In Solidarity: No Hate At Amazon

Apr 07, 2022 | Seattle Pride

Statement of Solidarity from Seattle Pride

As Seattle Pride continues to grow, it is our duty to partner with corporate organizations which actively support the LGBTQIA+ community, and whose values align with our own. Because Pride and our LGBTQIA+ community are here year-round, we are evaluating all of our corporate partners, with an emphasis on Presenting (higher-level) partners, to ensure they are of the highest caliber and actively support – and do not harm – our community. Through this evaluation process, Seattle Pride has decided to not partner with Amazon for the 2022 Seattle Pride Parade because of their financial donations to politicians who actively propose and support anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation, oppose pro-LGBTQIA+ and other human rights legislation, and for allowing anti-LGBTQIA+ organizations to raise funds from their AmazonSmile program.

Solidarity does not only take the form of rejecting harmful partnerships, however; it also means lending support - through word and action - to those who are joined arm-in-arm with us in addressing harmful actions at all levels. This is why Seattle Pride stands in full solidarity with the LGBTQIA+ and allied Amazon workers who have organized, and join in their call for Amazon to stop selling the anti-trans hate books Irreversible Damage and Johnny the Walrus, and ask Amazon to establish an elected workers’ oversight board that includes workers from marginalized communities.

- Krystal S. Marx (she/they), Executive Director of Seattle Pride

The following is a statement from 'No Hate at Amazon', an organized group of Amazon workers aligned to address anti-LGBTQIA+ issues at the Amazon corporation.

We, the workers of Amazon, call on Amazon to reject hate.

Amazon has established a pattern of platforming and profiting from hate. Most recently, Amazon has started selling hateful books that attack transgender youth and has shockingly classified and promoted them as bestsellers in the LGBTQ+ category. Amazon workers, especially in the trans and LGBTQIA2+ community, are pushing to remove these books and others like them because they are directly hurting our community. However, Amazon has not only continued to sell them, but is still promoting them as top results for transgender search terms.

These books are one tactic used by a broader anti-transgender hate movement that in 2021 pushed a record breaking amount of anti-trans legislation targeted at minors and their access to lifesaving gender-affirming medical care. Last year murders and violence against transgender people increased to record highs. When Amazon stopped selling an anti-trans book early last year, radical, bigoted pundits and politicians disingenuously claimed Amazon taking action against hate was “an assault on free speech” and “censorship”. This is not a free speech or censorship issue. Companies like Amazon have a responsibility and legal right to set and enforce content guidelines to prevent hate and abuse.

Following this coordinated backlash, Amazon upper management refused to engage with workers about subsequent anti-trans books. They refused to elaborate on the decision-making process. They refused to resolve the inconsistency between these books and their content policy. In response to workers’ protests, they deflected with talking points about “censorship” and the “marketplaces of ideas”.

By continuing to sell and promote anti-trans books and repeating the rhetoric of the anti-trans hate movement, Amazon upper management has allowed the store that we build and operate to be complicit in this hate movement. This has created a hostile work environment that has forced many trans workers to take medical leave or resign.

On top of this, Amazon continues to fund hundreds of thousands of dollars to anti-LGBT politicians, and AmazonSmile continues to offers donations to extremist organizations like Oath Keepers, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and United Daughters of the Confederacy.

In response, we are organizing a worker-led movement to stop hate at Amazon and prevent this abuse from ever happening again. We imagine a better future in which Amazon empowers workers with actual influence over the policies, products, and content that impact us in order to protect all marginalized communities and oppressed groups.

We are calling on Amazon to stop selling the anti-trans hate books Irreversible Damage and Johnny the Walrus. We also seek to establish an elected workers’ oversight board that includes workers from marginalized communities.

To learn in ways to help as a non-Amazon worker, please visit:

Key Points from 'No Hate at Amazon' FAQ

Why do Amazon Employees need a petition?

For over a year, employees across Amazon have attempted to leverage official company channels to address hate content have been insufficient. The Amazon Trans and LGBTQIA2+ community have already escalated:

  • To multiple company Vice Presidents and Sr Vice Presidents
  • Via high-severity internal 'issue threads' with hundreds of +1s.
  • Via the Amazon's LGBTQIA2+ Affinity Group; Glamazon, who advocated on our behalf.

Despite legitimate intervention attempts by even company Vice Presidents, Amazon policies and corporate tools are structured so that upper management has the final say. Numerous LGBTQIA2+ have resigned or left Amazon, quoting the company's continued platforming of Transphobic content as their reason for departure. All efforts to advocate positive change for our Trans employees and customers were ultimately ignored.

Can you tell me more about the “pattern of hate” and books or products that affect other marginalized groups?

In the past, Amazon has been called out for selling racist costumes which stereotype Asians and Native Americans and use imagery from blackface minstrelsy as well as for selling Holocaust denial, white supremacist propaganda, and violent misogyny.

Our petition highlights a pattern of platforming hate. Case in point: Within 1 week of the petition launching, workers discovered yet another incredibly hateful and offensive book on Amazon. “The Abolition of Sex” crosses even more lines and denies that trans people even exist and calls for their segregation.

Isn’t Amazon keeping these books up because they support free speech?

Amazon has never had a policy to sell all content regardless of intent or impact, so appeals to the “marketplace of ideas” are particularly disingenuous. Amazon has removed transphobic books in the past, and continues to monitor for and remove other hateful products, such as neo-Nazi merchandise, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, and the Confederate flag. On the Amazon Web Services side, the company suspended the social network Parler after it was used to coordinate the January 6th 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Amazon already has the power to reject and reclassify content. The company makes decisions every day about what content is acceptable to provide a platform for, but impacted groups have never been part of the process. Instead, upper management has made decisions unilaterally, and they have demonstrated repeatedly that they cannot be trusted with that power. The recent politically-motivated change of course on selling harmful transphobic books described in our petition is just one example.