Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Community Members Unite to Save World’s Oldest LGBTQ Bookstore

LOVE SAVES THE GLAD DAY
Community Members Unite to Save World’s Oldest LGBTQ Bookstore


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    Media Contact: Michael Erickson
February 9, 2012                                                         michael@michaelerickson.org


TORONTO, ONTARIO (FEBRUARY 9, 2012) - For months, the future of Glad Day Bookshop was uncertain.  Now, a group of community members have pooled their funds to buy Glad Day Bookshop, ensuring that this piece of queer and trans history isn’t lost and that a new era of creativity, liberation and story can begin.

The current owner, John Scythes, has been shepherding Glad Day Bookshop for over 20 years.  Scythes is thrilled that a new generation of owners are committed to preserving the legacy that he and founder Jearld Moldenhauer have built at Glad Day Bookshop since 1970.

“I really didn’t want to see Glad Day close its doors – it has been, and continues to be, so important to so many people.” said Scythes.  “These new investors are full of energy and ideas, including ways to use new technologies.  They know that I am only a phone call away if they ever need anything and I wish them all the best!”

The group of investors is quite diverse in identity, including age.  At 23, Spencer Charles Smith is the youngest investor.  “Glad Day Bookshop was a crucial centre for the gay and lesbian liberation movement in Canada,” said Smith.  “I know I owe so much to the activists who came before me so I am investing my money and my time into Glad Day as a way to honour them and to give back to the queer community.”

The importance of story has been central to legitimizing and celebrating lesbian, gay, bi and trans identity and community.  Generations have fought against censorship, against being silenced and against annihilation.  This fight continues around the world today.  At a time when the big bookstores only offer ‘what sells’, a business like Glad Day Bookshop will continue to be committed to the stories we aren’t hearing about and the voices that the mainstream media and mega-bookstores don’t feel comfortable with.

“Arts and culture give our community wings.” said investor Rio Rodriguez. “With creativity and representation, our communities find healing, inspiration, education and celebration.”

Over the coming months, there will be a series of announcements as the new owners reveal their plans for revitalizing the bookshop and launching initiatives to build community, foster creativity, support local artists and honour the importance of pleasure and love in our world.

“Glad Day Bookshop still has the potential for being a cutting edge space to find queer resources, gather, have conversations and galvanize for our ongoing and future struggles.” said investor El-Farouk Khaki.

The group of investors includes:  Andy Wang, Doug Kerr, El-Farouk Khaki, Fatima Amarshi, Jonathan Kitchen, Kim Crosby, Lisa Gore , Marcus McCann, Mark Schaan, Michael Erickson, Michael Went, Nat Trembley, Rio Rodriguez, Scott Robins, Spencer Charles Smith, Tessa Duplessis and Troy Jackson.

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