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RuPaul Sends Rainbow Bus to Give Away Banned Books

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In an era of book banning and efforts by state legislatures to ban drag shows, the entertainer and television producer who is arguably the country’s most famous drag star, RuPaul, is the co-founder of a new online bookstore that will send a rainbow school. buses from the West Coast to the South to distribute the books covered by these bans.

He announced Monday that he is one of three business partners behind the Allstora bookstore, which will promote underrepresented authors and give writers a larger share of the profits than other online booksellers.

RuPaul said this type of book website would fill an important gap, especially in “these strange days we live in,” to support the ideas of people “who are ready to move the conversation forward.”

Enter RuPaul. Drag has been a part of popular culture for decades, but its reality show “RuPaul’s Drag Race”, which is in its sixteenth season and has more than a dozen international editions, has brought the work of hundreds, if not thousands, of drag artists to national audiences.

To those seeking to limit access to LGBTQ culture in the United States, RuPaul said he offered a prayer.

“They have so much pain and it gets projected outward,” RuPaul said. “And the truth is, I just hope that the child inside each of them will rebel and have a voice and say, ‘I want to use every color in the crayon box.’ I will not be restricted.

“My heart goes out to them because they are clearly in a lot of pain,” RuPaul continued. “A pain that you and I couldn’t even imagine.”

He said efforts to ban drag books and shows would eventually “fall apart.” History has shown that the more people try to restrict access to something, the more attracted they are to it, RuPaul said, adding, “You can’t limit the imagination.”

He mentioned several books that had influenced him, including “A New Earth” by Eckhart Tolle, “Animal Farm” by George Orwell and “Curious George,” the children’s classic by Margret and HA Rey.

“I wasn’t very good at school, but I read books and watched TV, and that’s how I was able to find my way in this big world,” RuPaul said.

At Allstora, RuPaul will host a monthly book club, which will also include themed playlists and author interviews. The first selection is, fittingly, his memoirs”The house of hidden meanings», which will be published on Tuesday.

RuPaul founded Allstora with Adam Powell, a drag artist and actor, and Powell’s partner, Eric Cervini, the author of Nominated for the Pulitzer Prize history book “The War of the Deviants: Homosexuals Against the United States of America”.

Allstora is the new version of a company that Cervini and Powell officially launched in October 2022, called ShopQueer.co, which sold books by LGBTQ+ authors and aimed to give writers a larger share of their income. benefits of books. The couple initially ran the business out of the garage of their Los Angeles apartment, but they quickly outgrew it. Last year, Cervini said, they sold more than $1 million worth of books.

“We were doing everything ourselves and realized we needed help,” Cervini said.

They were raising money when they were in contact with RuPaul, who is the creative director of Allstora. The revamped company sells books from all types of authors and offers authors a share of the profits made from book sales on the website. Cervini is the CEO and Powell is the director of the company’s philanthropic arm, the Rainbow Book Bus, which began its work before Allstora was founded.

As part of the Allstora launch, the Rainbow Book Bus will travel from Los Angeles to the South in March to fight book bans. In these cities, which will include Birmingham, Alabama; Tallahassee, Florida; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Allstora will partner with local LGBTQ organizations to distribute thousands of books. The goal is to distribute 10,000 books by the end of the year from the brightly colored, 22-foot old school bus.

Local organizations also provided advice to the company on how to keep book fairs safe. “They were very helpful and worked with local law enforcement and volunteers to make sure everyone was full of joy and not afraid of being seen,” Cervini said.

Cervini, who grew up in Central Texas, said it will be important for young people to see there is a space for them, even if they don’t live somewhere in bookstores that have an LGBTQ section or if they are forbidden to read these books. in their schools or public libraries.

“There’s an organization, there’s a community, there’s a family for them,” he said. “And even though we’re not always here, the books are always there. They are always available. It’s still a safe place.

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