The auction will feature many celebrity items, including (left to right) Billy Porter, Shangela and Billie Jean King.
Through Sunday, nonprofit Pride and Less Prejudice is hosting its second annual #BannedTogether virtual auction to raise $10,000 to send 800 LGBTQ-inclusive books to elementary schools across the United States and Canada.
The auction features donated items and experiences from 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 BigWorld.
Founded in November 2019, Pride and Less Prejudice sends free LGBTQ-inclusive books to K-3 classrooms to help foster LGBTQ+ acceptance. Since its launch, PLP has raised over $100,000 and donated over 7,500 books to classrooms in 49 US states and seven Canadian provinces.
PLP’s virtual auction coincides with Banned Books Week, an annual event that draws attention to contested book titles and unites people in common support for the freedom to seek and express ideas. Half of the most banned books of the past decade have been challenged for LGBTQ+ content.
“Last year, we’ve seen countless attacks on LGBTQ+ youth, including the horrific ‘don’t say gay or trans’ law that was 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 articles include:
A 15-minute virtual meeting with Mary Lambert
A script signed by the cast of modern family courtesy of Jesse Tyler Ferguson
An accessory signed by Schitt’s Creek and personalized video courtesy of Emily Hampshire
A limited edition test press vinyl from Melissa Etheridge
Books by 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 strip and a personal note from Nicole Maines
Signed photos of Jennifer Beals, Kat Barrell and Natasha Negovanlis
Custom videos of Carson Kressley, Shangela, Brooke Lynn Hytes and Desmond Is Amazing
A Great Big World signed lyric sheets
Signed merchandise from Latrice Royale, Lea DeLaria and Rufus Wainwright
Go here to view items and bid. Auctions end Sunday at 10 p.m. EST.