article placeholder

Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce honors community leaders

The Atlanta Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce will take time to honor the creator of one of Atlanta’s iconic gay landmarks, Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, at its annual Community Awards Dinner on Aug. 26.

The AGLCC Awards will also celebrate other business leaders who help their companies not only survive, or turn a profit, but go out of their way to help the community. Chamber Vice President Geoff Bieger said the awards, given in six categories, focus on those who use their positions productively.

“I think historically businesses haven’t taken the active role in the community that I think they should. So, I think it’s important to take one night a year to sit back and recognize the work that we’re doing,” Bieger said.

article placeholder

Outwrite Bookstore behind on bills; first fundraiser set for tonight

Philip Rafshoon, owner of Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, sat down with Richard Eldredge of Atlanta Magazine to discuss the dire financial straits the bookstore — and the city's unofficial LGBT community center — is under as it prepares to hold its first fundraiser tonight.

Rafshoon said things are not pretty, including the store being behind on rent and bills.

"I think by [this week] we will no longer be behind on our rent. But we are behind on some bills and some payments. Everything is not just fine. We try to be upbeat when people are in the store. But the reality is the big LGBT stores that are left in the country are Giovanni's Room in Philadelphia and Outwrite. Lambda Rising in Washington D.C. is gone. A Different Light in New York  is gone. Their location in Los Angeles is closed. And the A Different Light location in San Francisco just closed a few months ago. Out Loud in Nashville just closed," Rafshoon told Eldredge.

article placeholder

Outwrite Bookstore seeks community help to stay open

Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse owner Philip Rafshoon

Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse sits on what is considered the gayest corner of Atlanta — 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue — and has served as a community hub for LGBT people to meet and organize, as well as purchase books, CDs and hear readings from their favorite authors.

But late last month, Outwrite owner Philip Rafshoon put out a call to the community seeking support. A poor economy and the changing landscape of the publishing industry have put in peril the landmark that’s been in business 15 years.

“Everyone says, ‘We love your store and we love what you do for the community,’ we just have to get more people in here and get them to stop taking us for granted,” Rafshoon said in an interview.

article placeholder

Outwrite pleads for customer support in light of economic downturn

Activists gather at Atlanta's Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse

Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, an institution in Atlanta's gay community, sent an email to customers this afternoon expressing concern over the store's future in light of a down economy and a changing landscape in the publishing industry.

According to Philip Rafshoon, owner and operator of the gay bookstore at the corner of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue, Outwrite is in the midst of operational and organizational changes that it hopes will help sustain the business. Rafshoon, however, acknowledges that increased customer support is needed to keep the doors open in the long-term.

"Everyone says, 'we love your store and we love what you do for the community,' we just have to get more people in here and get them to stop taking us for granted," Rafshoon said in an interview.

article placeholder

Outwrite’s Philip Rafshoon first out gay person to win Ga. Tech Alumni Legacy Award

Philip Rafshoon, the owner of Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse and the unofficial “Mayor of Midtown,” has been named the winner of the 2011 Alumni Legacy Award by Georgia Tech’s Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

Rafshoon, who graduated from Georgia Tech in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management, is the first openly gay person to receive the award, he said.

article placeholder

Gay bookstore provides gathering place to escape cabin fever during Atlanta snowstorm

Philip Rafshoon and employees of Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse

There was no doubt that Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse would stay open over the snow storm that has practically crippled the city for two days.

The gay favorite spot was open on Monday and broke all kinds of records, said store owner Philip Rafshoon. It seems the snow and ice-covered roads didn't keep many people from staying out of Midtown and enjoying a completely white Piedmont Park where sledders were playing all day.

"It was our biggest snow day ever," Rafshoon said Tuesday afternoon while taking a brief break. And thanks to the people enjoying Piedmont Park's rare beauty while and then later seeking some coffee and food, finding Outwrite open was an excellent treat.

article placeholder

Outwrite a Midtown haven

Philip Rafshoon and employees of Outwrite Bookstore and Coffeehouse

Gay bookstore braves the winter weather and offers Midtown residents a reprieve from the snow and ice