Watching the movie “Milk” the other night, I was struck by a scene where Harvey Milk told the man who eventually murdered him that the things he fought for were not political “issues” he used to draw attention from the public. The things he fought for were personal, but also reflective of the needs of many. The scene made me think about my social media presence. It seems counter-intuitive to say anything negative about authors or the publishing industry if I hope to become a published writer. It could result in being seen as a troublemaker who doesn’t support the industry. Agents might not want to work with someone they believe will tread on the toes of their clients and colleagues.
Here’s the thing: Autism is my identity. It isn’t a cause I’ve taken up or an issue I am passionate about. It is my life. I wouldn’t want an agent or a publisher who didn’t understand this. I once read a post from an agent that said it’s off-putting to see writes saying they will take any agent they can get. I won’t pretend I have the privilege to be picky, but I can at least hold to a minimum standard of rejecting an agent who would disapprove of self-advocacy or speaking out against authors who cause harm to autistic people.