Wednesday, October 22, 2014

L'amour Sorcier

L'amour Sorcier
The former L'amour Sorcier--now an Irish pub


Location: 789 Cote Ste. Genevieve, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada

Opened: Early 2000s? Before that?

Closed: Gone by 2009, when customer review notes that location is now an Irish pub

Trip Advisor is very much to the point:

Description: Nice lesbian bar.

Then there's the review in the Rough Guide to Canada (2004):

Popular, intimate lesbian bar with cheap beer, soft music (which gets louder and more danceable later on) and a great roof terrace.

And here's Lonely Planet:

The tamer atmosphere at this café-bar is mainly enjoyed by lesbians, but gay men are welcome too. The gay community may be small but the lesbian one is even smaller and this is the only horse in town.

This description from World 66 (from 2005) is kind of cute:

A little cafe for the ladies who enjoy the company of other ladies!

Here is the listing from Quebec Travel Guide:

Lesbians form most of the clientele at L'Amour Sorcier at 789 côte Ste-Geneviève (tel. 418/523-3395). There's a low-pressure bar inside the old building and a terrace out front. Gay men aren't turned away. It's about three blocks west of place d'Youville.

The only real customer reviews I have found are at trip zen:

Service was very good and friendly.

Their sangria was so-so but cheap so who's complaining.

But apparently, there is no dedicated lesbian bar in town.

The crowd was very genial;

Quebec City's Lesbian scene is almost more impressive than its Gay scene, given the number of bars in the city.


It is still listed in a 2009 guide book.


But it stayed in business for only another year or so. According to a customer at Trip Advisor posting in May 2009, L'amour Sorcier was gone as of that date:

Bar no longer exists. The building now houses an Irish Bar.

It fascinates me that this place went out of existence only 5 years ago or so. But the only evidence that L'amour Sorcier ever existed is limited to little fragmented descriptions consisting of one line or so. There are probably places in ancient Greece that have more written documentation than this. Sad.

Monday, October 20, 2014

An All Female Mission to Mars

Women in Mars.An All Female Mission to Mars

Once again, we see one of the very few arguments for an all-women space (in space!) in the mainstream media (in this case Slate). Though the argument is entirely fact-based, writer Kate Greene waffles towards the end and argues that "diversity" is better, but "if the bottom line is what matters in getting to Mars, the more women the better."

But of course all the waffling and preemptive appeasement doesn't matter. She's attacked by the dudes anyway. Such a surprise...

Never mind all the all-guy missions. As we all know, all-women anything is an instant threat to men, while all male anything is okey dokey status quo and infinitely defensible.

We've actually posted on this subject before.

An All-Female Mission to Mars




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

In Other Words Feminist Community Center

In Other Words Feminist Community Center
In Other Words' former location on
Hawthorne Boulevard (2006)


Location: 14 North East Killingsworth Street, Portland, Oregon, USA

Opened: 1993

Closed:

In Other Words is not lost yet, but it is seriously endangered. Here is their self-description from their website:

In Other Words has been serving the Portland community as a feminist bookstore, a low-cost and safe events space, and a community resource center since 1993. We are a feminist community center whose mission is to support, enrich, and empower the feminist community through literature, art, and educational and cultural events.

We were founded by Johanna Brenner, a PSU professor, and Kathryn Tetrick and Catherine Sameh, both women’s health activists. The center was created in response to the closure of “A Woman’s Place,” Portland’s only feminist bookstore.

We moved from the original location on SE Hawthorne to NE Killingsworth in 2006 to a bigger space in the former Albina Arts Center, which is still owned by the Albina Women’s League. The move to the new space enabled us to expand the programming we offered and accommodate more people at events in our space.

When we opened in 1993 there were over 200 feminist bookstores in the United States and today there are fewer than 30. In Other Words is the only feminist bookstore in the United States that also functions as a nonprofit organization, which has allowed us to serve a unique role in our communities.

As we have observed the demographic, cultural, and social transformations of Portland’s diverse feminist communities recently, we’ve identified new needs and shifting interests that have inspired us to undertake one of the largest expansions in our organization’s history: we are becoming In Other Words Feminist Community Center.

But now they are in trouble:

In Other Words is facing closure

Most years, October is a month of joy and gratitude as we celebrate our birthday.  This year, the month of our 21st birthday, felt bittersweet as we held an urgent community meeting on October 5th to talk about our capacity deficits and the fact that we are seriously considering closing our doors.

