught myself doing that in stressy times), on the other hand it’s very hard to know and understand some of these rules to do them ‘as they should.’

    Q11: Uhm well, I’ve often thought I was asexual. Although I’ve decided that’s not the case: I’m just not really that sexual and see sexual and romantic relationship differently. I also rarely fall in love, and maybe only during and after dating them. It just confuses me, relationships are fun, but I don’t really need them, but then again sometimes I feel I do. And this might be autism for a part, but I’m not sure.
    I do know that romantic and sexual interactions are really scary for me, because I don’t understand them that well (as for example friendship) and I don’t know how it works and what to say/do etc. There are all these rules? (Also sexism and rape culture doesn’t make things better) And for me people have always gone too fast. I have a hard time translating and finding out what I want and if I actually want it, so I need a lot more time to communicate that. This is why in the future I want friendship as a base for these interactions, because than I can communicate out of friendship (does that make sense) and it’s a lot less scary.
    (Btw, nothing against people who are faster, that isn’t any of my business and I don’t wanna police people and their ways of relationships (and I also don’t want to slut-shame people))

    Q12: I’ve had a period where I wanted to be normal/standard/natural in which I had some rulelikethings for myself on how I dressed myself (colors, proportions, form etc), how and in which order and why I used certain products and did personal care (I had bad acne and now I know eeeevverrything about it, from food to the ‘latin’ labels on cosmetics). Also how my hair should be exactly.
    This is hard to explain, but it was kinda obsessive and I might have been close to disordered thinking, but on the other hand it was also a way of finding out how to organize personal care. On the other hand maybe it was also kinda about making myself invisible..
    It mostly went away when I learned more about personal care and clothes as a way of creativity instead of how I looked ‘right’.
    Okay, maybe it was kinda disordered.. I don’t know, I still feel I had a grip on it though, it didn’t take over my life, part of it was a hobby/coping: Organizing colors/proportions, learning more about cosmetics and style. I still find this interesting, but now it’s less obsessive and more open to creativity.

  3. anonymous answers:

    7: Gender is not the biological sex of a person but the perception of a person’s male and/or female identity or lack thereof. Gender should not be a binary construct.

    8: My biological sex is female. I have been raised as a girl and I have never wanted to be male.
    It has taken me quite a while to realise that I do not especially want to be female either. I realise now that some of my problems stem of my behaving in an atypical non-female way in certain situations.

    9: I do not believe in gender stereotypes. I follow in dress and in parts of my behavior a female gender role because I hate to stand out in the crowd. Another factor is the fact that I am exclusively sexually attracted to men. It’s easier to outwardly conform to the gender role that was biologically assigned to me.
    I do wish I could be open about the fact that I feel neither female nor male but I feel that society or my family is not ready for that.
    My partner knows how I feel about my gender (or rather lack thereof) and this doesn’t bother him.

    10: I have not read enough on the subject, but I believe there is some sort of link between my autism and my gender nonconformity. I have been told that I have a cognitive style that is more male than female.
    Also, I think that contrary to clichés about autistic people, we are able to think outside of the box more easily because we approach these things from a rational point of view and not from a feeling of how people ‘should’ be.

    11: As I do not think of myself as a woman, I do not consider myself heterosexual. I think of myself as androphile.
    My preferred relationship structure is one in which both partners do not live together but do see each other on a regular basis of 1-3 days/week.
    This is probably related to my being autistic because I need a lot of solitary time. This is actually one of the areas in my life where I am glad I am autistic because I would otherwise probably have never discovered all the other advantages of this kind of relationship: intense conversations, time spent together as a positive choice and something special rather than a given and a drag, no gradual diminishment of sexual attraction or romantic feelings/behaviors (still in love after 10 years and the impression of this feeling deepening ever more).

    12: Anorexia: 17-18 yr old and bouts of unhealthy eating patterns during periods of intense stress ever since.
    Body dysmorphia: since my adolescence.
    Gender dysphoria: aware of this since 2 years (almost 40 now).
    Exercise addict for the last 4 years: I have had injuries because I find it difficult to listen to my body and take a rest day if needed.

  4. anonymous answers:

    Q7: I remember my mother explaining my gender to me. I am male but remember cross-dressing as a child. I got a clear message that this was unacceptable ,painful.

    Q8: In an ideal world I would switch between male and female freely. I recognize strong female traits in me.
    I am R.N. and have spent the past 30 years working in a field that is strongly identified as female.
    Granting this there are times that I am happy as a man.

