CEO of Allstora, bookstore co-founded by RuPaul, apologizes

Eric Cervini Allstora RuPaul

Eric Cervini, CEO of Allstora and a queer history author, apologizes for the online bookstore, which was co-founded by RuPaul, selling anti-LGBTQ+ titles. Cervini issued the apology Saturday on social media. Photo: Instagram

Allstora, the online bookstore co-founded by RuPaul, recently faced a whirlwind of criticism after it was revealed that the company was selling anti-LGBTQ+ books by right-wing authors, including Libs of TikTok’s Chaya Raichik.

After initially doubling down and claiming to oppose censorship of any kind, the company quietly reversed itself before putting out a public apology.

The evolving decision to remove titles from right-wing extremists has sparked outrage among conservative media figures, who accuse the platform of censorship and hypocrisy, challenging its initial commitment to fighting book bans and promoting a broad spectrum of voices.

The apology

In a statement posted on the company’s website Saturday, Eric Cervini, CEO of Allstora and a queer history author, addressed the initial controversy.

“I want to take responsibility for our mistakes, and I want to apologize,” Cervini said, acknowledging the backlash from customers, RuPaul fans, marginalized authors, and readers who felt betrayed by the platform’s decisions. Cervini wrote that he neglected to maintain a platform for queer people that served as a safe haven for marginalized voices. “In building that space, I failed,” he said.

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Following The Advocate’s initial inquiry over the books by these far-right authors, Allstora responded by updating its website to flag controversial titles as “contrary to our core values” and committing proceeds from these sales to fight against book bans through donations to the Rainbow Book Bus, a philanthropic arm of the venture. However, the company said it stood by its decision to sell books from all points of view in a stand against censorship.

Lady Bunny criticizes RuPaul

This move, however, did not quell the dissent, with prominent figures like drag queen Lady Bunny voicing skepticism and disappointment over Allstora’s approach on Instagram.

“Ru has a new, just announced book company called Allstora…But when you look at the site, you can buy Hitler’s Mein Kampf…Those ain’t MY people, Ru,” Lady Bunny wrote.

She further questioned the platform’s reliance on community feedback to filter objectionable content and critiqued the essence of “rainbow capitalism” that seemed to underpin the venture.

Cervini’s apology shed light on this response, detailing the platform’s initial broad inclusion of literature.

“We decided to respond to the book bans with radical inclusivity… But therein lay my mistake. I wasn’t, in fact, building a library… Rather, I was building a platform to champion underserved authors and create community around their stories,” Cervini wrote.

What’s next

In his apology, Cervini elaborated on the corrective measures Allstora is implementing, including introducing a reader-based flagging system to identify and remove objectionable content. “Going forward, we are committed to re-centering these tenets,” he promised.

A spokesperson for Allstora said he could not provide The Advocate with a statement before publication.

RuPaul, who is currently traveling on a book tour to promote his memoir “The House of Hidden Meanings,” has not commented on the controversy.

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

About the author

Christopher Wiggins

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