article placeholder

Outwrite woes part of national trend for LGBT bookstores

https://cdn.thegavoice.com/images/stories/1-7-11/outwrite-body-1-12-11.jpg

While popular with authors and LGBT Atlantans, Outwrite has publicly struggled financially. This morning, the gay bookstore announced it would close at its current location at the corner of 10th and Piedmont and try to relocate. The store's financial problems echo a trend for bookstores around the nation.

A press release from Outwrite owner Philip Rafshoon said he is looking for a new location and noted that the current space, which anchors the corner that is often referred to as the epicenter of gay Atlanta, was just too expensive.

"Our landlord has been extremely cooperative and has worked with us longer than expected. Our departure is amicable," he wrote. "The bottom line is simply we can no longer afford to rent this desirable space regardless of what business model we try to engage."

article placeholder

‘Mama Deb’ finds happy ending to grim fairy tales

Debi Lowry is already a bit of a legend in gay Atlanta: a fixture on dance floors and at charitable fundraisers, a surrogate mother to the dozens of gay men who affectionately know her as Mama Deb. As much as Lowry revels in her popularity and being able to offer a compassionate shoulder to those who feel turned away from their biological families, she was unsatisfied by the thought of her legacy being limited to her being a social butterfly.

“When I’m gone, when I die, I want to have had an impact on someone else’s life — I don’t want it to be just, ‘Oh, she was a really nice person’ or ‘She made me laugh,’” Lowry says. “If I can change their lives for the better, I absolutely have to do that.”