Fundraiser for LGBT bookstore also on today's menu

Gay Cuban-American author Johnny Diaz comes to Outwrite tonight

Johnny Diaz, an award-winning Boston Globe journalist, will read from and sign his new book, “Take the Lead,” at Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse today beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Diaz, who is gay and was born in Miami, is of Cuban heritage and has said in interviews he started writing romance novels with gay and Hispanic men as the main characters because he wanted to see himself and his friends represented in literature.

Diaz has written three other books, “Boston Boys Club,” “Miami Manhunt,” “Beantown Cubans.”

“Take the Lead” is the story of a college professor, Gabriel Galan, who lives in Boston and has a hot, young lover. But when his father becomes dependent for help due to Parkinson’s disease, Galan takes on the task of helping him and also finds himself falling in love with his father’s physical therapy dance instructor.

The reading and signing are free and open to the public. Outwrite is located at 991 Piedmont Ave.

Fundraiser for Outwrite at Escorpion

Also tonight, beginning at 7 p.m., is the “Renovations and Improvements Campaign” fundraiser for Outwrite at Escorpion Tequila Bar & Cantina, 800 Peachtree St. NE, in Midtown. DJ Vicki Powell will be providing the beats for the party that will go all night. and 20 percent of tonight’s proceeds will be donated to Outwrite.

“Unfortunately, bookstores are closing at an unprecedented rate,” Outwrite owner Philip Rafshoon said in a statement. “Outwrite is now one of less than a handful of LGBT bookstores left in the country. Although our doors are still open, our sales have not been immune to the downturn in the economy and the impact technology has on how people buy and read books. To ensure a successful future, we’re doing a lot of work at Outwrite: we’re realigning our business model, refocusing our products and services and upgrading the store to meet the changing needs of our customers and the community.”