Each historic site has been tagged with one or more eras based on when it was associated with a significant LGBT person or event. The 20th century has been broken down by decade while the 19th century and earlier have been grouped into two broader date ranges.
This filtering option is particularly useful if you are interested in a specific era that you can combine with cultural significance tags. For example, choose “1960s” and “activism & politics” to see all the pre-Stonewall LGBT activism sites we have mapped for that decade so far.
You can search historic sites by lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender tags. Language and terminology are continually evolving and identity is complex. How people defined (or didn’t define) themselves in the past can be different from how they might be identified today; in many cases, terminology can change within a person’s lifetime. “Lesbian” and “gay man” became more commonly used in the post-World War II era whereas “bisexual” and “transgender” were not commonly used until the 1990s.
There are historical figures featured on our website who did not use any of these terms, often because they had different connotations at the time or were not in use. To provide consistency for readers using this filtering category, we have assigned the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender tags to individuals based on how they might be defined today. For example, even though Alice Austen would not have used the term “lesbian,” the Alice Austen House has been given a lesbian tag so that it will appear on the map for anyone looking to learn more about sites connected to women who had relationships with women.
We have tried to limit using all four lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender tags together in order to make the filtering option as useful as possible. There are times, however, when we feel tagging all four groups for one site is important. The first reason would be that we have documentation that all four groups used that particular space simultaneously or over the course of its history. The second reason would be when there is high probability that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people all used large gathering spaces even though we have not uncovered such information. Site examples in this case would include public beaches, pride marches and gatherings, inclusive houses of worship, and organization and community locations.
Please also note that because this is a history project, there are times when we may use terms that are not in use today. In those cases, we have noted that the term was common at that time.
If you want the map to zoom to a particular neighborhood, choose one from this list. Manhattan has been divided into neighborhoods and regions due to the high density of historic sites there. Certain neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn where we know large LGBT communities exist(ed) have been included. For other neighborhoods there and in the Bronx and Staten Island, we will include specific neighborhoods if we discover a large number of sites there in the future. You can still limit your search by borough.