July 30, 2013

Manhattan’s only queer bookstore needs a new home


Donnie Jochum and Greg Newton, founders of the BGSQD

We told you last fall about the effort to open a new queer bookstore in New York, to fill the void left behind by bookstores like the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookstore and A Different Light. The Bureau of General Services – Queer Division has set up shop in the Strange Loop Gallery for several months now, but soon they’ll have to move out and find another location—if they can raise the money.

The BGSQD had initially planned to use the Strange Loop space as a pop-up location for just a few months, opening in November of last year, with a scheduled departure date of January 31. They’ve managed to stay put for the rest of the spring and summer, and during that time they’ve hosted more than 100 events with members of the LGBTQ community in an environment where they seek to “excite and educate a self-confident, sex-positive, and supportive queer community by offering books, publications, and art and by hosting readings, performances, film screenings, lectures, reading groups, and workshops.” But they’ve now announced that August 31 will be their last day in the Lower East Side gallery, so the time has come to find a new venue. To that end, they’ve launched an Indiegogo page in an attempt to raise the $50,000 they need.

The plan for the money, if they can get it within the fifty-day limit, is to rent a storefront on the Lower East Side, build up the store and decorate it, add a café space, and create an online store. You can watch the full video for the BGSQD’s campaign right here:

Store founders Greg Newton and Donnie Jochum hope to open the new, permanent store by November; as of Monday evening, they had raised $5,401 of the $50,000 goal, with 46 days left for people to make donations.


Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.