The current best-selling LGBTQ book on Amazon is an anti-transgender picture book by a far-right pundit who wants to ban same-sex couples from adopting.
LGBTQ readers looking for their next book on Amazon might be a little surprised by the selection topping the “Best Sellers in LGBTQ+ Books” chart: Johnny the Walrus by the Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh.
The book is about a boy named Johnny “with a big imagination.” He likes to pretend to be different things until “the internet people find out Johnny likes to make-believe, he’s forced to make a decision between the little boy he is and the things he pretends to be — and he’s not allowed to change his mind.”
According to Media Matters, Johnny first pretends to be a walrus by using spoons as tusks. Then he puts on gray makeup, and then visits “a doctor who offers a ‘simple procedure’ to cut his ‘feet into fins!'”
The book is intended to mock transgender youth, comparing the experience of gender dysphoria to pretending to be a walrus.
The book’s reference to surgery comes from one of the right’s favorite attacks on trans equality: the claim that young children are being railroaded into gender affirming surgery, which isn’t performed on minors. The book’s mention of “internet people” is another rightwing trope, that everyone who disagrees with them is just under the influence of online misinformation. (Readers of Walsh’s website or the people who watch Walsh’s anti-vaccine online videos are, presumably, the exception.)
Blurbs on Walsh’s book include far-right pundit Ben Shapiro, who said, “I’ve read it more than once.” That’s it; the blurb doesn’t explain if that’s good or bad.
“I’ve actually read this book,” said white nationalist Fox News host Tucker Carlson in his blurb. “It’s hilarious.”
While adults on the right are proud that they were able to read a picture book, Walsh himself is bragging about being “an LGBT author.”
On The Ingraham Angle on Fox News this past Tuesday, Walsh claimed he’s “one of the leading LGBT voices in the country right now according to Amazon, and I embrace that.”
“Gender ideology is so absurd that they realize that if they want to convince people of it, they have to get to them when they’re very, very young and they’re not able to distinguish between fantasy and reality and make these kinds of common-sense judgments,” Walsh said. “And that’s why it’s so important for them to brainwash the kids early. And it’s why it’s important to protect our kids from that brainwashing.”
Walsh may be having fun attacking transgender youth, but it’s the children who are suffering. The transgender youth Walsh mocks faced attacks in state legislatures all over the country this year that tried to ban them from school sports and prohibit doctors from giving them life-saving medication. And some succeeded.
A study published in Pediatrics found that transgender people who wanted puberty blockers and who got them as teens had a substantially lower level of suicidal thoughts, even years later as adults.
Moreover, the Trevor Project – a crisis hotline for LGBTQ youth – reported a 150 percent increase in calls this past year from trans youth in Texas as the state legislature tried multiple times to pass legislation taking away their rights.
Walsh has a history of attacking LGBTQ equality. Earlier this year, he criticized the out Secretary of Transportation and his husband, Pete and Chasten Buttigieg, for adopting children.
“Babies need their mothers, which is why two men shouldn’t be allowed to adopt babies in the first place,” he said in October. “And the outrage mob can now start a secondary campaign over that comment. But I’ll say it again. Two men should not be allowed to adopt babies because babies need mothers. They also need fathers, which is why two women shouldn’t be allowed either.“
In May, he said that affirming transgender youth’s identities is an attempt to “undermine the legal, scientific, and philosophical case against pedophilia” and that a “child who is put on hormones and who has their body being mutilated is being sexually violated in a way that is just as depraved or damaging as molestation or rape.”
Earlier today, anti-LGBTQ activist Josh Duggar – who made similar arguments about LGBTQ people – was found guilty on two child pornography charges.
Update: An Amazon spokesperson sent LGBTQ Nation this statement: “We have recategorized this title from LGBTQ+ to Political and Social Commentary, to better reflect the content. While we understand that many may find this book objectionable, it does not violate our guidelines and remains available for sale.”
The book no longer appears on the Best Sellers in LGBTQ+ Books list. Abigail Shrier’s Irreversible Damage, a book that claims that “unsuspecting parents” are finding that their daughters are getting “medically unnecessary double mastectomies” because of “hip trans YouTube stars.” The book misgenders trans boys and men and portrays the transgender movement as an attack on girls.
“A generation of girls is at risk,” the book’s description on Amazon says.
LGBTQ Nation asked Amazon if they are going to similarly remove this book’s designation as an LGBTQ title. We will update if we receive a response.