Amazon employees quit over sale of book that frames LGBT identities as mental illness

Amazon employees quit their positions in recent weeks to protest the e-commerce giant's decision to sell a book that they say promotes the idea that transgender people suffer a mental illness.

At least two employees submitted their resignations following a complaint that was posted internally and gained support from more than 467 Amazon corporate employees, NBC News reported.

The complaint reportedly addressed a decision that Amazon made in March claiming that it had “chosen not to sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness.”


Employees circulated the petition calling for the book “Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters” by Abigail Shrier to be removed from Amazon's website.

Shrier pushed back on the claims that her book frames LGBT identities as a form of mental illness, and the book is currently listed as the first bestseller for the hardcover version in Amazon's “LGBTQ+ Demographic Studies" category.

Selene Xenia was one of the first employees to resign in June over Amazon's decision to continue carrying the book. She served as a software engineer for the company for seven years and told NBC News that she identifies as transgender. 

“The book literally has [craze] in the title and considers being transgender a mental illness in many senses throughout the book,” Xenia told the news outlet.

“I found it extremely hypocritical for Amazon to say that it would stock this book and not another similar one,” Xenia added. “It looks like Amazon had to remove that particular book for PR reasons, not because they felt morally obligated to.”

In an emailed statement to The Hill, an Amazon spokesperson said that the company strives to provide diverse viewpoints.

“As a bookseller, we believe that providing access to written speech and a variety of viewpoints is one of the most important things we do - even when those viewpoints differ from our own or Amazon’s stated positions,” the spokesperson said.

--Updated at 2:44 p.m.