Saturday, May 19, 2007

Regression in Norfolk - Loss of Lambda Rising

Last night I happened by the only gay book store in the area, Lambda Rising, and was disturbed to find out that the store will be closing at the end of June. When I asked why the store was closing, I was told that the gay community just did not support the store sufficiently. This is symptomatic of the biggest problem with the gay community here: too many are hiding “under the radar,” they do not support gay vendors and businesses as they should. To me, the area gays need to do what the small but very successful Jewish and Greek area communities have done for many, many years. Namely, when needing a service or commodity, if there is a community member that can provide what is sought as opposed to taking one’s business to a non-community member, they ALWAYS give the business to their fellow community member. Why give business to someone how hates you or doesn’t support your equal rights. To me, it’s a simple concept. I hope that perhaps HRBOR can help this stupidity cease.

As for Lambda Rising, while it has the obligatory gay porn magazines and videos, the bulk of its merchandise is (1) quality books on gay themes and issues or by gay authors, (2) great music CD’s and (3) gay themed movies that – OMG – have a real plot and story line. Among the book section, there are many books on religion and spirituality that I found to be an immeasurable resource in working through my coming out and religious recovery process. It will be a tremendous loss to the LBGT community not to have this resource. The b/f and I will greatly miss the store and will have to take advantage of the going out of business prices to stock up.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The same thing has been happening in Toronto. We have lost so many businesses in the past couple of years, there is almost nothing left. A real shame, because the retail stores and restaurants that used to be in the area really did provide the local colour. Of the restaurants that were around that I used to take my boyfriend to at that time, there is only 1 left. All but a few of the stores are gone too. And the bars and clubs are closing down too. There are not too many of those left either.

The problem we face now is that the councillor for the area (who is the first openly gay councillor at city hall), is crazy for developers, so much of the gay village has been bought up and the new owners are jacking the rents through the roof, and businesses have no choice but to move out, they can no longer afford to operate in the area. Now there are condominium developments going up all over, and if you read recent stories in our local and national newspapers, the area is dying off rapidly now. One columnist mentioned how the area is going upmarket and upscale, and the people moving into the area are forever complaining about the noise, and people on the streets, etc. For all intents and purposes, the area is on life support, and will probably die off completely within the coming year. Some tried moving east, but that area is far too violent with gangs and drug dealers, so people are literally being dispersed throughout the city now.

Don't know if you saw the story, but Montreal, Quebec canceled their Pride parade this year because of squabbling and politics.

Looks like the extreme right wingers in federal government are quietly getting their way.

And there is a new scandal brewing, in the papers today, over the police keeping secret files on gay people, and wiretapping calls, etc. This one is going to be really nasty when it blows open this coming week. Especially because one of the gay lawyers who was being secretly wiretapped was the lawyer for the chair of the Police Services Board at that time, and she's no shrinking violet.

(wait until you see the posts I have coming up this week on all of this)