NYC A Non-Judgmental Society
The LGBT community is a significant and growing population in the United States. In fact, according to recent estimates from Gallup, those identifying as LGBTQ make up roughly 5% of the total US population. It should come as no surprise then that there are also a number of gay-friendly places throughout America. The question is which ones?
In an effort to answer this question, we’ve compiled a list of 10 gay-friendly places in NYC that should be at the top of your travel bucket list if you identify as LGBTQ or have someone close to you who does.
Stonewall Inn is perhaps the most important gay bar in NYC, not to mention American history. On June 28th 1969, the Stonewall Inn refused to let police enter after being repeatedly asked for ID of all their patrons. After a resistance that lasted into the early hours of the next morning came what is known as the first gay rights protest which helped create the momentum that led to the formation of The Gay Liberation Front. After the Stonewall Riots, however, the bar remained closed for three years. It eventually reopened in 1970 under new management and was renamed “The Stonewall Inn.”
While there are several gay bars in NYC’s West Village, Keystone Bar is the only one that is completely gay-owned and operated. A neighborhood staple since it opened its doors back in 1988, Keystone Bar has attracted a diverse crowd over the years due to its great selection of beer and relaxed atmosphere. It’s also home to weekly events like Latin Dance Party on Wednesdays, Sunday Drag Brunch (with your chance to meet the performers), and Wine Down Fridays.
A big part of what makes the West Village a great LGBT destination is that it’s a neighborhood that was home to many prominent lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender writers, artists and activists. The history of this community dates back to around 1880 when a group of young men from New Jersey moved into an area which now includes Christopher Street between 6th and 8th Avenues. This community soon became known as the ‘Bohemian’ neighborhood of New York and was a major center of the city’s bohemian culture prior to World War II.
Hudson River Park
Don’t be fooled by it’s name; Hudson River Park doesn’t just feature upscale, luxury condos. It’s also home to the Pier 45 Boathouse which offers free kayaking and paddleboarding on the Hudson River, as well as discounted rentals for LGBTQ individuals (including same-sex couples) throughout the week when you make a reservation in advance.
Madison Square Garden
The famous Madison Square Garden is not just home to concerts and sporting events, it’s also a great venue for the LGBT community. In fact, the World Pride event was hosted there in 2014 which included performances by major entertainers like Melissa Etheridge, Jennifer Hudson, Debbie Harry and more. This year will feature its first ever Pride Show which will include performances by dance music superstars Afrojack, Steve Aoki and Matoma.
Stonewall National Monument
Stonewall National Monument was designated on June 24th, 2016 in honor of the Stonewall Inn. Located in Greenwich Village, this is the first US National Park dedicated to LGBTQ history. Over the years, Stonewall Inn has become a symbol of gay rights and pride. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1999, but it took over 12 years for the site to receive its first federal memorial.
The Transgender Memorial at Stonewall National Monument commemorates all transgender individuals who have lost their lives to acts of violence. The memorial consists of seven large boulders, each engraved with the name of a transgender person killed in the United States over the past 10 years.
This small park features two monuments commemorating events which took place on June 28th, 1969. One monument is devoted to the Stonewall Inn riots and the other to the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. At this location, there are even plans for an LGBT cultural center which will be housed in a new building featuring two underground floors and six floors above ground.
Just steps outside of Christopher Park is Whiskey Warehouse, one of the most popular bars near Stonewall National Monument. While the outside of this bar might look like your average building, it’s actually home to two bars – one upstairs and one downstairs. It’s also got a great selection of beers on tap including local favorites like Brooklyn Lager and Six Point Sweet Action.
Gay Hotels in NYC:
1) Indigo Hotel
The Indigo Hotel first opened its doors back in 2003 and has remained a popular gay-friendly hotel ever since. It’s also the only full-service boutique hotel on Christopher Street, just steps away from NYC’s most iconic gay bars and restaurants, including Stonewall Inn. It’s no wonder then that this 4-star hotel has been a popular choice for visitors to NYC’s Greenwich Village and West Village neighborhoods.
2) The Out NYC Hotel
Opened on March 15th 2013, The Out NYC hotel is one of New York City’s most popular hotels for gay men. It’s also the only hotel in the city that caters to both lesbians and gay men (the bar and disco are male-only). If you enjoy nightlife and music, then you’ll love what this hotel has to offer, including a nightclub with the city’s biggest dance floor and a popular drag brunch.
3) The Jane Hotel
Though it doesn’t have a direct link to the LGBT community, The Jane Hotel is very gay-friendly in terms of how it treats its guests. Like the other hotels on this list, The Jane Hotel is located in close proximity to several gay bars and restaurants in NYC’s Greenwich Village neighborhood. It also offers a variety of high-end rooms, including deluxe suites with private terraces which have amazing views over the Hudson River.