Good afternoon to all of you: Lesbians, my fellow Gay Men, Trangendered people, Bisexuals, and our straight allies.
Here is the transcription of the Email I received from Giovanni’s Room exactly five days ago, on Tuesday, May 20, 2014:
Thanks for a terrific send off! The couple of weeks since we announced the closing have been full of pain and joy, pain at the prospect of separation and the loss of services, joy at seeing old friends and having the potential of the store coming through this transition better than ever. We hope the new owners, if they do decide to buy the store, will create a second forty-year phase.
On our last day of the first phase, we sold more books than on any other day in the history of the store! The shelves were already pretty bare, but now they are denuded.
As you may imagine, there’s a good deal of work yet to be done, so we are staffing the store weekdays from noon to five pm. We’re answering the phone, but keep the calls to a minimum–we have a lot of work to do!
We will certainly keep you posted as to the progress of the store’s sale.
Thanks for a wonderful send off, Ed Hermance, for the staff who have worked very hard these last few weeks: Skip, Betsy, Glenn, Richard, Lance, and me
And now, here I continue and conclude this two-part post on the lovely evening I had last Thursday, May 15, 2014, at Giovanni’s Room, in Center City, Philadelphia, attending the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Finalist Reading.
I found Mr. Klein to be so funny! There were moments when I felt as though I was not at a bookstore, but at a comedy club. Mr. Klein also has this raspy voice, that has a touch of sweetness to it. He, too, I found engaging, and he certainly made most everyone in attendance laugh.
I must confess that, of the poems Mr. Klein read, the only one I remember most was one that is not in his book, The Talking Day. He actually read three poems that are not in the book, but were new and he wanted to share them. and, in his funny, engaging, raspy way made perfectly clear that it was his right to read them! The poem he wrote and read that I loved most is entitled “New York Story.”
As someone who loves Manhattan, and that has close friends and loved ones that love Manhattan, too, it was easy for me to be so impressed by this poem. I found it poignant, heart-felt, and most insightful.
After Mr. Klein, we have Ms. e. E. Charlton-Trujillo. After she went to the front of the room, my first note about her (one of the few that I could easily read and understand) was “She so funny!”
Recently, I had a conversation with a fellow professional Lightworker, about how I AM not free-spirited. She said that I AM, but I do not know myself to be free-spirited. I have met free-spirited people, people who howl at the Full Moon, people who literally dance in the streets. This is not a criticism, simply stating a factual observation about myself.
However, I do know myself to be Self-Expressed, but being Self-Expressed and being a free spirit are not the same to me. Perhaps they are, but I know them to be quite different. And, according to http://dictionary.reference.com, they are, but I digress.
Mr. Charlton-Trujillo read from the beginning of her novel, Fat Angie, but before she did so, she shared that she remembers going to bed one night, early, and the following morning, she had so many voicemail messages and text messages on her cell phone that she thought her cell phone was going to blow up!
She lost count of how many people congratulated her. She had no idea why, so she asked them, and she found out that she won the Stonewall Book Award for Fat Angie (her third novel).
However, Ms. Charlton-Trujillo is most certainly a free spirit! And a master of Self-Expression. If she taught a class on either one or both, I have no doubt I would be offering private Readings with me at a fifty per cent discount to raise the monies to pre-register!
I had a wonderful time listening to e speak. And I found her to be so engaging, that when she asked if she could take a selfie with me (and some of you know how much I loathe that word!), I said yes.
She said it would be on her Facebook page within a day. No, I have not looked; I have been spending as little time on Facebook as possible, and my lowered blood pressure is proof of that.
After Ms. Charlton-Trujillo (I know she told me to call her Eunice, but while I AM writing this blog post, I wish to be formally respectful), she introduced Larry Benjamin, author of Unbroken.
Earlier in the evening, when I had gone up the stairs of Giovanni’s Room after my coffee and snack at Toast, I remembered seeing Mr. Benjamin taking a photograph of a display that featured his book prominently.
He read a few excerpts from Unbroken, which were lovely and poignant. One of the excerpts detailed the main character, Lincoln, and how frustrating his life is, growing up, because people are always telling him what boys are and are not supposed to do.
I found Mr. Benjamin quiet and reserved, but brimming with great Energy.
Before I conclude this blog post, let me take a moment to inform you that both Ms. L. C. Chase, author of Pickup Men, and Amber Dawn, author of How Poetry Saved My Life, were unable to attend. I AM sure there were several of us that wondered why, but we were too polite to ask (especially yours truly, the wanna-be journalist).
