THIS JUST IN: Amazon is re-classifying “gay” books as “adult” books (i.e., porn)

“Giovanni’s Room” by James Baldwin is now porn because Baldwin was gay and the book has gay characters? Excuse me?

This is one of those reports that is difficult to confirm. But I did check Giovanni’s Room on Amazon, and in fact, Amazon no longer shows a “sales ranking” for it, just as the reports allege. And I just found out that the LA Times appears to have confirmed it:

“American Psycho” is Bret Easton Ellis’ story of a sadistic murderer. “Unfriendly Fire” is a well-reviewed empirical analysis of military policy. But it’s “Unfriendly Fire” that does not have a sales rank — which means it would not show up in Amazon’s bestseller lists, even if it sold more copies than the Twilight series. In some cases, being de-ranked also means being removed from Amazon’s search results.

Other books virtually burned by Amazon for being gay, per the LA Times:

Our research shows that these books have lost their ranking: “Running with Scissors” by Augusten Burroughs; “Rubyfruit Jungle” by Rita Mae Brown, “Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” by Alison Bechdel, “The History of Sexuality, Vol. 1” by Michel Foucault, “Bastard Out of Carolina” by Dorothy Allison (2005 Plume edition), “Little Birds: Erotica” by Anais Nin, “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” by Jean-Dominque Bauby (1997 Knopf edition), “Maurice” by E.M. Forster (2005 W.W. Norton edition) and “Becoming a Man” by Paul Monette, which won the 1992 National Book Award.

Michel Foucault, E.M. Forster, and Paul Monette are now porn brokers simply because they’re gay, or their books have gay characters?

I was going to wait to post this until tomorrow, but the story is flying around gay Internet users, so I’m posting this now. Amazon has a serious, and fast growing, problem on its hands.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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