ABSTRACT

Nancy Helm was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. After graduating from Manheim Township High School in 1981 she worked for a printing company and did other odd jobs before opening a hair salon with her partner in downtown Lancaster. Not long after that she opened a bookstore across the street called The Closet as an outlet for the gay community of Lancaster so they could meet, socialize, and shop. The bookstore became the target of antigay crime in the 1990s. It was bombed twice and received numerous threats, including from the Ku Klux Klan. In this emotional interview, Nancy gives her story about how she dealt with this and how it affected her and the local the gay community.

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