Queer Bookstore BGQSD Extends Stay on Orchard Street

BGSQD owners Donnie Jochum and Greg Newton with author Edmund White. Photo by Lee Brozgol.

Editor’s note: BGSQD, the pop-up queer bookstore on Orchard Street, announced yesterday that it’s extending its stay at the Strange Loop Gallery until the end of March.  Recently, we stopped by the space to have a talk with the co-owners, who are trying to establish a permanent location on the Lower East Side. This story originally appeared in the February issue of The Lo-Down’s print magazine.

In today’s world of vanishing brick-and-mortar bookstores, it’s a pleasant surprise to see a new one open in the neighborhood, even if it’s only in a pop-up space for the moment. The Bureau of General Services-Queer Division (BGSQD) is a new bookstore, gallery and event space founded by partners Greg Newton and Donnie Jochum. The bookstore is unique by default — there actually aren’t any “gay bookstores” devoted solely to the LGBT community left in Manhattan — but it also has the feel of a special, forward-thinking space.

Pop-Up Queer Bookstore Hosts Edmund White Reading

Edmund White with BGSQD owners Donnie Jochum and Greg Newton. All photos by Lee Brozgol.

“I wanted to call this book ‘Paris Gossip,’ but my editor won’t let me,” Edmund White explains, smiling at a packed house before reading an exclusive preview of his soon to be published Paris memoirs. The renowned author, world traveler and one of the first to write about gay culture candidly and for a mainstream audience, White chose the perfect Lower East Side venue to launch his latest work. BGSQD (The Bureau of General Services Queer Division) is a pop-up bookstore, gallery and event space hosted by Strange Loop Gallery at 27 Orchard Street.