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Article: Toronto’s Glad Day Bookshop is a beacon of pride

One rainy evening in May, author Michael V. Smith takes the stage at the front of Toronto’s Glad Day Bookshop, surveying a packed crowd. Folded into chairs and lined up three deep against the bar, sipping craft brew or coffee, over 100 people have come out to listen to Smith and three other writers launch their latest works.

“Hi everyone. Thank you for coming out on such a rainy evening,” Smith says, before diving into a selection of the deeply personal poems that mark his latest collection, Bad Ideas.

For Smith, an award-winning writer and creative writing professor at UBC Okanagan, reading at Glad Day is a moment of coming full circle.

“When I was a 19-year-old kid just moved from Cornwall, Glad Day was concrete proof that being gay was legitimate. I was a big sissy homo who wanted to be a writer and here was a bookstore dedicated to writing by queer people. And queer people were in the store!”

For nearly 50 years, Glad Day has been a beacon for the city’s flourishing LGBTQ community. Founded in 1970, in the early days of gay liberation, Glad Day is now the longest surviving LGBTQ bookstore in the world and the oldest independent bookstore still operating in Toronto. It recently left Yonge St. and relocated in a fully accessible storefront on Church St., in the heart of the historic Gay Village.

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Read the rest of my article about Glad Day’s critical role in Canada’s LGBTQ community in the Toronto Star.

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