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WHO NEEDS GAY BARS? Book talk and signing (in person & live-streaming)

May 31 @ 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Join author Greggor Mattson and interlocutor Hugh Ryan for a conversation about the past, present, and future of gay bars and LGBTQ+ spaces. Mattson’s new book WHO NEEDS GAY BARS? reports on more than 300 gay bar visits in 39 states and conversations with bar owners and bartenders, drag queens and DJs (Redwood Press May 2023). Samantha Allen, author of Real, Queer America, describes WHO NEEDS GAY BARS? as: “Breathtakingly intimate and yet vast in scope, this passion project balances sharp insights with the kind of lived-in details that make you want to pull up a stool and stay a while.” After a conversation and Q&A, the author will sign copies for purchase at the event.

Copies of WHO NEEDS GAY BARS? will be available at the Bureau. To reserve a copy, please write to us at

Thank you for supporting the Bureau by purchasing books from us!

This event will take place in person at the Bureau of General Services—Queer Division, on the second floor (room 210) of The LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th St., NYC, 10011.

Registration is not required. Seating is first come, first served.
Also live-streaming at

Suggested donation $10 to benefit the Bureau’s work.

All are welcome to attend, with or without donation.

We will pass a bag for donations at the start of the event, but we can also take credit card donations at the register or on Venmo @bgsqd.

Greggor Mattson is Professor of Sociology and Chair of the Department at Oberlin College & Conservatory where he teaches courses on sexuality, cities, law, and nightlife. He has been gay since 1974, has conducted research in gay bars since 1999, and has published on them in such venues as Slate, Literary Hub, Urban Studies, and Gender, Place, and Culture. He grew up in small-town Washington and lives in small-town Ohio, and tweets @greggormattson.

Hugh Ryan is a writer and curator, and most recently, the author of The Women’s House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison, which won the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award for Nonfiction and the W.A. Percy Foundation’s William Johansson Award. His first book, When Brooklyn Was Queer, won a New York City Book Award, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and was a finalist for the Randy Shilts and Lambda Literary Awards. He has been honored with the Allan Bérubé Prize from the American Historical Association, multiple grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Duberman Fellowship at the New York Public Library, and residencies at Yaddo and Watermill. He teaches in the MFA Program at Bennington College.


May 31
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM


Bureau of General Services—Queer Division
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Bureau of General Services–Queer Division
208 West 13th Street, Room 210
New York, NY 10011 United States
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