If you looked at cars, overall, in the 1980s and 90s, you would have seen that a Holden Nova was a Toyota Corolla with a minor change in the nose, and a Holden Apollo was a Toyota Camry with different badges, and a Ford Telstar was a Mazda 626 and a Ford Laser a Mazda 323, and there could be the "It's a Holden. No, it's a Toyota," to-ing and fro-ing from people devoted to one thing or another.

Now, we have the far-right wing of politics attacking politicians who support non-gendering and I pointed out to some who argue that there are males and females (or XX and XY) and that's all, but they lack both the intellect and the willingness to see that XX or XY is an own goal. For those who understand it, males with Kleinfelter's Syndrome have a chromosomal anomaly that makes them XXY and there's also XXXY, as well as XYY or XYYY, as well as Fragile X Syndrome.

I say that one reason why I was particularly devastated when a female friend of mine died quite suddenly and I have a good rapport with some female autistics is that my friend was a bit of a tomboy (not in an aggressive way) and some of my female autistic friends also have non-binary or slightly more masculine brains. I thus reject the rot of the far-right wing with their approach as memories come flooding back to me of how school used to be at sports time of, "Males do this, females do that." Granted, I didn't have the co-ordination for skipping, and hated it one day when the teacher said, "Okay, those who've brought tennis racquets can play tennis, the rest of you can play skipping." If ever I had to skip to somebody else's timing of the rope, I was either hit in the head or tripped over the rope. I also did not have the head or the inclination for football (I can count on one hand the number of times I ever handled a ball in touch football) and was grateful to my Grade Six teacher, who, if ever the class played cricket or baseball, even though he'd say underarm to girls and overarm to guys, he would always, at my turn to bat, say, "Underarm to Peter," thus giving me a chance.

Only today, I saw something that said that some girls tend to slide under the radar with an autism diagnosis as they can have special interests in animate objects, and thought, that may be true, but it doesn't mean that males don't or can't. I mean, I love my car, but my interest is more about preserving her (I call my car Shigemi) as a piece of early Heisei (the reign name given to the time of the Emperor) Japanese technology. Yes, I drive her, albeit very gently, and have her serviced regularly, and fortunately, my mechanic realises that he is servicing an autistic's car and hence, what he likes is different. I am not interested in aggrandising my car with after market equipment. Perhaps predictably, my mother, said years ago, "Your obsessions with this are just ridiculous," and I know that the problem is her ignorance. I also have a strong rapport with the cat, and seem to be able to figure out what he needs and he likes me to do certain things for him. I notice that if someone else feeds him, he'll eat it but soon come looking to me for more food.

It is not accurate for autism experts (the neuro-typical ones) to say, "This is a male presentation and this is a female presentation," as a male may present like a female and vice versa and there may be a combination of both in the one person. My own experience, when I was younger, was of a strong vocabulary and a fascination with words. Maths wasn't my strong suit, but I did have more of a liking to do things an even number of times rather than an odd number and I also have a thing, when I have to see a doctor, I prefer to see a doctor five times to be happy because I had to see a doctor I didn't like four times, so I need to cross that barrier to be happy.

So, are there REALLY just two genders? Well, no. For bigots there are two presentations for gender but for those willing to open their minds and for those on the autism spectrum, especially, gender is a continuum and we all fall at some point on it. Even amongst neurotypicals, there are males who do not present in the way males do and there are females who don't present in the way females do. Your genitalia is a manifestation of one thing, but you cannot force people into one of two boxes, rather you have to find your place. And bear in mind, a transgender person is not like a Holden Apollo, but to use a modern example, the Fiat Freemont is made by Jeep and is equal to a Jeep, but just like a Fiat Freemont, a transgender can go anywhere. A transgender person's DNA may not be altered, but the cosmetic procedures may produce a person who was the same as before, only more contented in their own skin than they were as they are now at one with themselves.


Diagnosed with autism at 35. Explained a lifetime of difference.

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Peter Wynn

Diagnosed with autism at 35. Explained a lifetime of difference.