October 8, 2013
Feminist bookstore hit by anti-gay graffiti
by Nick Davies
Charis Books & More in Atlanta, one of the oldest feminist bookstores in the country, was vandalized last week with a series of anti-gay slurs. Dyana Bagby writes for GA Voice that the bookstore was damanged in the wake of Atlanta’s “Stride into Pride” LGBTQ festivities, during which Charis held a standing-room-only event.
The same night of “Stride Into Pride: Atlanta Literary All Star Showcase,” a smash success for the lesbian-owned bookseller, somebody spray-painted the side of the building with slurs as shameful for their spelling as for their sentiment, to wit, “eat mor dick,” “fuck dikes,” “creep,” and a drawing of a penis. An anonymous tip to the Atlanta police described men loitering near the store at about 11:15pm, an hour after the event’s attendees had cleared out, by co-owner Sara Luce Look’s estimate.
Elizabeth Anderson, executive director of the store’s nonprofit branch, Charis Circle, spoke about the Pride event to GA Voice, saying, “Last night we had a full house, standing room only, and at various times the crowd spilled out into the parking lot… We had 20 different LGBT writers from different segments of the queer community. It was a beautiful event. This event was certainly more visible than others we’ve had. I don’t know if that had anything to do with the timing.” Regarding the graffiti, she responded, “I am from the school that if they are gunning for you then you are doing something right. It means politically you are valuable. To me it means we are doing good work.”
Charis employees and volunteers got straight to work priming the vandalized wall last Friday, covering the graffiti and prepping the site for a mural to be painted there in the future.
Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.