Librairie L'Androgyne

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Librairie L'Androgyne was an LGBT-oriented bookstore in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, active from 1973 to 2002.[1]

Founded in 1973 by a collective headed by Will Aitken, Bruce Garside and John Southin,[2] the store was originally located on Crescent Street at a time when the city's gay village was still centred on the nearby Stanley Street.[2] The store specialized in LGBT literature and feminist literature, stocking titles in both English and French. By 1976 the store was entirely operated by a group of volunteers none of whom owned it or received any compensation. While the composition of the group was in constant flux, a core group of five or six individuals kept it open. For most of its history, it was one of just four LGBT-oriented bookstores in Canada, alongside Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto, Little Sister's in Vancouver and After Stonewall in Ottawa.[3]

In 1982, the store moved to a small upstairs location on Saint Laurent Boulevard.[2] The store was acquired the following year by one of the volunteers, Lawrence Boyle, who moved it to the larger ground floor location where it became best known.[4] In the 1980s, the store, like Glad Day and Little Sister's, ran into issues with Canada Customs frequently delaying or blocking shipments of books to the store.[5]

Boyle sold the store to France Désilets in 1995;[2] Désilets, in turn, sold the store to Bernard Rousseau, the owner of the Priape chain, in 2001, although she stayed on as the store's manager.[6] In the same year, the store moved to its final location, on Amherst Street in the relocated Gay Village.[6] Due to the early 21st-century decline of LGBT-oriented independent bookstores across North America, however, the store closed by 2002;[1] unlike Glad Day, which survived in this era by adding sex-related merchandise, such as gay and lesbian pornography, to its catalogue, Rousseau opted not to do so as he would mainly have been cannibalizing his own sales at Priape.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "L'Androgyne closing: Move to Gay Village wasn't enough to save bookstore specializing in materials now sold online or at Indigo". Montreal Gazette, July 20, 2002.
  2. ^ a b c d "L’Androgyne ferme ses portes". Fugues, July 25, 2002.
  3. ^ "B.C. gay books case challenges censorship custom". Toronto Star, December 6, 1994.
  4. ^ "Customs agents make bad critics". Montreal Gazette, August 19, 1989.
  5. ^ "Acting as censor; Canada Customs puts squeeze on bookshop". Montreal Gazette, April 20, 1990.
  6. ^ a b "L'Androgyne settles in: Bookstore moves to Gay Village after 16 years on the Main". Montreal Gazette, August 3, 2001.