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dc.contributor.authorMcAuliffe, Christineen_UK
dc.contributor.authorWalsh, Reubs Jen_UK
dc.contributor.authorCage, Eilidhen_UK
dc.description.abstractBackground: Being nonheterosexual and noncisgender appears to be more common among autistic people. This intersection of identities is often stigmatized in research and society. However, we know that community involvement can protect against negative mental health outcomes associated with being a minority; researchers found this effect in separate studies examining participation in the autistic and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual plus other gender and sexual orientation-based identity (LGBTQIA+) communities. This study examined how autistic LGBTQIA+ individuals navigate their multiple marginalized identities and the LGBTQIA+ community. Methods: Twelve autistic LGBTQIA+ people from the United Kingdom took part in semistructured interviews. Questions focused on identity and community. We analyzed the interviews using reflexive thematic analysis. Results: We identified four overarching themes—Identity (Re)Development, Navigating Authenticity, Exclusion from Community Spaces, and Creating Change. Participants viewed accessing a community of similar others as a means of increasing understanding, self-knowledge, and self-acceptance. We identified several barriers to inclusion, including accessibility and gatekeeping. Participants discussed strategies to combat these obstacles, such as the creation of intersectional community spaces and activism and representation as a means of increasing autism understanding. Conclusions: This study suggests that similar to other marginalized groups, autistic LGBTQIA+ individuals are motivated to engage in communities relevant to their identities. However, community spaces for autistic LGBTQIA+ are often inaccessible due to social, sensory, and identity-based barriers. Participants highlighted autism understanding as a barrier to coming out both in community and noncommunity settings. This suggests that improving autism acceptance and understanding is crucial to achieve accessible, intersectional, and inclusive community spaces.en_UK
dc.publisherMary Ann Liebert Incen_UK
dc.relationMcAuliffe C, Walsh RJ & Cage E (2022) “My whole life has been a process of finding labels that fit”: A Thematic Analysis of Autistic LGBTQIA+ Identity and Inclusion in the LGBTQIA+ Community. Autism in Adulthood.
dc.rightsThis is the accepted version of the following article: McAuliffe C, Walsh RJ & Cage E (2022) “My whole life has been a process of finding labels that fit”: A Thematic Analysis of Autistic LGBTQIA+ Identity and Inclusion in the LGBTQIA+ Community. Autism in Adulthood, which has now been formally published in final form at Autism in Adulthood at This original submission version of the article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers’ self-archiving terms and conditions.en_UK
dc.title“My whole life has been a process of finding labels that fit”: A Thematic Analysis of Autistic LGBTQIA+ Identity and Inclusion in the LGBTQIA+ Communityen_UK
dc.typeJournal Articleen_UK
dc.citation.jtitleAutism in Adulthooden_UK
dc.type.statusAM - Accepted Manuscripten_UK
dc.description.notesOutput Status: Forthcoming/Available Onlineen_UK
dc.contributor.affiliationVrije University Amsterdamen_UK
rioxxterms.apcnot requireden_UK
rioxxterms.typeJournal Article/Reviewen_UK
local.rioxx.authorMcAuliffe, Christine|en_UK
local.rioxx.authorWalsh, Reubs J|en_UK
local.rioxx.authorCage, Eilidh|0000-0001-6281-1632en_UK
local.rioxx.projectInternal Project|University of Stirling|
Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles

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