Our Next Event

The Vagina Bible Talk and Book Signing

Vagina Bible 500 copy

  The Bureau is excited to host an evening of conversation bringing together Dr. Jen Gunter, author of The Vagina Bible (Kensington, 2019), and Amber Gavin of Abortion Access Front. Dr. Gunter is a “fact evangelist in the fake-news era” (The Cut) and with Ms. Gavin they will discuss language, propaganda, and misinformation in medicine. Copies [...]

Wed. Aug 28, 2019 7:00 PM


July 21, 2019

Bureau closed Sundays in July & August

Bureau Summer Hours (July & August): Wednesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 7 PM

Closed Sundays, Mondays, & Tuesdays


Date: July 21, 2019

July 17, 2019

Trans/Queer/Woman: Theory and Politics


The Bureau is excited to partner with the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research to bring you:

Trans/Queer/Woman: Theory and Politics

Instructor: Sophie Lewis

The course will meet at the Bureau on Wednesdays, July 10, 17, 24, and 31, from 6:30 to 9:30 PM

Transfeminine lives are often seen as having, in and of themselves, political consequences, theoretical limits, and some kind of relation to a ‘beyond’ of gender. While former sports celebrity Caitlyn Jenner has come to stand for the notion that ‘transgender’ is now a “respectable” identity, Olympic gold-star medalist Caster Semenya, despite not being transgender, is now caught up in a fraught and ugly fracas over the question of “what is a woman?” Some debates within both feminist and queer thought ask: How stable is the LGBTQ acronym as a concept? While some strains of feminism seek to exclude trans lives from a definition of womanhood on the grounds of “gender realism,” others explicitly reject any kind of gender naturalization. Similarly, some openly apolitical or conservative ‘queer’ and gay rights discourses question whether trans lives fit within a program of assimilation and advancement, while others claim that a structural transsexuality lies at the center of a politically-charged “gay communism” that unites queer theory with a critique of capitalism. In this context, theorists continue to differ on matters such as: the continued relevance of “queer” as a rubric, the utility of the figure of the “post-transsexual”; and the relation of trans embodiment to normativity, gender nonconformity, and the gender binary. Some have announced (already!) “the end of trans studies.” How can we understand, parse, and adjudicate these conflicting and overlapping questions?

In this course, we will read treatments of these questions by (predominantly) trans and intersex philosophers—as well as works by some trans-hostile ones such as Kathleen Stock—exploring, discussing and weighing a variety of dissenting opinions on trans gender ontology, epistemology, and liberation. What do ‘trans’ and ‘queer’ have to do with (and to) each other as rubrics? What has trans feminism been, and what might it be? What are the consequences of abstracting “trans”? Readings will include texts by Susan Stryker, Emi Koyama, Julia Serano, Jules Joanne Gleeson, Joni Cohen, Mario Mieli, Andrea Long Chu, Vivian K Namaste, Treva Ellison, Jack Halberstam, Jordy Rosenberg, and Marissa Brostoff, among others.

The Bureau of General Services—Queer Division is an independent, all-volunteer queer cultural center, bookstore, and event space hosted by The LGBT Community Center in Manhattan.

The Brooklyn Institute for Social Research is an organization of young scholars in New York City, founded in November 2011 by a few then-graduate students at Columbia University with a shared interest in pedagogy and genuinely interdisciplinary conversation. We teach classes all over the city, record a regular podcast, run a digital humanities initiative to preserve rare and out-of-print academic texts, and in general work frantically at any given time on a broad range of other academic and para-academic projects. We are a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization.

Course Schedule
Wednesday, 6:30-9:30pm
July 10 — July 31, 2019
4 weeks

Registration is required. Please click here.


*Three scholarship spaces are reserved in each course because we realize that not everyone can afford to pay the full fee for our courses. Students who cannot pay the full fee should email us at info@thebrooklyninstitute.com to learn about our scholarship options. We will not ask questions about your financial situation but we do ask that you use the system in good faith and consider the needs of other students and faculty members.