    Q9: This is an hours long conversation.I don’t write well enough to carry it out

    Q10: Yes but see #9

    Q11: Nothing fits exactly. I do identify as kinky(SM ) but even that doesn’t do more than scratch the surface.I realize that I have asexual traits. I am in some ways poly as well. As gets said “it’s complicated”

    Q12: A lot of self loathing,though this is probably partly from a very dysfunctional childhood.

  5. anonymous answers:

    Q7: I’m trans, thought that identity is somewhat of a relic. I mostly identity as a feminine, non-human organism. The non-human aspect is actually relevant to my experience of gender, as since birth, I’ve never felt like “gender” as was understood quite fit me. (For reference, I was male assigned at birth, but present as a “woman.”)

    I visualize Western gender as a sphere with an infinite number of spectra of behavior, and my actions tend to fall on the feminine sides of the spectra and sphere.

    Q8: Yes. I began to articulate I should be a different gender in frosh year of high school. Before then, I never thought of myself in terms of gender–only in terms of others’ expectations of my gender.

    Now, as my understanding of gender has changed, I haven’t felt gendered for about a year. I still tell people I’m a woman because most people don’t want to be bothered by my identity, including many gay and some transpeople, oddly enough.

    Q9: Gender roles and stereotypes are something to be believed in–they exist, for many they are fact. My hope is to smash them all–as literally as possible–and destroy the kyriarchy, and that includes gender roles and stereotypes.

    Q10: I think that being Autistic has altered how I do transgender a lot, because I’ve never had a great understanding of gender. It’s always felt like something that was kind of…weird. I don’t know, I think it’s allowed me a much more rational take on gender then many people have.

    Q11: I have casual sexual encounters that are consensual and use affirmative and enthusiastic consent, something which it seems is far out of the norm. I think being Autistic has actually helped me be safer, because I’m more insistent that certain safety protocol and consent protocol be followed always, despite not being socialized to do so. I also identify as monogaqueer, meaning I’m open to relationships with multiple partners (though I don’t necessarily seek them out).

    Q12: YESSSS so much, but mostly around body size and weight. I’ve have had eating disorders for over a decade (more than half my life now), mostly manifested as binge eating, but at times as exercise bulimia and borderline anorexia.

  6. anonymous answers:

    Q7: Gender is for some and innate identity. For others it is more of an abstract concept in which they may or may not take part. I had a hard time understanding gender, especially how others could identify so strongly with their gender sometimes. But a few years in queer activism and all that good stuff has helped me learn that it’s very important to some. I identify as genderqueer, but sometimes don’t really feel connected to any gender. Other times I feel super femme and fabulous.

    Q8: In 7th grade I dressed as a boy and cut my hair short. I dunno if I was playing with gender or just confused about my detachment from the concept. Now I definitely do not identify as cis, but I’m also unsure if I’m trans.

    Q9: Gender roles are all total bullshit. That’s not to say that the majority of people don’t still buy into them. But it makes me very grumpy and nauseous when someone thinks that they are true. Which is interesting coming from someone who dresses very femme and likes knitting.

    Q10: I think I might be a little different from other GQ people in that I often feel more genderless than anything. I’ve read that a lot of autistic people, specifically dfab, feel kind of neutral or apathetic about gender. But it fluctuates. I generally get on very well with genderqueer and trans kids

    Q11: Yes to all three. I’m pansexual, demisexual, polyamorous, and possibly aromantic (I like the term wtfromantic). I know that my demisexuality and wtfromance stem from some autistic traits. I have no idea what ‘romance’ actually is, and all of the definitions seem to be super vague and nebulous and it makes me upset. I am somewhat unsure that romance even exists, but I do not want to invalidate other ppl’s experiences.

    Demisexuality comes from me having to know that I can trust someone before having sex. I really like the idea of casual sex in concept, but I just can’t do it because I’m scared of not liking the person or finding out that I fucked a racist or something. It’s kind of like sapiosexuality except I often find that concept to be ableist or elitist.

