The Hell We’ve Been Through
Nancy Helm opened The Closet, an LGBTQ+ bookstore, at 25 N. Prince St. in Lancaster City on May 15, 1991. The Closet underwent police raids, numerous threats, and two bombings during its operation. The Ku Klux Klan singled out the store as an excuse to protest against “homosexual activities” on August 24, 1991. Helm stated the second bombing “blew … a nice sized piece of brick out of the wall. It did a lot of damage. I had an old candy case from way back when that I had a lot of my display in, and the glass shards scratched the entire front of it. It was like, it was like a sun burst, you know. My flag was burnt up, my gay flag that hung in the window was burnt up.” The Closet officially closed down on May 14, 1992.