This is an open-attendance AANE gender identity support group.
This group is for adults who identify as BOTH Autistic/on the spectrum/ Asperger’s/questioning AND trans /non-binary/gender-variant/questioning
Self-identification is valid here!
[Crisis links: Trans Lifeline – Crisis Text Line – AANE Resources]
Mute Yourself When You Aren’t Speaking
Please put yourself on mute when you aren’t speaking, to cut down on background noise. If you forget, a facilitator may mute you.
Feel free to turn your camera on or off as you feel comfortable. If you bring your zoom call with you to go to the bathroom, please remember to mute and turn off your camera!
Suggest Topics For Discussion
You can suggest a topic by either by saying it out loud or typing it in the chat as: topic: suggestion.
Unless there are too many topics for one meeting, we will spend time with each topic, in the order they were suggested (unless folks say they would rather change the order for any reason).
If we don’t get to your topic, let us know next month and your topic is n the front of the line. You must bring it up, though: We don’t keep track of topics from meeting to meeting.
Change Your Name to Whatever Feels Comfortable For You
You can change how your name is displayed — change your name, add your pronouns if you feel comfortable, add info about your location if you want.
You can change anything about your display name any time you want, even in the middle of meeting. This is a safe space to try out new names, pronouns, etc.
Confidentiality: What’s Said Here Stays Here
Try not to let outsiders overhear; consider using headphones or being in a private space. Do not share information from one AANE group with another AANE group.
Don’t greet others in public (online or offline) unless they’ve said it’s okay because you never know how out people are or what effect accidentally outing them might have on their life.
Be Mindful of Our Words and Actions
Express yourselves in ways that feel comfortable for you. Respect the space: no nudity here.
Sometimes adult topics such as sex, surgery, etc may come up. Please give a warning before starting to talk about things others might find triggering so others can take care of themselves.
As this is a peer-facilitated group, do not discuss harming yourself or others since none of us are trained to navigate crisis topics.
The Trans Lifeline provides crisis support from trans/nonbinary/gender non-conforming peer operators.
The Crisis Text Line is a text-based crisis support service. Text 741741 to reach a crisis counselor.
AANE’s landing page to contact them for further resources – not only crisis resources but other resources such as housing, food, employment, counseling, and more.
Don’t talk explicitly about illegal acts. There is no therapeutic confidentiality in a peer support group. If anyone is ever subpoenaed, we want to be able to honestly say we had no knowledge of any of us committing any illegal acts.
Ways to Join the Conversation
There are three ways to join the conversation: typing, raising your hand, and jumping in.
Typed shares will be read out loud as soon as possible, to keep them timely. If you don’t want your typed words read out loud [put them inside square brackets]
After the facilitators catch up on reading chat comments out loud, those with a hand up are next.
Zoom’s raise hand feature is usually found where the reactions are in your Zoom platform. If you can’t find it, try waving your actual hand — we do watch for that! If the facilitators don’t notice that someone had their hand up and you do notice, let the facilitators know.
If the chat comments have been read and no one has a hand up, feel free to jump in by unmuting and speaking.
Silently count to 3 before unmuting, to avoid our voices running together and making a garble.
Time Limit for Sharing
Please be mindful of your participation in the discussion–we want to make sure everyone is heard, and sometimes that may mean a facilitator coming into the discussion to tell you that your time is up.
We’d like to keep everyone’s sharing time to 10 minutes maximum. People rarely even come halfway to that time limit, but a facilitator will give you a one-minute warning if you’re getting close to 10 minutes.
We are a diverse group of people and welcome more diversity! We may have different religious beliefs or lack thereof, different politics, etc. It is important that we respect one another even when (especially when!) we disagree.
The only unacceptable beliefs here are ones that diminish groups of people: no racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, fatphobia, etc.! We can all learn and grow together here.
“OOPS” and “OUCH”
If something hurts or offends you, please say “ouch” so we can learn not to say or do that thing. Or if that feels uncomfortable you can message the facilitators privately and we will work to resolve it.
Assume good intent and help us all do better. If you catch yourself in the middle of saying an “ouch”, say “oops” so others know you caught yourself (still be prepared to hear feedback surrounding boundaries and growth.)
Assume good intent from those who say “ouch” to our “oops” as well. Remember to call one another in, as members of the group, rather than calling people out with the intent of driving them out of the group.
It is safe to call the facilitators in here as well. We are all human and we all make mistakes. The facilitators will thank you for telling them about an “ouch”. You will not be punished for speaking up about your needs.
Consent and Advice
This is not a hook-up group. Dating is always a valid discussion topic. People will hopefully make friends here and sometimes friendships can evolve into relationships, but this is not a place to find a date or casual sex so please be careful not to inadvertently harass others. Consent is always mandatory and no always means no.
If you have feedback for a group member, first ask if they would like feedback and respect their answer. Sometimes we just need to vent and don’t want advice. That’s valid. Keep feedback curious and questioning rather than telling others what you think they should do.
Accommodations and Agreement
If you need accommodations that aren’t already being provided, talk to the facilitators and we’ll do what we can to meet your needs.
Do you agree to these agreements? Are there other agreements you want? This is your space and the agreements should serve your needs. These agreements are always an acceptable conversation topic and will change and grow as the group chooses.
* Your name
* Your pronouns (if you feel comfortable sharing them)
* Your general location (if you feel comfortable sharing it)
* An answer to the monthly icebreaker question (if you want to)
* A brief check-in on how your month has been and what feelings you are bringing to the group. (All feelings are valid! This is not a “positive vibes only” space. We want to support you wherever your feelings are.)