Historic LGBTQ Sites To Visit in NYC during WorldPride
When you come to New York for the biggest Pride celebration in the world, why not investigate the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ movement? Not only did the Stonewall Uprising happen in the West Village, but the first LGBTQ museum started in Soho, and the community rallied at the New York Stock Exchange during the AIDS epidemic. Iconic figures like Andy Warhol, James Baldwin, and Audre Lorde called the city home as well. Below are several locations where you can view important pieces of LGBTQ history during Pride. To learn more, check out NYC LGBT Sites online for a complete list of significant locations.
Andy Warhol Residence
This Upper East Side rowhouse was home to Pop Art icon Andy Warhol (1928-1987) from 1960 to 1972. When he bought it, he was an unknown artist who needed extra room to store his paintings. In the following years, Warhol’s Campbell soup cans and colorful portraits garnered critical and popular success, and Warhol was soon king of the New York art world. 1342 Lexington Ave.
James Baldwin’s Residence
The writer James Baldwin (1942-1987), raised in Harlem, lived much of his adult life in France. Critical of America’s institutional racism, Baldwin became a powerful voice during the Civil Rights Movement. His second novel, Giovanni’s Room, frankly depicted gay and bisexual lifestyles during the 1950s. He owned this remodeled rowhouse on the Upper West Side and stayed there whenever he came to town. 137 W 71st St.
Bayard Rustin Residence
Bayard Rustin was a pivotal if little-known figure in the Civil Rights Movement who served as chief advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rustin was the lead organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the event at which Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Rustin lived in apartment 9J, building 7 of the Penn South complex from 1962 until his death in 1987, sharing the residence with his partner Walter Naegle for the final 10 years of his life. 321 8th Ave.
Mattachine Society Office
Founded in 1950, The Mattachine Society promoted gay rights decades before Stonewall. Mattachine and its sister organization, the Daughters of Bilitis, fought against the persecuting forces of government, religion, and psychiatry and campaigned for LGBTQ equality. Both Mattachine and DOB started New York chapters that operated out of 1133 Broadway near Madison Square Park until 1968. 1133 Broadway
A gathering place for the LGBT community, the LGBT Center provides a wide array of services, including art and performance, health education, counseling, youth events, and family support. Think Coffee serves drinks and baked goods from the cafe on the first floor of its West Village location. 208 W 13th St., 212-620-7310, gaycenter.org
NYC AIDS Memorial
Located in the West Village, the NYC AIDS Memorial stands as a testament to the over 100,000 New Yorkers lost to AIDS and the continuing fight against this devastating illness. The St. Vincent’s hospital, formerly located on the park site, started the city’s first AIDS ward during the epidemic in 1984. The memorial and surrounding park were designed by Studio ai, and artist Jenny Holzer designed the engraving on the memorial pavement, inscribed with passages from Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself.” 200-218 W 12th St., nycaidsmemorial.org
Julius’ is known as the oldest continuously operating gay bar in the city. It’s divey, there’s a DJ during late-night and John Cameron Mitchell (the creator of Hedwig and the Angry Inch) throws monthly parties there. The burger has a great reputation as well. 159 W 10th St., 877-746-0528, juliusbarny.com
Stonewall Inn & Christopher Park
In 1969 at a West Village gay bar called the Stonewall Inn, violence erupted between police and the bar’s patrons. The six-day uprising, which spread from Stonewall to the triangular Christopher Park across the street, is considered the birth of the modern LGBTQ movement. The event spurred the worldwide LGBTQ community to organize and mobilize. Although the original Stonewall Inn closed shortly after the riots, the bar has since reopened at the same site. 53 Christopher St., 212-488-2705, thestonewallinnnyc.com
Housing Works Bookstore Cafe
Founded in 1990, Housing Works endeavors against HIV/AIDS and homelessness with tireless advocacy work and hands-on care. The organization has established a successful body of thrift stores throughout New York City, as well as their Bookstore Cafe in Soho. Stop in for coffee and a book! 126 Crosby St., 212-334-3324, housingworks.org
ACT UP Demonstration at the New York Stock Exchange
ACT UP is the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, formed in 1987 at the height of the AIDS crisis in New York. The organization formed a rally of 350 people at the New York Stock Exchange on September 14, 1989. They demonstrated against pharmaceutical company Burroughs Wellcome and other companies that sought profit from the epidemic. 11 Wall St.
Lesbian Herstory Archives
Located in Park Slope, the Lesbian Herstory Archives collects historical records by and about lesbians. The records come in a wide range of media, including books, audio recording, and film, and the facilities are available for tours. This organization, founded in 1974, also operates as a museum and community gathering place. 484 14th St., Brooklyn, 718-768-DYKE, lesbianherstoryarchives.org
Alice Austen House
This Gothic cottage on Staten Island was home to Alice Austen (1866-1952). As an adult, Austen lived here with her partner Gertrude Tate. Austen photographed herself, Tate, and other female friends in male drag and in other poses considered transgressive in their era. These were seminal images that have become vital to LGBTQ history. 2 Hylan Blvd., Staten Island
Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art
The Leslie-Lohman Museumis the world’s first museum dedicated to LGBTQ art and artists. The institution grew out of a exhibit for the work of gay artists in 1969, held in the Soho loft of Charles Leslie and Fritz Lohman. Located in Soho, the museum preserves the history of queer art with an archive of over 30,000 works. In addition to its other exhibitions, Leslie-Lohman Museum will show Art After Stonewall during WorldPride. 26 Wooster St., 212-431-2609, leslielohman.org
Audre Lorde House
This bucolic residence on Staten Island was home to Audre Lorde (1934-1992), the black poet, lecturer, and civil rights activist. Lorde, who believed “Women are powerful and dangerous,” wrote books like Coal and Zami: A New Spelling of My Name. She shared this home with her partner, the psychology professor Frances Clayton, and two children from 1972 to 1987. 207 St. Pauls Ave., Staten Island