First Gay Bookstore To Close

The Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop, in New York’s Greenwich Village, was already a success by the time the Stonewall Riots gave rise to the modern gay rights movement in 1969. But this month, the bookstore, which is believed to have been the world’s first to specialize in gay and lesbian literature, will shut its doors for the last time. Many gay bookstores have been closing in the last decade, ironic victims of the more open society they helped to create, in which gays and lesbians no longer feel the need to hide in self-contained communities, and general-interest bookstores often have gay and lesbian studies sections.