Castro District News

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Rating 0.00 (0 Votes)

Posted on www.chronicle.com
By Sam Whiting Chronicle Staff Writer

It's the last few days for the last of its kind.

A Different Light Bookstore, the last of a once-proud family of gay literary spots and a beacon of homosexual life in the Castro, will be out of business by the end of the month.

The window displays have for-lease and half-off signs, but there isn't much to take half off of. The back shelves are bare, and the front shelves are scattered with books and porn.

"As far as we know, there are no LGBT bookstores left in the state, at least ones selling new books," says Hut Landon, executive director of the Northern California Booksellers Association.

A store manager, who declined to give her name, said the closing date will be determined by sales, but she confirmed that "we're definitely closing by the end of April." Steve Murphy, the landlord's real estate agent, said that any day could be the last.

At least once a week for 23 years, Gerard Koskovich has stopped into the bookstore on Castro Street. As a curator of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender History Museum, he is a field archivist, and this storefront has been the place to find ephemera.

"From the moment it was founded, this store became a cultural center for the emerging queer community in the late 1980s," says Koskovich, while standing out front, just down from the marquee for the Castro Theatre. "Events, exhibitions, panel discussions, basically any important gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender author you can think of who published in English gave a reading at A Different Light at some point."