“A loud, proud, and very queer bookmobile” called The Rainbow Book Bus, made its grand debut at the Los Angeles Pride Parade on June 11th! 100+ people marched alongside the 22-foot school bus, including six queer authors who carried poster-sized versions of their book covers, all celebrating the importance of queer literature.
Cervini spoke about The Rainbow Bus with a local reporter during the parade. “Right now, we’re experiencing more book bans than at any time in American history,” said Cervini. “We’re here with a whole bunch of queer authors saying, ‘Enough is enough. It’s time to protect and promote queer literature.’”
Marchers handed out over 10,000 stickers stating “Read Queer Books.” Rainbow Book Bus manager Greg Luna said that “Literature shares knowledge and our collective history – that’s why our windows depict book covers of queer writers, leaders, artists, and impactful works of queer storytelling. But this bus isn’t just a symbol. It’s a tool to help extend compassion and build community.”
wayOUT, a non-profit organization that fundraises for LGBTQ+ youth centers in underserved communities, partnered with shopqueer.co to produce a six-episode web series documenting the transformation of the Rainbow Book Bus.
“WayOUT LA was excited to participate in LA Pride for the very first time this year alongside the ShopQueer.co team and the public debut of the Rainbow Book Bus! wayOUT’s mission aligns perfectly with that of the Rainbow Book Bus,” said Brady Valashinas, the Los Angeles Co-President of wayOUT. “Being a part of the parade with such a dedicated group of people was a magical moment of queer joy and an important reminder that this work is more important now than ever before.”
ShopQueer.co and wayOUT are heading out on a national tour this fall, holding book fairs to raise funds for their network of LGBTQ+ centers, especially in states enacting the harshest book bans Southern states like Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, and Florida where anti-LGBTQ+ legislation is impacting our community the most. Every dollar raised by the Rainbow Book Bus will help these centers provide life-saving resources to their local queer communities.