Phoenix Rising a Pioneer for the LGBT Community!

Welcome to Phoenix Rising of Virginia. We are one of the Country’s oldest, friendliest, politically active and coolest LGBT bookstore / gift shops. During the early days, Phoenix Rising was an offspring of Max Images Studios and Galleries, which housed and hosted renowned LGBT artists, writers and creative thinkers. It seemed only logical to expand the gallery area and provide books and other hard to find resources for the LGBT Community. During that time period, most “mainstream” book sellers and gift shops refused to stock books, cards and gift items that even slightly catered to the GLBT Community. The rewards of creating a “safe space” for members of the GLBT Community were in the form of many “Thank You’s” and grateful smiles.

As Word Spread, Folks Planned Short Vacations Around There Visits to Phoenix Rising, the City of Norfolk and the Beautiful Beaches of Virginia Beach!
As Word Spread, Folks Planned Short Vacations Around There Visits to Phoenix Rising, the City of Norfolk and the Beautiful Beaches of Virginia Beach! As word spread, the tiny store in Norfolk began having visitors from Central Virginia, North Carolina and even more distant parts. People even planned short vacations around their trips to Phoenix Rising. All the elements seemed to fall in place! The location of the store in Norfolk, a City that houses one of the World’s largest Military bases and boarders on the resort City of Virginia Beach, which offers some of the Countries finest beaches!
Books like GENERATION Q by Robin Bernstein and Seth Silberman were banned from most mainstream book stores and libraries.
Books like GENERATION Q by Robin Bernstein and Seth Silberman were banned from most mainstream book stores and libraries.

Things for the owners, workers and volunteers were not always as easy and pleasant as they seemed to a casual observer. There was still a tremendous amount of hostility and resistance to such a business existing – especially at the backdoor of Pat Robertson’s CBN University, (now known as Regent University). There was constant threatening phone calls, periodic vandalism and even a few protestors! Nonetheless, the determined few stood their ground! The LGBT Community had the right to exist and the right to continue!

A steady stream of customers made their way from the State’s Capitol on a regular basis. Many of the traveling shoppers requested Phoenix Rising to open a second store and after nearly two years of business, the second store opened in the Historic District of Richmond. Following that, Phoenix Rising expanded into Roanoke, Virginia and Asheville, North Carolina. At that point, Phoenix Rising had more retail LGBT stores than any one else in the Country!

Phoenix Rising began offering Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender books, gifts, magazines and even Rainbow Jewelry!
Phoenix Rising began offering Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender books, gifts, magazines and even Rainbow Jewelry!

It seemed that the need and desire for quality LGBT products at reasonable prices was in demand. Most businesses feared loosing their customers by even offering same sex greeting cards or even a Rainbow Flag! So, in order to carry the message of LGBT Pride farther, Phoenix Rising began producing and distributing catalogs. Sales from all over the country and different parts of the World carried the message that the LGBT Community was hungry for items that fit our specific needs!

Even books that should not have offended any one were hard to find in mainstream stores!
Even books that should not have offended any one were hard to find in mainstream stores!

Things have now changed. The tides are turning and more and more people have become tolerant and accepting of LGBT people and that’s wonderful! However, even today, it can be difficult to find products that are specific to our wants and desires. With the economy shifting and many small businesses forced to shutter their loved shops, Phoenix Rising also fell victim. Last year we closed our last store.

Many of our loyal customers felt a void. The place that they once used to gather for conversation and find their special treasures was gone, but like the mythical creature it was named after, Phoenix Rising rose once again. This time as an online store!

Phoenix Rising even offers magazines for the GLBT Community - Some that are hard to find and even out of print!
Phoenix Rising even offers magazines for the LGBT Community – Some that are hard to find and even out of print!

We still provide personal service and an amazing offering of products and low prices! Shipping time is quick! Most orders will arrive at your address within a few days. Shipping is discrete and easy! Most of our offerings are at low “Buy it Now” pricing, so there’s no need to wait to see if you “Won the Bid”.

Whether you are a new customer or an old friend, we invite you to stop by and browse. New products are offered nearly everyday and our selection is huge! If you are looking for gay books, lesbian books, gay history, gay or lesbian jewelry, PRIDE Flags or something more adult – just stop by!

Simply CLICK HERE now to take a shopping trip at Phoenix Rising and bookmark this blog and return often as we update and highlight new and featured products for our LGBT family!

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