Our Next Event

Meryl Meisler’s SASSY ’70s


  Meryl Meisler, with camera in hand, documented the process of her coming out and exploring LGBTQ NY communities during the 1970s. She’ll be sharing her images and stories of Disco, nightlife, Fire Island, and self portraits from her book Purgatory & Paradise SASSY ‘70s Suburbia & The City.   Copies of Purgatory & Paradise SASSY [...]

Thu. Dec 13, 2018 7:00 PM


April 24, 2018



Dressed smart like a London bloke, before he speak his suit bespoke. – Kanye West. Change “he” to “she” and “his” to “their,” and you’ve found the all-inclusive spirit of Bespoke at the Bureau.

Feeling a bit drab in your literary lifestyle? Craving some chic with your geek? Save the date: On Tuesday, April 24, the Bureau will feature Eileen Myles, Joe Okonkwo, Diana Oh and one “wild card” to inaugurate Bespoke, a bimonthly queer series where featured readers dress fun, fancy, or flirtatious, supporting the Bureau and resisting fascism. Our sinfully sartorial series presents fashionable femmes, dapper dykes, chic twinks, trendy trans* folk, & frothy FTMs. Featured writers are encouraged to suit up or dress down : readers’ choice.

Your hosts are the dangerously deviant trio Christina “CQ” Quintana (writer/playwright/dyke about town), Jerome Ellison Murphy (poet, critic and NYU Creative Writing Program administrator) and Tim Murphy (longtime LGBTQ journalist, activist and author of the novel Christodora), who invite you to turn out in your Tuesday best (dress up is welcome & encouraged, not mandatory) every other month for drinks and chat before & after our reading.

Writers! When else will you join a lineup of such stylish stature? Cast your name into the Bespoke rainbow top hat for your chance at being the featured “wild card” reader, and give your CV a makeover! Be ready with a short & sassy selection.


Coming down the runway:


Eileen Myles is a poet, novelist, performer and art EILEEN MYLES. Eileen Myles is a poet, novelist, performer and art journalist who needs no introduction! Their twenty books include Afterglow (a dog memoir), a 2017 re-issue of Cool for You and I Must Be Living Twice/new and selected poems, and Chelsea Girls. Eileen is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Andy Warhol/Creative Capital Arts Writers grant, four Lambda Book Awards, and the Shelley Prize from the PSA. In 2016, Myles received a Creative Capital grant and the Clark Prize for excellence in art writing. Currently they teach at NYU and Naropa University and live in Marfa, TX and New York.

Joe Okonkwo is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, and editor, whose debut novel Jazz Moon won the Publishing Triangle’s prestigious 2016 Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Fiction. Set against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance and glittering Jazz Age Paris, it was published by Kensington Books in 2016. Joe’s short stories have appeared in Promethean, Penumbra, CooperStreet, Storychord, LGBTsr.org, Chelsea Station, and Shotgun Honey. His work has been anthologized in Love Stories from Africa (his first fiction published outside the U.S.), Best Gay Love Stories 2009, and Best Gay Stories 2015.

Diana Oh is an actor/singer-songwriter/theatremaker/performing artist. She is the inaugural 2016 Van Lier Fellow in Acting with the Asian American Arts Alliance, one of Refinery 29’s Top 14 LGBTQ Influencers, the First Queer Korean ­American interviewed on Korean Broadcast Radio, Creator of #AsianPeopleareNotMagicians on Mic.com, Creator of {my lingerie play}: a concert & installation series in lingerie staged in an effort to provide a saner, safer, more respectful world for women to live in featured in People, on stage at EST, The Lark, Joe’s Pub, All For One, and on stage at Rattlestick Theatre September 2017 in co-pro with Ma-Yi. She will be in concert in April 2017 at The Center (www.gaycenter.org). The Wall Street Journal & Upworthy call her “bad­ass.” mylingerieplay.com






Start: April 24, 2018 7:00 PM
End: April 24, 2018 8:30 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
Phone: (646) 358-1730
208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Cost: $10 suggested donation to benefit the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.

