What is the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division?

A government agency for a government that does not yet exist. An independent, all-volunteer cultural center for queers and friends. A queer bookstore. A queer event space. A dream come true.

Where is the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division located?

The Bureau is located in room 210 of  The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center at 208 West 13th Street, between Seventh Avenue and Greenwich Avenue.
The Bureau is wheelchair accessible. All-gender bathrooms are available.

The Bureau was formerly hosted by Strange Loop Gallery from November 15, 2012 through the end of August 2013, and resided at 83A Hester St. from September 2013 through September 2014.

When is the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division open?

As of March 13, 2020, the Bureau has been closed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We have moved events online and we are taking book orders by e-mail.

Regular Hours

Tuesday – Sunday, 1 to 7 PM
The Bureau is closed on Mondays

Summer Hours (July & August)

Wednesday – Saturday, 1 to 7 PM
Closed Sundays, Mondays, & Tuesdays

The Bureau remains open beyond regular business hours for our events.

How can I help the Bureau of General Services–Queer Division do what it does?

Thank you for asking! We can always use volunteers to help with the day-to-day work of running the store and with events. Please let us know when you are available. Stop by the store or send us an e-mail at contact@bgsqd.com. We also welcome you to contact us if you have experience with non-profits, fundraising, queer/lgbt organizations, bookstores, website programming, or anything else that you think might be of particular help to the Bureau. Please contact us at contact@bgsqd.com, and let us know how you would like to help.

The Bureau also needs your financial support. The Bureau is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division (BGSQD), are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. You can set up a recurring monthly donation on the Bureau’s member page on Fractured Atlas or you can make a one-time donation.

Donate now!

If you would rather send us a check, make it payable to Fractured Atlas, with “On behalf of BGSQD” in the memo and mail it to:

@ The Center
208 West 13th Street Room 210
NY, NY 10011

If you are an author you can help the Bureau by encouraging your readers to purchase your books from us (yes, we ship!). We also ask authors to actively discourage your readers from purchasing anything from Amazon, given that company’s ruthless business practices, which have had devastating effects on so many small businesses.

Finally, you can spread the word about the Bureau via social media (the Bureau is on FacebookTumblrTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest) and by telling other human beings about the Bureau in real time and space. Thank you!

What services does the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division provide?

The Bureau provides queers and friends with a stimulating selection of books, publications, and art works and a space for socializing, debating, learning, and organizing. The Bureau also presents a variety of events, including author readings, lectures, book clubs, performances, film screenings, and workshops. For a full listing of upcoming events click here. The Bureau expects to provide services that it has yet to consider, so please contact us if you have ideas: contact@bgsqd.com.

Why is the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division?

NYC lost two important queer resources when A Different Light closed in 2001 and Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop closed in 2009. Queer bookstores in New York, and around the world, have played vital roles in supporting, stimulating, educating, and advocating for queers. These closings inspired us to create a space where queers could not only find books by and about ourselves, but also find each other, share ideas, exhibit art, perform, listen to each other, inspire and encourage one another, and enjoy each other’s work and company.

Bookstores such as Bluestockings and Three Lives and Company are wonderful resources for queers in NYC, but the Bureau is convinced that NYC is big enough and queer enough to sustain an event space and bookstore specifically dedicated to serving the queer communities of NYC and the many queer visitors to our city.

How does the Bureau of General Services–Queer Division define “queer”?

The Bureau defines “queer” in the broadest terms possible. The Bureau primarily seeks to serve people who identify with any of the following terms: “queer,” “transgender,” “trans,” “intersex,” “bisexual,” “lesbian,” “gay,” “non-binary,” “gender non-conforming,” “Two-spirit” (among other terms used by people who do not identify as heterosexual/straight and/or who do not identify as either male or female), and the Bureau welcomes all people who support those who identify with these terms. By reclaiming the term “queer”—conventionally used to deride those who do not comply with compulsory heterosexuality and the rigid gender binary—self-proclaimed queers have provoked a discussion that goes beyond questions of sexual orientation and gender. “Queer” urges us to recognize all bodies that are refused representation in and recognition by the institutions that dominate our societies. “Queer” speaks for all who are ostracized, marginalized, criminalized, colonized, and demonized. “Queer” calls for play, uselessness, fun, sex, love, compassion, and justice.

Why does NYC need another independent bookstore?

Independent businesses, in general, are crucial to neighborhood ecosystems because their owners and employees are both personally and professionally invested in the health of the neighborhoods they inhabit and the communities in which they participate. When you shop at an independently-owned local business you are investing in the neighborhood in which it is located and the communities that it engages. Independent bookstores serve our communities in many ways: we are sites for face-to-face dialogue between members of the community, sources of knowledge about the community, clearinghouses for information about local resources, advocates for the community, champions of civic involvement, and nurturers of local writers, artists, and activists.

Other independent bookstores in NYC that you should know and love:

Bluestockings: bluestockings.com
Bookbook: bookbooknyc.com
The Community Bookstore: communitybookstore.net
Dashwood Books: dashwoodbooks.com
Greenlight Bookstore: greenlightbookstore.com
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe: housingworks.org/bookstore
Idlewild Books: idlewildbooks.com
Left Bank Books: leftbankbooksny.com
Mast Books: mastbooks.com
McNally Jackson: mcnallyjackson.com
Molasses Books: Molasses Books on Facebook
Revolution Books revolutionbooksnyc.org
Spoonbill & Sugartown, Booksellers: spoonbillbooks.com
Strand Book Store: strandbooks.com
Three Lives & Company: threelives.com
Unoppressive, Non-Imperialist Bargain Books: unoppressivebooks.blogspot.com
WORD: wordbrooklyn.com
Word Up: wordupbooks.wordpress.com

Can I make purchases online?

Yes! While the Bureau does not yet have an e-commerce page, if you see an item posted on our website or on one of our social media pages that interests you, please send a request for information to contact@bgsqd.com, and we’ll provide you with ordering information. Also, feel free to ask us about specific items in our inventory by email or by calling Greg at 646-457-0859. We take credit card payments over the phone or via Paypal.

Will the Bureau sell my book?

If you would like the Bureau to sell your self-published book, please write to us at contact@bgsqd.com and send us a copy or drop one off at:

@ The Center
208 West 13th Street Room 210
NY, NY 10011

We sell self-published books on consignment. We offer the author 60% of the list price and the Bureau retains 40% of the list price for all copies sold. If no copies have sold after 90 days, we ask the author to retrieve all unsold copies.