Bookstore Co-founded by RuPaul Reverses Decision to Keep Stocking Anti-LGBTQ Books

RuPaul’s longtime friend Lady Bunny, a drag performer who has appeared on RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars and the spinoff series Drag Race spinoff show RuPaul’s Drag U, was among those who took to social media to criticize the store’s right-wing offerings.

“I know it really helps the community when you can buy right-wing books off of a rainbow bus and pay a drag queen $30 per month for the privilege,” Lady Bunny wrote in a March 6 Instagram post, referencing Allstora’s membership fee and the Rainbow Bus initiative. “And that, my friends, sums up rainbow capitalism.”

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At the time of publication, RuPaul has not publicly responded to the controversy. However, on March 9, Cervini issued an apology statement on Allstora’s website

“I’ve spent the past week listening to customers, RuPaul fans, marginalized authors, and readers who feel betrayed by the inclusion of hate-filled books in our catalog,” Cervini wrote. “And through these conversations, I’ve re-learned the difference between a library and a bookstore. While a library should fulfill its civil duty of making all perspectives, however abhorrent, available to all, the environment I envisioned for Allstora was one that made its guests feel safe. In building that space, I failed.”

Cervini clarified that the Allstora team has removed the titles visitors “have called to our attention” and that, moving forward, Allstora “will rely on our community of readers” to curate the site’s catalog through a mix of focus groups, customer surveys, and “a diverse committee of authors.”

“While other online bookstores will continue selling hate-filled books, Allstora will not,” he added. “We will be a community, a home, for all.”

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