Philip Rafshoon founded, owns and operates the Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse at Piedmont Avenue and 10th Street:
We are, and always have been, the most visible gay establishment in the South. Were very visible, we are proud of who we are. It says on the window what community we serve. We were about the first business on this corner to make it. Since that time, other businesses, condos and apartments and offices have opened all around here. I think in a lot of ways we were the key to kicking off this particular neighborhood.
By being visible, it has encouraged people to come out in their everyday life. They like to have a store where they can feel comfortable, a place they can go not just for nightlife but for everyday walking around, where they can hold hands with partners, meet people and not be ashamed of who they are. In doing so, we have helped people become more out and they have become more ingrained in the city and the fabric of everyday life.