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Uncomfortable Labels: My Life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  78 reviews
"So while the assumption when I was born was that I was or would grow up to be a neurotypical heterosexual boy, that whole idea didn't really pan out long term."

In this candid, first-of-its-kind memoir, Laura Kate Dale recounts what life is like growing up as a gay trans woman on the autism spectrum. From struggling with sensory processing, managing socially demanding situ
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Paperback, 192 pages
Published July 18th 2019 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Anniek
Actual rating: 4.5

I was sent an eARC of this book through Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review.

As a queer and autistic reader, I was very excited to be able to review this title. Since autistic people are statistically more likely to be part of the LGBTQ+ community, it was very interesting to see this intersection of identities highlighted and explored.

Of course, Dale's experience is different from my own in a lot of ways, because every autistic person will have a different experience, an
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Isaiah
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
To read more reviews check out MI Book Reviews.

I got an ARC of this book.

The title and the cover drew me in. Just that play on words and all the feelings that it brought up was enough to sell me on this book. I again didn't read the description before I read the book. I was delighted to get a memoir that hit so many notes that I needed and wanted to see in the world. 

This is the sort of memoir that I will be waving at people, demanding that they read it. I have started to reach out more and more
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Louise
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
This and other reviews can be found here.

I was given an e-Advanced Reader Copy of this novel through Netgalley. Many thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to do so!



Laura Kate Dale’s Uncomfortable Labels: My life as a Gay Autistic Trans Woman summarizes her life as a child through an adult, covering both her transition, diagnosis of being on the Autism Spectrum and her discovery of being gay. She talks about no only everyday things that are involved that are being part of thes
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Sky
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is not a type of book I would have gone out and searched for myself. Simply because I would have never known something like this existed, or that it would be important for someone who is not all of these things (a gay autistic trans woman) to read.
But wow, am I glad this story seemed to find me through netgalley. This is a powerful story, and one I think that will be important for many many people to read. Spoiler alert: if you are even mildly thinking of picking up this book.. Do it. You
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Helen Kord
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
This was a fascinating and deeply personal memoir from a gaming journalist I really admire. I've been fan of Dale's work for years now, so I knew I had to get my hands on the book, even if memoirs are generally very hard for me to read. (For adhd reasons, not content reasons)

Dale's book is a very honest look back at her childhood, and the various traumas and joys growing up as trans and autistic entailed for her. It was really interesting to see this part of someone I've been admiring from afar.
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Dorie
Feb 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Uncomfortable Labels : My Life As A Gay Autistic Trans Woman
by Laura Kate Dale
due 7-1-2019
Jessica Kingsley Publishing, UK
5.0 / 5.0

I was so deeply touched by this memoir of growing up as a trans, autistic and gay person in the UK. I was completely blown away by Laura´s honesty and integrity, by her memories and experiences, some so emotionally and psychically hurtful. Many times intentionally hurtful. To get beyond it and to have become the beautiful and inspiring woman and soul she is, is bey
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Marythios (AkaSusanne )
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is for anyone struggling with their identity with gender rules placed at birth by society. Young people who are most vulnerable to commit suicide because of feeling isolated this book will help you through those times. Clinicians who need a first person perspective of being transgender and having autism this book is a great read. This book is for parents who are trying to understand their autistic children the struggles they may face to be better prepared to assist them when your child ...more
Hectaizani
Uncomfortable Labels is the story of Laura Kate Dale. The title is a reference to the labels that have been used to describe Dale throughout her life. Some of those labels are by choice, and some were thrust upon her whether she wanted them or not.

Laura was born with autism in a male presenting body. She tried and tried to reconcile her outward presentation with her inner feelings to no avail. She thought perhaps it was her autism causing the disconnect until finally, she realized that she was t
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Anwen Hayward
Jun 13, 2019 rated it it was ok
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in return for my honest review.

So. This book isn't bad, per se. It was a quick read, largely because of the informal, conversational tone of the author, and I definitely feel like I learnt a lot from it. This sort of book is so timely and necessary. We all need to understand one another better, and there really is no better way to foster empathy than by reading and listening to the actual words of others and their lived experiences. I'm genuinely th
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Amanda
This book will be published on July 18. Eye-opening and touching! I'll be writing a review soon. xoxo

For more book reviews check out my blog http://www.smittenforfiction.wordpres...

