Vandals targeted an landmark LGBT bookstore in the U.K., smashing the shop’s windows early Sunday morning.
Gay’s The Word has been a London mainstay for nearly 40 years and the staff say the incident hasn’t deterred them. “We see it for what it was,” manager Uli Lenart told The Bookseller. “We immediately boarded it up and then got a new window put in. It didn’t stop us [selling books] for a single second.”
The repair wound up costing £500 (more than $715). After Lenart shared news of the incident on his Facebook page, a visiting author donated £100 ($143) to help with repairs.
“It was a really lovely moment,” Lenart said, adding that attacks like this happen intermittently because of the shop’s very visible presence as nexus for the LGBT community. “Although 99.9% of the time things are harmonious, we should be conscious of these incidents and we should all keep an eye on each other.”
The shop borrows its name from a 1951 West End musical by Ivor Novello and Alan Melville, and was the meeting place for the Lesbians and Gays Support The Miners, a 1980s queer activist group portrayed in the 2014 film Pride. Today, it is one of the few remaining brick-and-mortar LGBT bookstores in the world.