NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
The importance of raising public awareness about the LGBT community’s contributions to American history and the struggles it has faced in achieving acceptance and equality under the law is more important now than ever. It has been our honor and privilege to help make this ground-breaking project come to life.
NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project inspires all of us to take a closer look at the places we walk past every day and to appreciate a history that, until this initiative, has largely been invisible. By exploring the incredible stories of LGBT New Yorkers through the very places where they made their mark on our collective history, the project strives to inspire and empower the LGBT community, particularly its youth (who are often not taught this history), by illuminating the breadth of the community’s influence on American culture as a whole.
Understanding our shared heritage ensures that today’s activism is informed by all of yesterday's activism, and that people truly understand that LGBT history is American history.
– Ken Lustbader, Co-director, NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project
Going back to New York City’s founding in the 17th century, our map-based online platform surveys and documents 100 sites of historic and cultural significance throughout the city’s five boroughs - with hundreds more to come. Curated themes offer users a discovery-based route by connecting sites across the city by specific subject or area of influence such as art & architecture, early community centers, or transgender history.
Each historical site has been carefully documented and categorized based on its location, historical era, and cultural significance (marked by 12 distinct categories including activism & politics, bars & nightlife, health & science, and people of color). Detailed profiles of each site include an incredible array of historical content, anecdotes, interviews, images, and multimedia. One could spend hours pouring over the treasures unearthed over the course of this project. We have.
Designed for desktop, tablet, and mobile devices, the NYC LGBT Historic Sites project gives users access to an unprecedented resource of information about the city's LGBT history. In addition to the public-facing website platform, the team is also working with the New York State Historic Preservation Office to survey sites for potential listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Of the over 92,000 sites on the National Register, only 11 are listed for their LGBT significance. There is still a lot of work to be done.