overview

Jackson Heights, where the Queens Pride Parade takes place annually, has had a gay presence since it was developed in the 1920s. This collection highlights the neighborhood’s diverse LGBT history through bars and clubs (particularly significant to Latino New Yorkers) as well as sites of social gathering and political activism.

While much of New York City’s known LGBT history and life centers on Manhattan, we are currently working on adding more sites throughout Queens to our website. If you have a suggestion, please fill out our online form.

This theme is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and a grant from Con Edison.

Header Photo
Members of Las Buenas Amigas on the corner of 84th Street and 37th Avenue, third annual Queens Pride Parade, June 4, 1995 (cropped). Photo by and courtesy of Richard Shpuntoff.

Featured Historic Sites ( 7 )

A
89th Street & 37th Avenue

In 1993, the inaugural Queens Pride Parade and Multicultural Festival took place in the historically gay neighborhood of Jackson Heights and was the first such event to be organized in... Learn More

B
81-10 35th Avenue

This Jackson Heights church, opened in 1923, became an important hub for diverse community groups, including LGBT groups, beginning in the mid-1970s. During the 1990s, it was the meeting location... Learn More

C
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

D
78-11 Roosevelt Avenue

Owned since 1989 by business and personal partners Eddie Valentin and Casimiro Villa, Friend’s Tavern (or Friend’s) in Jackson Heights is known as the oldest active gay bar in Queens.... Learn More

E
77th Street & Broadway

Guillermo Vasquez was a leading gay rights, AIDS, and Latino community activist in Queens who emigrated from Colombia in 1972. Seventeen years after his 1996 death from AIDS-related complications, this... Learn More

F
77-02 Broadway

The Love Boat was a popular gay Latino bar and dance space in Elmhurst, situated on the border of Jackson Heights. Drawing crowds of gay men with roots from countries... Learn More

G
63-14 Roosevelt Avenue

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... Learn More

Other Curated Themes

7 Sites

Transgender History

25 Sites

Gay-Owned Businesses

17 Sites

Communities of Color

24 Sites

Activism Outside Manhattan

18 Sites

Literary New York

13 Sites

Downtown Arts Scene

21 Sites

City of Immigrants

18 Sites

1970s Lesbian Activism & Community

7 Sites

The Bronx

8 Sites

Brooklyn Heights

12 Sites

Staten Island

10 Sites

Why We March

15 Sites

Village Pride Tour

20 Sites

Gay Activists Alliance

13 Sites

The Harlem Renaissance

12 Sites

Jewish New York

19 Sites

Pre-20th Century History

24 Sites

Bars & Nightlife

13 Sites

Activism Before Stonewall

23 Sites

Homophobia & Transphobia

43 Sites

Broadway Theater District

11 Sites

Influential Black New Yorkers

13 Sites

Early Community Centers

13 Sites

Lesbian Life Before Stonewall

11 Sites

The AIDS Crisis

25 Sites

LGBT-Named Public Schools

14 Sites

Art & Architecture

10 Sites

National Register Listings

21 Sites

Spotlight on the Theater