Many often regard San Francisco as the gay capital of the world but in truth, New York City has overtaken it a couple of times. There's been a ton of historic LGBTQ+ moments in American history that took place in the Big Apple. Many of them even still stand to this day. Add to that the nightlife staples that have given this often marginalized community a safe haven and you've got everything you need to prove that city is also a gay capital. Visit places like The Stonewall Inn, the Christopher Street Pier, and the Big Gay Ice Cream shop—some of the most iconic LGBTQ+ spots in New York.
The Stonewall Inn
The Stonewall Inn is such a historic, American landmark that it ought to be displayed in a museum in Washington D.C.! The place is widely regarded as the spot where the Gay Rights movement first happened. Most famously, it was the site where the Stonewall Riots happened, a series of violent demonstrations by the LGBTQ+ community which was a result of an unsuccessful police raid on the morning of June 28, 1969. From then on, the Stonewall Inn became a monument of Gay Rights and is often an important spot during Pride Month in New York City
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Christopher Street
NYC Aids Memorial
Back in the 1980s and 1990s, the Aids epidemic shook the world to its core. It largely affected the gay community, taking more than 100,000 lives at the time. Because of such a tragedy, the city of New York installed the NYC Aids Memorial, a public memorial to honor all the lives that were lost because of the epidemic. Today, it's become one of the most important gay spots in New York City. It's a somber reminder of how the epidemic changed the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, but also a brutal reminder of how the community was treated during that unfortunate time.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ FULBERT
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center, more commonly known as 'The Center,' is a safe haven for members of the community. Established in 1983, one of the direct results of the fervent Gay Rights movement at the time, it serves to empower the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ+ community. They help find work
for the unemployed, put on social events for networking, conduct family-building retreats, and more. If you're a member of the LGBTQ+ community and you need help in adjusting your life in New York, this is the best place to visit.
Source: The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center Facebook Page
Christopher Street Pier
Though it may look like an ordinary dock for many, the Christopher Street Pier near Greenwich Village, a popular Manhattan neighborhood
, is actually one of the more historic gay spots in New York City. For more than a century, this waterfront area has served as a safe space for the city's queer community. It was a popular spot for cruising, a common practice among gay men to look for sexual partners. The pier also served as a popular hangout for the LGBTQ+ community; a place where they can socialize with little to no worry about discrimination and/or police interference.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Joe Mabel
If you're a fan of RuPaul's Drag Race, you should know about Barracuda Lounge! Located in the hip Chelsea District, it's one of the most popular gay bars in New York City. Not to mention a historic and iconic LGBTQ+ spot as well. This place is where many famous drag queens got their start, including Drag Race alumni Peppermint, Bob The Drag Queen, Monét X Change, Miz Cracker, Tina Burner, and more. Legendary drag and gay icons such as Sherry Vine, Jackie Beat, and Candis Cayne have also worked here. The bar's signature show, 'Star Search,' is even said to have inspired RuPaul to start his hit reality TV series.
Source: Branded Saloon
Big Gay Ice Cream
Craving something sweet? Then head on over to Big Gay Ice Cream. From what started as a gay-friendly ice cream truck that traveled throughout the city, they eventually set up shop in Manhattan. Today, they have two stores, one in the East Village and another in West Village. And as you can expect, you can have a gay old time here, indulging in your creamy cravings as you hang out with fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community. This place is the perfect hang-out spot on a hot day in New York, cooling off with a delicious cone or two-scoop sundae.
Source: Flickr.com/ Spencer Means
Fire Island Pines
New York may not be famous for its beaches, but there is one coastal area that's popular among the LGBTQ+ community. It's called Fire Island Pines, an upscale gay area in New York filled with bars, nightclubs, resorts, and more. Technically speaking, it's not located in the city. As its name says, this iconic LGBTQ+ spot is on Fire Island, situated on the south shore of Long Island. It's not enough to take public transport
and go on a day trip here. You'll need a couple of days to truly explore the wonders of Fire Island Pines.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ David Shankbone
If you identify as gay, bisexual, transgender, or whatever is still in the vast gender spectrum, the Big Apple is your kind of place. New York has a ton of iconic LGBTQ+ spots that have, in one way or another, made an impact on the community's history.