Negotiating psychiatric cisgenderism-ableism in the transgender- autism nexus

Shahar Shapira, Leeat Granek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Most of the literature on autism and gender is rooted in a medical deficiency model. This study aimed to critically examine the discursive position of mainstream clinicians-researchers and to explore how their position affects, and may be affected by, autistic transgender individuals. We analyzed nine psychiatric case studies depicting autistic transgender individuals, and five texts written by transgender Aspie (i.e. having Asperger’s syndrome) individuals in online blogs and forums. The critical discourse analysis revealed that within the case studies’ cisgenderist-ableist lens, co-occurring autism and transgender were considered co-morbidities. Aspie transgender individuals reported difficulties in receiving social recognition of their gender. We discussed their ambivalence toward the cisgenderist-ableist discourse in light of recent cultural negotiations over the normativity of transgenderism and autism which start broadening the intelligibility of neuroqueer positions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-513
Number of pages20
JournalFeminism and Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2019


  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • autism
  • disability
  • discourse analysis
  • neuroqueer
  • transgender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (all)


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