There is a new uplifting volume in the saga of independent gay bookstores: Yesterday it was revealed that Toronto’s Glad Day Bookshop has a new owner, or 17 to be exact.
A team of individual investors have joined forces and funds to buy the store and preserve its legacy of galvanizing queer activism in Toronto since 1970. The oldest operating LGBT bookstore in the world went up for sale last month after owner John Scythes couldn’t dip anymore into his savings to keep Glad Day afloat.
“Glad Day Bookshop was a crucial center for the gay and lesbian liberation movement in Canada,” said the youngest co-owner, 23-year-old Spencer Charles 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 honor them.”
In the coming weeks, Glad Day’s new Board of Directors will reveal plans to revitalize the bookshop, including adding new technology and initiatives to foster the local queer-lit scene and stand up for good old same-sex love and justice. They are currently looking for a new store manager.
“Arts and culture give our community wings.” said co-owner Rio Rodriguez. “With creativity and representation, our communities find healing, inspiration, education and celebration.”
Feeling inspired? You can chip in too and help save a gay bookstore near you!
And next time you visit Glad Day, make sure to say hello and thanks to the rest of the gang: 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, Scott Robins, Tessa Duplessis and Troy Jackson.