Famous London bookshop Gay’s The Word window smashed by vandals

Many of you will recognise London bookshop Gay’s The Word from the award-winning film Pride.

Situated as the epicentre of the Lesbians and Gays For The Miners activist movement in the early 1980s, the bookshop is an iconic cornerstone of queer history.

But although decades have passed since the ’80s, the bookshop still experiences an onslaught of bigoted attacks from vandals who seem determined to damage it.

And the latest attack has seen one of the bookshop’s window’s smashed over the weekend – leaving the shop with a £500 bill to fix the glass.

“We see it for what it was. We immediately boarded it up and then got a new window put in – it didn’t stop us trading for a single second,” store manager Uli Lenart told The Bookseller.

The owner said that due to the store’s “very visible presence,” incidents like the smashed window happen “intermittently.”

Attitude magazine writer Matthew Todd posted about the bookstore’s plight on Facebook.

“Gay’s The Word bookshop has had its window smashed in in lovely tolerant London. Happens every now and then. Please support them and the great chaps who run it x,” he wrote.

After the post was shared, an author visiting the shop donated £100 to help aid the shop with the replacement.

“It was a really lovely moment,” said the manager.

“I put the post up so people would be aware of what had happened and to foster consciousness in the gay community that although 99.9 percent of the time things are harmonious, we should be conscious of these incidents and we should all keep an eye on each other,” Lenart added to The Bookseller. 

The bookshop, which has been open since 1979, is run by a small group of people from Gay Icebreakers, a gay socialist group.

It also features a plaque honouring Mark Ashton, the late gay activist who inspired and led the Lesbians and Gays For The Miners movement.