I recently received the following email from a writer, author, and friend:
I’m wondering if you’re hearing back from employment-seeking freelancers who complain about weird demands from publishers.
I’ve applied to several publications. Some editors didn’t interview me about my record for integrity, my talent for delivering content on time (and usually before deadline), or my range of writing skills/expertise. Nope, they only wanted to know if I’m “binary.”
I knew what they were asking about but played innocent. “I’m not a robot. I wrote a coherent message to you. Bots don’t do that.”
The editors wrote back, specifically asking about my sexual orientation. I replied that journalism is only about accuracy, presenting facts in an understandable manner, and leaving readers with lasting memories about the presentation.
Well, shock of shocks (NOT), those editors felt the need to inform me that I must be able to advocate for sexual preferences in my work, even if the topic is unrelated to the story I’d be covering/addressing.
This is discriminatory.
It seems to me that the magazines were specifically looking for non-heterosexual writers and they used the “advocacy” term as an excuse to not hire heterosexual writers. And, yes, that IS discriminatory.
Any time a magazine (or any other firm hiring employees or contractors) specifically excludes someone from consideration based on their sexual preferences (whether straight, gay, or other), that is discrimination. To push it further, and claim that it’s not you, but your beliefs, is ridiculous and I’m certain that wouldn’t stand up in court.
If you feel you have been the victim of discrimination, can you sue even if you, as a freelancer/contractor, were not applying for regular employment at a company?
THIS ARTICLE (from 2018) states that freelancers and independent contractors can’t sue for sexual harassment or gender discrimination.
However, THIS ARTICLE explains that you can sue for racial discrimination, even if you are a contractor. (Why aren’t other types of discrimination included?)
The EEOC STATES, “The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) enforces regulations that prohibit certain federal contractors from engaging in employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, under Executive Order 11246, as amended.”
But, what if you’re straight? Can you be discriminated against for that? Turns out you can.
THIS ARTICLE states that reverse discrimination lawsuits are on the rise.
Every person, whether an employee or contractor, should be hired based on their knowledge, work history, and merits. At no time should someone’s sexual orientation prevent them from landing a gig. And, at no time should a magazine pretend they are not hiring you simply based on your BELIEFS about sexual orientation, and not your sexual orientation itself. That goes for straights, gays, and everyone else.
Would love to hear your comments on this! As always, the comments box is below.
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Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
ANGELA ON TWITTER https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy
BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
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I admire any writer who wants to tackle a blind character. But so many writers take up this challenge and FAIL. They research blindness by reading other fiction books, by observing their blind colleagues and acquaintances, and by tying on a blindfold and pretending to be blind themselves.
I understand the challenges your characters face, their triumphs, their hopes and their fears, because I've lived them. I work with people who have varying degrees of blindness every day, so I've seen every challenge, every situation you could imagine.
Let me share my knowledge to improve your writing. You can create blind characters that readers will fall in love with.