Important Video: “Gender Criticals” & Autism

I’m not sure where I first encountered the despicable practice of using autistic people as a political weapon, but it was probably the anti-vax movement. Some time after that, I learned why so many autistic people hate the organization Autism Speaks, and not long after that, I started to become more aware of how our society systematically fails, abuses, and kills people with all sorts of disabilities and neurotypes. In recent years, the reactionary “Gender Critical” movement has been using the bigoted notion that autistic people don’t know themselves or their own experiences, to attack trans people. It’s something that requires dismissing what autistic trans people have to say, often while claiming that those same people “don’t have a voice”, and so need some Rowling-style “feminist” to speak for them.

Mica of the Youtube channel Ponderful does an excellent job dismantling this bullshit, and giving her perspective as an autistic cis woman of the sort that the transphobes claim to speak for. Fair warning, this video does get a bit dark, as it goes into topics such as the frequency with which disabled people are murdered by their parents and other caregivers, and abusive “treatments” for autism. It’s an informative video, and it closes out with comments from autistic trans people, because it turns out that they actually do know their own minds, and they have voices with which to speak for themselves.



  1. anat says

    In recent years, the reactionary “Gender Critical” movement has been using the bigoted notion that autistic people don’t know themselves or their own experiences, to attack trans people.

    If there is any connection at all between a diagnosis of autism and of gender dysphoria, it may be backwards. You can get a diagnosis of autism from professionals who are not specifically specialists in autism such as pediatricians or school psychologists. But according to a specialist who spoke at my organization, often children who experience stress respond by behaving in ways that are more typical of autistic children – seeking order and repetitiveness as a way to calm themselves. So gender dysphoria may cause a child to appear autistic even when they are not. And when the dysphoria is addressed the child’s behavior becomes more typical. So my advice to parents is that if you suspect your child may be on the autism spectrum, get a diagnosis from someone who specializes in autism. They’ll be able to tell you if what you see is an inherent part of how your child’s brain works or a response to some other issue (which you will need to then track down and work on resolving).

  2. says

    Some of the autistic trans folks quoted at the end of the video mention that autistic people often have to do a lot more self-monitoring and introspection than most allistic people. They also are more likely to realize that social constructs ARE just social constructs, because they often have an outsider’s perspective on our culture, from being pushed to the margins.

    I don’t know to what degree the symptoms of one might be mistaken for the other, but in both cases, it causes problems when parents don’t listen to what the kid’s telling them, and adapt to the child’s needs, rather than trying to force the child to conform to their expectations.

  3. lame article says

    I talk as an autistic and I consider this site to be a contradiction to it’s own name. Free Thought Blog? This is more like a woke gender studies site that propagates what woke capitalists tell them to. I’m autistic and as much as I hate autism speaks for being a money laundering scam more than a “hate group” since the so called research they do is more or less designed to go nowhere, it goes without saying that I don’t need to believe what woke media tells me to be on the spectrum.

  4. says

    Um…no one here is telling you that you “need to believe what woke media tells you to be on the spectrum.”

    Also, please define “woke” and explain why being awake — or whatever you mean by the word — is bad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *