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Introduction

Hello world

This is the writer, the person behind BdUnicorn.

Bd are my initials and unicorns are my favorite animal.

I am from Pennsylvania, USA.

I believe in equality, liberty, progress, and socialism.

I use they/them or she/her pronouns. I am a transgender nonbinary femme, genderfae: queer and bisexual.

I studied at Susquehanna University and earned a degree in history and German.

This blog will be the home of my free content, and eventually will boost videos I make. BdUnicorn is my attempt to find structure, I want this to be my life, and you the reader can help make this possible. I will also make more in depth projects that will be available for purchase from Amazon Kindle and eventually Patreon exclusive content.

I will write about history, philosophy, LGBTQ issues, politics, culture, and my special interests, such as automobiles or fashion.

Some of this in the air, tell me what you want to see and more. Vote with your shares on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or whatever medium you choose to share this.

Thank you and stay tuned

Miss Bde.

An ode to depression

I am dull, I am numb, I am only a person that will stare

I feel null, and it was something that is no longer there

I see that nothing is my life, I see the gray skies above

I hear the soft buzzing noises of the white lights above

The senses are dull, the senses have numbed, for I am null

The self is yearning for pleasure that heals the soul.

The boredom reigns sovereign supreme above all

The joy and merriment of my life is fleeting, for I am null.

Where is the joy and how does one live life to pleasure?

Who is my significant other, who will be my treasure?

When will my life improve, will there be something?

What will come next, what shall we do today, nothing?

https://www.patreon.com/bdunicorn

What is order, What is chaos?

A poem by Brittany

Through order, there is chaos; through chaos, there is order.

For if you enforce the order upon the nature of our universe   

It will be as if you have stricken the sea with a metal mallet.

You will only have made splashes against the sand and air

And when you let the sea flow in its chaotic order of discordance

A symphony and orgy of waves and storms that turn to stillness

You will see the eye of the storm and be amazed to see its bliss

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then this eye beholds you– 

In all of its cosmic discordant harmony, that is the sea, air, land.

The mountains stand tall, but are themselves slippery but slow.

The order from chaos is both the sublime and the most beautiful.

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Autism and Gender: The intersection of divergence and variance.

CW/TW gender dysphoria, functioning labels, ableism, stereotypes, sexism.

Hello everyone.

It is still Autism acceptance month and will be my last entry for that month.

In this blog, I will discuss these the findings from the articles and then give my personal opinions connecting both of my personal and anecdotal experiences as ways to ignite a conversation about both transgender and autistic people.

I want to explore why some people are both autistic and transgender. I myself am both. In my previous blog about autism fashion, I stated that I was diagnosed at age 4 with the outdated diagnosis label of Asperger’s Syndrome. Instead, I call my condition autism, coming from the current standards of diagnosis.

Autism spectrum disorder and being transgender are two different things, though they are misunderstood, they have seen massively more awareness and even some acceptance, albeit to lesser degrees. However, being trans is not a mental disorder. The only thing in the DSM-V related to being trans is Gender Dysphoria, which exists independently and is not a prerequisite for one’s validity as a transgender individual, you do not need dysphoria to be transgender, though that’s a story for another time. Anyway, I have official diagnoses for both autism and gender dysphoria, that being said self-diagnosis is real and valid. Disclaimers aside, I considered both dysphoria and autism to be neurodivergence for me, along with my depression, ADHD, and anxiety disorders.

A lot of people I know are both autistic and trans, like me, friends, partners, and even some public figures online, have come out as both at varying times in their lives. The articles collectively discuss and answer questions on if autism and gender variance or being transgender are connected, they each cite various articles that suggest a strong co-occurrence between autism and trans or gender-variance.

Despite a lot of research taking gender into account, the coincidences of autism and gender dysphoria and transgender identity are among the new frontiers of autism and trans research. As I said before being transgender does not require gender dysphoria. This is very fascinating because of what questions does it pose. Is it there a link? Like I said, many other studies seem to support a higher rate of being trans or gender-nonconforming among autistic people, though some dissent. This could also be important in understanding medical bias in both of the autistic and transgender communities, especially when individuals have both identities. And many articles have expressed some doubts about the studies I have read in their sources and on my own between the links of transgender identity and autism. One critique has brought up gendered stereotyping in diagnoses of autism, even both children and adults. A lot of people seem to treat autism as if it is mostly male, and while yes AMAB children tend to have an easier time getting diagnosed than AFAB children, it is not a boy’s thing. I am autistic and not a boy, despite an early diagnosis. The gender differences are cultural, and a consequence of medical bias, in both diagnosis and treatment. As I mentioned in my previous blog, the criteria are slightly different in detecting autism.

Some context of the connections. When researchers of either autism or transgender people try to understand how and why people are autistic and/or trans, they try to look at biological reasons and especially neurological reasons as well. In the case of autism, there gendered stereotypes and biases. The Atlantic article I reported that a lot of research like Simon Cohen in 2006 hypothesized that autism was a result of an “extremely male brain” and the article added further context around this by talking about the history of autism portral among laypeople and researches and scientists alike. Autism has the stereotype of being for boys and that of a savant man. This in turn has downplayed autistic people who are not men, cis women, trans women, non-binary people, and afab children regardless if they are men, women, or non-binary before they transition. One source the Atlantic article uses is called Lost Girls, and it is about how for a lot of girls, usually afab or cis girls, their autism gets ignored, erased, or misdiagnosed as something else, thus denying and neglecting them with proper support and care. Though I am not a man, but a non-binary woman, I at least was glad I had my diagnosis taken seriously and grew up. Though some said girls were more likely to be high-functioning or have Asperger’s Syndrome, that is just conjecture I remember growing up as an autistic child who had unrealized issues about her own gender identity. And, often a lot of autistic trans people worry they might be denied transition care because of their autism or even autism support because they are transgender.

Mind you, as my partner said to me once in conversation. The baseline is assigned gender roles are an artificial social construct, which, by definition, many autistic people struggle with grasping or behaving within. In the slate article, there is a soundbite that says that 

It’s possible that autism is overrepresented among trans youth because autistic people are less likely to bow to social pressures that keep other trans people from coming out.

This quote reminds me of masking as an autistic phenomenon. Masking is something I have done. It has been considered both a female and high functioning trait to some. The articles mention it as a high functioning characteristic. Though I must interject a standard disclaimer on functioning labels because a lot of autistic people can be considered either high or low functioning at varying points and moods. Often, classifying one as one or the other is a basis for either denying support or agency. 

Masking and gender roles work together in a way; because what is conforming for transgender and gender non-conforming youth but another form of social masking. A lot of autistic trans people said that they have down a lot of social masking and felt that loosening enforcement of gender roles and even screening autistic kids for juvenile gender dysphoria would be beneficial for them. I wonder what would have happened to me if that were the case. 

Lastly, I would like to explore one more facet of the intersections between autism and gender: Autigender. What is that? Autigender is a neologism meaning that one’s gender can only be understood through one’s own autism or that it greatly affects their identity. So, with this identity, there is a small community of people who see their experiences of autism and gender as inseperable and even mutually dependent. While gender has more sociological components, there is some overlap with one’s own neurological condition with these especially since both are expressed through self identification, having taken some influence from clinical psychology. So with the exploration of neologisms to explore concepts of gender and neurodivergence, especially with things like transsexuality, non-binary identities, and autism, it is no wonder why something with autigender exists in contemporary currency among a lot of trans and non-binary autistics.

There is something about gender that resonates with most people, it is socialized in everyone, albeit in a limited binary capacity, and autistic people often see themselves differently or have many different perspective, while a generalization, it is mostly true for me, as an autistic and transgender person. Overall, I think that these can be a start of a much greater conversation about more specific themes. Let me know what you want in the comments and be share to like and share this article. Thank you so much for being an avid reader! 

-Brittany

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Bibliography

Autigender

Evaluation of Asperger Syndrome in Youth Presenting to a Gender Dysphoria Clinic

Gender Dysphoria and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Is the link real?

Gender variance and autism link?

Increased Gender Variance in ASD and ADHD

Initial Clinical Guidelines for Co-Occurring Autism Spectrum Disorder and Gender Dysphoria or Incongruence in Adolescents

Extremely Male Brain of Autism

The link between autism and trans-identity

The Lost Girls

Why are a disproportionate number of autistic youth transgender?

Autism Chic

Hello everyone, today we are going to have a conversation on what I call autism chic.

It is Autism Month, April. And this day, April 2nd is Autism Awareness Day.

If you do not know, your dear writer, Brittany, is autistic. Now you are aware. I want to start my series of various autism blogs with fashion.

Now, you’re probably what the hell do fashion and autism have to do with each other?

Autism is a complex spectrum of various mental states and abilities. I have it. I was diagnosed with Autism, specifically Asperger’s Syndrome, in 2001. I was considered “high functioning” but that’s a topic for another time.

Clothing must be comfortable but stylish? I do not know. Am I doing a fashion?

As I said before I am very concerned and fascinated with beauty standards and fashion even though I know they have a lot of societal, systematic problems.

When I try on clothes I have a few criteria: comfort, price, and style. I usually sort by style, then I try it on to see if it not only “fits” but also feels comfortable on my body, but comfort may not be quite accurate since some clothing can be a bad stimulation for my body.

Clothes fit? Yes, but does it stim?

There are other factors at play as well besides how it feels on my body in the most positive “stimmy” way, there are the style and social factors, I may have to put on formal clothes and it may not always be the right stim, of course reading social cues are part of it. Even some make-up, like lipgloss and lipstick, could not feel right because of a stim.

However, there is another factor, and it is not related to my autism, but rather, my mitigation of gender dysphoria. What happens is part of me rejects an outfit out of fears I’ll look too masculine or not feminine enough or not fitting with how I wish to present myself that day in terms of gendered expression, it could happen even if I am agender or androgynous. Fashion is very much gendered, because of that, people still talk about men’s wear and women’s wear. Comparing and contrasting either is fascinating in its own right, but so is mixing so-called “men’s” and “women’s” clothing, as if they have gender inside the pockets and seams.

Speaking of gender, from what I hear that people evaluate the fashion sense autistic children designated female at birth (AFAB, kids that are often assumed to be girls) as a parameter for an autism diagnosis, not so much for autistic children that were designated male at birth. Other signs they use from what I hear are based on gendered stereotyping but also social performance.

I do want to look more into autism diagnosing as a topic for a later story to write about.

But back to fashion. The stereotypes associated with autism do seem to imply it is not our domain, yet I know some autistic who conform to or even defy conventional beauty standards. As a non-binary trans woman, I do a little bit of both. I am a femme that subverts femininity and even tries to play with many gendered expressions.

Sometimes, I call this androgyny, genderless, or even genderfucked. All of which is non-conformity, despite that I present somewhat conventionally and feminine, which I consider conforming to my gender.

Now, going back to my autism and fashion.

As I retooled my wardrobe through my transition, my comfort was something I was concerned about the fit and look alike. I have also formed a new interest in fashion but more importantly, style, as I made a difference between cultivating a personal style and aesthetic and the social construction and socialized experiences of fashion and beauty standards. I have mentioned these before in a previous blog that had a lot of reads, but as someone who had struggled with fitting in with socialization (IE. making friends, navigating the nuances of various interpersonal relationships, whether familial or professional, at school or at work), I had realized that one part of fitting was the clothing. Clothing makes people and other people judge you on what you wear. My parents told me that, and other people in life did so, in less direct ways.

I remember some people “oh you’re wearing that?” or “why are you wearing this with that?” etc

This was how fashion and by extension beauty standards are enforced.

Some subcultures are identified by dress, especially with high school cliques, to be cliched. These tropes and cliches one sees in media are more stereotypical in reality, but they are pebbles of truth stretched into mountains.

So to summarize, I discussed stereotypes and social conditioning, and went on a tangent on my transition and desired aesthetic and gender presentation.

What would be autistic fashion? Imagine a line of fashionable clothing, so to speak, designed by actually autistic designers? Oh, wouldn’t that be something? I wonder if you had already imagined something.

Based on what I wear, I imagine it would be something comfortable and can be a good pressure stim, which can be adjusted for temperatures in summer or winter. Then, I would constrain it with a certain desired aesthetic that allows me to be a first-rate Brittany. Always be a first-rate you no matter what others say. It is always a good look.

I feel like I repeat myself, but it is worth repeating because it is true, and I have talked about it before.

