12 April 2009

Letter to Amazon

After reading about the massive fail from Amazon, I fired off a letter:

I have been an amazon customer for many years. Recently I signed up for Amazon Prime, because I knew that the savings would pay for themselves within a few months.

Many of the books I buy from Amazon are gay and lesbian themed. I buy these at Amazon because they're difficult to find in my local Borders or Barnes and Noble. I have always appreciated the fact that Amazon does not treat GLBT literature like a dirty secret, something that has to be hidden behind the counter.

Apparently, that policy has now changed, and I am writing to express my disappointment. The excuse given to Mark Probst by customer service representative Ashlyn D that the removal of GLBT books from the sales ranking is because you "exclude "adult" material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists" out of "consideration" for your customer base is weak at best. This "reasoning" fails to explain why "Heather Has Two Mommies" and "Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws" have been removed from the rankings; the only possible explanation is that you have now decided that any content related to gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered people must be sexual in nature and therefore must be hidden away to "protect the children". I am appalled that in 2009, days after marriage equality was affirmed in two states, Amazon has chosen to adopt an attitude toward GLBT people that would not be out of place in 1959.

This policy is appalling, and until it is changed, I will not be placing any further orders with Amazon, even if it means having to order from other sources and pay more. It's worth it to me to do business with a company that doesn't believe my existence should be a dirty little secret.