Amanda ♥

Update July 21, 2019

I don't read nonfiction often, but I couldn't pass this one up when I saw it on Netgalley. Uncomfortable Labels is Laura Kate Dale's autobiography about her life as a gay autistic trans woman.


 › In Uncomfortable Labels, Laura Kate Dale says this book is one she wished she could have read w

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Jess Crafts
Apr 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: autistic-rep
A brilliant memoir about Laura's life and the ways being autistic and trans intersect.. Autistic people are much more likely to be on the LGBTQ spectrum than allistic people and it was really interesting to have it highlighted here as it's something that is often ignored but adds to the struggles we face. There were so many moments I identified with (I think I highlighted about half the book) and helped me understand parts of my life as an autistic person. It's always amazing to read anecdotes f ...more
Logan Hughes
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: trans, queer
It's been noted in sociological literature (and is certainly clear anecdotally, if you spend any time at all in either community) that the prevalence of autism is much higher than you'd expect among transgender people, and vice versa, though it is unknown why. The loudest voices studying and speculating on this question are neither trans nor autistic, and it is refreshing to read a confident first-person voice on the subject who has real world experience to bring to bear.

There were times when I
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Bryan Mitchell
Aug 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Narrative falls flat, even as Laura Kate Dale explains clearly the challenges she faces as a trans woman, as someone on the autism spectrum, and as a lesbian. Some passages felt like they repeated themselves verbatim without adding anything new. Dale also makes some absolute definitions regarding human behavior among other things, some of which I believe require citations while others are her interpretations of said situations or trends turned into blanket assumptions.

I'm uncertain as to whethe
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Jen
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
In this fantastic memoir, Laura Kate Dale explains what it is like to grow up as a queer, autistic, trans woman. It's now well recognised that neurodiversity and gender diversity have a large overlap, so it's really exciting to see an #ownvoices book published which acknowledges this intersection. As an autistic woman, I could definitely relate to Laura's struggles with sensory processing and social situations as well as her journey of self-discovery, and despite having done a lot of research ab ...more
Lisa
Jul 23, 2019 added it
Shelves: july-2019
Thank you Jessica Kingsley Publishers and Netgalley for a copy of Uncomfortable Labels by Laura Kate Dale for review.

This memoir was starkly written and a real eye opener for both issues of being autistic but also transgender and gay. I had never really thought about what it would be like to fall into multiple categories and how each would affect the other.
The abuses she suffered and suffers are multiple and horrible and it’s important for us all to face that these things happen to many people a
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Vera
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An honest, fascinating account of Laura's life and experiences, written in a casual, conversational tone that allows readers to relate even if they themselves have never experienced anything even remotely similar. To me it was eye-opening, educational and motivating. Thanks and respect to Laura for putting her experiences and thoughts down for the world to read.
Manon the Malicious
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
*3.75 Stars*

I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was the memoir of 27 year old Laura Kate Dale. It was about her struggles as a transgender, gay, autistic woman but also her hopes and joy.

I thought her story was an significant one to tell and to hear. I found it deeply moving and interesting but I had trouble concentrating. The way it was told didn't really excite me I guess and I had trouble getting through the whole thing even though it's only a hundre
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Kira
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this book in exchange for a honest review from NetGalley.

I have been off and on following Laura's career for the past 3-ish years. I love her on the Jimquisition podcast and have enjoyed several of her articles on different aspects of gaming. This is a completely different experience to reading her games journalism and I whole-heartedly welcome it. This book is moving, eye-opening, and yet completely relatable. Overall I loved this book!
Chinook
Mar 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbtq, europe
I found this to be an insightful read and a heavy one. Laura talks about bullying, suicide, being molested as a child, and the struggle to cope before getting her autism diagnosis and in accessing transition care, especially a need to hide depression to do so. She also tells a tale of success and discovery of the life she wants to live.
Austen
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an insightful, friendly read! Laura Kate Dale does a great job of opening the door into her world and showing the reader around. Her writing is both realistic and kind, and I feel like I learned a lot about how autism can function, and what neurotypical folks in the LGBTQ+ community should be more aware of.
Isabelle | Nine Tale Vixen
I received an Advance Review Copy from Netgalley. This does not affect my rating or opinions. Quotes are taken from said ARC and may change upon publication.

