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Gays The Word Founder Peter Dorey Dies
When Peter Dorey and a group of LGBTQ+ activists opened Gays The Word, the UK's first gay book store, in 1979, they had no idea the significance their book shop would gain.
It would go on to become a hub of thriving queer activity, safe from the evils of a homophobic Britain – and an institution of LGBTQ+ Britain.
Over the years it's faced its fair share of hate, with homophobic vandalism and a 1984 raid by HM Customs and Excise, who seized thousands of pounds worth of stock. But it's well known now thanks to the movie Pride, which told the story of Lesbians And Gay Support The Miners who based some of their activism out of the store. And this movie gave a whole new generation of young queer book lovers a reason to explore its hallowed hall.
So it's of great sadness that Peter died this week after years of poor health.
Speaking to BBC News, the current manager Jim MacSweeney said
"We owe Peter Dorey a great deal of thanks for his part in setting up our bookshop. Peter took great pride in the fact that the shop, despite all its difficulties over the years, has survived and thrives."
And his legacy will live on, even has the pandemic hits LGBTQ+ business hard, as we'll discuss more this week.
You can now support the store by buying your next LGBTQ+ book online from GaysTheWord.co.uk
And when you do, spare a moment to think of Peter and the book store which has continually reinvested its profits into carving out space for our culture to live safely and proudly.
RIP Peter Dorey
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