Amazon bans books that lie about LGBT+ people being mentally ill. Sorry about it, bigots

by Maggie Baska (

(Photo by Matthew Staver/For The Washington Post via Getty Images/Ryan T Anderson/Encounter Books)

Amazon has said it will no longer sell books that frame LGBT+ identities as a “mental illness”, responding to a row over an anti-trans book.

The online retail giant explained its decision after Republicans complained that a three-year-old anti-trans book was removed from the Amazon website and its Kindle and Audible platforms.

Republican senators Marco Rubio (Florida), Mike Lee (Utah), Mike Braun (Indiana), and Josh Hawley (Missouri) wrote to Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezo last month requesting an explanation as to why the book When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment was no available on any of its platforms.

The company responded to the senators in a letter on Thursday (11 March), saying Amazon would no longer be selling books that claimed being LGBT+ was a mental illness. According to The Wall Street Journal, the letter was signed by Brian Huseman, Amazon’s vice president of public policy.

The letter stated: “As to your specific question about When Harry Became Sally, we have chosen not to tell books that frame LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness.”

Amazon said it provides its customers with “access to a variety of viewpoints, including books that some customers may find objectionable”. The letter said: “That said, we reserve the right not to sell certain content.

“All retailers make decisions about what selection they choose to offer, as do we.”

When Harry Became Sally is a book written by conservative scholar Ryan T Anderson and was published in February 2018.

The book has sparked controversy for “attacking trans people while conveniently leaving them out”.

In the book, Anderson writes that society needs to “respect the dignity” of trans people but argues against trans-affirming healthcare and misgenders trans people, including the actor Laverne Cox and reality star Caitlyn Jenner.