In recent weeks Amazon founder Jeff bezos has survived a bevy of personal scandals and embarrassing headlines. His stroke of bad press continues as his juggernaut brand is now being called out for promoting harm and gay self-hatred. A boycott against Amazon looms as it faces backlash for selling books that offer “cures” for and prevention of becoming a homosexual. One would think in 2019 and with all the undeniable data from nearly every reputable psychological study, that books like this shouldn’t even exist. But they do, and they somehow continue to get published.
These types of books and any variation of gay conversion therapy are deemed to be dangerous by most mental health professionals and can result in furthering a sense of confusion, self-loathing, deep depression and even suicide. Any effectiveness of these books is unfounded and baseless. In fact, according to The American Psychological Association, “There is simply no sufficiently scientifically sound evidence that sexual orientation can be changed. Such ‘therapy’ is considered so detrimental that fourteen states and the District of Colombia ban practicing it on minors.”
One of the most vocal advocates for Amazon’s removal of “gay cure” books is the Memoirist Damian Barr. The notable author rose to international acclaim with “Maggie and Me”–– his account of abuse while growing up gay in Scotland in the 1980s. In an interview with BuzzFeed News, Barr expressed that the online bookseller is “promoting hatred, abuse, and self-harm by featuring guides for the ‘treatment’ of homosexuality.
Personally, I am somewhat reluctant to immediately agree with public demands to remove intellectual content from shops and shelves. On one hand, this is book banning which is antithetical to our civil liberties and freedom of speech. On the other hand however, if there is substantial evidence from the medical community, which there appears to be, suggesting these types of books are detrimental to human health and well being, then I’ll be first in line to kindle the fire and start tossing in these books.
This isn’t Amazon’s first time being in the hot seat for potentially harmful “gay cure” content. As Towle Road reports, “Back in December the non-profit Proof Wins Out (PWO) set out to boycott Apple, Google, and Amazon for continuing to carry an app encouraging users that they can “recover” from same-sex attractions through prayer.”
Ah yes the good ol’ “pray the gay away” always works like a charm doesn’t it? Just as effective as good ol’ “thoughts and prayers” are for ending mass shootings across America.
This piece is an opinion piece by one Contributing Writer for Instinct Magazine and may not reflect the opinion of the magazine or other Contributing Writers.