Now, I would imagine some gender non-conformity or non-standard presentations would be more prevalent. Maybe someday, something like actual androgyny might be more fashionable. Another trait is caring less about high fashion as a top-down standard to be socially enforced, but rather a democratized fashion of styles and aesthetic. People can play with styles, or focus on comfort. It is a diverse fashion, through and through. Some styles are inspired by one’s special interests. Or maybe styling yourself with certain looks is your special interest. Clothing is very fascinating to me.

All in all, I think having a conversation around this and sharing this article with photos of your daily style and aesthetic would promote both me as a writer igniting discussion, but also your aesthetic and yourself. So please share this and keep being your stylish autistic chic selves to my friends on the spectrum!

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TDOV

Hello everyone.

This blog will be a quick statement on trans visibility day which is March 31st, this year it falls on a Tuesday.

Transgender visibility day is one of many days of pride and awareness for the greater LGBTQIA+ communities, in particular for the trans community. 

I am a non-binary transfeminine person. I am trans and I knew I was for almost 3 years since 2017 but didn’t start transitioning in 2018 when I had supportive friends and came out to them as well my family at home. I had a support system at home established, I then felt it was safe to be out and transition to be my true self, and I’m glad you’re on This Journey™ because transformation and adventure is one big giant process I couldn’t do it without you! 

Jokes aside.

My friends were probably the reason why I am today.

Some details about my transition. I have been on feminizing HRT for over a year and that’s amazing. So I am glad that I am the real me and I have met wonderful people, some of whom I am dating. I felt supported this past year as I took a lot of steps for my transition, such as legal name change and retooling my entire style and wardrobe. Of course, I got better at makeup.

It’s nice to be myself. If you know me personally or parasocially on my platforms online, maybe you will see me be my true bright self. 

With love and gratitude

-Brittany.

Blog Update: March 2nd

Hello everyone.

Today is my birthday and I am now 23 years old. So, happy birthday to me!

I will be on vacation so my writing will be delayed, but please consider my Patreon if you want to help me celebrate and keep my blog alive.

Some changes from last month. I stopped doing rideshare as my job. I have other jobs lined up, I also have extended my services to ghostwriting, translation, and editing for hire. I, of course, want to make this my job, and eventually, launch a potential youtube career. I want to get all the support from any fans I have. Writing is something I love doing. I may go to grad school for a master’s but not sure about that.

So please consider supporting this blog through my Patreon or you can make a one-time donation at PayPal.

Pesky Hormones (Poem)

CW/TW: HRT, genitalia, periods, menstruation, reproduction

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Originally posted on patreon February 27th

They say make baby but I don’t want to, and even if I could,

I still wouldn’t want that. My transition goal isn’t motherhood

The estrogens and progestins now in my body have gone mad

For they are searching for my uterus that I never had

What is wrong with me? What could it be? 

Is this a period? Who knows? Won’t you tell me?

The cramps and sudden arousal say make baby

How do I know, ask my doctor at the clinic, maybe?

Do I bleed? No doctor, I don’t bleed through my dick

And the TERFs accuse me of pulling a misogynist trick

But surely my PMS, sore breasts, and cramps are real

This is something that most people with estrogen feel

The hormones are the cause, they change, they shift.

There are new feelings that often fall and drift.

My pesky hormones are not always such a curse.

The breasts are nice, but they are for a wet nurse.

I only took progesterone for that, though they say again

You’ll grow breasts for milk for the future children

I know hormones don’t rule me, but it is very neat to know.

I know my sexual biology, I know how my body will grow.

I was told that this was not for me, as if Periods were a forbidden game

Periods and menstruation are separate things and not to be made same

At least I don’t need tampons or pads, especially in this economy.

Please listen to my body and experiences, and respect my autonomy

-Brittany.

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Window of my soul (poem)

There is something in the brain

And it is rather insane

Because I cannot quite describe

All the hues and the general vibe.

The mind produces images and pics,

Which are all made of leaves and sticks

Or grass, mountains, and colors of the sky

In which it really feels like I can fly

Over it all, in its rainbow glory

It tells a wild and vibrant story

The story has no words nor text 

I wait to see what will come next!

An introduction to Transfeminine Sexual Health: Why is nobody talking about it?