And, as for the books I purchased, I must confess, the moment I saw the cover of the book Unbroken, by Larry Benjamin, I knew that I was going to purchase it. I once referred to myself as an unbroken man, and was immediately drawn to the title.
And because I found him so beautiful, and so insightful, I purchased Brian Teare’s book, Companion Grasses. I must admit, I was also drawn to his “bearish” good looks, and the cover of the book, too. The art work was quite unique.
And, finally, I was more than happy to purchase e. E. Charlton-Trujillo’s novel, Fat Angie.
And so, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, blog followers and blog readers. Thank you for honoring who you are and what you do, and thank you for honoring who I AM and what I do, too.
For those of you who wish to visit the author’s Websites, you may do so by visiting the following:
Good afternoon, my lovely Lesbians, fellow Gay Men, Transgendered people, Bisexuals, and our straight allies.
I was very happy to be back at Giovanni’s Room in Center City, Philadelphia, last Thursday, May 15, 2014. As usual, I enjoyed being back in the Center City section of Philadelphia, and I AM happy to report that I continue to successfully monitor my sodium and fluid levels (SEE “When Life Happens…” in which I detail why so much time had gone by without writing a blog post on “This Gay Man’s Life…” The link is: https://thisgaymanslife.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/when-life-happens/ ).
I decided to go to Philadelphia, via Greyhound, this time, as the Greyhound bus station in Center City is roughly ten blocks away from Giovanni’s Room. And my primary doctor has told me that, now that I can walk easily, without any strain on my internal organs, to walk as much as possible. And I have been doing just that.
I arrived early, browsed and purchased a few things. While there, I had the opportunity to catch up with a dear friend, who has also availed herself of my Psychic Services.
Although I usually do not like talking about my health issues (as opposed to using them as a Teaching), she did ask me to tell her about what had happened to me. I knew it was important to her to tell her my experiences, and given that she is familiar with medical terminology, she was the perfect person to talk to about this experience.
Also, I AM always Mindful of when I use my cell phone in public. Alas, not every one is, but I digress. So, I used my “inside voice,” and filled her in on what had happened to me, last month.
However, while I was speaking, I was able to hear Ed Hermance, the owner of Giovanni’s Room, speaking to two gentlemen. He was telling them about the store’s closing and other details.
Well, you would think that I was an actual professional journalist, because I removed the earphone bud out of my right ear so fast that I AM surprised I did not break it (I recall reading years ago, that people tend to hear better from their right ear, than their left. Ironic, considering in Metaphysical Studies, the left side of the body is the receptive side, but I digress). I overheard Ed say that the store shall indeed that a Philadelphia-based LGBT organization is interested in buying the store, but that an official decision shall not be made until June.
A few moments ago, on a whim, I decided to call the store to see if I would get an answering machine or not. I called roughly four minutes ago, at approximately 2:05PM. A gentleman answered, but not sure if it was Ed or Richard. I think it was Ed.
Nonetheless, I asked if the store would reopen in June, and the gentleman stated that he does not know, yet, but would be updating everyone, via the store’s Emails. I assured him that I have been receiving them, and he stated that one would be sent out today, I thanked him for his time, and here we are, back to all of you.
After listening in to Ed’s conversation, finishing my conversation with my friend, and making my purchases at that time, I went to one of my newest favorite cafes in Center City, “Toast,” (you can visit their new Website by going to http://www.toastphilly.com)and had a snack before returning to Giovanni’s Room to attend the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Finalist Reading.
I AM glad I returned early, as roughly half the chairs were already filled.
The evening began with Ed Hermance welcoming everyone, to the event. And he also briefly updated everyone on what is happening with Giovanni’s Room. He reiterated what I had heard Ed say to those two gentlemen, when I was there earlier that day.
Then, he invited the finalist authors to introduce each other. In other words, originally, the authors were going to be introduced in alphabetical order, but Larry Benjamin was not having that!
So, Michael Klein suggested reverse alphabetical order, and everyone agreed, and as you can imagine, Mr. Benjamin was overjoyed!
So, the first author to discuss his book, and read from it was Phil Tiemeyer (pronounced TEE-mie-yer) author of Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality, and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants. He began by sharing the background that went into this book.
