Upsetting but nothing us readers of LGBTQ fiction didn’t know before: the age of the the gay bookstore is gone.
Quartz explains: “As US society has become more open, and LGBT people and relationships have become more visible and gained legal enfranchisement, physical corners like bookstores—places where people didn’t go just to hide, but to connect and build community—have closed up.”
Gay restaurants, these shiny places I found selling truffle mashed potatoes and candy colored martinis as I was coming out, have also been shutting down.
When I was struggling to coming out while interning in San Francisco, A Different Light bookstore was my summer school in gay life (and, ok, a spot to take free peeks at well-worn porn magazines, when I was courageous enough to let myself look at them).
Here’s the most pressing sentence of the Quartz piece: Why is the queer section of Amazon so horrible? Can’t Amazon assign an editor and merchandise their gay section better, or maybe a smart Amazon affiliate can do it?
Can a culture exist without physical spaces?