Amazon, Inc. said it recently removed a book about transgender issues from its platforms because the retail giant has decided it will not sell books that show transgenderism and other sexual identities as mental illnesses.
The Wall Street Journal reports the company explained its decision in a letter Thursday to Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Mike Lee of Utah, Mike Braun of Indiana, and Josh Hawley of Missouri. The four senators had written a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos inquiring why When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment was no longer available on Amazon nor on its Kindle and Audible platforms.
"As to your specific question about When Harry Became Sally, we have chosen not to sell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness," Amazon said in the letter, which was signed by Brian Huseman, Amazon's vice president of public policy, referring to sexual identities that include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, among others.
The book in question was written by Dr. Ryan Anderson, the Heritage Foundation's William E. Simon senior research fellow in American Principles and Public Policy. In a statement to the Journal in response to Amazon's letter, Anderson and Roger Kimball, the book's publisher said, "Everyone agrees that gender dysphoria is a serious condition that causes great suffering. There is a debate, however, which Amazon is seeking to shut down, about how best to treat patients who experience gender dysphoria," they continued, calling their book "an important contribution" to that conversation.
"Amazon is using its massive power to distort the marketplace of ideas and is deceiving its own customers in the process," Anderson and Kimble said.
Radio host Eric Erickson tweeted, "Amazon will no longer sell books that accurately depict transgenderism as a mental health issue. So you can lie about it and get your book sold, but tell the truth and get banned."
Amazon will no longer sell books that accurately depict transgenderism as a mental health issue. So you can lie about it and get your book sold, but tell the truth and get banned. https://t.co/1RROOgU4fL
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) March 12, 2021
Esteemed Journal Admits Mistake on Transgender Study
As CBN News reported last August, the American Journal of Psychiatry said it got it wrong when it came to analyzing the numbers in a large study of transgender patients undergoing sex-reassignment surgery. The journal retracted its findings, saying a second look at the subject found no improvement for those who chose the painful procedure.
Anderson told CBN News at the time, the original study had been celebrated by the media and was then used in social media against anyone with a dissenting viewpoint to accuse them of being against science.
This "does show that the cultural moment in which we're living suggests that there's only one allowed conclusion to this question," he said. "And the only allowed conclusion is that transition is the best solution. The biggest data set now shows and that's what this study uses, the biggest data set shows that there's no benefits, psychological benefits to patients of hormonal and surgical transition."
When asked if those struggling with gender dysphoria should think twice about surgery, Anderson told CBN News people who are struggling with their own gender identity deserve to know the truth.
"And what the science is showing is that hormonal-surgical transition doesn't provide the promised wholeness and happiness patients are seeking," he noted. "So what we need to do is find ways to help patients feel comfortable in their own bodies. We need to be respectful. We need to be compassionate. We also need to be truthful. And so, we need to be helping patients who feel uncomfortable in their bodies to once again feel comfortable in their bodies. But not to radically transform their bodies, because that does not bring the lasting wholeness and happiness that they seek."
Anderson said he thinks the most important thing to focus on right now is children.
"Right now, parents are being told that they need to put their children on the prescribed puberty-blocking drugs, Cross X hormones, etc, etc," he said. "That is entirely an unstudied experimental treatment protocol. And so I think in particular we need more research on what we can do for young people, children who feel uncomfortable in their own bodies and how we can help them feel comfortable once again. But we shouldn't be running to prescribe puberty-blocking drugs and Cross X hormones. Parents should know the facts about this as well."
Book on Transgender Teens Causes Stir
Anderson's book is not the first book on the transgender movement to be banned. Last December, the backlash against author Abigail Shrier's book Irreversible Damage reached a crescendo because it doesn't check all the right boxes on the trans agenda.
Shrier believes it's the prerogative of adults who identify as transgender to have medical procedures to change their appearance to fit their desired gender. But she's concerned about offering that decision to children, especially those whose parents oppose it.
Her book chronicles the transgender craze among adolescent girls and the professionals who pave the way for them to get puberty blockers, hormones, and surgeries.
She told CBN News, "All I'm asking for is more medical oversight, caution, and awareness that this is being a social-driven fad, so nothing so outrageous at all."
But transgender activists disagree and have called for an end to sales of her book. Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, calls the book "dangerous" and calls on activists to "fight these ideas which are leading to the criminalization of trans life."
The Push to Embrace Transgender Agenda
Shrier and Anderson haven't backed down in their critique of the progressive push to fully embrace the transgender agenda.
In January, just one day after he took office, Shrier condemned President Joe Biden for signing an executive order mandating all educational institutions receiving federal funding to permit transgender females — biological males who identify as females — to compete on women's and girls' sports teams, to use ladies locker rooms and restrooms, and have the opportunity to apply for female-only scholarships.
Shrier rebuked the policy for its sexist nature, pointing out how dangerous it will be for biological women and girls.
Anderson, for his part, pointed out just how short-lived Biden's promise to pursue "unity" was, writing that, the very same day the president promised "healing," he issued an executive order "mandating that males be allowed inside female-only spaces and take places on female sports teams."