Making the pilgrimage to the Big Queer Apple has been a right of passage for every east coast-dwelling baby dyke or twink. There are tons of queer places throughout the 5 boroughs, but even if you stay in Manhattan for the rest of your life you’ll always find something (or someone) to do.
San Francisco might be home to the first gay bars, but NYC gave birth to the gay liberation movement. The infamous Stonewall riots happened in 1969 at the Stonewall Inn
. It’s a safe bet that the Stonewall Inn is the only U.S. National Historical Landmark that houses weekly drag shows. During the day there’s some dinosaurs at the bar and the outside is a popular photo op for tourists around the world, but at night the go-go boys serving shots are let loose across both floors of this historical hot spot.
There are several Gayborhoods throughout Manhattan, but Greenwich Village is so well-known, even buff closeted farm boys from Iowa know about it. With a name like the Cubbyhole
you would think this place would be jammed packed with beefy Bears and cuddly Cubs, but this bar is actually known as a lesbian hangout. However, their yard sale meets undergrad art school project decor brings in an eclectic clientele. The Cubbyhole is cheap, unpretentious and known as the gay Cheers.
If you ever watched Coyote Ugly and wished all of the women were replaced by hunky guys, your prayers have been answered. Flaming Saddles Saloon
in Hell’s Kitchen is a country themed bar where even the most snobbish of club kids join in on a line dance or two. It doesn’t matter if the closest thing to country music you listen to is new Taylor Swift, Flaming Saddles Saloon is a taste of the west in the city. You might even run into that closeted farm boy from Iowa. If boys aren’t your thing, but fresh meat is, Henrietta Hudson
is a place where you can find a lot of out of town and recently out girl-next-door-types willing to swap kissing tips on the make out couches throughout the bar.
is massive. Millions of people flock to NYC for Pride on the last weekend in June. If you’re coming from out of the five boroughs, you need to book your hotel way in advance (you should have booked it last week). You can stay in the heart of the city at The Out
; a gay resort in Hell’s Kitchen, or if you’re looking for a total party vibe, stay at one of the many resorts on Fire Island, which has been a gay paradise for decades. There are no cars allowed on the island, but it’s worth the 1.5 hour train and ferry ride to partake in gay bingo or drag queen luau parties.