April 22, 2018

Let’s Read: Pray The Gay Away


Join Michael and Zach Zakar for a reading and signing from their new book Pray the Gay Away

Copies of Pray the Gay Away are available for purchase at the Bureau. To reserve a copy please write to us at contact@bgsqd.com. Please support the Bureau by buying books from us. Thank you! The Zakar twins will happily sign your copy.


“Mom knows.” A simple text that would change two twin brothers’ lives forever. Coming out is hard. The struggle is ongoing, a daily part of life whether to a new friend, a co-worker, or most importantly yourself. Pray the Gay Away chronicles Michael and Zach as they face awkward sexual encounters, drug-fueled escapades, coming out to each other, and their biggest foe – Mom, a woman who gave birth to what she calls not just one regret – but two. The memoir hilariously and poignantly explores what it’s like growing up as gay, Iraqi twins in modern America. Pray the Gay Away was inspired the night Mom snuck into their bedroom and force fed them “holy grapes,” determined to “de-gay” them. The Zakar Twins are new voices speaking out against generations, particularly within the Iraqi culture, who look down on being gay. This book is not only for the LBGTQ community, but for young adults, looking to achieve normalcy.





Start: April 22, 2018 3:00 PM
End: April 22, 2018 5:00 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
Phone: (646) 358-1730
208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Cost: $10 suggested donation to benefit the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.

April 21, 2018

Patty Schemel Discusses and Reads from her Memoir, HIT SO HARD


Patty Schemel reads and discusses her recent memoir HIT SO HARD, described as a “stunningly candid and inspiring memoir of recovery from addiction and the ’90s.”
Patty Schemel was a drummer at the epicenter of the Seattle grunge scene in the early ’90s, best known for her work with the alternative rock band Hole.
Copies of Hit So Hard are available for purchase at the Bureau. To reserve a copy please write to us at contact@bgsqd.com. Please support the Bureau by buying books from us. Thank you!

Photograph by Darcy Hemley. https://darcyhemley.com

Photograph by Darcy Hemley.

Hit So Hard begins with stories from a childhood informed by the AA meetings Schemel’s parents hosted in the family living room. Their divorce triggered her rebellious adolescence and first forays into drinking at age 11, which coincided with her passion for punk rock and playing drums. Her efforts to come to terms with her sexuality further drove her memorably hard playing, and by the late ’80s Schemel was performing regularly in well-regarded bands in Tacoma, Seattle, and Olympia. She met Kurt Cobain at a Melvins show, pre-Nirvana, and less than five years later she would be living with him and his wife, Hole front-woman Courtney Love, at the height of his fame and on the cusp of hers. As Hole’s new drummer, Schemel contributed memorable, driving drum parts to hits like “Beautiful Son,” “Violet,” “Doll Parts,” and “Miss World.” But the band was plagued by tragedy and addiction, and by the time Hole went on tour in support of their ironically titled and critically acclaimed album Live Through This in 1994, both Cobain and Hole bassist Kristen Pfaff were dead at age 27.
With surprising candor and wit, Schemel intimately documents the events surrounding her exit from the band in 1998 that lead to her dramatic descent into a life of homelessness and crime on the streets of Los Angeles and the difficult but rewarding path to sobriety after over twenty serious attempts to get clean. Hit So Hard chronicles the extraordinary coming of age of a musician and an addict during the last great era of rock ‘n’ roll excess.


Start: April 21, 2018 7:00 PM
End: April 21, 2018 9:00 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
Phone: (646) 358-1730
208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Cost: $10 suggested donation to benefit the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.

April 20, 2018

Office Hours Spring Showcase Reading


Check out sizzling new writing at the Office Hours Spring Showcase! The workshop provides post-MFA poets access to continued support for manuscript-development and everyday writing, culminating in a public reading each fall and spring to showcase stellar new work. We welcome all poets, especially people of color, LGBTQ+, and those who are woman-identified. Our name derives from our side hustle. Many of us are freelance, adjunct instructors, who continue to thrive in the margins of academia.


