Celebrating inclusion and diverse families

By Lindsay Naeder, Vice President of Services and Supports, Community Impact at Autism Speaks

Lindsay is a champion of diversity advocacy, a social worker, and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. She is proud to have a personal connection to the mission of Autism Speaks as a sibling to her autistic brother. 

Close up of a Pride flag

At Autism Speaks, we believe that every autistic person and family is unique and diverse in their own beautiful way. During Pride Month and throughout the year, we are committed to creating an inclusive world for all individuals with autism—one that is accepting of their gender identity, sexual orientation, the diverse makeup of their family and all the other factors that make them unique. Because the truth is autism is part of every community, and anyone can be autistic.

Pride Month is an important moment to highlight the experiences of those at the intersection of the LGBTQ+ and autism communities. While LGBTQ+ identities are proudly celebrated throughout the month of June, the reality is that it's important for diverse families and individuals to feel a sense of acceptance and belonging year-round.  

For our diverse community, this can look like a two-mom family of a newly diagnosed two-year-old finally being welcomed by a local autism support group, or a new college student worried about not being accepted by peers for being autistic and LGBTQ+ finding their stride on campus, or an autistic adult seeking gender affirming care finding an inclusive provider in their community. As you read these stories, you'll see it's not always easy—and extra support may be needed along the way—but radical acceptance is always the goal.  

At Autism Speaks, we want to break down the barriers our diverse community may face and create an accepting, welcoming environment for everyone. Whether you are an LGBTQ+ family, like mine, or autistic and part of the LGBTQ+ community, or your child or loved one identifies in any of these ways, we are here to support you. Don’t hesitate to contact our Autism Response Team (ART) if you have questions or need support—we are here to help. 

Remember, you are not alone—our community is beautiful, diverse and strong. Let's work together to ensure that every autistic person and family feels seen, supported and valued. Happy Pride!  

Learn more

View our LGBTQ+ gender and sexuality resources

Autism Speaks does not provide medical or legal advice or services. Rather, Autism Speaks provides general information about autism as a service to the community. The information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals. Autism Speaks has not validated and is not responsible for any information, events, or services provided by third parties. The views and opinions expressed in blogs on our website do not necessarily reflect the views of Autism Speaks.