Unexpected Review: ‘Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism’, by Eva A Mendes and Meredith R Maroney

Jessica Kingsley Publishers
21st January 2019


Bringing together a collection of narratives from those who are on the autism spectrum whilst also identifying as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and/or asexual (LGBTQIA), this book explores the intersection of the two spectrums as well as the diverse experiences that come with it. By providing knowledge and advice based on in-depth research and personal accounts, the narratives will be immensely valuable to teenagers, adults, partners and families. The authors round these stories with a discussion of themes across narratives, and implications for the issues discussed.

In the final chapter, the authors reflect on commonly asked questions from a clinical perspective, bringing in relevant research, as well as sharing best-practice tips and considerations that may be helpful for LGBTQIA and ASD teenagers and adults. These may also be used by family members and clinicians when counselling teenagers and adults on the dual spectrum. With each chapter structured around LGBTQIA and autism spectrum identities, Gender Identity, Sexuality and Autism highlights the fluidity of gender identity, sexual orientation and neurodiversity and provides a space for people to share their individual experiences.

My Review

I originally had an ARC of this book from NetGalley but due to medical issues I haven’t been able to read ebooks for several months. After seeing a review from a fellow autie book blogger (Hi, Lizzie!) I had to get myself it in paperback. And I read it whenever I got a chance.

I was really impressed with how easy to read and yet in-depth this book was, the case studies of ASD-LGBTQ people and their families, the discussion section, which helped answer some questions my circle of Autistic friends had. Yes, I took this book to the pub om Friday, it was bus reading material and then I decided to share with my friends. It lead to some interesting discussion, because we’re as ignorant as the professionals about the intersection of Autistic and LGBTQ identities.

I especially found the Mendes and Maroney Autism Diagnostic Key useful as an Autistic person. It seems much more ‘experiential’ and user-friendly than the AQ-10 or RAADS-R tests. I will be recommending this book to my psychologist at the Adult Autism Service here in Lincolnshire.

Jessica Kingsley Publishing produce some marvellous books on autism, I may have mentioned ‘Spectrum Women‘ last year, but there are a few more on my NetGalley shelf that I really need to get read, such as ‘Uncomfortable Labels’ and ‘Know Your Spectrum’. I do recommend their books, very highly.


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