From September 22nd to September 25th, non-profit organization Pride and Less Prejudice (PLP) will hold 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 3rd 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 7 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. According to NBC News, 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,” said PLP founder, Lisa Forman. “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