Featuring: Marty Correia, Caitlin Grace McDonnell, Paco Márquez, Holly Mitchell, Sarah Sala, Sanj Nair, and Yanyi.


Marty Correia’s work has appeared in The Mailer ReviewFUSEPunk Soul PoetLady Business (Sibling Rivalry Pressand Flock. The New York Department of Cultural Affairs and Venus Biennale funded Marty to produce the reading series A Tribe Called Butch. Correia has worked a steady union job for the past twelve years while writing poetry, short stories and her first book, Bridgeport Con. Marty earned her MFA in Creative Writing at New York University and is now represented by Ellen Geiger at the Frances Goldin Literary Agency. Marty has lived in the East Village with her spouse Kate Conroy since 1996.


Caitlin Grace McDonnell was a New York Times Fellow in poetry at NYU and has received fellowships from Yaddo, Blue Mountain Center and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her poems and essays have been published widely, most recently in Salon, and she has two published books of poems, Dreaming the Tree (belladonna 2003) and Looking for Small Animals (2012). Currently, she’s an English teacher and lives in Brooklyn with her six-year-old daughter, Kaya Hope.


Paco Márquez is author of the chapbook Portraits in G Minor (Folded Word Press, 2017). His work has appeared in Apogee,Ostrich ReviewLive Mag! and Huizache, among others. As Spanish Editor for William O’Daly, he assisted in translating Pablo Neruda’s initial book, Crepusculario, for the first time into English, Book of Twilight, (Copper Canyon Press, 2017). One of his poems went up on a public mural through Sacramento’s Del Paso Words & Walls Project. His work has been supported by New York University, The Center for Book Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. Originally from México and Northern California, Paco lives in New York City with his partner of 12 years.


Holly Mitchell is a poet from Kentucky. A winner of an Amy Award from Poets & Writers and a Gertrude Claytor Prize from the Academy of American Poets, she earned an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University and a BA in English from Mount Holyoke College. Her manuscript Farm Centos was a finalist for the 2017 Atlas Review Chapbook Series, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Baltimore Review, Juked, Narrative Magazine, and Paperbag, among other journals.


Sarah Sala’s debut poetry collection, Devil’s Lake, was a finalist for the 2017 Subito Press Book Prize, and her chapbook The Ghost Assembly Line was published by Finishing Line Press in 2016. Her poem Hydrogen was featured in the Elements episode of NPR’s hit show Radiolab in collaboration with Emotive Fruition. Sarah is the series facilitator for Office Hours, a free poetry workshop for adjunct instructors and co-produces AmpLit Fest with Lamprophonic and Summer on the Hudson. Her poems appear in Atlas Review, The Stockholm Review of Literature, and Poetry Ireland Review, among others. Visit her at SarahSala.com.


Sanj Nair writes, paints and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.  Previously work has appeared in Spoon River Poetry Review and Fence Magazine and she has work forthcoming in JuxtaProse Literary Magazine and The Equalizer, the former including a piece written in a new form she’s worked out.  Part of a performative series in New York City called Emofru, she’s also written The Lady Apple, a collaboration between poet and composer that’s performed at Tribeca’s Flea Theater as well as featured on NPR’s Soundcheck.  Currently on Sabbatical, she’s a full-time professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice with CUNY.


Yanyi is the recipient of the Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize in Poetry, awarded by Carl Philips, and his first book, THE YEAR OF BLUE WATER, will be published by Yale University Press in 2019. He is a 2017-2018 Asian American Writers Workshop Margins Fellow and associate editor at Foundry. The recipient of a 2015 Emerging Poets Fellowship from Poets House, Yanyi’s poems and criticism have recently appeared in The Margins, Memorious, and Model View Culture.





