When he was five years old, Andy Unger wanted to be an author. He read every book he could get his hands on, often checking out up to 60 books from the library on the same trip. When he was fifteen, he wanted to be an editor. He worked as a first reader for a literary magazine, freelanced, and did anything he could to increase his skill set. And while college changes lives and course-corrects for many young adults, Andy’s childhood dream wasn’t completely changed– just revised. His passion for books remained undaunted by a college courseload.
That was when Andy, a transgender student with a heart for books and the LGBTQ+ community, noticed something.
There are only about 20 LGBTQ+ bookstores in the nation.
Out of all of the national pastimes, reading has the longest history. Books span the ages. Each page weaves a new adventure for readers, a new journey to lose yourself in until you pop out on the other side a changed being. Despite this, it is extremely hard to find yourself in the pages of a book if you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community. This is not due at all to the lack of books– instead, it is due entirely to the lack of bookstores. Big brand online markets would rather push bestsellers, and small publishers are nigh impossible to find. Bookstores might have a single shelf of LGBTQ+ content, if that. This is a huge problem. Thus, Andy and Elliot’s was born.
A year later, the bookstore is still an idea on a page, but every page becomes an adventure. Won’t you follow us down this path?