Book Review: Uncomfortable Labels – My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman by Laura Kate Dale

I first started following Laura because she wrote great video game reviews and had “sneak peeks” at ones that weren’t released yet. I also liked reading her thoughts on what it means to be a trans woman in the UK today. And then she revealed she was autistic and that was brilliant too. So, when I saw she had written a memoir, I had to read it.

Although Laura was diagnosed as autistic over ten years ago, this book reads like one written by someone still at the start of their journey into acceptance of being autistic. She uses PFL (“with autism”, “on the autism spectrum”) throughout. The word “autistic” never appears in the book. I have written before how such language makes me queasy, but I did my best to ignore it. She also hadn’t let go of the medical model, often using the word “symptoms” to describe traits she has. She even talks about wanting “to find relief from an overwhelming lifelong medical condition.” So she still has a long way to go as far as I’m concerned.

But at the same time, it’s so rare to find books written by gay, autistic, trans women. Representation is important. And she writes really well about the overlap and life on the intersection of these identities. And although she touches on dark themes such as the high rates of suicide in the trans and autistic communities, she does end her book on a positive note and provide some resources for others in the same situation.

So, overall, while not being perfect, this is a very important book and I’m really glad I read it.

Image description: The cover of the book, consisting of a grey-blue cloth with a large label stuck on it. The label reads: Uncomfortable Labels
My life as a gay autistic trans woman
Laura Kate Dale
And the clothing size “M” to make it look like a real clothing label.

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