He started with saying that there are not a lot of books about the LGBT Community with relation to professions. Indeed, a few moments ago, I visited bn.com and typed “lgbt careers” into the search bar and came back with 0 results. I do not recall the last time I visited the Barnes & Noble Booksellers Website and had a 0 results response.
Mr. Tiemeyer talked about the early days of passenger airplanes. And how, the vast majority of flight attendants were male. It was not until World Wars I and II, that the number of male flight attendants decreased and the number of female flight attendants increased. He also stated that it was in 1971 that the courts, because of pressure from the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), prohibited airlines from refusing to hire males.
Mr. Tiemeyer also talked about how well-connected male flight attendants are, and how when he interviewed one, that gentleman would usually recommend he interview another male flight attendant.
I found Mr. Tiemeyer very engaging and eloquent. And, I must say, very attractive (and this from a gentleman who does not prefer blonds!).
As per Ed Hermance’s instruction and Michael Klein’s suggestion, Mr. Tiemeyer introduced the next finalist author to read. And that was Brian Teare (and yes, it is pronounced TEAR, like the fluid that escapes our eyes, from time to time).
Regarding Mr. Teare, I immediately found him to be quite Soulful and insightful.
I have a confession to make: although I was very happy to be back in both Center City, Philadelphia, and Giovanni’s Room, I felt different from the many other times I have been there. I noticed before the evening began, I would look at the bookshelves, the lighting fixtures, and and feel this wistfulness.
When Mr. Teare took to the front of the room, he said that it was so bittersweet to be back at Giovanni’s’ Room. And in that moment, I knew that was exactly how I felt. I felt bittersweet, and being back at Giovanni’s Room was bittersweet, too.
I must admit, I was quite entranced by Mr. Teare. I do not recall the name of the poem he read from his book, Companion Grasses, but I do recall that he read two. He said he was going to begin with a longer poem, that was not too happy, then end with a shorter poem that was.
I found Mr. Teare to be truly beautiful. Insightful, caring, unique. His poetry was incredibly moving, and I began to feel like a one of those teenage girls at a Beatles concert in the 1960s! Nonetheless, I AM happy to report that I maintained my composure, and did not burst into screams and tears. Or would that be “teares?”
Later today, I shall publish Part II.
For now, thank you, one and all, for honoring who you are and what you do.
This Thursday, May 15, 2014, at 5:30PM, Giovanni’s Room shall have the honor of hosting the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Finalist Reading. The authors in attendance with their nominated books are:
Phil Tiemeyer, author of Plane Queer: Labor, Sexuality, and AIDS in the History of Male Flight Attendants (category: LGBT Non-Fiction);
Larry Benjamin, author of Unbroken (category: Gay Romance);
L. C. Chase, author of Pickup Men (category: Gay Romance);
Brian Teare, author of Companion Grasses (category: Gay Poetry);
Michael Klein, author of The Talking Day (category: Gay Poetry);
Amber Dawn, author of How Poetry Saved My Life (category: Lesbian Memoir/Biography);
e. E. Charlton-Trujillo, author of Fat Angie (category: Lesbian General Fiction)
Just a Re-Minder to all of you: with the exception of the aforementioned books, all books in the store are now 25% off. For more information, please contact Giovanni’s Room directly, by calling 215-923-2960, or Emailing them at Giovannis_Room@verizon.net. You can also visit their Website at http://www.queerbooks.com.
And now, here is a new update on the closing of Giovanni’s Room, transcribed directly from the Email I received today, at approximately 5:08PM today, Tuesday, May 13, 2014:
Giovanni’s Room, for decades the biggest, best, and most beautiful LGBT bookstore in the land, is currently in discussions with a potential buyer. The prospective buyer is a large LGBT-related organization in Philadelphia, so their decision depends on the agreement of a people. If it seems they can decide in the next week or so, the store will not close before they decide. But if it seems the decision won’t come till June, then the store’s last day will be Saturday, May 17 and, hopefully, it will reopen later.
A heart-felt Thanks to the crowds of people who have come to the store the past few weeks to say goodbye. It has been an honor to make this store available to you all! Let’s hope a successor will give it new life.
Disclosure of Breach of Data Security:
Giovanni’s Room has learned that its data systems were breached and its rights were violated when an unauthorized third party sent a message last week from its email address, email@example.com (not to be confused with the name of the store’s website for at least twelve years, http://www.queerbooks.com), advising customers of a meeting to discuss a post-Giovanni’s Room future. The store has never lent, leased, or sold its e/mailing list to anyone. It is shocking that the organizers of the meeting took the emailing list without permission.