    Q12: Yes. I /tried/ to have an eating disorder as a teenager, but I just didn’t have the discipline to keep it up. I’ve always been fat, and sometimes my body is just uncomfortable to be in, especially my large breasts which of course are droopy and cover my tummy. I’m not sure how much of it is gender related, how much is just internalized fatphobia, and how much is actual dysphoria. I have learned to love myself, and most of the time I’m pretty ok with my body. Though I do pack sometimes, and feel slightly odd that I don’t have both a penis and vagina…

  7. anonymous answers:

    Q7: I view gender as biological, the sex in which you are born male or female defines you at exactly that because scientifically, that is what you are. I am a female as I was born a female with normal female reproductive organs, etc. however, gender roles in society can be debated and more thought and question provoking with variable outcomes and explanations.

    Q8: I always felt I was female and perhaps a subconscious attempt to follow social norms and to ‘fit in’ and avoid conflict (the good girl aspie theory; in which we try to mimic socially acceptable and expected ideals in avoidance of further confusion, isolation, disapproval, misunderstanding, questioning, etc.) was made on my part as a coping mechanism and strategy. I feel I tried to follow whatever ‘norms’ people assumed I already knew, and just went along with pretending to ‘have a crush on the boy my girl friends also had a crush on’, or play in the same way they did… But I only played this way with their direction. I’m ranting…. So, answer to the given question… From a young age I knew I was a girl and that was a fact; therefore, there was no thought whatsoever as to question that I was a female. But as social roles got more confusing and demanding and more demand was expected of me to learn social cues on my own as puberty hit me (of course worse cause I was earlier than my class and unknowingly socially naive and a target for bullying, sexual abuse and harassment, and gossip.) I felt confused and more than ever a want to understand things and the thought of bisexuality came across me when I began high school, but only after I saw other girls express they were and confused my mind even more than it was because I knew I was different at that point in my life, but didn’t know why and was in search of an answer. I no longer got along with girls (the two girl friends I had growing up abandoned me in 7th grade) who no longer guided me and wouldn’t accept my naivety as what it was but as everything it wasn’t. So found acceptance from males for most of my teen and adult life, ( I had only one friend at a time from my early teens on, I can’t meet social expectations further than one boyfriend, or a girl friend in a period of being single that I cannot keep for very long) and most of the time I was ‘accepted’ by these males off the wrong reasons and was a victim in several times of my life. In search of a female I could use as an example to pretend to be normal, and in contrast a female that was un ordinary (usually had psychiatric/drug/family/sexuality issues) with whom I felt I could relate to as feeling different… These both have happened at different times of insecurity and uncertainty in my life and make up the only friendships I’ve ever had with girls as only an attempt to understand people or myself. I questioned and experimented with the idea of bisexuality, briefly… Though now at age 24 I am confident in stating no desire for a woman sexually as I have come to terms more with myself (esp after self diagnosing aspergers) and the realization of the fact that I think of sex in reproductive, primal instinct terms, biologically, and realized my creativity to sex is limited to feeling the way it was naturally intended to be, between a woman and a man. But I don’t waste energy on disapproving or caring for that matter what other peoples personal decisions and beliefs are, respectively.

