[47] S4, Ep4: Self acceptance, autism and gender – and how sharing your story can change your life
Topics in this episode: advocacy, coming out, employment, gender, is autism a disability, mental health, self acceptance


Yenn Purkis is an inspirational autistic and non-binary author, advocate, public speaker and community leader from Canberra in Australia. They also have a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Their journey has taken them from serving time in prison, poverty and rejecting their autism diagnosis, to self acceptance, advocacy and a successful career.

They are the author of nine published books on autism (soon to be ten!), including one for transgender and autistic adults. They are also a public speaker and presented at TEDx Canberra in 2013, and they are active on social media, where they have been sharing a daily meme since 2014. They facilitate a local autism support group which has been running since 2011, and have a number of awards for their work, including the 2019 ACT Chief Minister’s Inclusion Award.

In our conversation we talk about 

➡ Coming to terms with an autism diagnosis

➡ Mental health

➡ How writing their story turned their life around

➡ Gender diversity, transphobia, and the crossover of autism and queer identities


Squarepeg is a podcast in which neurodivergent women, and trans and nonbinary people, explore navigating a neurotypical world and share their insights, challenges and successes.

I hope that these conversations will be inspiring and thought provoking, open you up to new ways of thinking about being neurodivergent, and help you feel more connected to a worldwide community of people with similar experiences.

I’m Amy Richards, and after being diagnosed autistic at the age of 37 I’m now on a mission to learn more about different perspectives and issues around being a neurodivergent adult in a world that feels like it doesn’t quite fit.



Yenn’s website www.yennpurkis.com

Their Twitter: https://twitter.com/yennpurkis 

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/yennpurkisbooks/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/yennpurkis5/ 

Their podcast: https://jeanettepurkis.podbean.com

Their TedX talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqdGb4TraFk


If you’d like to connect or get in touch with Squarepeg, you can find me on:

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/squarepegautism 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/squarepegautism/ 

Or on my website: https://squarepeg.community/ 



A HUGE thank you to my amazing patrons, who support my work on the podcast:

Abigail J Moore, Caroline, Cat Preston, Catrin Green, Corinne Cariad, Elise, Jackie Allen, Karawynn Long, Kate Faust, Katharine Richards, Katherine Lynch, Laurie Green, Lea Li, Lilli Simmons, Pete Burke and Vera Cady.

If you’re enjoying the Squarepeg podcast and would like to help me carry on making new episodes, you can become a member of the Squarepeg community on Patreon from just £3 per month: https://www.patreon.com/squarepegpodcast 

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