Story Time at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division!

A poster up at the BGSQD.
A poster up at the BGSQD.

Hopefully I’ve made it clear that the folks at Que(e)ry are some of my favorite librarians.  They recently invited me and some other bookish peeps to read excerpts from queer teen and juvenile lit at The Bureau of General Services–Queer Division, an LGBTQ-centric book store in lower Manhattan. I’m in love with this bookstore, especially since it has a really solid zine selection. I had the best time at this event, partially because I got to hear so many great perspectives on youth literature, but also because I got to discover a new independent bookstore.

Matt Haugen was our host with the most. He really does the whole “dapper man in a cardigan” thing better than most people:


On of my favorite readers of the evening was Tim’s coworker, Michael. I’m somewhat familiar with The Wizard of Ozbut I’ll admit I don’t know so much about the subsequent books in the series. Michael read from The Marvelous Land of Oz. Who knew it was so trans-positive? I really need to take a better look at those Oz books. Here’s Michael:

He's adorable.
He’s adorable.

Matt, in addition to being our host, also read that night. His book of choice was The Borrower, by Rebecca Makkai, which is about a librarian and her relationship with a 10 year old, and most likely gay, patron.

matt reading

My girl Yesha read from the only board book of the evening, Daddy, Poppa, and Me, which drew many “Awwwwwwwwwws” from the audience. Yesha wouldn’t stay still for a picture, so I made her into a GIF:

I absolutely bullied Tim into reading one of my favorite YA books ever, Freak Show by James St. James:


And I wrapped up the night by reading a selection from the king of LGBTQ lit, nay, the emperor of YA lit in general, David Levithan. It’s so hard to narrow it down to just one of his many books, but I discovered a hilarious short story called “Miss Lucy Had a Steamboat”, which can be found in his anthology How They Met and Other Stories.

Not my favorite picture of me ever taken, but here's proof I was there.
Not my favorite picture of me ever taken, but here’s proof I was there.

These aren’t the only people who read at the event, but I didn’t want to be a creeper and take pictures of strangers. I was so impressed with everyone’s book choices, many of them having personal significance to the reader. I have a hard time sitting still for an extended length of time, but I was totally invested in all the speakers and the passages they read. I hope Que(e)ry does something like this again. You should definitely check out future Que(e)ry events and pay a visit to the Bureau of General Services–Queer Division. For a list of everything read at the event and to discover new LGBTQ titles, click here.

~Love and Libraries, Ingrid

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