    Q9: As I rambled on about in my last response, I was presented from parents, older siblings, teachers, etc, with the expectations of a ‘normal’ girl of my given age at the time. I played with the girl across the street only because it was suggested and expected of me. I always preferred to play by myself since I can remember and playing by myself I could do with the most ease. confusion, stress, disappointment, disagreements, lack of interest or understanding in their choice of activity caused conflict with peers/friends growing up and this was never seen by adults as me having a social deficit but rather children working out normal growing hurdles such as learning to share, learning to take turns, playing fair, etc. I fit the female stereotype description throughout life as I presented myself in social situations as ‘super feminine’ and ‘girly girl’ as I could be because that was what was expected and most accepted of me. I have faint memory of not realizing or understanding societal ‘boys’ or ‘girls’ toys, or colors, from a very young infancy, but a marked time at which some point I was told there was a difference and what that was defined by. I said around three years old I wanted to be ‘a cowboy’ when I grew up, and my parents tried to reason, ‘don’t you mean you want to be a cowgirl?’ and because at the time I only knew of the term cowboy, I stuck to my facts and insisted ‘no, I want to be a cowboy.’ After gender roles were brought to my attention at some point in time, and of course I had to learn new rules every step of the way with much more thought than most kids, I then can see that I followed exactly what was expected of a girl my age (not in my own thoughts or play by myself necessarily, just when presented to others). I played barbules, but I mostly just remember organizing and computing in my head how my friends would play with them, or repeat exact words I heard from a tv program or movie. I couldn’t come up with those things on my own. I organized them, positioned them, lined them up, spent time building a house as it was kind of like building a puzzle (something I enjoyed) and I organized and sorted things that were alike shoes in one pile, Barbie clothes in another, ken clothes in another, furniture in another, food in another, I remember much thought in doing just that, perhaps stalling my friends as well in attempt at avoidance of having to play with barbies the way they insisted on, acting out social situations and free styling as this didn’t come natural to me. I was always nurturing and caring, Inside I wanted to be liked, and I wanted to understand people, and I wanted to follow what people expected me to be and and do what was needed or asked of me but this often didn’t come out as exactly planned. If the way I felt things should be or how I should do something was questioned or challenged or taken away from me I would have meltdowns. If something was promised and minds were changed or circumstances out of anyone’s control resulted in the promise being broken or not followed through, I would meltdown. If I believed something to be true that was tested I would meltdown. I always was accustomed to music and became a fan of the spice girls at age 7 (they stood for girl power and were the ‘ideal’ girl image across American girls my age) which kicked off my interest in high heel shoes, and obsession with spice girls, my subconscious aspie mind relating everything to the spice girls, unable to turn off this switch in my mind, to find every spice girl picture, doll, shirt, fact, store that sold spice girl things, things that I could say weren’t as worthy, every book, every show, every word they spoke, every place they played concerts, every lyric, every cd, every, I mean everything I could possibly learn and accumulate knowledge on about the spice girls. I wore ‘spice girl’ shoes up until about fourth trade… High heels, or high heel sneakers everyday. I had an urge to dress as close to how they did, but in reality I was clueless (about age difference, sexuality, appropriateness, accessibility, cost, etc.) that I either looked ridiculous or way off from really looking like a spice girl, as I was only 7 years old. My obsession for fashion, or at least what I thought, was really an attempt to be admired by others (often making people think I was dressed inappropriate for occasion or for age or season or size,)
    I always felt women were expected to be sexy. That women were supposed to attract men, and that they should dress sexy. It took me much much longer to understand (and I still don’t care about nudity or view if the same way as others do as inappropriate sexual obscenity, I view it as comfortable, natural, effortless) that there are times and places for different outfits, and different opinions from people and expectations.
    As far a personal relationships, The boys/men I chose/choose never fit the mold of what peer girls my age considered to be ideal/attractive/desirable. I value intelligence greatly, I don’t physically chose one guy over another solely. I tend to go for socially impractical/unconventional men, I don’t play into the natural instinctive desire for a ‘strong’, ‘socially honorable’, ‘socially dominant’, ‘paternal’, ‘providing financially’, ‘the bread winner’, normal stupid things typical females like in a man. I have been told people are surprised how nerdy, scrawny, flawed, socially awkward, not big money makers, not pants wearers, the guys I date are… I dated from 13-16 yrs old a homeschooled boy… Never dated anyone successfully that I had to see for long periods of time (this has strengthened in me however with age) such as being in school or working directly with them. After the homeschooled boy whom was socially immature and naive as I was (unknowingly), I shortly after dated a 21 year old electricians apprentice (whom lived in parents basement and smoked too much weed and had little self ambition or self confidence in life) when I was 16 (turned 17) years old only lasting a half a year or so, then several months later met a 20 year old in political science/history major going into his sophomore year of college when I was 17 yrs old (junior in high school) whom I would date for the next 4 years. I cheated because I was socially unaware and confused about my feelings, unable to express them correctly, always trying to please or do what I thought was expected, etc… Scared to leave as i disliked change. I was always more sexual than any of my male partners, concluded in more sexual in general than most woman and more willing to try to please my partner. I later found myself in a relationship that dangerously progressed into me living with a partner for one year whom I found afterward to be a textbook fit for a sociopath, controlled and abused as I was an easy target with my naivety and honest heart I was unaware other people didn’t possess. I then fell victim right away to being scared and trapped, and felt drawn to a relationship with a police officer (it takes a certain personality to be one that’s for sure) for whom was almost just as manipulative, and controlling and lying as the sociopath, leaving me very weak and untrusting. I became I stripper and mastered the way of talking with men and being able to enjoy dancing to music, I did very well for the beginning but my social expectations I had to live up to stressed me out and wore me out and exhausted me. I am now 24 and engaged to a 40 year old whom struggles to fit into his age norm as he finds job security troubling and had never been married. I think he is a good fit for me, but we certainly aren’t your average couple.

    Q10: I am not transgender.

