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Only One Week Left To Raise Money For Queer NYC Bookstore: VIDEO


For a few weeks Greg Newton and Donnie Jochum have been running their queer bookstore The Bureau of General Services - Queer Division (BGSQD) as a pop-up shop at Strange Loop Gallery, but are hoping to find a permanent location in New York's Lower East Side. And they need your help to make their dream, bringing the Big Apple an exclusively queer book shop and community space, a space Manhattan currently lacks, come true.

"From the start, we wanted it to be a queer bookstore, not a gay bookstore. We are excited by the current proliferation of the term 'queer,'" they said in an interview with Vanishing New York. "'Queer" is an expansive term, one that continues to grow. It is inclusive."

And from their press release:

It's hard to imagine, but Manhattan no longer has a single bookstore dedicated exclusively to queer people and topics. Since the closing of the landmark independent bookstores of Oscar Wilde and A Different Light, the borough has been without a bookstore specifically dedicated to serving the queer community.

Enter the Bureau of General Services – Queer Division, the now realized dream of co-owners Greg Newton and Donnie Jochum. The couple is creating a permanent bookstore and community space, complete with readings, events, a highly curated collection, and more.

With only a week left, the gentlemen have raised just over $3,100 of their $15,000 goal. If you want to help them out, visit their Lucky Ant fundraising page and for more information watch Newton and Jochum discuss their dream AFTER THE JUMP.

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  1. As if gays in NYC even know how to read..

    Posted by: Yupp | Dec 13, 2012 1:34:31 PM

  2. Since this is a "queer" bookstore and emphatically not Gay, I have absolutely no interest in supporting it.

    Posted by: Stuffed Animal | Dec 13, 2012 1:42:43 PM

  3. @Yupp: Between your comments yesterday and today, I really wonder what sad circles you hang in in NYC.

    Posted by: Dan E | Dec 13, 2012 2:02:00 PM

  4. Honestly, bookstores are becoming obsolete with all of the e-readers out there now. This isn't a good business decision.

    Posted by: Flop | Dec 13, 2012 2:38:28 PM

  5. a multi use performance space/bookstore is a very trendy and cool concept i wish them luck

    Posted by: Rev. Joseph Shore-Goss | Dec 13, 2012 3:03:59 PM

  6. Can someone explain what a "queer" bookstore vs a "gay" bookstore is?

    Why we would need either?

    Posted by: wow | Dec 13, 2012 3:09:20 PM

  7. donated :D

    you know what's funny? the folks who need to read gay and queer literature the most are always the ones who make a fuss about refusing to read it.

    E. Lynn Harris. Audre Lorde. Ethan Mordden. Armistead Maupin. Holleran. Edmund White.

    reading their works was the most galvanizing and empowering thing ever.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 13, 2012 3:10:01 PM

  8. "we wanted it to be a queer bookstore, not a gay bookstore."

    Absolutely sickening. Screw them and their vile retrograde view of gay people. They see gay people as inherently and permanently marginalized, forever in conflict with their communities and families. That is what they mean when they use the term queer, even if they intend it to be something positive.

    This conception of gay people as marginal players in civic and social life is what is killing gay kids. These selfish morons care more about playing at being "rebels" than they do about how their actions hurt gay youth and gays in vulnerable populations. They are part of the problem. Hope their bookstore fails.

    Posted by: Sandra | Dec 13, 2012 3:11:02 PM

  9. I feel ambigious about "queer". I do, however, like the name of the store.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Dec 13, 2012 3:15:24 PM

  10. I still hate myself. So much.

    Posted by: Yupp | Dec 13, 2012 3:16:11 PM

  11. Sandra, you're an idiot. And here's why: you have an instinctively emotional, yet intellectually indefensible, negative response to the word Queer.

    I self-identify as Queer. And Gay. But they're not the same thing.

    What is Queer? From a different point of view. Not the norm. Unique. A deviation from the expected.

    Not all queer-identifying people are gay, and not all gay people are queer-identifying.

    This is a bookstore for more than just GAY - it's for LGBT, or even the heterosexuals whose lives and outlook exist outside of the expected societal norm.

    I'm openly and proudly Queer and in no conflict whatsoever with family or the communities i'm a part of.

