Sun 12/3: Gay History West Village Walking Tour
Our Most Popular Walking Tour
1pm meet and depart from outside the Stonewall Inn, 53 Christopher Street (the tour will end at this historic gay watering hole where you can wet your whistle and meet new friends from the tour). Tour will go on rain or shine.
Led by our professional tour guide (a leading world expert on many parts of gay history), Professor Andrew Lear
We all know about the Stonewall riots in 1969. But who knows that Mae West was arrested in Manhattan for producing a pro-gay-rights play in 1926? Or that Walt Whitman read his homoerotic poems to friends at a bar on Broadway? Professor Andrew Lear has designed this tour to bring New York's gay *history* out of the closet.
On this tour, we venture into the heart of Greenwich Village, where the Stonewall riots took place and the first Gay Pride parade started a year later. But the Village's gay history goes back a century before that, to Walt Whitman's time. Like Paris' Left Bank, the Village has been the center of all of the city's many countercultures and artistic movements, from the Bohemians of the World War I period to the Beats, the Abstract Expressionists, the New York School, Pop Art, the creators of Off (and Off-Off) Broadway, and of course the gay liberation movement.
We see the places where Villagers have lived and loved, including the sites of the drag shows and gay bars which have dotted the Village for 150 years–in particular the Stonewall Inn. The list of LGBT greats we discover reads like a history of American culture: Herman Melville and Henry James, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Eleanor Roosevelt, James Baldwin, Allen Ginsberg, and Andy Warhol.