Fun Times at the Bureau of General Services – Queer Division

I was really excited when Steve Berman, editor of The Best Gay Stories 2013 (in which my story “Body and Mind” appeared) contacted me to ask if I would be willing to do a reading at BGSQD. I’d been hearing about the bookstore for months, and was thrilled that there were still some people out there interested in starting an independent queer bookstore. We’ve lost quite a few in NY and across the country in the past few years, so Greg and Donnie should be lauded for their efforts, not only to establish a space, but to foster such a thriving community via a pretty much non-stop roster of events that includes the entire spectrum of the LGBTQ+ populace.

For now, BGSQD is an adorable pop-up bookstore on Orchard Street, but Greg and Donnie (such sweethearts!) are starting an IndieGoGo campaign to raise funds for a permanent space. Fellow queers, we need a space like this, so please contribute if you can – visit the website for more info.

I was on the bill with Simon Jacobs and Basil Papademos. Simon is also a contributor to Best Gay Stories 2013 (a great piece, you should check it out) and he read a new piece of his first, which was funny and rhythmic and kind of like a prose-poem. Basil read from his novel “Mount Royal” which not surprisingly takes place in Montreal. It was really funny, especially the dialogue, but Basil really topped himself with his story about his recent border crossing into Canada, when the border patrol guard saw the cover of his novel and decided to detain him on “obscenity” charges. Basil’s convinced that the man gradually fell in love with him over the several hours that he was detained.

After these two guys left the audience in stitches I felt I had to try to keep the audience laughing. As a big fuck you to Putin’s gay propaganda ban, I read “The Coming Revolution” from Margins of Tolerance and then a short excerpt from my novel, Admissions. I was a bit nervous since I haven’t read from the novel in quite a while, but it seemed to go over pretty well.

A big thanks to Steve for organizing and to Greg and Donnie for hosting–I’m sure I’ll be at BGSQD in the near future for some of your other great events!

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