    You anti-Queer folks could learn a thing or twenty from the queer-identifying people you choose to take such issue with; namely, learn to stop living in perpetual cowardly fear of what Others Are Thinking About You.

    with love, and openly gay openly and proudly Queer dude.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 13, 2012 3:17:25 PM

  12. I don't use "queer" that much, but it doesn't bother me -- it's less of a mouthful than LGBTwhatever. Any term for a disadvantaged minority group will inevitably be seen as derogatory by someone (e.g. Negro, colored, Afro-American, black, African-American...) Anyway, what's in a name?

    I've donated to the project, however pie-in-the-sky it might be. The existence of gay and lesbian bookstores (as they were known then) was very important to my coming-out process in the '90s. Granted, there was no Internet then, but a place other than a bar to be around thoughtful, intelligent, flesh-and-blood gay people was a balm to the soul.

    Posted by: DW | Dec 13, 2012 3:29:56 PM

  13. i do understand that some people had "queer" thrown at them as a negative epithet.

    but you know what? When i was growing up the word used "against me" as an epithet was...GAY

    yeah. GAY. doesn't mean that all these years later i'm freaking out like a ninny saying "don't say gay! that word was used as an insult against me!"

    i was even once, not too long ago, called a c*cksucker by some idiot. i replied "I am one, on a good night. Are you offering?"

    those of use who choose to be empowered and self-identify as Queer should not be censored by the lingering insecurities of others.

    and believe it or not, some of us have zero aspirations to blending into some perceived Norm.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Dec 13, 2012 3:37:03 PM

  14. While we're at it, let's open a store selling CD's and renting DVD's.

    The road to heck is paved with good intentions. Let's keep up with the times people.

    Posted by: Mintylaramie | Dec 13, 2012 3:43:13 PM

  15. Back in the day, "queer" meant something else--so did "married gay man".

    Today, "queer" means approximately "non-heteronormative". It's inherently broader than "LGBT", being applicable to many straight cis people; and it's not as prone to the same clumsiness that "LGBT" often is. For example, it doesn't evoke lesbianism or gender identity when used in the context of a specifically gay men's issue. (A gay trans man's gender identity is not always relevant, just like his sexuality isn't always relevant.)

    They emphasized that their bookstore would be queerer than gay. Are there any exclusively gay bookstores in NYC?

    Posted by: Kyle | Dec 13, 2012 4:09:42 PM

  16. I don't get it. Are they looking for people to lend them money that they promise to pay back if the business is profitable? Are they selling stock in the business? Or are they just looking for people to give them money with which to start a business? And, if the latter, do they intend to run it as a not-for-profit, never drawing a salary for themselves?

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 13, 2012 4:16:44 PM

  17. Dan E. : Yeah right. Like you're going to tell me you know gays in Manhattan who actually read books ?! Seriously.

    Posted by: Yupp | Dec 13, 2012 5:07:20 PM

  18. Yes we do need gay bookstores in NYC- Christopher street has become a depressingly gentrified filled with tourist trap boutiques.

    Posted by: jaragon | Dec 13, 2012 5:14:27 PM

  19. Jaragon : Personally, I'd love a gay bookstore. And I wish Christopher Street was REALLY gay again. But those days are over.

    Posted by: Yupp | Dec 13, 2012 5:17:32 PM

  20. LittleKiwi:

    You might want to think about the sexist implications of dismissing a woman's opinion because she is too "emotional." But I have read a number of your comments and sexism seems to be a major theme.

    Posted by: Sandra | Dec 13, 2012 6:00:49 PM

  21. As a commenter noted above, this seems like a scam. You give them money. They take it. They use it to build a commercial, for-profit business. If it fails, you lose all your money. If it succeeds, they pay you back (maybe) with no interest. And then they keep all future profits. It is like a no-interest loan to a business or an investment with a guaranteed return of 0%. If this were a non-profit org it would be one thing, but it is pretty outrageous for these clowns to ask people to fund their commercial venture for nothing.

    Posted by: Bill | Dec 13, 2012 6:04:16 PM

  22. Nah. Just their quote alone about gays makes me feel alienated by them. I'm NOT queer. I'm gay. Clearly these men think they are superior to gays because they have a psuedo pretencious label 'queer'... It all reads anti GAY to me, so why would I as a gay man support that? Go take your queer book store elsewhere.

    Posted by: Kyle | Dec 14, 2012 4:52:17 AM

  23. STOP TROLLING LIL' CANADIAN. Sometimes I think there are really only a half dozen real posters on TR; the rest are you trolling.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Dec 14, 2012 11:41:52 AM

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