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 sites related to discrimination and gay-biased murders over the decades.

It also includes sites where LGBT people have fought back against homophobia and/or transphobia by forming organizations and protesting, picketing, and demonstrating across the city. A separate theme, Gay Activists Alliance, covers the numerous “zaps” that GAA organized to fight homophobia in the 1970s.

Header Photo
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.

Featured Historic Sites ( 20 )

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

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. 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 Hammarskjöld 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 Hammarskjöld 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

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 for 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 youth of color who, on December 5, 1997, was killed near the housing project on East 135th Street and Fifth Avenue in Harlem.... 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

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

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

West 42nd Street (between Eighth Avenue & Broadway)

A peaceful Times Square protest over recent increased police harassment against the LGBT community in the Greenwich Village and Times Square neighborhoods, on Saturday night, August 29, 1970, was followed... Learn More

223 West 42nd Street

Opened as the Apollo Theater in 1920, this venue is significant as the site of the first lesbian love scene depicted on Broadway with the staging of the Yiddish play The... Learn More

West 43rd Street (Between Seventh and Eighth Avenues)

In 1982, as policing of Times Square intensified and plans to redevelop the area began to make headway, the police twice raided Blue’s, a predominantly working-class Black and Latino gay... Learn More

Other Curated Themes

14 Sites

Transgender History

26 Sites

Gay-Owned Businesses

17 Sites

Communities of Color

24 Sites

Activism Outside Manhattan

20 Sites

Literary New York

13 Sites

Downtown Arts Scene

21 Sites

City of Immigrants

18 Sites

1970s Lesbian Activism & Community

8 Sites

The Bronx

12 Sites

Brooklyn Heights

8 Sites

Jackson Heights

12 Sites

Staten Island

12 Sites

Why We March

15 Sites

Village Pride Tour

20 Sites

Gay Activists Alliance

13 Sites

The Harlem Renaissance

14 Sites

Jewish New York

20 Sites

Pre-20th Century History

25 Sites

Bars & Nightlife

13 Sites

Activism Before Stonewall

44 Sites

Broadway Theater District

11 Sites

Influential Black New Yorkers

12 Sites

Early Community Centers

13 Sites

Lesbian Life Before Stonewall

11 Sites

The AIDS Crisis

29 Sites

LGBT-Named Public Schools

15 Sites

Art & Architecture

11 Sites

National Register Listings

21 Sites

Spotlight on the Theater