Barnes and Noble Cancels Gay Event?

We found this story over at Gay City News and thought we’d pass it on to you.
According to Richard Fumosa, managing editor over at Alyson Books, Barnes and Noble cancelled an event for the nebulously titled Paws and Reflect: Exploring the Bond Between Gay Men and Their Dogs after a publicist named Nancy Nicholson said that the book dealt with a “sexual reference with which she was uncomfortable.”

Her discomfort arose from “two lines in an imaginative, non-memoir piece” found in two essays about Alexander the Great and Nietzche. The content, it seems, containts content “unsuitable for members of area animal rescue organizations to whom she had planned to pitch the event.”

The article goes on to suggest that Nicholson actually didn’t cancel the book, but that a representative from Alyson Books actually pulled the plug.

Another source, however, has told Gay City News that the cancellation decision was actually made by Alyson after hearing of Nicholson’s concerns. According to that source, Barnes & Noble was willing to go ahead with the reading but Alyson pulled out.

Hmmm, we don’t know who to believe on this one. Alyson Books falls under the giant LPI Media umbrella, the same company that brings us such fag-rags as The Advocate and Out Magazine. We’re inclined to think they wouldn’t pull the plug on the event. We suppose it depends on the amount of unsavoriness found in the contentious two lines. They’d have to be pretty gnarly to end an entire publicity event.

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  • Leland

    Jessica H. Christ, such articles really put the RAG in gay rag. Aren’t there any gay papers left that actually scratch below the surface of anything they cover? Let’s say, just for sake of argument, that the person who works for Barnes & Noble is a rabid homophobe. That doesn’t mean B&N is homophobic. In fact, anyone who’s compared the political contributions of Amazon and B&N the last couple of years at Buy Blue knows that Amazon contributes mostly to Republican, including Right Wing Republican, candidates while B&N contributes to NONE.

    The same kind of absence of actual journalism training and standards, including simply blindly republishing publicist propoganda, has contributed to Reichen being elevated from fame whore to saint.

  • Kevin

    I looked at donates 50+% to republicans and 40+% to democrats. Frankly I don’t like that companies are donating money to POLITICAL campaigns.

    I don’t know what is going on with B&N and Richard. There can be concerns that B&N has that are not homophobic. I’m going to see where this goes, if it goes anywhere. I’m not going to get on B&N’s case with one incident.

  • Leland

    Good for you, Kevin, for going to the source. Two things: 1. in their previous election cycle evaluation, I seem to recall that 97 or 98 % went to Repugs. 2. click through to see who some of the Repugs are they most recently donated to, e.g, as I recall Virginia’s now rabidly antigay Allen.

    In other words, think of those “Brokeback Mountain” DVD dollars going to help fund our enemies.

  • Brian McCormick

    OK. I was invited to speak by the woman at B& N ( a former student of mine, who also got me and my dogs into the book).
    I saw the email. Dale Cunningham cancelled the event. The folks at Princeton’s B&N definitely had knee jerk reactions, too, suggesting that the two lines in question made it difficult to advertise the event to a broader audience.

    Of course, tonight’s event at the B&N in Chelsea will be controversy free–even the dogs have been invited.

  • Becky Juro

    I worked at this B&N and I know and have worked with Nancy Nicholson. I’m a transwoman, and we had at least a few other Queerfolk working there as well. Never, during the entire year I worked there, did I detect the slightest hint of homophobia or transphobia from any of the staff or even the customers for that matter.

    I strongly suspect that if there truly was any homophobia involved here it was on the part of someone outside of the store staff. Unfortunately for Nancy, she’s the store publicist and has to enforce whatever requirements or demands a guest author, their publisher, or agent might have as well as whatever comes from B&N corporate above her.

    All I can tell you is that I know this woman personally and “homophobe” is definitely NOT a word I’d use to describe her.


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