It's also impossible for me now to go "in the closet" as a rather invisibly disabled Autistic. I can avoid mentioning being Autistic in an interview, but any cursory search of my name will now yield a very large number of search results that reveal that I'm Autistic. Most of those articles or blog posts are part of what some sociologists call "public discourse." There is no practical way I could hide or remove that information from the public.
I've been wondering lately whether this might hurt my prospects for future employment, particularly given the potential career paths that I've been considering for a very long time, which may or may not be conducive to Autistic and Autistic-like people (cousins), and which may tend toward more conservative attitudes concerning divergence from norms.
But I came to two important realizations.
1.) Being out means that I have more opportunities to effect positive systems change and to advocate for people like me. I'm not willing to sacrifice those opportunities for the sake of self-advancement. If I can do something to benefit another person, I feel morally obligated to do so. Since I've been public about being Autistic beyond my small circle of friends, I've had innumerable opportunities to network and add my voice to a growing number of causes and campaigns, both for individual people and in broad policy change -- and none of this would have happened or can continue to happen if I were not out.
2.) It really doesn't matter. If someone does not want to hire me because I'm not so great at small talk during the job interview, need to be in an office without harsh fluorescent lights, can't be around people wearing scented products, need explicit and detailed and written instructions to do quality work, and require additional time to recover from sensory overload throughout the workday, then I don't want to be working for that person. If someone is unwilling to make minor, cost-effective accommodations so that I can be a better employee, it's not worth my time to pursue employment with that person.
I am Autistic, and I am not ashamed of that nor am I afraid to say it.