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24 March 2010

Jim Sinclair (1940 - ) neurodiversity activist.

Sinclair was born intersex and raised as a girl in Texas. She was also autistic and did not speak until aged 12, and then became very outspoken about not being a girl.

She was sent for intensive psychotherapy. By 14 he was accepted outside his family as a boy, and at 16 was evaluated by intersexuality ‘specialists’. He was put on testosterone injections until he objected that he did not want to be a male either.

Sinclair took the name Jim, and self-identifies as “"openly and proudly neuter, both physically and socially”. Jim does not reveal his genotype as that would assign gender.

Jim was one of the co-founders of the Autism Network International in 1992, and as the only one with an internet connection became the original co-ordinator. Sinclair gave an anti-cure presentation at the 1993 International Conference on Autism in Toronto, and later published it as “Don’t Mourn For Us”. He is a major activist in the neurodiversity movement.

I suggest a reading of the Andrew Solomon article.  There are a lot of parallels between the transgender and the neurodiversity movements, including division over whether the condition should be removed from the DSM, whether the cause is cultural/social, biological or pollution (in their case vaccines), and whether the condition is a disease or an improvement on normality.

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