We heard your voices loud and clear that you don't want this to happen and that you are committed to having In Other Words around for years to come.  We gave ourselves until the end of the month to increase our capacity.  At the next public community meeting on November 8th, we will determine whether we have built enough capacity (re)commit to In Other Words so that we don't have to go out of business.

That said, now comes the hard part.  It is time to walk the walk.  We are in need of serious funding, and a serious increase in our volunteer capacity and our board of directors membership.  Part of increasing our volunteer leadership and board leadership includes asking YOU to help us lead In Other Words towards becoming the open and affirming feminist community organizing space we all crave and desire.

If you are interested in volunteering, please email us at volunteer@inotherwords.org; please email us at humanresources@inotherwords.org to express interest in joining the board of directors.
In addition to our critical need of increasing our volunteer base and developing our board of directors, we hope to raise at least $20,000 in order to keep our doors open, and ideally need to meet our annual goal of $60,000 in order to remain sustainable.  It costs us a bare minimum $5,000 per month in order just to squeak by, and we need all the support you can give in order for us to stay open into the year 2015.

We need to do some serious fundraising in the form of financial donations, and serious "friendraising" in the form of recruiting new volunteers and new board members. 

We have four weeks in order to build up our capacity in terms of new volunteers, new board members, and new donations.  If we haven't met our capacity goals by November 8th, we will need to close our doors.  Please contribute to this campaign to help us ensure that is not the case!

The question we get most often is, "but don't you make zillions of dollars off of the TV show Portlandia?!"  The short answer is:  NOPE.  Far from it.  Unfortunately, the fact that the TV show Portlandia features a regular feminist bookstore parody does not provide us with any substantial revenue flow and Portlandia-related donations are far from enough to pay our bills.  We aren't rolling in money from Portlandia, but we do have a great time meeting local celebrities Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, and enjoy chatting with them about feminism and community organizing in between shoots. 

As you well know, we are an entirely volunteer-run feminist nonprofit community space that truly relies on volunteers and donations to keep going.  

Please help us increase our volunteer and board leadership, and please make generous financial gifts if you are able, in order to help In Other Words continue to grow in to the passionate, committed, brave, resilient feminist community organizing space we all need and want.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Roxy's

Roxy's after closing
Roxy's

Location: 884 Main Street, Buffalo, New York, USA

Opened: 1999

Closed: June 23, 2013

Here's the description from clubfly:

In a nutshell: Buffalos hottest lesbian bar. Karaoke every Wednesday, burlesque shows every Thursday night...
So are we about lesbians or striptease? Oh wait, I think
I found the answer.

And from GayCities:

Roxy's interior view --above the bar
Casual lesbian bar
Roxy's is the kind of bar where you can sometimes find the hot bartenders dancing on the bar, surrounded by a crowd of Buffalo ladies (and a few guys). Don't miss the weekly burlesque show on Thursdays!

Hmm. Given the mention of the "burlesque" part, I'm suspecting this place was not especially oriented towards or committed to women in general or lesbians in particular.

So I am not particularly surprised when we later find out that this "lesbian bar" eventually became "very mixed" (i.e. basically dominated/taken over by gay and straight men and their female enablers). From buffalogaybars:

Roxy's  is a Lesbian, gay, very Mixed bar featuring DJ's and live music in a mirrored, surreal setting. On any busy night at Roxy's you might find the lady bartenders dancing on the bar. Karaoke and dance parties keep the crowds coming while drink specials on the weekends create a crowded but always kicking atmosphere.

Another Roxy's interior view--at least they had a
pool table, not just strippers
In addition, I am not surprised that this positive customer review comes from...a man. This is from GayCities:

"Great lesbian bar in #buffalo - I love my lesbian friends."

Well, I'm SOO glad. But I guess you didn't love them enough to leave them a space of their own without all the freaking dudes.

And here's a (self-identified) "straight guy" who liked the place. Surprise! From yelp:

Saw the Burlesque show here last night. Seen it once or twice before in the past too. Roxy's is definitely worth going to and checking that out if you have never before. Besides for the Burlesque its a Lesbian bar, and for being a straight guy there, I've never felt uncomfortable. Its pretty laid back from what I see.

Of course, some women liked Roxy's as well. But quite a few did not. This woman customer also posted at yelp:

Another view above the bar. Notice the reference to
"Roxy's Girls"
Unfortunately this is currently the only lesbian bar in Buffalo.  My personal rule: don't go here unless you're already drunk.  Otherwise you won't be able to deal with it.  It's great for those nights when you're on a mission to just do shots and dance the night away.  But stay clear any other night.

