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Celebrity Auction Will Get LGBTQ-Inclusive Books Into Schools

Billy Porter Billie Jean King Shangela
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Pride and Less Prejudice's virtual action this weekend aims to raise $10,000 to send 800 LGBTQ-inclusive books to elementary schools across the U.S. and Canada.

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The auction will feature many items from celebrities, including (from left) Billy Porter, Shangela, and Billie Jean King.

Now through Sunday, nonprofit organization Pride and Less Prejudice is holding its second annual #BannedTogether virtual auction to raise $10,000 to send 800 LGBTQ-inclusive books to elementary schools across the U.S. and Canada.

The auction features items and experiences donated by a star-studded group ,including actor Leslie Jordan, actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson, actor Billy Porter, actor Chris Colfer, drag queen Shangela, actress Lea DeLaria, drag queen Brooke Lynn Hytes, actress Elvira, author ALOK, drag queen Latrice Royale, comedian Hannah Hart, actress Emily Hampshire, actress Jennifer Beals, comedian Hannah Gadsby, musical duo Tegan & Sara, actress Nicole Maines, comedian Cameron Esposito, actress Kat Barrell, actor Carson Kressley, actress Natasha Negovanlis, tennis legend Billie Jean King, singer Melissa Etheridge, singer Rufus Wainwright, singer Mary Lambert, author Desmond Is Amazing, and musical duo A Great Big World.

Founded in November 2019, Pride and Less Prejudice sends free LGBTQ-inclusive books to pre-K through third grade classrooms in order to foster LGBTQ+ acceptance. Since its launch, PLP has raised more than $100,000 and donated over 7,500 books to classrooms in 49 U.S. states and seven Canadian provinces.

PLP's virtual auction coincides with Banned Books Week, an annual event that draws attention to challenged book titles and brings people together in shared support of the freedom to seek and express ideas. Half of the last decade's most banned books were challenged due to LGBTQ+ content.

"In this last year, we have seen countless attacks on LGBTQ+ youth, including the horrendous 'don't say gay or trans' law that passed in Florida," PLP founder Lisa Forman said in a press release. "Sending LGBTQ-inclusive books to teachers who want to foster inclusive classrooms is more important than ever, as it shows LGBTQ+ youth that they are not alone."

This year's items include:

A 15-minute virtual meet-and-greet with Mary Lambert

A signed script from the cast of Modern Family donated by Jesse Tyler Ferguson

A signed prop from Schitt's Creek and personalized video donated by Emily Hampshire

A limited edition test press vinyl from Melissa Etheridge

Signed books from Billie Jean King, Billy Porter, Tegan & Sara, Leslie Jordan, Hannah Hart, Cameron Esposito, Chris Colfer, ALOK, Hannah Gadsby, and Desmond Is Amazing

A signed comic book and personal note from Nicole Maines

Signed photos from Jennifer Beals, Kat Barrell, and Natasha Negovanlis

Personalized videos from Carson Kressley, Shangela, Brooke Lynn Hytes, and Desmond Is Amazing

Signed lyric sheets from A Great Big World

Signed merch from Latrice Royale, Lea DeLaria, and Rufus Wainwright

Go here to see the items and bid. Bidding closes Sunday at 10 p.m. Eastern.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.