Start: April 20, 2018 7:00 PM
End: April 20, 2018 8:30 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
Phone: (646) 358-1730
208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Cost: $10 suggested donation to benefit the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.

April 14, 2018

TELL 43: Higher Learning


TELL is an evening of story telling from the mouths and minds of queers in NYC hosted by Drae Campbell at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division since February 2014.

Higher Learning is the theme for the 43rd installment of TELL. Featuring Jude Dry, Jimena Lucero, Mindy Raf, and Pauline Park.

$10 suggested donation to support the Bureau and the performers. No one turned away for lack of funds.


Drae Campbell

Drae Campbell is a writer, actor, director, story teller, dancer, and nightlife emcee. Drae has been featured on Late Night with Conan O’Brien and on stages all over NYC. Drae’s directing work has appeared in Iceland, NYC, Budapest and in the San Francisco Fringe Festival. The short film Drae wrote and starred in with Rebecca Drysdale, YOU MOVE ME won the Audience Award for Outstanding Narrative Short at OUTFEST 2010 and has been shown in festivals globally. Drae won the grand prize at the first annual San Miguel De Allende Storytelling Festival in Mexico. She once reigned as Miss LEZ and also got dubbed “the next lezzie comedian on the block” by AfterEllen.com for her comedic stylings on the interwebs. Campbell hosts and curates a monthly queer storytelling show called TELL at BGSQD. Check her out online!  www.draecampbell.com.



Jude Dry

Jude Dry is a writer and performer living in Brooklyn by way of Vermont. By day, Jude writes about queer film for IndieWire. By night, they ponder the meaning of a life well lived. Jude is currently single.



Jimena Lucero is a poet and activist born and raised in NYC. She was a 2017 Pushcart Prize nominee.

She is co-organizer of the TransisMagick Collective which pushes for trans liberation through art & community building. Jimena’s work appears in EOAGH and Blueshift Journal.



Mindy Raf

Mindy Raf is a comedian, actress, writer and musician based in Brooklyn, New York. Mindy has contributed to MTV’s GIRL CODE, COLLEGEHUMOR, TNT, VH1, The Daily Comedy Network, and the MY PARENTS WERE AWESOME anthology. Mindy’s debut young adult novel The Symptoms of My Insanity (DIAL/Penguin) is out now. Her critically acclaimed solo comedy show NOT THE ONE: a love story was named an “LBGT Best Bet by Time OutNew York, “hilariously quirky” by Theatre Is Easy, “Barrier Breaking” by The Edinburgh Reporter, and “cheeky and infectious” by Ed Fest Magazine. Recently debuting Off Broadway at 59e59 Theatre and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it is now playing monthly in NYC at Theaterlab: next show April 18. For more info please visit: mindyraf.com



Pauline Park (4.20.11)

Pauline Park (paulinepark.com) is chair of the New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy (NYAGRA), which she co-founded in 1998, and president of the board of directors of Queens Pride House, which she co-founded in 1997. Pauline also co-founded the Out People of Color Political Action Club, the first political club by and for LGBT people of color in New York City, which she co-founded in 2001, serving as co-president of the club from 2007-2010. And she co-founded Iban/Queer Koreans of New York in 1997, which she served as coordinator of from 1997-1999. Pauline led the campaign for passage of the transgender rights law enacted by the New York City Council in 2002.  In 2005, she became the first openly transgendered grand marshal of the New York City Pride March. Pauline participated in the first US LGBTQ delegation tour of Palestine in 2012 and was the keynote speaker at the Queer Korea Festival/Seoul Pride Parade, the largest event in the history of the LGBT community of Korea up until that point. Pauline did her B.A. in philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, her M.Sc. in European Studies at the London School of Economics and her Ph.D. in political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana.




Start: April 14, 2018 7:00 PM
End: April 14, 2018 9:30 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
Phone: (646) 358-1730
208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Cost: $10 suggested donation to benefit the performers and the Bureau. No one turned away for lack of funds.