The bathrooms are atrocious, the drinks are watered down and the beer selection leaves much to be desired.

Last but not least: expect to pay a $3-5 cover to experience the above-mentioned "charms."

Can we just get a classy lesbian bar? Maybe a pub or a wine bar? That's all I ask.


But it gets worse when we find out how crooked his place really was. From exploiting women's bodies, to sucking up to men, to... stealing customer credit cards. From the Erie County District Attorney's Office:

Owner of Buffalo Bar "Roxy's" Pleads Guilty to Charges of Grand Larceny and Petit Larceny 12/20/2012       

 
Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita, III announced that 41 year old Julia Greenwood of 543 Plymouth, Buffalo, pleaded guilty to Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree and Petit Larceny before County Court Judge Kenneth F. Case. 

Greenwood admitted that on August 7, 2012, she stole $4,480 from Key Bank by writing phantom checks from an account at Citizens Bank and then depositing them into her Key Bank account and drawing off of them.  Greenwood further admitted that, as owner of a Buffalo bar known as “Roxy’s”, she used a credit card of a patron left at the bar to make personal purchases during the period August 26, 2012 through August 30, 2012.  The ultimate loss of $818 was sustained by M&T Bank which had issued this credit card. 

Sentencing is scheduled for March 26, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. before the Hon. Kenneth F. Case when Greenwood faces a maximum prison sentence of 4 years.

She eventually got off with five years of probation.

Julia Greenwood
Julia Greenwood then has the nerve to grant this totally self-justifying interview. The title? ‘Don’t be sad, guys… We did it!” She totally explains away what happened as a "mistake" and that she didn't "intentionally steal" from anyone. In her mind, she has even become the persecuted one! Are you kidding me? Read it if you will, but I can't even post a snippet. I don't deal well with folks who have sociopathic tendencies.

Needless to say, customers weren't so good-natured and forgiving about the whole thing as this Shut Down Roxy's site demonstrates.

Then we find EVEN WORSE things like this new item about a lesbian who was stabbed outside of Roxy's in January 2010:

Buffalo Police are investigating an early-morning stabbing outside a club in the Allentown area. A woman was taken to the hospital after she was slashed in the right eye. Police responded to the incident on Main and Allen Streets, outside Club Roxy's just after 2 a.m. Friday. No word on the victim's condition or if an arrest has been made.

So this place wasn't even PHYSICALLY safe for lesbians. Are we surprised?

If this is what a "lesbian bar" has become (or at least perceived as being), then no wonder they're becoming extinct. Who needs this?

So I can't say I was sorry when I saw that this thoroughly coopted and corrupted "womyn's space" finally came to a merciful end. From the Buffalo News, May 2014:

The downtown building that was formerly home to Roxy’s, a well-known gay and lesbian bar, has been acquired by a Lewiston money manager and real estate investor, who wants to shift the property’s focus toward the nearby Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.

 
  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The lies that are spread about the destruction of women's colleges

I found this notice at the savechatham site. For those of you know may not know, the administration at Chatham College (located in Pittsburgh, PA) recently made the decision to go coed. And as we see again and again, it was a decision made with a great deal of subterfuge and lying. The disinformation continues as history is rewritten--the new line being that the decision wasn't "controversial" with current students and alumnae. That is demonstrably false:

On September 29th, Time.com posted an article originally sourced from a website called The Hechinger Report. The article highlighted the fight against the Wilson College co-ed decision, but also commented on Chatham’s decision. In that article, Bill Campbell, VP of Communications and Marketing for Chatham, is quoted as saying the decision to go co-ed at Chatham wasn’t controversial [like Wilson]. We disagree.

In response to this misrepresentation, we have drafted a letter to the editor that will be sent both to the Time.com and The Hechinger Report to let them know that Chatham’s decision was indeed controversial and that we, as alumnae, still disagree with Chatham’s decision as well as the way in which the decision was presented, made, and alumnae relations were soured purposefully over many months.

We have included the text of our letter below, including the signatures already gathered from supportive alumnae. If you would like to add your name to this letter, please do so either through comments here or on our corresponding Facebook post.

Here is the link to the original article. 

Dear Editor,
In your September 29 article, “Why Women’s Colleges are Opening the Door for Men,” it was suggested that “At Chatham University, the decision to admit men was much less controversial” than the decision by Wilson College to become a coeducational institution. Chatham’s administration continues to believe that the opposition to their decision was limited to a “small, but passionate, group of alumnae,” but the momentum the Save Chatham movement built in a short time proves otherwise.

