Audible founder and Executive Chairman Don Katz shared the following statement with employees at a global all-hands meeting.
We support trans rights.
Our People Principles that define our collective purpose call on us to “celebrate the glories of the human spectrum,” “protect inherent civil rights” and pursue equality as a core purpose. These values underlie our commitment to our colleagues as we build a shared sense of safety and belonging in our workplace, and they inspire our mission to elevate marginalized voices — because we have the ability to foster compassion, inclusiveness and understanding in our listeners through our content.
Trans women are women, trans men are men, and all forms of gender expression and identities including non-binary and genderqueer are valid. Trans people are more likely to be un- or under-employed and live under the poverty line. They are more at risk to die of suicide or be victims of violence: in 2020, 15 transgender or gender non-conforming people have been violently killed, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Even as we celebrate the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling last week protecting transgender workers, we recognize the trans community continues to face a hostile culture and is highly subject to discrimination in employment, housing, education, healthcare and other aspects of public life. We also implore any political or cultural figure possessed of a public platform to join us in not only avoiding transphobic rhetoric but also to stand with us to protect one of the most vulnerable groups of people in the world.
Because the stories of trans and non-binary voices deserve to be heard more widely, we will amplify the titles that can be found at Audible in collections like “The Best Trans and Nonbinary Listens” and “Trans Stories” and spotlight our interviews with creators like Jazz Jennings, Annalee Newitz and Nico Tortorella. Our commitment to trans representation extends internationally, with trans-positive content such as Azaad Awaaz, a series created for our free Audible Suno service in India featuring stories like that of India’s first transman pilot and an activist empowering transmen in rural India, and The Trauma Cleaner, an Audible Studios-produced biography of an Australian trans woman that was a leading title in the UK and that we offered our AU members for free in November in support of transgender awareness week. And Jordan Raskopoulos, an Australian comedian, musician and trans woman, has been a key talent in three of our major AU brand campaigns: “Listen to Your Book” (2017), “Said I Read You but I Lied” (2018), and “Make Words Great Again” (2019).
We proudly sponsored the “Black Queer Town Hall,” starring Bob the Drag Queen, Peppermint and other entertainers, and we will make donations to RAIN, which provides shelter and housing to LGBTQ people ages 18-26 in the Greater Newark area, and the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, a civil rights organization committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services and public policy.
Now is a time to draw together to celebrate the glories of the human spectrum and to protect inherent civil rights for all.
Onward to a better world.