The store’s owner, Ed Hermance, attended the meeting, held Wednesday evening, May 7, 2014, at the William Way LGBT Community Center, and advised attendees that the meeting was not sponsored or authorized by Giovanni’s Room.
Giovanni’s Room and its owner regret the incident, apologize to its customers, and are considering legal action in response.
345 South 12th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Finally, as I shall go to Giovanni’s Room to attend the 26th Annual Lambda Literary Awards Finalist Reading this Thursday, May 15, 2014, 5:30PM, I shall take copious notes, and then create a blog post on what was said, and what was read! Of course, I shall also let you know which books, I purchased, too.
And, of course, thank you, one and all, for honoring who you are and what you do.
For those of you that shall be in the NYC area this Saturday, May 10, 2014, I have the honor and pleasure of returning to the META Center New York for their “META Center’s Mother’s Day Psychic & Healing Day Event.”
This time around, I shall be available for Readings, Goddess Energy Healing Treatments, and Western Astrological Consultations.
Regarding Readings, I shall be available for the following kinds of Readings:
Goddess Readings (with Cards)
Goddess Readings (without Cards)
Angel Readings (with Cards)
Angel Readings (without Cards)
Readings with the Sacred Tarot
Regarding the Goddess Energy Healing Treatments, I began conducting them during the time I led my very first Goddess Course, “Goddess-Graced Guidance,” from January, 2010, until January, 2011.
The following shall give you some additional insight regarding my Goddess Energy Healing Treatments.
For example, let us say you have had one obstacle after another regarding romantic relationships, after another, after another. And now, you are ready to dissolve, surrender and release said obstacles from your complete Being and your world.
As per my Divine Guidance, I may call upon Kuan Yin, the Chinese Goddess of Mercy, Compassion, and Forgiveness to assist you in letting go of past heartaches, in a very big way, if not once and for all. I may also call upon Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love, Beauty, Sensual Pleasures, Romance and Fashion to help you love yourself more deeply, and more strongly, and help you look your best when you are ready to attract a romantic relationship again.
Another example would be regarding Financial Prosperity. Let us say that you have been stuck in poverty consciousness for far too long, and now you are fully ready to surrender and release it.
Depending on my Divine Guidance, I would call upon Fortuna, the Roman Goddess of Divine Supply, to assist you in dissolving the focus on lack, limitation, hard times, and debts from your Mind. I may also call upon Oshun, the Afro-Caribbean Goddess of All that Flows (including Money) to assist you in manifesting your Prosperous Good from all avenues, channels, doors, and points.
In addition, I shall be available for Western Astrological Consultations, and one need not bring his or her chart.
For more information, please feel free to submit a comment, or Email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also send the META Center an Email at email@example.com, or by calling 212-736-0999, xt 1.
Thank you for honoring who you are and what you do. And thank you for honoring who I AM and what I do, too.
Another update on what is happening with Giovanni’s Room, the only remaining LGBT bookstore in the United States.
This is a transcription of an Email I received today, Tuesday, May 6, 2014, at approximately 9:17PM tonight:
Dear fellow lovers of Giovanni’s Room,
As many of you have already heard, Giovanni’s Room is set to go out of business later this month. We join the Philadelphia queer community in mourning the loss of this truly invaluable resource. For forty years Giovanni’s Room has been a fixture of Philadelphia’s Gayborhood, providing support, camaraderie, and education to LGBTQ-identified people and our allies. Ed Hermance, the store’s owner for the past 37 years, has truly left our community a better place than it was when he found it, and for this we are forever indebted to him.
We are a team of volunteers, entrepreneurs, and former Giovanni’s Room staff, who are mobilizing to create a new, viable resource to fill the void. For those of you in the Greater Philadelphia area, please join us for a community meeting tomorrow, May 7, at 7pm at the William Way Community Center (1315 Spruce Street) to talk about this loss and how we can move forward. Metered parking is free in Center City on Wednesdays. Please RSVP herehttps://www.facebook.com/events/249950118540782/
Well, there you have it. And before I close, I wish to acknowledge my newest blog follower, “GIFT FROM THE HEART Share and Care (who is also following “This Is Who I AM).” May you receive great Insight, great Knowledge and great PRIDE from following “This Gay Man’s Life…” And for those of you already following and reading this blog, thank you for honoring who you are and what you do.