    Q11: I think I view sex very black and white. I take it seriously and don’t do it unless I feel a strong natural attraction to someone (which I personally think is more or less animalistic in nature, favoring polygamy as a natural favoring to by most human beings instinctively. I believe we primally and scientifically, biologically as a species, have ways of picking up reproductively suitable mates and of course this has been lost sight of by many or not often considered or thought through as much as I perhaps think of it.) so, i am not one to believe in only one mate for life. But I do believe nature has a reason that makes sense for everything that is relative and that has evolved into variations of the male/female reproductive cycle and don’t question it because I don’t really benefit from worrying about anyone reproducing as I see fit other than myself and my mate. I think I annoy boyfriends/guys or confuse them because I do not insist on foreplay or prefer it, I prefer intercourse and unprotected and naturally, as to reproduce as this is it’s prime function and what our built in goal as humans instinctively live to accomplish. I think guys wish I didn’t talk about babies or so serious about sex, and lived in the moment more, took things one step at a time, enjoyed sex for simply being sex, didn’t rush into it, was normal like most girls and made them work for it more, was like most girls unlike myself in which I am eager for my man to finish as soon as can without holding back, as he naturally should, why can’t I tell them to wait or last longer, in their words, but I don’t know how to do that I think in terms of getting an end result, and the ultimate satisfaction from sex would be to get pregnant with the mate you selected to reproduce and have sex with. Most people think it’s weird I think this way, as most people don’t think of it as much as I do. I feel if sex isn’t ended with a chance of reproduction (I’m open to kinky polygamous combos or monotony scenarios as possibilities) then the sex isn’t truly successful in it’s purpose. I also find I repeat myself a lot in sexual or romantic situations with a man and ask questions over and over again from lack of being able to tell how their feeling in the moment from facial expression or subtle cues. I feel I grab at them or instigate sex almost as a way of trying to figure out how they’re feeling or to be able to express my emotions as I have trouble with telling emotions unless their obvious very strong ones such as intense anger or happiness or crying sad. Otherwise I need obvious hints and I guess I without thinking act as if other people need obvious hints as well, but unfortunately these hints don’t always reflect to people the way I intend or I don’t realize I’m flirting/being suggestive/leading someone on/being forward when I’m just trying to be nice or friendly. I think I have trouble sensing how hard or soft I’m touching someone, so I’m terrible at back massages, or anything dealing with my hands and hurt people with realizing, etc.
    I find I say I love you quite fast if I feel a strong connection. I either view people as three things, love/strong attraction/sexual desire (those are all the same to me), a friend (whom in reality is a very short lived friendship that dies off quickly, or in reality what most would consider an acquaintance, or someone in which I know, someone I recognize or recognizes me, or someone for whom Ive know a long time that I see or talk to once in a great while due to their effort to contact or by a run in at a public place (again to me all the same), and then the third category would be people who have greatly expressed a strong superficial reason to dislike/no care for me due to confusing reason whether it be jealousy, misunderstanding of my character, my failure at fitting a social expectation or norm, etc., along with someone who has greatly betrayed my trust (takes a lot) or insulted me and my integrity greatly or whom doubts something I believe to be true and honest and proves themselves to be found lying or stealing from me. People that are ignorant and unwilling to see me as I am, these are all the same to me in the third category, which really isn’t as many people as it realistically should be as I am too trusting and accepting of others, making most fall into the second (friendship)category…..

    Q12: I suffered from an unspecified but definitely existent eating disorder from age 18 years old. I was thin my entire life without much thought about it (my food aversions and pickiness prob was part of this) and as I dealt with the pressures of changes in my life, changing activities and learning to drive and trying and liking more foods and having to work rather than do active activities like ski, bike, walk, dance, swing, swim, I used to enjoy I had obligations that changed my body and scared me as I now was worried about my weight being bullied and no longer fitting into my clothes and being told I borderline overweight at a doctors checkup, I went into a cycle of obsessiveness, as in my weight and image was my autistic interest in all seriousness, for which I obsessed and sought out every way possible I could try or/and succeed at losing weight. I pushed myself further and further as I received positive compliments unknowingly encouraging me to fall deeper into an unhealthy obsession and making my aspie mind believe the thinner I was, the more beautiful and socially acceptable and ‘normal’ or admired I was. I became obsessed with learning of others with eating disorders, both as a way of trying to find understanding and something I could understand of relate to, and for new ideas and to test hypothesis’ to see whether they would work for me the same they did for others. I became addicted to adderall and eventually methamphetamine because of how badly this ‘interest’ spiraled out of control, as these thing made me feel as though not only physically, but socially, I gained false confidence through using those drugs and social situations came easier to me and I felt I was more socially desirable and admired, which ultimately was a false representation of myself where I fell without realizing into people having unrealistic expectations I naturally could not live up to. I am sober now. I do want a proper diagnosis, because I am annoyed when people doubt my self diagnosis and want to prove myself and also to help other girls who go through stuff I went through, I would like to prevent them from having to deal with some lessons I had to learn the hard way due to living undiagnosed. but I feel confident and certain more than anything I ever have, and proud and relieved and eager to strive for a life that’s best for me, that I indeed have aspergers, I always have, I always will, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

