The auction will feature many celebrity items including (from left) Billy Porter, Shangela and Billie Jean King.
Through Sunday, nonprofit organization Pride and Less Prejudice is holding its second annual #BannedTogether virtual auction to raise $10,000 to ship 800 LGBTQ-inclusive books to elementary schools across the United States and Canada.
The auction includes 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, Music 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 the musical duo A Great Big World.
Founded in November 2019, Pride and Less Prejudice sends free LGBTQ inclusive books to preschool through third grade classrooms to promote LGBTQ+ acceptance. Since its inception, PLP has raised more than $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 brings attention to controversial book titles and brings people together to collectively seek freedom and express ideas. Half of the most banned books in the last decade have been challenged for LGBTQ+ content.
“In this past year, we’ve seen countless attacks on LGBTQ+ youth, including the horrific ‘don’t say gay or trans’ law that was passed in Florida,” said PLP founder Lisa Forman in a press release. “Sending LGBTQ inclusive books to teachers who want to promote 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 by Schott’s Creek and personalized video donated by Emily Hampshire
A limited edition test press vinyl by Melissa Etheridge
Autographed 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 book and personal note from Nicole Maines
Autographed photos of Jennifer Beals, Kat Barrell and Natasha Negovanlis
Personalized Videos by Carson Kressley, Shangela, Brooke Lynn Hytes and Desmond Is Amazing
Autographed lyric sheets from A Great Big World
Signed merch by Latrice Royale, Lea DeLaria and Rufus Wainwright
Go here to see the items and bid. Bidding ends Sunday at 10:00 p.m. Eastern.