Not only are these the words that make up the title of one of my favorite Kelly Clarkson songs, but they are also inspired by Michelle Williams’s epic Emmy speech. I am a sucker for awards shows, and it’s moments like Williams’s big win that make me such a fan. If you didn’t get a chance to see her speech, here you go:
This speech ties into a really great surprise I had on the interwebs a couple weeks ago seeing that the author name on my book, WHOBERT WHOVER, had been changed to Jason June on all sites where my book was listed for sale.
Then I logged onto my Author Portal at Simon & Schuster and was greeted by this:
The name on my whole account had been changed, meaning the magical fairy of acceptance and love who changed my name for WHOBERT online had to be at S&S too.
So all this ties into Michelle Williams’s speech where she calls on companies to help out underrepresented voices when they let those companies know what they need to succeed because someday they might say thank you for helping them succeed *because* of their workplace. This is totally one of those moments. I want to give a huge thank you to Simon & Schuster, and especially my editor Karen Wojtyla, for not batting an eye when I said I wanted to change my author name to reflect my genderqueer identity. Instead I heard a resounding “YES”, and felt loved and embraced and like S&S wanted me to succeed. I know a lot of the time in the book world it can seem like the business part and the publishing part and the authoring part are all so separate, but it was the most uplifting experience when all these parts came together to rally behind me in a moment that really mattered in my life. Here’s to that continuing to happen for writers of all backgrounds in the years to come.