Why New York City Is a Major Destination for LGBT Travelers

NYC Pride | © gagnonm1993 / Pixabay
NYC Pride | © gagnonm1993 / Pixabay
Photo of Julia Goicochea
17 August 2017

Immigrant hub, the birthplace of the gay rights movement, and the setting of several real-life rags-to-riches tales—there’s a place for everyone in New York City. Open-minded attitudes—and a penchant for partying—make the city a popular destination amongst LGBT travelers.

A destination as diverse as it is daring, New York City has always been a hub for forward-thinkers. Indeed, one such group of courageous New Yorkers is credited with launching the gay rights movement as we know it. LGBT individuals from around the world seek out the Stonewall Inn, the site of the 1969 Stonewall Riots and the place “where pride began.” Now a National Historic Landmark and an operating gay bar, travelers are thrilled to witness a crucial piece of LGBT history—and its legendary drag bingo, dance party, and “Big Gay Happy Hour” events. Happily, for nightlife lovers, the Inn is just one of many LGBT bars in New York City. Metropolitan, Cubbyhole, Phoenix, and Nowhere are all excellent destinations for open-minded entertainment.

LGBT Solidarity Rally at the Stonewall Inn | © mathiaswasik / Flickr

For daytime diversions, the city’s cultural community has travelers covered. Art and culture is a major component of life in New York City, and certain establishments stand out as being particularly committed to providing LGBT-focused entertainment and education. The city is home to the world’s “first dedicated LGBTQ art museum,” the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art. Once travelers have made their way through the museum’s 24,000-plus works, they can book their ticket to NewFest, New York’s famed film festival dedicated to depicting the LGBT experience. Here, narratives, documentaries, and shorts are screened in between panels, parties, and more.

Looking for some company to attend one of New York City’s many inclusive events? There’s an app for that. Several apps, actually: LGBT tourists and locals alike favor electronic engagements when navigating New York’s social scene. Using dating apps such as Chappy, Hornet, Her, and Wapa are popular methods for meeting and mingling in the city.

Date | © Stocksnap / Pixabay

We can’t forget the pinnacle of LGBT culture in New York City, New York Pride. Since the first Gay Pride March took place in New York in 1970, the event has evolved into a week-long celebration of LGBT history, present, and future. Rallies, art festivals, youth events, and family movie nights attract individuals of all orientations and backgrounds in the week leading up to the world-famous NYC Pride March. This year’s event welcomed a record-breaking 40,000 marchers, including local government officials Mayor Bill de Blasio, Senator Chuck Schumer, and Governor Andrew Cuomo, along with millions of supporters. Luckily for LGBT travelers, you can find that same level of amusement and support year-round in New York, a city that’s proud to have you any month of the year.

New York Pride March | © Sasha Kargaltsev / Flickr

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