RuPaul’s bookstore under fire for selling anti-LGBTQ+ titles

RuPaul bookstore

RuPaul Charles was inducted into the California Hall of Fame on Dec. 10, 2019, in Sacramento in an official state ceremony. RuPaul’s recently launched online book store is causing controversy over some of the titles it’s selling. Photo: Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

RuPaul’s recently launched online book store is causing controversy over some of the titles it’s selling.

Allstora, a freshly launched online book marketplace co-founded by the Emmy Award–winning host of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and drag performer, has come under scrutiny. The platform, which prides itself on being an independent, author-owned marketplace offering over 10 million titles, aims to revolutionize the e-commerce landscape by ensuring fair compensation for authors, according to a press release. With a model that promises to double an author’s income through profit sharing and offers significant book discounts, Allstora’s introduction was initially met with enthusiasm.

However, the platform’s mission to “protect, promote, and empower all storytellers” through an equitable compensation model and to uplift the “voices of underrepresented groups, including LGBTQ+ people, women, and communities of color” has been questioned.

The criticism comes after users on X (formerly Twitter) exposed the site for listing books by authors known for their anti-LGBTQ+ stances, including titles by Riley Gaines, Robby Starbuck, Kirk Cameron, and other books from the conservative publisher Brave Books.

An online user posted a screenshot of Libs of TikTok’s Chaya Raichik’s book available on the site, which The Advocate could not find on the page later.

“Hi hello why is RuPaul’s online bookstore selling Chaya Raichik’s children’s book???” the person wrote.

However, other books by anti-LGBTQ+ authors were available at the time of query. Additionally, the inclusion of Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and works by Bill O’Reilly has added to the backlash.

“Ru Paul’s new bookstore, Allstora, is selling copies of Hitler’s mein kampf and you get a member discount on it!” wrote Harvard Law instructor Alejandra Caraballo.

“I honestly didn’t even know there were this many editions and translations,” she added.

After The Advocate contacted representatives for RuPaul and Allstora to inquire about the availability of anti-LGBTQ+ content in the store, the company updated its website to include a note on controversial titles.

“Allstora Note: With the help of our community, we’ve flagged this book as contrary to our core values. All proceeds from this title will go towards protecting diverse literature and marginalized communities from book bans through the Rainbow Book Bus,” a disclaimer now reads on some offerings.

An Allstora spokesperson declined to comment, but directed The Advocate to a new FAQ page on the company’s website.

That page explains that the company believes in the importance of understanding ideologies of hate to combat them effectively and likens its approach to that of university libraries and other online marketplaces by choosing to carry all books. In an effort to mitigate the potential harm of specific books, Allstora has introduced a community-led flagging system and committed to donating all proceeds from flagged titles to support the fight against book bans of diverse literature, according to the company.

Later this month, RuPaul’s Book Club, a subscription service, is set to launch as part of Allstora’s offerings. The service highlights RuPaul’s curated book selections and seeks to connect readers with diverse narratives and authors. The club’s first selection is RuPaul’s memoir, “The House of Hidden Meanings”, which went on sale Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on and is shared here as part of an LGBTQ+ community exchange between Q Voice News and Equal Pride.

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Christopher Wiggins

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