On a humid and sun drenched afternoon, thousands of people turned out for the first in person Seattle Pride Parade in three years, after being sidelined due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A crush of marchers paraded down 4th Avenue in colorful outfits, floats, and many carried rainbow flags. But trailing far behind, more than two dozen Amazon workers holding a massive banner that read, “No Hate at Amazon.” That’s also the name of the activist group within the Seattle based e-commerce giant. Some draped themselves in Transgender Pride flags, wore platform boots, and were accompanied by a boom box blasting dance music.
TRANS RIGHTS: @amazon workers representing activist group within company called “No Hate At Amazon” at Seattle Pride. They allege management is “spreading a culture of hatred through transphobic books” and “creating hostile workplace environment for transgender employees.” pic.twitter.com/hZ6G12w3wG
— Jonathan Choe Journalist (@choeshow) June 26, 2022
They’re protesting the company’s continued sale of books they say are harmful to transgender youth. A spokesperson at the march declined an interview with Daily Wire and pointed me to their website for a full list of their demands and complaints about Amazon.
No Hate at Amazon accuses the company of allegedly “spreading a culture of hatred through the sale of transphobic books, promoting and profiting off content that advocates for the abuse of transgender children.”
Earlier this month, some Amazon employees in Seattle staged a protest at the company’s Pride Flag raising ceremony due to their frustration over the continued sale of “transphobic” books, including Abigail Shrier’s “Irreversible Damage” and “Johnny the Walrus” by The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh.
The group further called the Pride Flag raising ceremony a “PR stunt” that was “blatant rainbow-washing” all while the retailer continued to sell “content that aids and encourages the psychological abuse of transgender children.”
Amazon previously stopped selling the book “When Harry Became Sally” in March 2021 because it described “LGBTQ+ identity as a mental illness,” according to WaPo.
Bloomberg reports so far, more than 600 employees have signed the petition to have the content removed and about 20 workers have quit the company due to the sale of titles they say misrepresent what it means to be transgender. Several other transgender employees are also planning to quit after they complete certain gender-affirming treatments, a complex and personal process that can take years and could be disrupted by switching jobs and insurance plans, said the person, who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation.
Several months ago, Seattle Pride organizers also dropped Amazon as a corporate sponsor, citing its support of lawmakers and organizations that support anti-LGBTQ legislation.
“We respect that many people care deeply about this topic, and we remain committed to providing an inclusive work environment for all of our 1.6 million employees,” Amazon spokesperson Maggie Sivon said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg. “As a company, we believe strongly in diversity, equity, and inclusion. As a bookseller, we’ve chosen to offer a very broad range of viewpoints, including books that conflict with our company’s stated positions. We believe that it’s possible to do both—to offer a broad range of viewpoints in our bookstore, and to stand behind our values as a company. When reviewing a book against our content guidelines, we consider the specific content of that book and we invest significant time and resources to ensure our guidelines are applied as consistently as possible.”
LGBTQ rights group GLAAD has also slammed Amazon’s decision to continue selling the books the activist employees want removed.