  8. anonymous answers:

    Q7: Gender is what you feel like. Tran or cis, I don’t care. If I like them, I like them. If not then it’s not my problem anyway.

    Q8: Yes, although not completely. I wish I was something in between. I think I wouldn’t mind being genderfluid.

    Q9: I don’t like it but something in me likes to look womanly – as in curvy and showing off a bit off boobs. I feel comfy for a while when I wear something a bit baggier or masculine but then I start feeling too big ( read fat). I really don’t know why that is and I am overweight.

    Q10: I seriously just don’t care about it as long as it doesn’t do me any harm, so I can’t tell.

    Q11: I consider myself to be somewhat of a pansexual, although I’m still a bit confused. And I’m into submission. And I’m scared of intimacy even though I have had sexual relationships before.

    Q12: I binge eat and I hate almost my whole body. I kinda like my hair. That’s about it.

  9. anonymous answers:

    Q7: Not much. I think to it as religion, it’s very personal, but is also confusing. For me it tends to base on two sexes, because I grew up relating and diving things in two genders. Right now it’s kind of a bag of wild cards, you don’t know what you may get until you look at a random card.

    Q8: Yes. I think it started when I was around 5, and I didn’t want to play with other girls. I just couldn’t play with their dolls. I didn’t fit in the girls, with makeup or dolls. But I didn’t fit in the boys with games and sports. When I was around 12 I would get called with feminine prefixes and it simply didn’t feel right. Masculine prefixes didn’t work too. Being assigned female at birth and having restrictions in clothing and etc. was unfair for both sexes, so I wanted to be something else. Something neutral. It still lasts.

    Q9: No. Well, right now [I’m not sure of what the hell I’m doing/not sure of the efficacy of what I’m doing] , so I just crossdress. I don’t know if I’m keeping a culture of stereotypes and am trying to make people expand their comfort zones, but I like to think I’m doing something good. I mean, I want to do whatever I want to do and want that for other people, no matter what their gender is (as long as it’s not shitty and offensive, like keeping the rape culture). I want women to use mini skirts because it’s not degrading and want to men to know it’s not degrading to use something women also uses. Being women isn’t embarrassing. Being men isn’t embarrassing. I want everyone to be able to use a sassy dress. I want everyone to be able to use a sassy suit. I will piss some off because I am cutting their gender privileges, but they’re being obnoxious. Strip someone out of their dignity and obviously,we’ll get mad.

    Q10: Yes. Maybe it helps me not feel guilty. If I weren’t autistic I probably would feel guilty for not giving the same kind of social feedback.

    Q11: Yes.Being pansexual and polyamorous. Yes, same as #4.

    Q12: Yes. When I was around 5 I was chubby and felt bad for not being fit. I didn’t have a great self-esteem in my teens because I felt I didn’t have enough breast fat. Though now I do not feel discontent with my female body, I do feel my gender doesn’t fit the binary document standards. Sometimes it makes me depressed, but mostly autism is the cause.

  10. Q7: Gender is distinct from biological sex which is determined by the sex chromosomes. Gender is partly a social construct — gender roles — and has a psychological basis. Your perceived gender affects your self-image and behaviour.

    Q8: I started wanting to be female around age 10. This was the point at which the first changes began associated with puberty. I have felt that way ever since.

    Q9: I follow conventions for dress and presentation — male at work, female outside of that. My interests are generally geeky. My personality is definitely closer to female stereotypes than male. I don’t really care about conforming to gender roles or stereotypes apart from my appearance.

    Q10: I don’t believe that my being a trans woman is related to being autistic; however I do find that the descriptions of autism in females match my own experience more closely than the usual male-oriented descriptions. Even though I was raised male.

