Despite New York City’s reputation as being more LGBT friendly than most other places, LGBT-related discrimination, hate crimes, and harassment are part of its history, past and present.

Sites in this collection feature places where homophobic and/or transphobic actions have taken place, from the 17th century “place of execution” in Lower Manhattan (then part of New Amsterdam) to discrimination at LGBT bars and businesses over the decades to gay-biased murders in the 1990s.

It also includes sites where LGBT people have fought back against homophobia and/or transphobia through protest, pickets, and demonstrations.

Header Photo caption

Anti-violence protesters, led by the recently formed Queer Nation, hold a “Bash Back” sign in response to the 1990 bombing at Uncle Charlie’s, a popular gay bar in Greenwich Village. May 16, 1990, photo by Tracy Litt for Outweek.

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Featured Historic Sites (22)

City Hall Park
City Hall Park is the earliest known documented gay male cruising area in Manhattan, according to newspaper accounts beginning in the early 1840s. Credit: Beyond My Ken/Wikipedia (cropped), 2012. In... Learn More
157 Bleecker Street
In the early 1890s, The Slide on Bleecker Street was known as New York’s “worst dive” for its “fairies,” young men who solicited other men. It was closed by the... Learn More
129 Macdougal Street
Eve Adams, the name adopted by a Polish-Jewish lesbian émigré, operated a popular gay and lesbian tearoom near Washington Square in Greenwich Village from 1924 to 1926. It closed after... Learn More
Castle Williams & Fort Jay
Early gay rights activist Henry Gerber lived on Governors Island from the late 1920s to 1945 as a member of the United States Army. In 1924, Gerber founded the Society for Human... Learn More
39 Whitehall Street
On September 19, 1964, the very first public demonstration for gay rights in the United States took place outside the U.S. Army Building in Lower Manhattan. Organized by Randy Wicker,... Learn More
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza
On April 18, 1965, the fourth-ever gay rights demonstration in the United States – and the third in New York City – took place at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, across the... Learn More
7 East 7th Street
On December 2, 1964, the second-ever public demonstration for gay rights in the United States – and the first to challenge the psychiatric profession – took place outside the Great... Learn More
159 West 10th Street
On April 21, 1966, a "Sip-In" was organized by members of the Mattachine Society, one of the country’s earliest gay rights organizations, to challenge the State Liquor Authority's discriminatory policy... Learn More
215 West 10th Street
In 1970, less than a year after Stonewall, the police raided the Snake Pit bar and detained many people at the local police station. After one person attempted to escape... Learn More
333 West 17th Street
“Lavender Menace” was an action led by Radicalesbians, with women from the Gay Liberation Front and several feminist organizations, at the National Organization of Women’s (NOW) Second Congress to Unite... Learn More
Madison Square Park
For several years in the 1990s, the South Asian Lesbian and Gay Association (SALGA) led "Desi Dhamaka" protests in Madison Square Park in response to being banned from participating in... Learn More
Myrtle Avenue & Cornelia Street
On March 13, 1993, the March for Truth was organized by the Anti-Violence Project and Queens Gays and Lesbians United, along Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood, Queens (District 24), to counter... Learn More
East 135th Street & Fifth Avenue
Ali Forney was a homeless gender non-conforming (GNC) youth of color who, on December 5, 1997, was killed near the housing project on East 135th Street and Fifth Avenue in... Learn More
78th Street & 37th Avenue
This street sign in Jackson Heights commemorates Julio Rivera, a gay Puerto Rican man who in 1990 was brutally attacked by three skinheads in the nearby schoolyard and soon after... Learn More
123 Androvette Street
On January 22, 1990, Vietnam War veteran Jimmy Zappalorti was murdered near his home on the South Shore of Staten Island because he was gay. The highly publicized murder became... Learn More
149 West 14th Street
Kooky’s, also known as Kooky’s Cocktail Lounge, was a lesbian bar that operated from 1965 to 1973. After the Stonewall uprising of June 1969, Kooky’s was the site of lesbian-led... Learn More
Whitehall Street, south of Water/State Streets
Two men are known to have been executed in New Amsterdam in 1646 and 1660 for sexual relations with boys. Sodomy was punishable by death in New York until 1796,... Learn More
394-395 West Street
The Ramrod on the Hudson River waterfront was one of New York’s most popular leather bars in the 1970s. It was the site of one of Greenwich Village’s most notoriously... Learn More
56 Greenwich Avenue
In the early hours of Saturday morning April 28, 1990, a homemade bomb exploded at Uncle Charlie’s bar in Greenwich Village that resulted in an immediate protest by the recently... Learn More
Grand Central Parkway & 78th Avenue
In June 1969, a week before the Stonewall uprising, a group of local Queens residents formed a “vigilante committee” to harass gay men cruising in a nearby Flushing Meadows-Corona Park... Learn More
48-52 Eighth Avenue
By at least 1955 through the 1960s, the Sea Colony was one of the most popular lesbian bars in Greenwich Village. A favorite of author and activist Joan Nestle, among... Learn More
51-53 Christopher Street
From June 28 to July 3, 1969, LGBT patrons of the Stonewall Inn and members of the local community took the unusual action of fighting back during a routine police... Learn More