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A letter from the founder of Audible

The following is an email that he asked us to share. I quite like it, so I’m posting it here to make sharing easier:

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 nonbinary 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-comforming 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 nonbinary 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 by Queer Authors” and “Trans Stories” and spotlight our interviews with creators like Jazz JenningsAnnalee 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 financially support 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.

Don Katz

Founder & Executive Chairman

The Yin-Yang Polarity

Our “selves” are inseparable from this kind of universe, and there is nowhere else to be.

At the very root of Chinese thinking and feeling there lies the principal of polarity, which is not to be confused with the ideas of opposition or conflict. In the metaphors of other cultures, light is at war with darkness, life with death, good with evil, and the positive with the negative, and this an idealism to cultivate the former and be rid of the latter flourishes throughout much of the world. To the traditional way of Chinese thinking, this is as incomprehensible as an electric current without both positive and negative poles, for polarity is the principle that + and –, north and south, are different aspects of one and the same system, and that the disappearance of either one of them would be the disappearance of the system.

People who have been brought up in the aura of Christian and Hebrew aspirations find this frustrating, because it seems to deny any possibility of progress, an ideal which flows from their linear (as distinct from cyclic) view of tine and history. Indeed, the whole enterprise of … continue reading →