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Lambda Rising To Close by Year's End
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Lambda Rising To Close by Year's End

With 'Mission Accomplished,' Lambda Rising to Close at Year's End

Lambda Rising, known for 35 years as Washington's "bookstore that celebrates the gay and lesbian experience," has announced the imminent closing of their two stores in Washington DC and Rehoboth Beach DE.

"The phrase 'mission accomplished' has gotten a bad rap in recent years," said Deacon Maccubbin, Lambda Rising's founder and co-owner, "but in this case, it certainly applies. When we set out to establish Lambda Rising in 1974, it was intended as a demonstration of the demand for gay and lesbian literature."

Maccubbin explains that it was virtually impossible to find gay books in general bookstores or even in libraries. "We thought if we could show that there was a demand for our literature, that bookstores could be profitable selling it, we could encourage the writing and publishing of glbt books, and sooner or later other bookstores would put those books on their own shelves and there would no be less need for a specifically gay and lesbian bookstore."

"Today 35 years later, nearly every general bookstore carries glbt books, often featuring them in special sections," Maccubbin noted.

"The other part of our mission was to make good glbt books and information available to anyone anywhere at a time when such items were very hard to find. Today, people almost anywhere can access glbt information on the internet."

Maccubbin founded Lambda Rising on a shoestring - the initial investment consisted of $3,000 he had saved and another $1,000 borrowed from a local gay activist. When the store opened June 8, 1974 in a 300 square foot room in a townhouse on 20th Street NW, it boasted 250 gay and lesbian book titles. "That's all there were at the time," Maccubbin explains.

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