Bum Bum Bar
From the early 1990s until its closure at the end of 2018, the Bum Bum Bar (pronounced “boom boom”) catered to a predominately Latina lesbian clientele in Queens.
Located under the elevated track on the busy, commercial thoroughfare of Roosevelt Avenue, Bum Bum also supported and hosted groups promoting LGBT visibility and equality.
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From the early 1990s until its closure at the end of 2018, the Bum Bum Bar (pronounced “boom boom”) was a gay-owned and operated bar, 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. Bum Bum held numerous events that attracted customers from the five boroughs. The bar was 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.
With the closing of Bum Bum Bar, only three lesbian bars remain in operation in New York City: Henrietta Hudson and Cubbyhole, both in Greenwich Village, and Ginger’s Bar in Park Slope, Brooklyn.
Entry by Ken Lustbader, project director, and Amanda Davis, project manager (March 2017; last revised June 2018).
NOTE: Names above in bold indicate LGBT people.
- Architect or Builder: Unknown
- Year Built: by 1966
Andrés Duque, phone call with Amanda Davis for the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project, June 30, 2018.
Shea Carmen Swan, “Bum Bum Bar ReBorn,” GO!, March 15, 2016, bit.ly/2dZDK6c.
“The Lavender Line: Coming Out in Queens,” Queens Museum, June-July 2017.
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