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Celebrating Pride Month at SARRC

Happy Pride Month! During Pride Month and every month in between, SARRC is proud to stand by and support our LGBTQ+ community.

As an organization built on the values of inclusion, we must shine a light on the intersection of identities within our community, which includes spreading awareness and educating others about the LGBTQ+ and autism intersection.

Studies have recently shown a higher rate of LGBTQ+ identities among autistic individuals compared to the neurotypical population (Stokes, 2018; Wier, Allison, & Baron-Cohen, 2021). In addition, studies have found autistic individuals have experienced loved ones around them invalidate their identity, stating that their autism makes them unprepared to determine their LGBTQ+ identity (Miller et al., 2020). This underscores the importance of recognizing and celebrating the diverse identities within our communities.

In honor of Pride Month, here are some ways our supportive, inclusive community can better support individuals with autism and an LGBTQ+ identity:

Validate an individual’s identity: People with autism and an LGBTQ+ identity have reportedly experienced loved ones around them invalidating their identity, stating that their autism makes them unprepared to determine their LGBTQ+ identity (Miller et al., 2020). Validating a person’s judgment and sense of self is a simple action that will greatly affirm someone’s identity!

Honor an individual’s identity: If an individual with this identity discloses preferred pronouns to be referred to by, honor them. Extending this acceptance of their identity will make them feel supported and heard.

Create a safe and accepting environment: Foster an atmosphere of acceptance, love and support within your community. Help to educate and inform others.

Respect an individual’s identity: Show respect and provide quality services regardless of someone’s identity. If you are unsure or have questions, strive to ask in a considerate, tactful, and thoughtful way!

Let’s honor the courage and resilience of the LGBTQ+ community. Let’s amplify marginalized voices and advocate for a world where everyone can live authentically and freely, without fear of discrimination.

Resources and Support:
The Trevor Project 
Out & Equal 
Straight for Equality

• George, R., & Stokes, M. A. (2018). Gender identity and sexual orientation in autism spectrum disorder. Autism: the international journal of research and practice, 22(8), 970–982.
• Miller, R., Nachman, B., & Wynn, R. (2020). “I Feel Like They Are All Interconnected”: Understanding The Identity Management Narratives Of Autistic LGBTQ College Students.” College Student Affairs Journal, 38(1), 1–15.  
• Weir, E., Allison, C., & Baron-Cohen, S. (2021). Understanding the substance use of autistic adolescents and adults: a mixed-methods approach. The Lancet. Psychiatry, 8(8), 673–685.

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