- New York
Discover New York State attractions and events that are just as vibrant as the people who live there.
New York’s LGBTQ+ community has been shaping the state’s culture for decades, forming colorful communities and helping to lead social equality movements in the USA. Today, you can celebrate trailblazers past, present and future at historic sites, cultural hubs and seasonal events throughout the state.
History and Art in New York City
New York City’s many neighborhoods and boroughs have long been at the forefront of the LGBTQ+ Pride movement. The Pride movement as we know it today began in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn, when bar patrons clashed with police due to laws outlawing same-sex relationships in a conflict now knowns as the Stonewall Riots. Today, the Stonewall National Monument marks the hallowed spot. The monument also encompasses Christopher Park, a public square where some of the USA’s earliest organized protests against LGBTQ+ discrimination took place. Nearby, the Alice Austen House displays the works of photographer Alice Austen in the Victorian cottage where she lived with her lifelong partner, Gertrude Tate. Austen’s photographs celebrate gender non-conformity and challenge gender roles in ways that still feel innovative and poignant today.
The borough of Manhattan has historically welcomed artists and free spirits from all walks of life, and it remains a cultural hub for New York City’s LGBTQ+ community. In June, take part in the annual March through Manhattan as part of NYC Pride. Celebrate the achievements of LGBTQ+ creatives at sites like the Andy Warhol Residence, the Apollo Theater, the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop and the Museum of Modern Art. Starting in 2024, visitors to Manhattan will be able to explore the American LGBTQ+ Museum. This unique learning center will feature exhibitions that combine audio visual experiences with lively community events to celebrate the history and diversity of the USA’s LGBTQ+ communities.
George Segal’s statue entitled Gay Liberation in historic Christopher Park
Theater and Seaside Views in Fire Island
Made up of twin communities Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines, the mostly car-free paradise of Fire Island has been a haven for LGBTQ+ vacationers as far back as the 1950s, when it was dubbed “America's First Gay and Lesbian Town.” Visit Cherry Grove Community House and Theater to catch a performance from the Arts Project of Cherry Grove, the oldest known LGBTQ+ theater in the USA. The larger of the two hamlets, Fire Island Pines is home to iconic zigzag-shaped boardwalks, which provide scenic walking paths along the Fire Island National Seashore. Get to know the neighborhood even better on a self-guided architectural tour, where you’ll admire the Pines’ world-famous mid-century modern homes.
Biking scenic trails in Cherry Grove
Films and Museums in Rochester
Located on the border of the USA and Canada, this destination on the banks of the Genesee River has played a pivotal role in the Pride movement. One of Rochester’s most popular events, the bi-annual ImageOut Film Festival has been showcasing films by LGBTQ+ filmmakers since its inception in 1993. Showcases take place for a week each fall and spring, with smaller screening events happening year-round. Dive deeper into the region’s history of fostering social equality movements at sites like the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House. See both Susan B. Anthony’s gravesite and the final resting place of abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass at Mount Hope Cemetery, where visitors can pay homage to these leaders and their legacies.
The sculpture Let’s Have Tea, featuring depictions of activists Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass
Music and Pride in the Buffalo-Niagara Falls Region
Western New York, where Lake Erie meets the Niagara River, is home to several landmarks and events of significance for the LGBTQ+ community, including a thriving tradition of annual Pride Month festivities. The iconic cascades of Niagara Falls State Park were the location of the first same-sex marriages in the state. Visit in June to see the waterfalls lit up in rainbow colors in celebration of Pride Niagara. Head to Buffalo, New York State’s second largest city, to see a concert and take a tour at Babeville, an arts complex founded by queer musician Ani Difranco. It’s home to a record label and concert hall championing works by LGBTQ+ artists. While you’re there, support local entrepreneurs by shopping for souvenirs at local LGBTQ-owned businesses. Visit during the annual Buffalo Pride Week in June to take part in exciting parades and festivals.
Niagara Falls illuminated in rainbow colors to celebrate Pride
Several major airports make it easy to get around New York State. For convenient access to New York City, fly into LaGuardia Airport (LGA), John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR). Niagara Falls International Airport (BUF) and Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC) in Rochester are great options for arriving in upstate New York.
More experiences nearby