    Q11: I have spells (measured in years) where I am asexual. As a trans woman I identify as lesbian since my sexual attraction is primarily to women (about 90%), although my romantic orientation is pansexual. I think the latter might have some relation to my autism since it leads me to think of people in a way that is independent of their gender.

    Q12: I have gender dysphoria which has caused depression and, on occasion, thoughts of suicide and self-harm (such as castrating myself — but as much as I dislike my male attributes I considered the consequences too severe).

  11. anonymous answers:

    Q7: A tendency to cluster around certain points, I guess.

    Q8: Yes. Starting at age 6, continued intermittently throughout childhood and adolescence; when I was 14, I curled up against a boy and felt very much like a girl, and as I grew older I became increasingly interesting transitioning male to female. I am now living full time as a woman, on female hormones, and making a run for sex reassignment surgery.

    Q9: Not really. I am pretty androgynous.

    Q10: I have no clue, but I know my Asperger’s, which makes me “un-ladylike” has been used as an argument against my transitioning by some.

    Q11: No current opinion.

    Q12: I expected to grow breasts at age 12 and was frustrated when I didn’t. I hated the body hair that I grew, I hated how that thing down there grew bigger and began brushing up against my leg–I always tried to move it into a position where I would be unaware of it. The body hair and all that made me feel stuck in a sea of untidiness and de-mobilized me; I constantly wore clothes, even in the house. If I were naked, I would avoid mirrors, for looking at that thing down there would always bring shock.

    With hormones I’ve grown breasts and larger areolae, which seems congruent (i.e. I don’t feel the same kind of disgust toward them that I do the thing down there or all that body hair). I hope I can have surgery soon to finally be rid of that thing down there and to also shut down testosterone production for good.

    anonymous answers:

    Q7: I am cis-female. I have gender-diverse friends.

    Q8: As a child I wanted to be a boy, because boys were ‘good’ and got to do fun, active and creative things (I have an older brother). I was not good at being a girl: quiet, seen but not heard, obedient and subservient. I loved climbing, swinging, building things, as well as dolls and stuffed animal tea parties.

    Q9: Not in order to conform, but I do do ‘girly’ things that I enjoy. I enjoy baking, cooking, child-care (I’ve been a Foster Parent, run a home daycare, and now am studying to be a Special Needs Educator). I love crafts and sewing.
    I also enjoy doing home repairs (electrical, plumbing). I garden and I design my own landscaping.

    I have a wife, but her personality is more ‘boi’ than mine.

    Q10: I believe that my autism has made me see the world differently. I don’t do things JUST because someone thinks I ought. I never have. (DX 2013, age 40).
    When someone says I ‘ought’ to do or be a certain way, I’ve always asked why? If I’m given a reasonable, logical response to ‘why’, I’ll consider following through with the directive, but only if I agree with the argument ‘why’. If I don’t, I won’t.

    Q11: I am a polyamorous bisexual. I prefer poly-fidelity.

    Q12: Not really. I just didn’t like myself for always being ‘wrong’ no matter how hard I tried to be ‘right’.
    Then I realised that ‘I’ wasn’t the problem, that others’ expectations of me was. I gave up on conformity long ago.

  12. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Yes, they ask. I feel supported by many family members, but dismissed by others.

    Q2: I am NOT ashamed. My Dx has resolved lifelong issues and given me unparalleled validation. After 40 years of being blamed for my failure to be ‘normal’, I am now validated by the fact that I have survived very adverse and discriminatory conditions, to become a happy, healthy Aspie.

    Q3: Having never been treated with ABA, I have never learned that my stimms are ‘bad’. Yes, I have been put upon all my life for being annoying, but as I grew up, I learned to stimm in smaller, quieter ways. Now that I have a Dx, I still try to be considerate of others, however, I al;so defend my right to do what I need to to do to take care of myself. If I NEED to stimm and it bothers others, I am quite happy to tell someone off for getting in my face. I will remain as polite as possible, but I will defend my rights and needs.

    Q4: HELL, NO!

    Q5: Not often, but then I work in support services. I find that it is easy for NTs to dismiss situations as “just their autism” but since I am not shy about educating people, I usually pull out an anecdote to counter to judgemental comments and illustrate that the person being judgemental is out of line. It is a non-confrontational way to address the issue, that leaves no doubt as to my own position.

