By Jonathon Van Maren
On June 1, 30 employees marched out of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, draped themselves in transgender flags, and toppled over. They then proceeded to lay prone on the sidewalk in front of a stage that had been set up for Amazon’s “Glamazon Pride 2022” event, the location of Amazon’s “Pride” month festivities for staff and members of the public. The “die-in”— a form of guerrilla theater in which the protestors simulate corpses — is a common form of protest.
The event was covered on Twitter by Katherine Long of Business Insider, who posted a viral photo of the flag-draped layabouts with the caption: “I’m at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters, where about 30 Amazon employees are staging a die-in during Amazon’s Pride Flag raising ceremony in protest of the company’s continued sale of what they say are transphobic books.” According to Long, the Amazon staffers are affiliated with “the internal employee activist group No Hate at Amazon” and were protesting “transphobic books” at Amazon.
Despite Amazon’s craven attempts to appease the LGBT crowd, Long noted that the company “has come under fire for what some LGBTQA+ activists say are the company’s attempts to ‘rainbow-wash’ its reputation” — Seattle Pride actually prohibited Amazon from being a sponsor of the city’s “Pride” parade. For activists within Amazon, the company’s full-throated support of the LGBT agenda is a farce due to the fact that it earns revenue selling books that “harm transgender people.” A key complaint is that Amazon declined to remove Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters — despite the success of activists in having Ryan Anderson’s book When Harry Became Sally: Responding to the Transgender Moment removed.
Shrier’s book — which was named a “Book of the Year” by The Economist and widely praised as an essential piece of reportage on a complex current issue — has recently received more attention when Bill Maher praised it on his HBO show “Realtime with Bill Maher” during a critique of the trans movement’s radicalism. Earlier in 2022, more than 600 Amazon employees presented a petition calling for greater staff oversight over which books get published, and several employees quit over Shrier’s book (one wrote a column for Business Insider citing Amazon’s “anti-trans practices”).