Since its opening in the early 1990s, the Bum Bum Bar (pronounced “boom boom”) has been gay-owned and operated, attracting a mixed, but mostly working-class Latina lesbian crowd. Bumbum is the informal word for a woman’s backside in Brazil where annually there is a popular Miss Bumbum contest. The bar is located on Roosevelt Avenue, a busy, commercial thoroughfare under the elevated tracks in Woodside, Queens.
Along with several other gay and lesbian bars in Queens, Bum Bum provided support for the inaugural Queens Pride Parade in 1993. LGBT rights activist and journalist Andrés Duque, who co-founded the Colombian Lesbian and Gay Association (COLEGA) in 1996, noted that the bar hosted fundraisers for the volunteer-based social and political group. COLEGA, which met in people’s houses in Queens until it dissolved in c. 2005, was involved with issues such as AIDS prevention and collaborating with groups in Colombia to demand marriage equality there.
As of 2018, Bum Bum continues to hold numerous events that attract customers from the five boroughs and is one of only four lesbian bars still in operation in New York City. The others are Henrietta Hudson and Cubbyhole, both in Greenwich Village, and Ginger’s Bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn.