Founded in 1973, Giovanni’s Room (now called Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room) is the oldest continuously-running LGBTQIA+ bookstore in the United States of America.
Since its inception, Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room has been fueled by the community. In the 1980s it was more than just a bookstore, it was a place for LGBTQIA+ individuals to gather and reflect on the HIV/AIDS crisis that was brewing at that time. When the store was experiencing a financial crisis, Philly AIDS Thrift swooped in and took over the business, securing the legacy of Giovanni’s Room for years to come.
Located at 12th and Pine St, Philly AIDS Thrift @ Giovanni’s Room sells everything from new and used LGBTQIA+ books to vintage clothing and it is a cornucopia of things that support the LGBTQIA+ community.
Store manager Alan Chelak had a hard time choosing only four books to recommend to readers during Pride month, but here are his recommendations:
- The Secret to Superhuman Strength by Alison Bechdel
- Black Girl Call Home by Jasmine Mans
- Let the Record Show by Sarah Schulman
- Queer Love in Color by Jamal Jordan