Being queer is truly a unique experience but having no friends that understand the things you go through can be quite isolating. Finding peers that have a clear vision of your personal experiences can be truly difficult, however, living in a big city like New York makes the process a bit easier, I mean, 8.4M people live there, there’s gotta be some queer person you get along with!
Pride in NYC
New York has a huge history regarding queer people’s rights. It all started on June 28, 1969, when the NYPD raided the Stonewall Inn, which had become significant to the NYC underground gay community. Tired of the constant mistreatment, the people there began a riot.
Only a year later, in 1970, the first Pride March took place, taking over fifteen blocks.
When the 80s arrived, the LGBT community had to fight a bit more than usual due to the appearance of AIDS, called GRIDs (Gay related immune deficiency) back in the day which put them, once again, in an extremely tough situation.
After years of back and forth, Civil Unions for same-sex couples were first allowed in 2000 due to Vermont passing the first laws authorizing them.
In 2011, New York’s state lawmakers voted to make the state one of the first to recognize same-sex marriage. Although it wasn’t until 2015 that the entirety of the country began to acknowledge queer weddings.
Nowadays, New York continues to be one of the most open-minded states not only accepting gay marriage but also having laws against transgender discrimination.
Ever since 1970, new yorkers gather up every June to celebrate their rights and the lives of those who fought for them as well as demand more.
Places to meet LGBT people.
New York is a great city simply because of its immensity, you will be able to meet new people in an environment you feel comfortable in.
- Clubs/Bars. Okay, maybe not for everyone but if you enjoy the nightlife then go ahead and check out some of these amazing LGBT places the city has to offer!
- Julius’. This is not your normal bar, being the first gay bar in the city, Julius’ has been in business since the 19th century when homosexuals wouldn’t be served at other places. Nowadays it is a nice spot in the West Village where you can gather around, have some drinks, and have fun with friends.
- Stonewall Inn. Another historical place, this is where the Stonewall Riots began, changing queer history forever. Located in the West Village, this bar offers drag shows, themed parties, and more! It truly is a great place to meet not only locals but also tourists.
- Industry Bar. Located in Hell’s Kitchen, this bar has a lot of fun to offer, with drag shows and often shirtless bartenders you will not get bored. It also has amazing drinks which you can get at a discount during happy hours!
- Macri Park. This laid-back bar offers weekly events to enjoy some drinks with friends. Macri Park has not only an indoor space but also an outdoor space where you can enjoy Williamsburg’s unique style.
- Ginger’s bar. Being one of the three lesbian bars in NYC, Ginger’s bar is located in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and hosts many events throughout the year. Here you can not only enjoy the music and laid-back vibe but also the great selection of drinks, the patio, and even a pool!
- Social Media. Take advantage of the year you’re living in, there are tons of apps like Reddit or Twitter where queer groups are created based on the city. The internet gives you the great advantage of kind of getting to know someone before actually meeting them.
- Groups. There are a lot of LGBT people that create groups regarding a hobby they enjoy, you can find some in Meetup or just while talking to someone.
Growing up queer, and just existing overall, can be a really isolating experience, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Having someone that completely understands you is a must to feel heard, use the immensity of the city in your favor, and you will find someone to share with.