There it was like a beacon of hope for countless gay people who just wanted to fit in, feel safe, and learn more about themselves. The year was 1970, one year before this big old bear poked his head out of his mother’s purse. Glad Day Book Shop was creating a place of refuge in a heterosexually dominated literary world by blasting a path for brilliant LGBT writers to sell their works. But even more than this, allow for incredibly important community awareness and legitimacy to a group of people who were fighting everyday for a voice and a culture to call their own. Glad Day Books is now considered the oldest bookstore of it’s kind in the world. I remember it fondly as a young person when I used to zip into Toronto on the Go train with my best buddy Brenda. There were two streets we were sure to walk, Queen Street West and Yonge Street. Queen Street for reasons of its own which I’d be happy to get into another time. Yonge however was that never ending street of dreams. For me it was almost 20 years from their monumental open to when I excitedly window shopped then investigated the aisles after that long flight of stairs upward to self expression and sexual liberation. My girlfriend was two doors down at the incense shop unaware of my need for such an outlet. It would be many years later that I would finally come out to her. And by girlfriend I mean “Hey girlfriend” even though we did date early on in Grade 7. Wow, I was so bi! How rebellious. Well today’s Glad Day Books has liberated itself from the old up top shop to a hot new trendy cafe, pub bookshop in the heart of the village just south of Church and Welsley. It’s been reopened in the new space for almost a year and the fun they’re having over there? Forget about it! It’s incredible. From fabulous drag shows with the very talented Uma Gahd, to influential author events. One that will be taking place in November and I’ll be certain to cover that for sure! I was there with a new friend of mine whom I met on one of those free apps for bears over 35 and we spent the afternoon enjoying the disco grooves of The 70’s as we sipped our beverages. I actually had a really lovely mascoto which I’ll have to get the name of for you. Lots of local drinks to be had which I love. Support local!!! Another little bit of trivia for you, did you know Glad Day is owned by 35 different people who all pulled together giving of their time, talents, and dollars to keep this important landmark of the city and the gay community right where it should be, supporting a whole new generation of Queens and their dreams? I’m certain there will be many new tales to be told from the trendiest coffee cocktail book shop I’ve ever stepped foot in. Bravo to one more year of books and booze! OMG I smell Bookclub! Clearly I can’t say enough about this place. It’s fun! It’s wild! It’s packed! But in today’s world when many LGBT people continue to suffer around the globe it’s also more than ever, relevant.
5 kisses out of 5
Drum roll please!!!!
As promised our first official Beard of the Week! Playwright Steven Jackson! Check out his Badass B.I.T.C beard and also my review of his play “The Seat Next to the King” a few blog postings back! Congrats Steven! Our first official Badass B.I.T.C Beard of the Week! Hey Brucesters submit your beard selfie to firstname.lastname@example.org and any relevant info you would like our readers to know about you and who knows maybe You will be chosen as Badass B.I.T.C Beard of the Week!
Edited by Mary Ellen Monk