The Save Chatham movement, consisting of more than 2,100 alumnae and supporters, launched on social media just hours after alumnae and current students received an email from Chatham announcing the resolution. Save Chatham’s mission brought these women together to brainstorm ways to fundraise, increase enrollment, and to continue to provide future generations of women the option to become World Ready Women at Chatham. The short-term mission of Save Chatham quickly changed to focusing on delaying the June vote as Chatham’s administration increasingly disrespected and disregarded alumnae and refused to have open and honest discussions.

Chatham’s administration, particularly President Esther Barazzone, has unsuccessfully attempted to make this decision “much less controversial.” During the town hall meetings in March, Dr. Barazzone dismissed alumnae lines of questioning and obfuscated the facts when she did not want to answer questions. She rejected outright many of the solutions offered by alumnae, giving many alumnae the impression that the decision already had been made, a belief that was strengthened when promotional materials for the decision and its tenets were made public immediately after the vote. Peaceful protests on campus on April 23 resulted in alumnae being threatened with arrest and escorted off-campus by campus security. On May 1, the day of the Board of Trustees vote, alumnae, current students, and supporters were corralled into a “Free Speech Zone” by the very institution that taught many of us how to use our voices to stand up for what we believe to be right. Following the vote in favor of a coed Chatham, Save Chatham transitioned to the Chatham College Independent Alumnae Association in order to provide a safe space for alumnae to process the decision while still identifying with the former college. When it became clear that the new alumnae group would not be disbanding, Chatham University issued “cease & desist” letters to Chatham College Independent Alumnae Association administrators and threatened legal action if the group did not immediately discontinue using the name “Chatham” in its title, further alienating alumnae.

The Save Chatham/Chatham College Independent Alumnae Association lives on today as the Filiae Nostrae Society (FNS). The name is derived from the Chatham College motto “Filiae nostrae sicut antarii lapides: that our daughters may be as cornerstones.” The FNS provides disenfranchised alumnae of Chatham College for Women a place to call home and gives alumnae an opportunity to network, to shine the spotlight on them and their successes, to support institutions that value a women’s-only environment, to reinvigorate former relationships and to build new ones with women from former and current women’s colleges – all part of alumnae engagement that Chatham abandoned long before the vote.

Additional information, including documentation supporting the information outlined above, can be found at www.savechatham.com or Save Chatham’s Facebook page. Information about the Filiae Nostrae Society can be found at ourdaughtersourfuture.com.

Sincerely,

The Filiae Nostrae Society and supporting alumnae

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Eden Lounge

Eden Lounge
Eden Lounge

Location: 2911 Main Street, Dallas, Texas, USA

Opened: January 2013

Closed: April 2014

Like all new business owners, the mothers of Eden Lounge had great hopes for their new venture. Here's the "birth announcement" from dallasvoice:

Deep Ellum lesbian bar a ‘land of Eden’
Posted on 15 Feb 2013 at 8:45am
 
 AMY PRICE  |  Contributing Writer

Making a mad dash from the front door to the bar and back again, Lauren Nguyen frantically converses with guests and staff as the grand opening of Eden Lounge commences.

Within 20 minutes, the venue turns from solitary vacancy to bustling, standing-room-only Deep Ellum hot spot.

Eden Lounge owners Lauren Nguyen and
Kristi Holman
Not in several years has Deep Ellum had an LGBT bar. The new lesbian bar, Eden Lounge, celebrated its grand opening Saturday, Jan. 26. Alongside Sue Ellen’s, Eden Lounge is only the second lesbian bar in Dallas.

Owner Lauren Nguyen, 43, a home mortgage lender, has transformed the shell of a building into a heavenly oasis.

A far cry from the location’s former occupant, Cantina Dallas, Eden Lounge has been revamped from head to toe. The only thing left over is a custom-welded, cowboy-and-cowgirl-silhouetted railing leading up to the rooftop, which happens to boast one of the coolest views in Deep Ellum.


Eden Lounge interior (February 2013)





Eden Lounge houses two bars, one downstairs and a rooftop bar, but it’s not exactly the dance-club atmosphere of Sue Ellen’s.

Catering mostly to women in their 30s and 40s, Eden Lounge is billed a place to relax and have a friendly conversation.

“I wanted it to be like you’re in your own backyard or living room, and that you could hear yourself talk — that was very important. Very laid back,” Nguyen explained.


