American Booksellers Association Apologises After Criticism For Promoting Transphobic Book

(Lena Balk/Unsplash)

The American Booksellers Association (ABA) has apologised after they sent out a promotional shipment to members that allegedly included Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters by Abigail Shrier. The book in question was criticised by readers for containing anti-trans material and the public outrage has encouraged the American Book Association to respond with an explanation, reports TIME.

In a tweet the ABA said, “This is a serious, violent incident that goes against ABA’s policies, values, and everything we believe and support. It is inexcusable”.

“We apologize to our trans members and to the trans community for this terrible incident and the pain we caused them. We also apologize to the LGBTQIA+ community at large, and to our bookselling community,” said the ABA.

Although the anti-trans book was not confirmed by the ABA to be Shrier’s Irreversible Damage, the author released a statement to TIME saying the apology was misguided. “The ABA did nothing wrong in sending my book to independent booksellers. No one was forced to read it or display it,” said Shrier.

The ABA is not the first publishing organisation that has received backlash for stocking and selling the controversial book. Amazon employees have issued a formal complaint against the book stating that it goes against the company’s statement to not sell books that frame being LGBTQIA+ as an illness, reports NBC news.

Shrier’s book claims to address the “trans epidemic” of young girls identifying as transgender. The book was understandably galling to many workers at Amazon with two employees quitting due to the company continuing to sell it.

According to NBC News, trans employee Selene Xenia said the book was the final straw. “The book literally has [“craze”] in the title and considers being transgender a mental illness in many senses throughout the book,” Xenia said.

“It looks like Amazon had to remove that particular book for PR reasons, not because they felt morally obligated to,” says Xenia.

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