    Q6: Yes. All my childhood I was sure I must be adopted, that I was ‘not from around here’. In school, I felt a freak and was often ostracised. As a teen, I embraced my freaky-ness and did not ‘take anything’ from detractors; I was a boot stomping Goth. LOL

    In my twenties, I became a parent of two Aspy- kids and they were from ‘my planet’. I was able to give them a sense of normalcy and acceptance that I had never had. They were now Dx’d until their pre-teens, but because we were all alike, and I am a good advocate, they did not feel so isolated or freakish as I had as a child.

  13. anonymous answers:

    Q1: No, when I told them, they (of course) didn’t believe me. They don’t ask about it. They definitely believe in the “pretend it doesn’t exist and the problem will go away” philosophy.

    Q2: Yes, this happens when I’m trying to explain what Aspergers is to an NT. They ask what it is, and I feel ashamed to say that it’s on the autistic spectrum (especially considering that I have an IQ over 165)

    Q3: I feel like there’s double standards in social situations. Any body can get up and leave the table for a nap or restroom break (ect…) but if I get up from the table to go inside to decompress and calm down then I’m “being a drama queen” or everybody thinks “there she goes again.”

    Q4: I’d love to be able to enjoy myself at a party, and not stress out over how many people there are, or the sounds and lights. I’d love to not need to think through everything a million times, stress out over it like the world is going to end before it happens. However, I’m in love with the way that my brain works when I’m researching one of my “special interests” (which happens to be autism/aspergers– I know, it’s odd)

    Q5: Often. People never see autism as a gift, or simply a different way of “being”. They see it as an inconvenience, as if I’m trying to draw attention to myself.

    Q6: I’ve always felt like I was born in the wrong century. Since birth I’ve been called an old soul and old fashioned. It doesn’t help that I was adopted at a day old, so fitting in was always an issue.

  14. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Friends, yes. That’s why they’re friends! Family, only a few. I haven’t shared my diagnosis with my parents because they are generally not supportive of me and I think they would just use it as more “evidence” of something being wrong with me.

    Q2: No, I don’t feel ashamed, and I never felt normal, either!

    Q3: The double standard that bothers me most is when people try to invalidate something I say by telling me that I’m making a literal interpretation or that I’m basically perseverating on a topic.

    Q4: Nope. I like being myself. What I want is to be accepted as I am, not to be someone else.

    Q5: Very rarely. I spend most of my time with supportive people.

    Q6: I felt alien. I was getting lots of messages that there was something wrong with me. I didn’t fit it, I was bullied, etc. One of my favorite characters is Spock, and I think it’s because his dual human/alien nature and different (sometimes literal) way of thinking resonates so much with me.

  15. anonymous answers:

    Q1: no,the irony is that many are probably on the spectrum.

    Q2: no

    Q3: Realized everyone stims to some extent. Autistic people do it more. When I was younger some of my stimming was repressed.I do try to avoid stimming in public.

    Q4: Very rich. Sorry that was my first response. I would like not to be face blind,and I have some central processing issues I could do without.

    Q5: Rarely, mostly it does not come up in conversation

    Q6: This is utterly me. As the phrase goes “wrong Planet” I’ve always liked SF,though I tend to root for the Mad Scientist. I’m convinced that SF and fantasy are the unacknowledged literature of autism.

  16. anonymous answers:

    Q1: Hardly any questions, although I would prefer to feel to be able to be more open about it. I mostly get a lot of support from my family where my children are concerned.
    I do not feel there’s a lot of room to talk about my struggles before and after the diagnosis, even if I feel the need to.

    Q2: Yes, I do. On a rational level, I do not think it is something to be ashamed of but I still feel ashamed.
    I feel like I am not considered as a person with full agency anymore by the few people who know.
    Part of me would like to disclose my autism to more people but I am afraid of the possible stigmas attached.

    Q3: As the group of people who know of my condition is very small and they tend to avoid the topic, I am not aware of this kind of issue.

    Q4: On a good day: no. On a bad day: yes. Especially on days I feel I am an inadequate mother to my children because of my different way of being.

    Q5: Not often but it does happen. Part of me wants to educate the people who use the term in a negative way but I am not ready for this yet.

    Q6: From age 11 upwards I have felt an outsider, even in my own family. As I grew older, I often ‘jokingly’ referred to myself as the black sheep of the family.
    In my early twenties I went throught a phase in which I often fantasized about dropping out of society and adopting a pre-industrial lifestyle.

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