Individuals on the Autism spectrum tend to be less influenced by or responsive to societal expectations or constraints. In many ways this individuality and “marching to a different drummer” leads to greater challenges fitting in socially and in the workplace; in other ways this out of the box thinking and behavior leads those on the spectrum to become some of our greatest thinkers, innovators and creators.

This natural inclination to be oneself and not follow the crowd or societal norms, seems to correlate with a higher than average incidence of individuals on the spectrum having greater variance and flexibility in the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression. Many on the Autism spectrum do not subscribe to the prevailing binary definitions.

Essential Resources:

Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Asperger/Autism
Couples and Partners
Support Groups for All Adults (LBGTQ+ Support Groups below)

A generous grant from Genetech helps fund AANE's LBGTQ+ support groups.

LBGTQ+ Support Groups

Browse content about this topic

Filter Results

In(ter)dependence: A Trans Autistic Perspective

For many years I preferred to be as independent as possible because relying on others was … unreliable. I’d observed that people tend to agree to things that they don’t actually have the capacity to do, because they want to be nice and they have a hard time saying no. Being independent... more

Honoring Identity

Lee el Mensaje de Brenda En Español This month we are discussing autism and gender identity. I remember over a decade ago receiving calls from autistic adults and parents sharing stories of how their gender assigned at birth didn’t match how they felt. Recognizing the growing need for support... more

My Kaleidoscope Life

My name is Olivia (She/They) and I’m a 24 year old, autistic, transgender woman. Actually, scratch that. That sounds really clinical, and I feel like I’m anything but clinical. I’m a weird sandwich, of tics, stims, non sequiturs and interesting perspectives that shape my existence and color... more

Gender as Performance

To preface this article, it’s important to understand the spaces I occupy and from which I speak. My name is Jay, I am a 27 year old autistic, white, non-binary, and queer identifying individual with ADHD. I grew up in an extremely neurodivergent household with a mother who is likewise autistic... more

The Multiple Masks of Trans Autistics

When I realized I was autistic at age 40, I experienced a range of bittersweet emotions: grief & relief, embarrassment & enlightenment, confusion & confirmation. People who are neurotypical don’t usually have this type of extreme retrospective self-realization at some point in their... more

If I Knew Then

Hello, My name is Shari and I am a single mother of two adult kids. My oldest child, who I will refer to as J, is now 24 years old. He came out as transgender at age 15 and socially transitioned to identifying as male immediately. The autism diagnosis came later: first with a self-diagnosis as a... more

Trust the Client

The question often arises, how to best support transgender people? How to best support autistic people? People with ADHD? People who are otherwise neurodivergent? To answer this question, I draw from my experiences in these communities and from my education as a therapist. When I was working on the... more

Gender Identity and Autism: Strategies for Supporting Autistic Transgender, Nonbinary, and Gender Diverse Individuals

The higher likelihood of being transgender, nonbinary, or gender diverse among autistic individuals (and vice versa) has been a growing area of study in recent years (see Sala et al., 2020; Warrier et al., 2020), which has prompted much needed discussions about how professionals can better serve... more

Making the “L Shape”

The intersection of queer, trans, and autistic is a complex one, but it’s one that accurately describes my experience. My name is Olivia (She/They) and I’m a trans woman. Growing up queer in a conservative Upstate NY high school was difficult enough, but it was complicated even further by... more

Online Support for Parents of Neurodivergent Transgender Adults

In September 2020, the largest study to date to examine the connection between autism and gender identity found that people who do not identify with the gender they are assigned at birth are three to six times as likely to be autistic than cisgender people. (The term "cisgender" is used to describe... more

Press Release: AANE Awarded Foundation for MetroWest Grant for Parent Support

Watertown, MA - January 30, 2020 - The Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) is thrilled to announce the receipt of a grant from the Foundation for MetroWest to fund two support groups and additional education for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum who question or know they have a... more

The Link Between Autism and Trans Identity

External Resource
Research on the overlap between autism and gender diversity is a relatively new field. But at AANE, we have been talking about gender and autism with our community for years. You can read about the latest findings on the link between autism and trans identity in The Atlantic... more

Meet the People Being Left Out of Mainstream Conversations About Autism

"It was a white people's thing... it was a guy's thing." Michon Neal, 27, a genderqueer person who uses the pronoun "ze," didn't realize ze had Asperger's until less than a year ago. The only people ze had seen representing the syndrome were white men. As an intersex, mixed-race person who is... more

Ask and Tell: Self-Advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum

Recommended Reading
Edited by Stephen Shore, Ask and Tell aims to help autistic people effectively self-advocate in their pursuit of independent, productive, and fulfilling lives. Ask and Tell is unique by being the first book to speak to the twin issues of self-advocacy and disclosure for people on the... more

Romantic Relationships

Romance, dating, long-term relationships, and marriage enter into the lives of some people with Asperger profiles, and of these, many start their own families and become successful parents. Dating presents challenges for many with Asperger profiles because it involves subtle social communication... more