On Autism and being Transgender (RIP Kayden Clarke)

I got so furious when I heard about the death about Kayden Clarke, an autistic trans man. It broke my heart.
It makes me so mad that he was refused to transition because of his autism. I can relate to it. This was also my fear when I came out and was looking to get diagnosed with autism. (I scrolled through my posts to see if I have talked about the diagnosis process yet, but couldn’t find anything so I’m going to tell it now.

Before I could get diagnosed I had to be on a waiting list for 3 years. Last February then finally was the time. I got 3 appointments and talked with 2 different doctors and did some tests at the Charite´in Berlin.
When talking with the first doctor, he constantly misgendered me. I couldn’t stand it no longer when we came to talk about relationships. So I told him in one sentences that I never been interested in relationships and that I was transgender and he please should use he/him pronouns. He looked up to me and said: “Where do you wanna know? You need a sense for sexuality to know if you’re trans.” That made me mad, to sit in front of a doctor, who should be an expert for autism and doesn’t know about transgender. So I asked back: “What has my sexuality to do with the fact that I don’t feel like a woman?”
“Well, you need to know with who you want to be together to know if you’re trans.”, he replied.
“Shall that mean that I only can be a trans man if I’m attracted to girls, or what?”, I gave back. I was tired to discuss with him. I was there to know if I was autistic or not, and not to educate him on being transgender and aromantic asexual. He kept on telling me why it can’t be that I really was trans, and it felt for me as he meant “if I was autistic I can’t know if I was trans because I would not understand what gender is”. I can’t remember his exact words because I was upset.
When our talk was finished and he had left, an assistant kept being there and told me about my next appointment. Even though she has been in the room the whole time, she started again to misgender me, so I said again that I was transgender and she please shall use male pronouns.
At the second appointment I talked with a different doctor and did some tests. At least she respected me and used the correct pronouns while talking with me. Nevertheless no one had asked me about my name so in the diagnosis letter there was my female name placed. It was odd. They used female name but then talked about in the male form. (After my name change is legal, I want to ask this doctor for a new print of the diagnosis with my male name so I can use it in future when I need it without outing myself.)

After this experience I got very insecure and worried that I might not find a therapist and later endocrinologist who don’t have a problem with my autism. I fear they would say, I only think to be transgender because of my autism and will refuse me to start with T. Gladly I found a good therapist who doesn’t think it invalidates me being transgender although he has no experiences with autistic people so far.

It makes me sad that Kayden didn’t had the same luck. “We need to cure your autism before you can start with T.” That’s so wrong. Not only because there is no “cure” for autism, but also autism don’t need to be cured. We just need to be respected, and not get taught how to interact with people to be accepted. But it’s easier to force a minority to change than the whole society, eh?
When I first went to an autism center and asked for what kind of support they can give me, I quickly was told about courses in social interactions, to learn to read facial expressions and body language. I refused to attend there. First because I won’t understand it anyway because I am autistic but also because I don’t see why I should change myself to fit the society the keeps rejecting me. I am who I am. And when someone can’t deal with me, it’s not my problem. But they better should educate themselves on autism to understand why I am who I am.

Luka

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