I always thought I was alone. I never had anyone to tell me my experiences made sense to them. I never had anyone else's experiences available as evidence that what I was experiencing was real. That's why I'm writing this book; it's the book I wish I'd been able to read when I was younger.


The highly personal nature of memoirs, especially
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Andy
tw for the book (not the review): suicide, child sexual abuse, bullying, drug ab/use, queerphobia, ableism, sexism, also she uses person-first language

An amazing read, as a nonbinary person I was really thrown by her recollections of seeing how girls were treated growing up and identifying with that. I remember being a teenager and thinking I wasn't a girl so maybe I was a boy? And then throwing out that option as well: so seeing that same journey through a binary-trans person's perspective was
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Candace
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Actual rating 4.5 stars.

CW: transmisia/transantagonism, navigating healthcare, person-first language & other stigmatizing descriptions of autism, potentially triggering descriptions of sensory overstimulation, CSA, bullying, emotional abuse and manipulation, depression, anxiety, addiction, suicide

As an autistic queer nonbinary person myself, it was really nice to see some of the more obscure parts of my experience reflected on the page. The childhood parts were a bit tough to get through because
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Gwenn
Nov 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I see myself and a lot of my friends in the descriptions here. I'm so glad this book was written
Adjectiveplusnoun
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
NB- I received a free ARC copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, for a longer version (or to read more from me) visit my blog .

Before I really delve into the review, I have to say I love the cover. Such a simple, yet eloquent metaphor with an aesthetically pleasing execution. I can practically feel the itchiness of the tag on my neck looking at it. I don’t read much non-fiction these days, but I’m glad I made an exception for this book. If you want an in-depth, unflinc
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Istoria Lit
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
'Uncomfortable labels' is the story of one gay, autistic, transgendered woman's journey to find her place in the world.
Laura Kate Dale's writing brings her experiences to this book with the same raw honesty that we see from others who are part of a plethora of people who have found a home on the internet. Laura has a gaming channel, a podcast and a career in gaming journalism. She is greatly respected in her field.
In her book she talks about all aspects of her life including the success she has
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Ben Ostrowsky
Brilliant beginning with the title, "Uncomfortable Labels" is a memoir of the author's overlapping challenges in finding safe and welcoming spaces.

She's autistic, so she has to expend more effort to fit in smoothly with the allistic people around her.

She's English, so fitting in smoothly is of more importance generally. (I should point out that she doesn't speak of being English as a salient challenge, but readers from more gleefully iconoclastic parts of the Anglosphere will project that onto
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Katie Guttenberg
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, school
I’d like to start with the agknowlegment that because this book is a memoir, it is automatically #OwnVoices. The book overall is good. I like how Laura makes connections between being autistic and being trans. Her audience is most likely less informed(?). IDK how to word it so that it’s not ableist, but basically, she wrote it with informing and teaching people both about autism and about what it means to be trans. Also, I totally understand that language and labels are a personal choice, and I ...more
Luna Bookish
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
What I Liked

I have to say, I feel honored by being let into the authors life. This book is very raw, real, and powerful. Her writing pulled me in nearly right away and when I read this, I needed to keep on reading it. This book was really insightful and really gave me an understanding of the trials and tribulations of their live with being transgender as well as having been diagnosed on the autism spectrum. 

On top of sharing their story, the writing was wonderfully and refreshingly honest. This
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Allison
This was a fascinating memoir. I had no idea that the population of trans people who are on the autism spectrum (or vice versa) was higher than would statistically be expected. I also enjoyed how the author neatly debunked a number of the prevailing theories as to why.

But back to basics. This is a memoir written by Laura Kate Dale, a woman who was diagnosed with autism in her late teens, and came out as trans soon after. Her clear portrayals of how she experiences the world and the people in it,
...more
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So, who am I? I've spent the last years as a freelance games critic, written for pretty much every gaming publication under the sun, and have a passion for digging down to the stories PR teams are not eager to talk about.

I love weird little indie games about sex imps living in Anne Hathaway's mouth, big sprawling JRPGs, and serious in depth discussions of the artistic value of video game character
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