Those two approaches are not the only options, though. The best option is to allow someone to explore their feelings, support them in gaining self-understanding, and accept their identity whatever it turns out to be. It is not complicated, and it's only scary if you are still holding onto the belief that being either autistic or transgender - or, perish the thought, both - is a terrible thing to be. Which it's not. I am, along with countless others like me, living proof of that.
As a single gay man, it has long been my earnest aspiration to be Elizabeth Bennet. But as time passes (I have recently turned 30), I realise that I may more likely be one of the other characters instead. As a man, one might imagine that the situation would be very different for me and that I would have much more agency in this regard.
I just got back from the local pub quiz with my friend Hannah and we came sixth!! That never happens to me - we won a vinyl that cost the quiz master 50p (they left the price on) and we also won a packet of ginger nut biscuits (which has been torture as I am doing the 5:2 diet and today is a two day, which means NO GINGER NUTS).
Enough is enough. LGBT people deserve better, and need billion dollar corporations like Twitter to take responsibility for their users. It's worth noting that Facebook can remove a shot of a breastfeeding woman or a nude statue in seconds (neither especially offensive, let's face it) so we know that the technology to monitor even the fastest moving content exists.
I write this piece not to overspeak or cisplain the horrific attack on the Trans+ community which just occurred, but in the hopes that by sharing my experience it may amplify the many trans voices screaming against the dark, so that those who attempt to deny their voice will know that they are supported by the rest of the LGBT+ community.
What these films usually have in common is a lack of understanding towards trans issues, where harmful and misleading stereotypes about trans people are enforced. Not surprisingly, trans people are tired of being the subject of ridicule, disgust or are shown for the shock effect value and usually don't involve an actual trans person playing the role.
Now we all know that sexuality is a beautiful and colourful continuum, and that the 'B' is often the forgotten letter of 'LGBT' alongside the Q, the P, the I, and the A. Because of bierasure, bi men and women everywhere are probably leading a closeted heterosexual existence - how do I know this? Because I was one of them.
In a country where a trans* woman is jailed with men, we are not living in a country where trans* identities are considered equal or valuable. It may seem incidental, an accident, something you see in passing in the newspaper, but the story of Jenny Swift's death is a tale of how invisible trans* people are and how much work there is still to be done.
For me, I feel particularly strongly that we allow our straight friends and allies to stand with us. No one is too "privileged" to stand up for another person's rights; in my mind a friend is a friend and I'm thankful and honoured for their love and support (even more so when it's in the form of posing for calendars).