Image: Christina Quarles, Grounded By Tha Side of Yew, 2017




Start: July 17, 2019 6:30 PM
End: July 17, 2019 9:30 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
208 West 13th Street, Room 210, New York, NY, 10011, United States
Cost: $315 for four-week course (see description)

July 16, 2019

Bureau closed Tuesdays in July & August


Bureau Summer Hours (July & August): Wednesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 7 PM

Closed Sundays, Mondays, & Tuesdays


Date: July 16, 2019

July 14, 2019

Bureau closed Sundays in July & August

Bureau Summer Hours (July & August): Wednesdays through Saturdays, 1 to 7 PM

Closed Sundays, Mondays, & Tuesdays


Date: July 14, 2019

July 12, 2019

Lesbian Allstars Switchboard Edition


with Ariel Goldberg, Andriniki Mattis, Natalie Peart, LJ Roberts, Jeanne Thornton, and Jeanne Vaccaro

Join us at the Bureau for the second installment of Belladonna* Lesbian Allstars, an intergenerational lesbian poetry reading. The reading will take place in the midst of Y’all Better Quiet Down, a group exhibition of art and ephemera in response to the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. The exhibition is curated by Nelson Santos and Jeanne Vaccaro


Ariel Goldberg is the author, most recently, of The Estrangement Principle (Nightboat Books, 2016).


Andriniki Mattis is a non-binary poet, who has received fellowships from Cave Canem, Poets House and The Poetry Project. They earned an M.A in Creative Writing and Education, from Goldsmiths University of London, and a B.A in Political and Poetic Resistance, from Brooklyn College. Their work has appeared in Wasafiri, Nepantla, The Felt and elsewhere. Andriniki is from and currently living in Brooklyn.


Natalie Peart brujas all day and writes fiction at Time’s witchiest hour. In addition to reading her work, she can read your cards and your charts. She also hosts the podcast Our Allowance, which centers the stories of Black and Brown people and our relationship to money. Her chaplet, Sixty-One, is published by Belladonna*.


LJ Roberts is an artist working in installation, textiles, collage, and text. Their work addresses queer and trans politics, material deviance, alternative kinship structures, archives, and narrative. LJ’s work has been shown in exhibitions at The Victoria and Albert Museum, Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, The 8th Floor, Museum of Arts and Design, Vox Populi, Smack Mellon, The Orange County Museum of Art, The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, The Powerhouse Museum, The Museum of the City of New York, The Oakland Museum of California, The DePaul Art Museum, The ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at The University of Southern California, The Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art where their work is in the permanent collection. LJ has been the past recipient of a MacDowell Colony Fellowship, the Fountainhead Fellowship at Virginia Commonwealth University, and residencies at IASPIS (International Artists’ Studio Program in Sweden–Stockholm), Ox-Bow School of Art, ACRE, The Textile Arts Center, and The Bag Factory in Johannesburg, South Africa. They are a 2019-2020 Artist-in-Residence at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, NY.
In 2015, LJ was one of nine recipients of The White House Champions of Change Award for LGBTQI artists. They also received the 2019 President’s Award for Art and Activism from the Women’s Caucus for Art. LJ’s first major museum commission is currently on view in Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall at the Brooklyn Museum. LJ lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and teaches at Parsons School of Design.


Jeanne Thornton is the author of The Dream of Doctor Bantam and The Black Emerald, as well as one of the editors (with Tara Avery) of We’re Still Here: An All-Trans Comics Anthology, all three Lambda Literary Award finalists. She is one of the publishers of Instar Books and the creator of the webcomics The Man Who Hates Fun and Bad Mother. She lives in Brooklyn. More information is available at http://fictioncircus.com/Jeanne.

Start: July 12, 2019 6:30 PM
End: July 12, 2019 8:30 PM
Venue: Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
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.