Nguyen’s partner, Kristi Holman, is vice president of Sherpa Management Partners and serves as Eden Lounge’s public relations manager.

Not since Jack’s Backyard in Oak Cliff has there been a documented lesbian-owned bar in Dallas.

Nguyen and Holman said they’re aiming to fill the void left by the closure of Jack’s Backyard in June 2011.

“She (Kathy Jack) really paved the way for us, and we thank her for that — for passing on the torch,” Holman said.

Eden Lounge interior (February 2013)
Nguyen said she didn’t want to bring in investors and dug deep into her life savings to open the bar.

“I didn’t want the headache or to lose people’s money,” Nguyen said. “I wanted to take a chance on my own.”

This is not Nguyen’s first business endeavor. She has previously co-owned two Asian restaurants.
She said she didn’t want the hassle of running a full service restaurant alongside a bar, although Eden Lounge still has a non-functional kitchen in the back — grease trap included.

Nguyen said there is an assortment of restaurants all over Deep Ellum, including Maracas Cocina Mexicana, which frequently sends over staff with platters of complimentary quesadillas for Eden Lounge guests.

Since the beginning of their venture, Nguyen and Holman said the Deep Ellum community has been nothing but accommodating and welcoming.

Deep Ellum Foundation President Barry Annino said Eden Lounge brings a new level of diversity to the neighborhood.

“I think we’re looking for a little more quality and diversity — you know — we don’t have a lot of balance. It’s a lot of the same thing. That’s something Eden brings to the table,” Annino said.

It’s not that Deep Ellum is a stranger to LGBT-related businesses. The LGBT-owned Leather Masters is a staple in the area.

Annino said there have also been places like Mark and Larry’s Stuff, the art shop Casa Mexicana and a coffee shop — all of which are now closed.

Customer reviews were mixed--as they nearly always are. From yelp, here is part of  a positive review from February 2014:

Eden Lounge patrons (April 2013)
I always have a great time when I go to Eden Lounge. They have my favorite drinks - Ruby Red vodka and soda and Fireball on the rocks - always a bonus! The rooftop is definitely the highlight of the place...great patio with heat when its cold and sail shades if you are running from the sun. Friendly bar staff...always. Best owners - if you haven't met Kristi and Lauren, introduce yourself next time you are there. A big, heartfelt thank you to both of them for taking the time and putting in an incredible amount of energy and soul into a place created with us in mind!

And from May 2013:

LOVE Eden's Lounge. Fun place, great service all around. Rooftop patio is nice, great for a large group as well as the downstairs inside. The rooftop patio is also dog friendly. They do not serve food, but you can get food from restaurants just across the street.

But very quickly the place emptied out. From September 2013:
Eden Lounge patrons (July 2013)


ugh....so we came here for a friend's birthday!! 1st time here & unless that dj gets better...that was my last time there!!! i hadn't been in this area in years b/c it was always so packed & too many drunken idiots!! i was very surprised to see how much of a ghost town it had become!!!

From January 2014:

Umm, aside from the fact that this place plays shitty top 40's hits from two years ago, it's COMPLETELY EMPTY on a Saturday night. Shit music.... So shitty.

What went wrong? This negative review (reproduced in part) from April 2014 provides some clues:

Well, I was super exited to find out about another chick bar in Dallas. My partner and I go to Sue Ellen's but find the crowd to be too young and too, well, just too, meh...no class at Sue's at all. Sorry, but we like to have fun and drink and talk and dance, but the music at Sue's is too hip hop for us. Also, they can't mix a good drink for nothin'. We usually go and listen to live music, but that gets old after awhile. Most women that go to Sue's have all known each other forever and are not interested in meeting any new people and the young chicks seem to want to fight if you look at them the wrong way.
Two guys at Eden Lounge (February 2013)

Anyway...onto Eden Lounge. We got dressed up and went on a Saturday night (two weeks ago) and after finding parking on the street we went in. The place was much smaller than the pictures I had seen on the website. Kinda of depressing. Pool table up front  some ladies playing pool, a few chicks sitting along the wall and their friends sitting across the way too big "coffee tables"...Music was soooo loud in such a small space you had to yell to be heard. Big screen TV's line the back wall above the banquets and play music videos that went along with the music that the really bad DJ was playing. Sorry, but they had a dude DJ in a chick bar, really?


In a relatively short time, it appears the gay men rushed in to take over the underutilized space and then the lesbians really stopped coming. From there, death was imminent. Again, from dallasvoice:


Eden Lounge closes its doors
Posted on 02 May 2014 at 10:49am
 
You may have noticed events at Eden Lounge missing from this week’s Scene in Dallas Voice.

