Walking Tours Draw Back the Curtain on NYC’s Pre-Stonewall, Prohibition-Era LGBT History
NEW YORK, NY - The Municipal Art Society of New York honors Gay Pride Month with two tours exploring the little-known early history of LGBT New York. Contrary to popular belief, New York’s LGBT life did not emerge with the Stonewall rebellion of 1969. During Prohibition, gay men and lesbians had a grand "coming out" party in salons and speakeasies that created the myth of urban sophistication and saved NYC during its "dry spell."
Urban planner Laurence Frommer, an active member of NYC’s LGBT community, shows how LGBT culture first emerged not during the Stonewall rebellion of 1969, but 50 years earlier, during Prohibition. Frommer also reveals the important role Harlem played for those "in the life" during the same period.
Sunday, June 10, 2:00 PM; $20/person
While most people are aware of the importance of Greenwich Village in the history of LGBT New York, Harlem also played a major role in the development of LGBT culture - particularly during Prohibition. If the drag balls of Greenwich Village attracted hundreds of people, similar events in Harlem attracted thousands. Harlem’s speakeasies and salons were major haunts for those "in the life," including many leading intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance.
Many white downtown LGBT residents felt less inhibited in Harlem than in the Village and many prominent entertainers were gay, lesbian or bisexual (some made their sexual identities a central part of their acts). Join urban planner Laurence Frommer, an active member of NYC’s LGBT community, for a walk through Harlem’s amazing lavender past.
Sunday, June 17, 2:00 PM; $20/person
Pre-Stonewall Greenwich Village
It’s a little know fact, but Greenwich Village was a major center of LGBT culture almost half a century before Stonewall, from the drag balls at Webster Hall to the lesbian-owned haunts of Macdougal Street to the clubs featuring "pansy acts" to the slummers who combed the Village to ogle the "fairies and dykes" cavorting openly in public.
What made it possible for the LGBT community to emerge from the shadows? What was behind the complex relationship between this subculture and society at large? What role did the LGBT community play in the intellectual and cultural life that was central to the Village’s identity? Join urban planner Laurence Frommer, an active member of NYC’s LGBT community, for a walk through pre-Stonewall Greenwich Village.
The Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS: http://www.mas.org/), founded in 1893, is a non-profit membership organization committed to making New York a more livable city through education, dialogue and advocacy for intelligent urban planning, design and preservation.
Reservations (REQUIRED) + Information: www.mas.org/tours or 212- 935-2075
For more information visit www.MAS.org