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October 11th marks National Coming Out Day. It is a day where people come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or allied (LGBTQ+) to family, friends and colleagues.

Unfortunately, for some, it is also a day where those closest to them shun them for their gender identity or sexuality. This may lead to interactions with the legal system as they lose the support of loved ones. A 2016 report from the Center for American Progress suggests that 20 percent of youth in several juvenile detention sites across the country identify as LGBTQ or gender non-conforming, compared to 8 percent of all youth. In general, the number of people in prison or jail who identify as LGBTQ is roughly twice that of the general population. Twenty-one percent of transgender women have spent time in prison or jail, versus 5 percent of all Americans.

LGBT Books to Prisoners aims to support members of the LGBTQ+ family who are incarcerated. We send books and other educational materials that affirm the identities of some of the most marginalized members of our community.

Through the month of October, we’re asking you to #ComeOutAgainstPrison and support LGBT Books to Prisoners. From October 11th to October 31st we’re looking to sign up 20 new sustainers in 20 days. That is, we’re looking for 20 people to give a small monthly donation ($5, $10, $25 or more) so that we can continue to respond to every LGBTQ+ person in prison who writes to us asking for books or other resources. Will you be someone who joins our growing list of monthly sustainers? Sign up via the subscription option here.

The first 20 people who either commit to being a new sustainer, increase the amount of their current donation, or make a 1-time donation of $150 or higher will receive a free LGBT Books to Prisoners limited edition tote bag with our logo on it, which we hope will allow more people to learn about our work.

Join our growing list of sustainers, and remember, #booksnotbars!