June 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the uprising at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village which started it all, when activists fought back against harassment and discrimination, including by the NYPD.
This unassuming two-story building is now a National Historic Monument, administered by and protected by the National Park Service, which describes its history this way –
“The events of Stonewall, as the uprising is most commonly referred to, marked a major change in the struggle for “homophile rights” in the U.S., with lesbian women, gay men, bisexual and transgender people beginning to vocally and assertively demand their civil rights.
Stonewall is regarded by many as the single most important catalyst for the dramatic expansion of the LGBT civil rights movement.
The riots inspired LGBT people throughout the country to organize and within two years of Stonewall, LGBT rights groups had been started in nearly every major city in the U.S. Stonewall was, as historian Lillian Faderman wrote, “the shot heard round the world…crucial because it sounded the rally for the movement.”
The site includes the bar, Christopher Park, and the streets where the events of June 28-July 3, 1969, occurred.
- The Stonewall Inn is at 51-53 Christopher Street.
See the full calendar of NYC Pride events in
The Advocate, NYC’s alternative lifestyle publication.
Known as the oldest gar bar in the USA, and just a few blocks from the Stonewall Inn, this was a second home to LGBTQ movement, including for its great burgers. At just $6 for a burger and fries, it’s one of the best deals in NYC.
It’s also simply one of the oldest bars in NYC.
The building dates to 1826 and housed a grocery store before it was converted to a bar in 1864. It survived as a speakeasy during Prohibition, and began attracting a gay clientele in the decades that followed, when Greenwich Village became a center of the gay lifestyle.
Julius’ also is famous for a protest event in 1966 – three years before the Stonewall Uprising – when customers staged a “sip in,” to fight a NY State Liquor Authority regulation prohibiting bars and restaurants from serving homosexuals
The LGBTQ community has always had an important role in theater and the success of Broadway and Off-Broadway shows.
From choreographers to dancers, costume designers to the performers who wear their creations, directors, writers, producers, stage managers and more, it is likely that every show ever to grace the footlights in NYC has had a creative member of the LGBTQ community associated with it.
Get discount theater tickets year-round from NYC on the Cheap ticket partner Goldstar.
Where to eat in Times Square and Theater District at
Sorry Paris and Milan, but NYC is the fashion capital of the world, and home to not just a vast array of fashion talent, but also FIT, the Fashion Institute of Technology, the best fashion-related design school on the planet.
As with NYC theater, it is likely that everything you wear, from fabrics to shoes to jewelry, to how those items are displayed in stores and store windows, has had a creative member of the LGBTQ community associated with it.
Visit the Museum at FIT, which is FREE, for rotating displays focusing on a particular theme, such as color, or a decade, or designer, or specific item of clothing.
The Ramble, Central Park
This heavily wooded area has long been a favorite cruising spot and meeting place for NYC’s non-traditional community since the 1800s.
From the Cental Park website:
“One notable fact about the Ramble is its status as a gay icon, which has developed since the early 1900’s. A well-known site for private homosexual encounters throughout the 20th century, the woodland is now an important part of LGBT history.
The Ramble has been the subject of an ongoing restoration project by the Central Park Conservancy since 2006. The plan includes taking steps to give appropriate care to woodland vegetation and wildlife as well as controlling the amount of influence on the land by Park visitors.”
Today, The Ramble has lost most of its reputation as a gay hideaway, and is popular with families and especially birdwatchers.
For those who don’t know, Central Park is a major stop-over for birds on their annual seasonal migrations north and south, and there is an active bird watching program in Central Park.
Julio Rivera Corner
This intersection in Jackson Heights, Queens, memorializes the gay New Yorker who was savagely beaten to death by skinheads in 1990. The tragedy further fueled the NYC movement for LGBTQ visibility and fight against discrimination.
Find more information about these and other historic LGBTQ sites in New York City on the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project bsite.
There are also FREE apps for both Apple and Android devices, which include self-guided walks to important sites.