An Open Letter to The Mighty on Their Continued Support of The Hate Group Autism Speaks

I just sent the email below to various people at The Mighty regarding their continued support of Autism Speaks, which has long been known to be a hate group.

I recently saw that The Mighty is partnering with Autism Speaks (AS). We need to have a conversation about this and I sincerely hope that you pass it along to people further up as well.

I realize that The Mighty gets a lot of traffic through parents of autistic children. However, I also know that the chronic illness world brings in a lot of traffic as well. I share at least half a dozen articles from The Mighty on my various social media accounts which I know generates a good amount of traffic as well. I have been happy to write occasionally while sharing when I can.

However, as someone who *is* neurodivergent in addition to being a writer and having written for The Mighty, this partnering with AS is concerning and, frankly, disgusting.

Autistic children are referred to as burdens constantly and consistently. The focus with AS is ‘fixing’ the child and relieving the burden of being a parent with a disabled child instead of on helping the child grow. True, they may not be focused on a ‘cure’ anymore, but they aren’t exactly welcoming their children with open arms as parents should.

AS also refuses to do much of anything to help with autistic young adults and adults. How much can they be assisting people living with autism when they don’t even help patients themselves past the time when we receive the most support?

I’ve included links below by people who are *actually* autistic, many parents, and other organizations that discuss the dangers of AS. Some of these articles are slightly outdated, sure, but there are plenty that address the more recent developments as well — sharing how this doesn’t change much at all.

I hope that you will pass this along. As a writer, I have many pieces I’d love to continue contributing to The Mighty. However, I will no longer be doing so when the site partners with an organization that erases the humanity of so many people. I am not the only writer involved with The Mighty that feels this way.

Know that a continued relationship with AS will continue to damage The Mighty’s reputation and relationships with influential bloggers and writers like myself — writers that have stuck with The Mighty despite an inability to pay us. We have stuck by the site through a few PR nightmares that you’ve been able to bounce back from. However, we cannot and won’t continue to support y’all when you partner with organizations like AS that preach eugenics ideas while working with Neo-Nazi groups.

It is a PR nightmare for those of us who have our own reputations at stake and who would not be able to bounce back like The Mighty has and, from an ethical standpoint, it is wrong to continue support of AS.

The Mighty articles I currently have scheduled to post (on social media) will go up. Any others will not be featured on my various social media accounts until/unless The Mighty ceases its support of this organization. I would also ask that you remove my articles from the site if there will be a continued partnership with AS.

Thank you for your time,
Kirsten

Want to help share with The Mighty why supporting Autism Speaks is wrong? Do what I did — email them at community@themighty.com. Since this post was written, another exchange has happened. You can read this on here on Medium as well as part three: the Facebook-ening.

If you’re looking for further evidence against AS, please visit my new masterpost. You can add resources to that page by commenting on it.


Kirsten is a genderqueer writer, sexuality educator, and chronic illness/disability activist in Wisconsin. She runs Chronic Sexwhich highlights how illnesses and disabilities affect ‘Quality of Life’ issues such as self-love, self-care, relationships, sexuality, and sex.

Interested in helping with Kirsten’s work? Visit our ‘support us’ page or shoot her some tasty coffee money.

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