Lambda Rising, Washington D.C.'s only LGBT, will close in early 2010 after serving the community since 1974. This continues the recent trend of LGBT bookstores disappearing from city blocks across the country. Those of you here in Dallas know that we recently lost our LGBT bookstore, Crossroads Market. While some are quick to find good in the situation pointing to factors such as greater acceptance by the mainstream community and mainstream bookstores, I'm not so quick to shrug it off in the name of progress. For many older people in the community, this was all they had. Long before the internet and cell phone were invented, the local LGBT book store was not only where you discovered who you were in the literature, but where you discovered other people like you in the aisles. I'd hate to think there may eventually be a day when there isn't a physical space other than bars and clubs for future generations to do this. I'm lucky to remember exactly where I was the first time I strolled down a gay and lesbian literature aisle and realized I actually wasn't the only person in the world like this. There's something powerful about the self-discovery process when it's grounded in the physical space, and something special about having that same space to turn to for creating and sharing knowledge and memories. This is why I urge everyone, especially the younger people in the community, to get out and support your local LGBT businesses. You can learn more about Lambda Rising's closure and the owner's plans to write his own book here.
Click here for a directory of remaining LGBT businesses in Dallas