Glitter on Halsey Street: Queer and Trans World-Making in Newark, 1970s-Present, by Kristyn Scorsone

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Advertisement for the Artisan Collective on Halsey Street, in NMB: New Millennium Butch, September 2012.

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Kristyn Scorsone continues the history of Newark queer nightlife and community in Chapter 4, “Glitter on Halsey Street: Queer and Trans World-Making in Newark, 1970s-Present.” They track the shift of queer spaces in Newark from male- to female-dominated and from clubs and bars to small businesses owned primarily by Black queer women. Scorsone also explores the impact of gentrification on these spaces, drawing on archival material as well as interviews from the Queer Newark Oral History Project.


The Artisan Collective is one of the queer spaces Scorsone highlights. It was a business featuring handmade items created by the five co-owners, all Black queer women, and while it closed in 2020, it served as a space of sanctuary and expression throughout its existence. Scorsone connects the Artisan Collection to the pressures of gentrification in Newark.


Scorsone shares a quotation from an oral history interview with Darryl Rochester that talks about patrons from Club Zanzibar in the 1970s shedding glitter as they walked around the city. They connect the symbol of glitter to the persistence of queer space and its traces in historical records despite obstacles.