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Absolutely Everything is Wrong with the ABA’s “Apology” Statement

Yesterday, the American Booksellers Association issued an apology statement on Twitter. Who were they apologizing to and why, you ask? Well, they were explaining that somehow, someone somewhere slipped the anti-trans tract “Irreversible Damage” into their July selections for members. 

If you don’t remember the “Irreversible Damage” drama, here’s the TL;DR: Last year, author Abigail Shrier released the book to widespread protest. By its very nature, “Irreversible Damage,”—which is chock full of bad science, inaccurate or barely-there data, and general fearmongering—is an anti-trans treatise that exists to create fear in the heart of parents everywhere whose kids have maybe expressed that their assigned gender doesn’t feel right to them. Shrier’s book specifically went after trans guys and nonbinary AFABs, positioning transness as a kind of enemy of womanhood and claiming that the “transgender craze” is actively ruining the lives of people who may, at some point in the future, detransition. Trans activists fought to pull the book from public libraries and bookstores, with some success. Amazon recalled the book, then reversed their decision. Almost a year after the initial release, we’re somehow still trying to explain to the world that “Irreversible Damage” isn’t just a harmless opposing opinion. It’s a collection of cis fears and hysteria surrounding what some parents still view as the “problem” of having a trans kid. 

So when the ABA slipped it into their July offerings and then offered a too-little-too-late apology, trans folks weren’t exactly satisfied. 

Trans writers and activists were quick to point out the lack of responsibility taken and passive language favored in the ABA statement.

 

Others were absolutely gobsmacked at the sheer audacity on display: 

 

Some simply told it like it is:

Thankfully, there is still some good in the world, and it helps to be reminded of that. Several booksellers took the opportunity to share recommendations for work by actual trans authors who haven’t made up all their data in an attempt to self-martyr:

Some folks were nice enough to offer an example of what a real apology would look like:

While many simply saw the news and logged off for the day, rightfully so.

It’s all a big transphobic mess, capped off by a non-apology.

Every day is truly a winding road.

 

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