Supporting Our Own
July 9, 2005
To the Editor:
I would truly like to thank Seth J. Bookey and Gay City News for your recent article on the Out of the Closet Thrift Shop and Foundation, Inc. in your Gay Pride issue (“Farewell to an Old Curiosity Shop,” June 23-29).
For over 15 years about 60 volunteers (young and old, straight and gay, men and women, black and white and everything in between) worked sometimes 70 or more hours a week in our charitable shop on the Upper East Side to give almost $2 million of support to over 70 HIV/AIDS projects and service organizations. Since the mayor of New York, then David Dinkins, agreed to open the store, we had hundreds of thousands of shoppers—regulars from far and near, literally from around the world including ambassadors, movie stars, artists, writers, collectors and dealers among them.
We were written in up in over 100 cities across America and were covered in nearly 100 countries on five continents, in over 20 foreign guidebooks and had been in every major publication in New York City, on radio, on television and in a couple of movies! Yet, your article was the first in a gay publication, newspaper or magazine. After 15 years of what’s happening in New York, 15 years of Pride Guides and bar guides and 15 years of holiday shopping guides, finally, a gay publication took interest.
Sadly, it was an obituary for our unique shop that failed due to New York landlord greed, but I feel this says something about our community, or cohesion and mutual cooperation and even the interest and support of the gay press. Frankly, I hope the community can do better in the future.
Out of the Closet Thrift Shop and Foundation, Inc.