Monday, March 4, 2024
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NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project: Making an invisible history visible

Where did lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) history happen in New York City? In what buildings did influential LGBT activists and artists live and work, and on what streets did groups demonstrate for their equal rights?

The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project is the first initiative to document historic and cultural sites associated with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the five boroughs of New York City. The sites illustrate the richness of the city’s LGBT history and the community’s influence on America.

You will find sites that show the impact that the LGBT community has had in fields such as the arts, literature, and social justice. You will also discover important gathering spaces, such as bars, clubs, and community centers that, until fairly recently, were the only places where LGBT people could come together and be themselves in a way that they often could not be in their personal and professional lives.

You can explore the map of sites on the Project website – either search them individually using the index or take a look at their specially curated selection by themes. You can also experience a self-guided tour on your phone by downloading the Vamonde app and searching LGBT.

The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project is a scholarly initiative and educational resource that officially began in August 2015 and is based on over 25 years of research and advocacy by the founders and directors, Andrew Dolkart, Ken Lustbader, and Jay Shockley. While part of the Organization of Lesbian and Gay Architects + Designers (OLGAD), they helped create the nation’s first map for LGBT historic sites in 1994.

The goal of the project is to broaden people’s knowledge of LGBT history beyond Stonewall and to place that history in a geographical context. The project is also a work in progress. They are continuously documenting and adding sites that reflect the ethnic and geographic diversity of the LGBT community and date from the city’s founding in the 17th century to the year 2000.

Now more than ever it is important to raise public awareness about the community’s contributions to American history as well as the struggles it has faced in achieving acceptance and equality under the law. The project encourages you to take a second look at the physical places you walk past every day and to appreciate a history that, until our initiative, has largely been invisible.

Follow the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project on social media:

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Queer Forty Staff

Queer Forty writing staff work hard to bring you all the latest articles to help inspire and inform.

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