That’s because the Deep Ellum lesbian bar has closed, according to its website earlier this week.

Lauren Nguyen, who opened the bar last year with her partner, confirmed that the bar is closed and details will be available next week.

Nguyen said she decided to get out of the bar business after the gay community didn’t frequent the bar as much as it did when it first opened. It became more of a mixed bar, and she said women then complained that there weren’t enough lesbians.

“I wanted to get into the business for the gay community, but I didn’t get support from the gay community,” she said.  “They came and they stopped coming.”

Dallas Voice featured the couple’s new venture last year after its grand open in January. It was the only the second lesbian bar in Big D along with Sue Ellen’s and only the second documented lesbian-owned bar.

Tiff Khris Cochran hadn’t heard about the bar being closed yet. Cochran is the founder of the lesbian and women-focused social group The SOLID Network and often planned events at Eden.

“Kristi and Lauren are amazing, and I’m very grateful that they took the chance to open a bar for the LGBT community in Dallas,” she said, adding that she wishes them well in the future. “It saddens me that it didn’t last longer.”

While Cochran said Eden was lesbian-owned and had a large women following, she said the venture offered things for everyone and every audience.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Word is Out Women's Bookstore

Linda at Word is Out Women's Bookstore
Word is Out Women's Bookstore

Location: 2015 10th Street, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Opened: 1994

Closed: 2008

One of the many fine women's bookstores that we have lost over the years....

Word is Out won a Best Women's Bookstore Award from Denver Westword in 2006. The write-up tells us a little about the shop and the owners:

Owners and life partners Louise Knapp and Spider Kornblith have womanned Word Is Out for nearly twelve years, and at their place, you find obscure books on any famous or semi-famous woman, from H.D. to H. Clinton. The sunny shop also carries music, jewelry, T-shirts and posters by feminist artists, LBGT pride paraphernalia, and libby/pro-peace bumper stickers. There's even a personal shopper on staff to assist with those gift-giving dilemmas: Reggie, the very butch female toy poodle. Word to your mother.

But the bookstore lasted just another two years. Here's the goodbye letter:

Hello Everyone!
After 14 wonderful years of serving our Boulder area women's and LGBT communities, Word Is Out is closing shop.  Many, many heartfelt thanks to all of you for supporting us over the years!  It's been an incredible experience.  I've loved every minute of it, and I hope I've been able to contribute something to the community.

There are many factors that have gone into this decision, most of them directly affecting the store's continued financial sustainability.  In the years since 1994, we have seen the chain bookstores continue to aggressively compete with and undermine independents.  (I know I've said this before, but it bears repeating: we all need to keep supporting our wonderful array of surviving local independents.  If only large corporate chain bookstores survive, the result will be bland selections determined by buyers at corporate headquarters, who will ultimately decide what gets published at all.  If there are fewer independent stores to support books that deal with the controversial or the marginal, publishers will decline to take on manuscripts that the chains won't carry.)


Louise and Reggie, Word is Out
Women's Bookstore
The proliferation and convenience of on-line bookselling has made a huge impact; the cost of maintaining our physical store, especially rent, has gone up enormously; new technologies have made it easier for people to get information and to enjoy their leisure time, in ways that often bypass what a bookstore an offer; and our efforts to recoup some of our losses, by selling textbooks to CU students, has become a continuing and constant struggle with the CU campus bookstore.  All of these things have converged to make it increasingly difficult for us to keep going.

On the positive side, we also have seen many gains for the feminist and LGBT communities over the years we have been in business, and there are lots more activities and organizations serving Boulder.  Technology has been a force for progress as well, with many options for networking, socializing, and creating community.  So, we find that our presence as a resource and community gathering place has become less urgent and necessary.  As we close the bookstore, we can truly celebrate these successes, and acknowledge the hard work of so many to have made this a reality.  The work has made all of our lives better, and there are fewer of us who feel isolated and unconnected.

There are so many people to whom I'm grateful.  All our wonderful customers, faculty supporters, and everyone who has volunteered or worked at Word Is Out, starting with the shelf-builders in 1994, my web site host, those who helped with the move in 2003, with inventory every year, and with the day-to-day work.  I couldn't have done it without you all.  Finally, I'd like to thank Spider, my life partner, my sidekick, my bookstore cohort, and my best friend. 
My best to you all,
Louise Knapp

Spider and Louise