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Our Happy Hours: Voices from the LGBT Bars.
December 2, 2017 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Happy Hour our Lifes In Gay Clubs is a 2017 anthology published by Flashpoint Publications that came about as a result of the massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando Florida. The anthology is curated by writers Renee Bess and Lee Lynch and contains contributions from LGBT writers from all walks of life including me. The anthology was created to give LGBTQ writers a chance to reflect upon the role of the gay bar in their lives and to express its importance to non-LGBTQ people.
The massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida brought LGBT club life into the public view but it became apparent that many people outside of the LGBTQ community did not truly understand the role that clubs and bars play in the community and how their importance evolved over the years.
When writer, Renee Bess read Lee Lynch’s blog, “Freedom Clothes,” she noticed the historical descriptions of gay bar life mirrored the contemporary descriptions of the gay bar’s role in the lives of LGBTQ persons. Despite the commonly accepted belief that the gay bar is a place of refuge and self-affirmation, it is also a place that offers different experiences to different members of the LGBTQ community. Renee felt it was important to have a discussion about the significance of the gay bar/club in LGBTQ culture. Knowing that the LGBTQ community is a community full of artists and writers The idea of inviting writers to contribute their pieces of short fiction, slices of their bar-related memoirs, and their poetry to an anthology came to mind as a means of sharing the LGBTQ club experience with the world.
Renee asked Lee Lynch, a revered member of the lesbian writers’ community, if she’d like to join her in inviting LGBTQ writers to create and submit original poetry, fiction/non-fiction/essay/memoir pieces that explore the role the gay bar’s culture has played in their life or the lives of the LGBT community.The necessity of the anthology came as a result of a tragedy and the sad fact the many LGBT youth are homeless the curators felt the royalties from the book should go to help homeless youth. The royalties from the anthology will go to benefit the Attic Youth Center in Philadelphia and Ali Forney Center in New York City, www.aliforneycenter.org.
For those of you in the New York area, please join us on December 2nd for a very special OUR HAPPY HOURS event at the Bureau of General Services-Queer Division bookstore, 208 West 13th Street (at The Center). Authors Nahshon Dion Anderson, Katharine Duckett, JP Howard, Liz McMullen, Jennifer Morales and Cindy Rizzo will be doing short readings from our stories, a Q & A about our reminiscences, our experiences, the importance of our LGBT bar heritage, and signing books for sale at the store.