Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Different Light Bookstore in San Francisco Closing?

That's the rumor. Sometime this spring the beacon of independent LGBT booksellers will disappear and with it an era of LGBT literature might just fade as well. In Dallas, our local LGBT bookstore, Crossroads Market shuttered last year and the gayborhood has not been the same since.

Not only are these niche bookstore important outlets for LGBT literature, they are a nexus of community activity. A Different light and Crossroads Market fulfilled much the same purpose as the Country Store in a small town. It was an outpost offering necessities but equally as important it offered a place to convene and connect with others in the community. It was an outpost of civility on the frontier. The LGBT bookstore/coffeeshop was an outpost of friendliness in a hostile straight frontier.

Now we can indeed find books much faster on, but we will lose yet another connection to the age of networks, and though we might be wired, we are essentially alone. Online communities are illusions not realities, and few things compare with chatting face to face.

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