TW: Dysphoria, Medical Bias, Sexual Anatomy, Human reproduction.

I am placing a general warning for anyone not comfortable with talks of certain body parts. If you’re a trans woman or transfeminine with bottom dysphoria, this may be uncomfortable. And I will be focusing more on the United States since that is where I live, but do comment on the status of trans health care in your country, especially if you are not from the U.S.

I was inspired to write this after hearing about trans men talk about their experience with gynecology and how cisnormative it is, and how medical institutions still conflate having a uterus and a vagina with being a woman, likewise they tend to the same with having a penis, prostate, testes, etc with being a man. Though a lot of doctors especially when dealing genitalia and reproductive parts are becoming more trans-inclusive.

I will be using transfeminine as an umbrella term for any transgender person that was assigned male at birth that is taking estrogen and/or anti-androgens as part of hormone replacement therapy for their transition. It is the most inclusive way I can think of without using AMAB as the term, and both are alternatives to saying “MTF” which is short for male-to-female. MTF is falling out of favor because we were never men. I am a non-binary person, not just a trans woman and I do want to include non-binary people. Of course, non-binary people transitioning away from masculinity might not be feminine. However, it reflects the nature of “feminization”  due to how people construct feminity in both sex and gender.

Hormone Replacement Therapy for trans women and non-binary people.

Cross-sex HRT is to raise estrogen, the so-called female hormone, and also suppress testosterone, which is associated with males. The goal of HRT for transfeminine people is often to get one’s hormonal and endocrine system to resemble a cisgender woman’s body, though the standards for pre-op or non-op transfeminine people are different than those who are post-op, which had the testicles removed whether just that or along with a vaginoplasty. HRT can really feminize the body and can show some good results, though its variable.

For me, I am only on it at the time of publishing 11 months.

Why are trans women hated? Why do they experience misogyny?

Transphobes talk about so-called sex-based rights and define women’s oppression by biological functions like bearing a child from a cis man’s input and genetic material. Being incorrectly assigned male at birth, transfeminine people often have certain body traits and presumptions, but that does not make us free from “sex-based oppression” quite the opposite. We are “monster gender” because of that. Writer May Petersen in various twitter threads alludes to trans women being “monster sex” because of how trans women do not bear a genetic, biological child for cis men. She writes about transmisogyny and sexism. They are both connected. So, when you live in a society that misgenders and excludes transgender people, your healthcare needs especially relating to sexual anatomy may not get taken seriously. Medical research on transgender people is rare, though it often focuses on trans women at least, even then it is not complete, for example, researchers don’t control for whether or not a subject is on HRT.

Womanhood and having a uterus are not the same thing. Abortion access effects trans men, transmasculine people, and any non-binary person with those parts. Conversely, framing abortion and reproductive justice as women’s issues is both reductive and cisnormative, likewise for any issues for people with prostates, testes, a penis, etc. We are not men, a pair of testicles does not a man make.

What is the most puzzling thing about my transition? How do you know you are experiencing hormonal period symptoms? I really do not know. Of course, if we ask TERF twitter or “gender critical” subreddits, we are told that I am lying and that women don’t experience periods like that, it is part of their constant goal shifting on defining womanhood away from transfeminine people. Even with periods in mind, I wonder if endocrinologists know that is possible? Do they hold cisnormative assumptions? Maybe, but I at least had HRT prescribed to me through informed consent.

What would a transfeminine “birth control” look like? Birth control as most people are designed with cis women in mind and even can be useful to transmasculine or AFAB trans people. There are some developed with cis men in mind in research trials, but I don’t know how they would be for AMAB trans people, especially transfeminine people on HRT. Hormone therapy should not be relied on as birth control, as I am told. However, sperm production is lower or even stopped as the semen takes on a different character, it seems to have more in common with vaginal fluids than men’s semen? Some transfeminine individuals choose to freeze sperm to have future biological children. I do not want any children so I did not do that and preserving fertility is no concern, in fact, I want to be infertile instead. Some do and that presents challenges, especially when some places require you to be sterile to be recognized as your real gender. There are so many challenges that I hope will be resolved eventually– legally, medically, socially, etc. Perhaps we can finish this story another time. I want to just start this conversation.

Thank you for reading!

-Brittany, the unicorn herself

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