Now that we’ve shared the hottest events happening during NYC Pride this month, let’s dive into some historic LGBTQ+ sites. Whether or not you are in town now or stopping by later, these seven landmarks are a must see.
The Stonewall Inn
Both a gay bar and a historic LGBTQ+ site, going to The Stonewall Inn is a unique experience that everyone should have.
Did you miss the Annual Pride Kickoff? No problem! This bar is open daily from 2 p.m. – 4 a.m. to the public on Christopher Street and is walking distance to New York University.
There are a variety of historic pictures on the walls that represent the Stonewall Riots of 1969, which fueled the gay rights movement and started the Pride Parade a year later. When police raided the bar one night, patrons had finally had enough and fought back. Many were injured, some were arrested, the rest is history.
The bar has two floors and houses frequent drag shows, partially nude dancers, bingo nights and other performances. Admire the beautiful brick building from the outside with your friends and family or come in for a drink. Must be 21+ to enter.
Lesbian Herstory Archives
Located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, the Lesbian Herstory Archives is both a community center and a museum that highlights lesbian history. Conveniently located just outside of Manhattan, this is the perfect place to go, especially if it rains on your NYC trip during pride month.
The archive’s mission is to gather, preserve, and pass down lesbian history so that future generations will have readily accessible information about the lives and activities of their ancestors. The museum is operated solely by queer women. Come and take a look!
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art
In the heart of Manhattan’s Soho, the Leslie-Lohman Museum conveys lots of erotic and political LGBTQ+ Art. This museum hosts some extraordinary exhibitions, readings, and events.
The current exhibition on view from now until August 5, 2018 is “Out for the Camera: The Self-Portraits of Leonard Fink.” Fink was a once-unknown gay photographer who captured pride marches and bar culture during the seventies.
The museum has a few other exhibitions that will be on display soon and will document other queer artwork. With the constantly changing unique exhibitions, there is something here for everyone.
Located in Greenwich Village, Julius’ is one of the oldest LGBTQ+ bars in Manhattan with a story that has drawn a lot of attention.
In 1966 gay rights activists performed what became known as a “Sip-In” at the bar. Three men came in and told the bartender they were homosexuals and then asked for drinks.
The bartender refused to serve them even though the men said they did not want any trouble. They were prepared for this and wanted to challenge liquor regulations that discriminated against LGBTQ+ persons. So, they brought cameras and took photographs of what was going on.
As a result, this rebuttal received tons of publicity and the demonstration helped fuel more LGBTQ+ inclusion within bars. You won’t regret paying a visit to this historic landmark!
Keith Haring Studio and Foundation
In the 1980s artist, Keith Haring became a cultural icon known for his pop art and graffiti-inspired work. He passed away from AIDS at the age of 32. However, during his last five years, he worked and lived in a fifth-floor studio walk-up located at 676 Broadway.
Haring came to define a generation and influenced a generation of artists. His work continues to live on today with brands such as Uniqlo using his images as logos on their clothing.
WOW Cafe Theatre
The Women’s One World (WOW) Cafe Theatre is located in Manhattan’s Bowery.
It was founded in 1980 as a women’s theatre festival and the producers now use their artistic prowess to create and perform plays, workshops, and events that put the spotlight on local directors and performers.
As this is a female owned space, many of the theater’s denizens also identify as queer, lesbian, or transgender. If you are staying in New York for a short amount of time try checking out one of WOW’s plays. All productions have a limited run; Make sure you keep checking the events on their website to see what they have coming up next.
The Apollo Theater
Built in 1914, The Apollo Theater became a mainstay for African American performers in the twentieth century. The Apollo was the talk of the town between 1930 and 1970 and many of its headliners were queers pioneers.
Artists including singers Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Johnny Mathis, Luther Vandross, comedian Jackie “Moms” Mabley, and entertainer Josephine Baker all performed at The Apollo.
In the 1960s the Jewel Box Review, a troupe of traveling gender impersonators, performed at a variety of venues across the country including The Apollo. The group was very racially diverse and made up of all men (drag queens) and one woman, a drag king, called Stormé DeLarverie.
Many of the historic LGBTQ sites listed above are conveniently located near one other. If you’re heading downtown try stopping by the Leslie-Lohman Museum before seeing a play at WOW Cafe. Then, cap off your night at The Stonewall Inn or Julius’. The streets of New York are crawling with bars and pubs. Maybe you’ll find a new LGBT bar while you’re out exploring.
Although the locations here are open year-round, we encourage you to take in a bit of LGBT history this month and pay one of them a visit while it’s still Pride.