How the Âûtistic community helped me to come out as a trans woman…
It’s June 18th which means it is Autistic Pride day, a day almost right in the middle of LGBTIQA+ pride week. Well it’s almost the end of Autistic Pride day but no matter the day is not done yet.
I’ve written about this day before, most recently here where I talk about pride being an act of resistance. This post is not really in that vein but it also kind of is. Because let’s face it this is about coming out and there’s no question that coming out is in itself an act of resistance.
Finding my autistic tribe was very much a moment of understanding, of release, a moment of intense joy and release of the feeling that no one would ever understand and accept me. It was and is an amazing thing.
When you’ve lived your life either being told you’re broken and wrong and believing that to me true at a visceral level which seems to be continually proven by the fact you see incapable of managing connectedness with other people, finding that to be false is a euphoric moment indeed. All those broken dreams all those failed attempts all that belief you would never fit in and would remain an outcast forever suddenly begin to melt away, shrivel up and die.
Essentially it is hope returning.
Hope for friendship
Hope for understanding
Hope for kin
Hope for family
Hope for tribe.
Suddenly hope is not just a word but a real thing to be grasp and believe in.
But for me, and I suspect many it was even more than that. My tribe helped me to explore my self more than I ever had and to come out and live my truth as a queer woman.
That might seem like an odd statement but it’s true nonetheless. You see for me I grew up in a very conservative Christian home with relatives all of the same persuasion. I was never allowed to be who I was, even though much of that had been constructed internally it could never be external. It could never be out. It simply would never be tolerated and family connection, as toxic as it was was largely the only connection I had. Risking that may well have been enough to bring it all to an end.
But finding my tribe, finding the Autistic community totally changed all that. Suddenly here I was finding connectedness and friendship and understanding with so many people, of so many identities, backgrounds and experiences and a discovery of how wonderful this was, how none of the so called rules of what you could and couldn’t be really mattered after all.
I was connecting with LGBTI people, other neurodivergent people, people of variant abilities and diversity and we got each other, we understood. In short we connected and I think, most importantly I was safe.
Finally I had the space the safeness to let myself out, continue to discover beyond the point where I had always wrongly believed I had to stop. Suddenly I could be me no matter what that me ended up being.
Within my tribe I could question my assigned gender, I could talk about it, think out loud about it and even try on something different on the path to discovering what fit. It turns out what fit is a bit queer, a lesbian trans woman.
It was the safety and acceptance of my autistic tribe that allowed me then to come out outside of the safety of that tribe. Without my autistic tribe I am convinced I would still be a very angry unhappy person trying to play a gender role that was not my own.
Today is Autistic Pride day, smack in the middle of Pride Month. Today I am proud to be autistic and proud to be trans. I am proud of my autistic tribe most especially for making me able to trust enough, to feel safe enough, to be me.
On this Autistic Pride day I am a proud out loud visible autistic trans lesbian woman and I am incredibly proud of my amazingly empowering wonderful life giving Autistic Tribe.
Be Proud. Be Visible. Be You and Celebrate Neurodiversity and give “Normal” the big middle finger!