Out of the Closet and Off the Shelf


David Leavitt in The New York Times:

When I learned that after more than 30 years in business, the Oscar Wilde Bookshop in New York — which claimed to be the world’s first gay and lesbian bookshop — was supposed to close its doors, the news provoked a pang of nostalgia. In 1983, I worked there for exactly one day. I was six months out of college, wanted to be a writer, had recently come out, and needed a part-time job. The Oscar Wilde seemed like a good fit.

Once it was revolutionary to publish a gay novel, or open a gay bookshop, but now the time may be upon us when the revolutionary thing to do is to retire the category altogether. I’m for stepping into the post-gay future — which is why, every time I go into a Borders, I move a few books from the gay fiction shelf to the general fiction section, restoring them to their rightful place in the alphabetical and promiscuous flow of literature.

More here.