Monday, May 27, 2024
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Special free event on history of queer occultism at South Street Seaport Museum

Hey New Yorkers! We have the perfect queer Halloween event for you. South Street Seaport Museum has announced Queer History: Gay Liberation and Queer Occultism on Sunday, October 28, 2022 at 6pm at The Green Room at Pier 17.

The conversation will be led by Rachel Pitkin, a History PhD candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center.

The event is FREE. Advance registration is required. A complimentary toast is included. For more information and to register, visit

Start your Halloween weekend with the Seaport Museum’s candlelit historical exploration of how occult markets—of shops, fortune tellers, and psychics often considered deviant by law enforcement and society at large—emerged during the 1960s and 70s, which allowed for the growth of informal and underground labor.

Why did so many LGBTQ+ individuals gravitate toward the occult and alternative forms of spirituality for both spiritual and economic fulfillment, and what were the limits of doing so? And why are so many psychics queer? Learn how queer laborers used these forms of work to wield agency within New York and other cities in which their labor, gender, and orientation was regulated and surveilled.

The Green Room is located inside the Pier 17 complex, at 89 South Street, offering a panoramic view of the Lower Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge. Look for elevators or escalators to take you to this event on the third floor. The use of this space has been kindly donated by The Howard Hughes Corporation.

Rachel Pitkin

Rachel Pitkin is a History PhD candidate at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her current research interests include public and urban history, and history of women and gender in the twentieth century United States. Rachel holds an MA in both Museum Studies and in History, and she is a longtime volunteer at The LGBT Community Center National History Archives. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic she curated the digital exhibition entitled “Homoscopes: Queer Spirituality in 1970s Lesbian Print,” a version of which will see permanent installation in 2023. Her spare time is spent road-tripping or with her plants at home.

About the South Street Seaport Museum

The South Street Seaport Museum, located in the heart of the historic seaport district in New York City, preserves and interprets the history of New York as a great port city. Founded in 1967, the Museum houses an extensive collection of works of art and artifacts, a maritime reference library, exhibition galleries and education spaces, working nineteenth century print shops, and an active fleet of historic vessels that all work to tell the story of “Where New York Begins.”

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