RuPaul’s Rainbow Bus sashays through Tallahassee

RuPaul with the Rainbow Bus.
Photo courtesy:@rainbowbookbus on Instagram

RuPaul, star and creator of the reality show “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” partnered with Allstora, an independent online bookstore, to launch the Rainbow Bus Tour to distribute over 7,000 banned books nationwide.

 Starting March 4, the Rainbow Bus has stopped in Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Memphis, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Tallahassee to promote literacy and inclusivity.

According to the bus’s official website, the tour “aims to promote and protect access to representative books and media for queer communities and anyone impacted by anti-inclusive legislation” by distributing these books. “We’re handing out opportunities to escape, learn, and feel seen and understood. Most importantly, we’re reminding LGBTQ+ youth and those close to them that they’re not alone,” the website added.

This initiative is particularly significant in Florida’s capital city Tallahassee. Under the DeSantis Administration, the “Don’t Say Gay” bill significantly impacted the state’s political sphere, causing more than 2,700 titles to be challenged or banned entirely from public schools. Many people believe that this ban targets minorities and LGBTQ writers.

“These are targeted attacks against wronged people under the name of public good, something that can be seen throughout American history,” Bianca Morris, a second-year agribusiness student said. “For Rupaul to be distributing these books shows that those who have and are continuously being denied and discriminated against have to advocate for themselves.”

“Topics such as racism and discrimination should be touched upon in order to prevent it from occurring in the future,” De’Shawn Wise-Minor, a first-year mechanical engineering scholar, said. “It is very important that RuPaul distributes these books because it can be seen as overcoming adversity,” he added.

“The book ban might not directly harm him, but he is giving back and actually trying to help members of the community affected by the book bans,” FAMU psychology alum Justin Mathews said regarding RuPaul.

With a prominent figure like RuPaul, the Rainbow Bus Tour continues to inspire nationwide. Aiming to give away 10,000 books by the end of the year, he is also gearing up to launch a monthly book club with curated playlists and interviews with authors to help the cause.

“You cannot keep the imagination down,” RuPaul said in an interview. “I just hope that the child that lives inside of each and every one of them will revolt and have a voice and say: ‘I want to use all the colors in the crayon box. I will not be restricted.’”

For more information and updates regarding the Rainbow Bus, follow @rainbowbookbus on Instagram.