Bustling New York City: The Birthplace of LGBTQ Rights

A global node of creativity and social tolerance, the city of New York has always carved out a place for the LGBTQ community. It’s a symbol of cultural diversity and freedom with principles that nurture the queer community and drive future growth. It also happens to be an awesome place to live.

Brief History

New York City began as a trading post. It was founded in 1624 by Dutch colonists and named “New Amsterdam.” A few years later, the British took rule (1664) and renamed the place “New York” after the Duke of York (King Charles had gifted it to him).

New York was the capital of the United States until 1790 and has been the largest city since then. It’s also home to the beginning of the gay rights revolution where the Stonewall Riots occurred in 1969.

Fun fact: The term “the Big Apple” comes from a NYC horse racing column in the 1920s. It was the name of the big prize money.

Quick Stats

New York is the most populous city in the United States. In 2018, the estimated population was 8,398,748 over an area of just 30 square miles. It’s the most densely populated city in the country. Many people have named it the most photographed city on the planet, with Times Square nicknamed the world’s “heart” and “crossroads.”

The subway system runs 24/7 and is the largest single-operator rapid transit system worldwide, with 472 rail stations. The city is also home to over 120 colleges and universities.

LGBTQ residents in New York City constitute (by significant margins) the largest self-identifying gay community in the country. In a past study, New York City was found to be home to an estimated 272,493 self-identifying gay and bisexual individuals. That’s higher than San Francisco and Los Angeles combined.

Here are some more fun facts about New York City.


Believe it or not, NYC is categorized as a humid subtropical climate. It’s the only one this way up north. The city averages around 234 days of sunlight a year and is defined as an oceanic climate.

New York City receives 49.9 inches (1,270 mm) of precipitation annually, which is evenly spread out through the year. The average winter snowfall in the past 30 years is 25.8 inches. Winters are chilly and damp with sea breezes that can chill you to the bone. Spring and fall are the most temperate seasons.



The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center Commonly referred to as “The Center”, this is a non-profit organization in the city that caters to the LGBTQ community. Programs include mental health and wellness, substance abuse issues, youth services, counseling, and more.

Services & Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE) The country's oldest and largest organization dedicated to improving the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. 

NY Metro headquarters of the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) is considered the business voice of the LGBT community in NYC. It is the largest global not-for-profit advocacy organization dedicated to the expansion of economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people.  

The network of Certified LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) helps to build relationships with leading corporations, generate prospective clients, and collectively team with each other for better opportunities.



New York Pride – June The largest Pride March in the country, the parade traverses south down 5th Avenue and ends at Greenwich Village. It attracts tens of thousands of participants and millions of spectators each year and is a total sight to be seen. The city some alive with pride.

Pridefest – June The main events of Pride are the PrideFest and Dance at the Pier. In 2017, it was the first Pride event in history scheduled to be broadcast and streamed live.

The New York City Drag March – June An annual drag protest and visibility march, it’s organized to coincide with the Pride March. It takes place on a Friday and is considered a kickoff to Pride Week.

NewFest – October NewsFest is the New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Film Festival that is put on every year by The New Festival, Inc. It is considered one of the most comprehensive screenings of national and international LGBT film and video in the world.

New York will always be the birthplace of LGBTQ rights and thus, it is rich in history and diversity. People have passion here and a zest for life. If you love changing seasons, a deep-seated queer culture, and a bustling urban setting, New York City is calling you home.



New York City sits on one of the world’s largest natural harbors and consists of 5 boroughs: Brooklyn - Queens - Manhattan - The Bronx and Staten Island.

The LGBTQ culture is part of New York’s core identity. Here are three neighborhoods that stand out for gay real estate:

Chelsea Chelsea has the highest density of same-sex couples in New York. 8th Avenue boasts a long line of gay-friendly businesses flying rainbow flags year-round.

Chelsea is known for its chic art galleries and cool residents. The High Line Park is a converted high rail with excellent views of the city. The neighborhood also has vintage shops, gay bars, and Chelsea Market (Google’s indoor/outdoor shopping plaza).

Property is selling for about $1,643/sq. ft. Apartments, condos, single-family, and multi-family homes are the most popular, with the area having an average of 92 homes for sale.

The median home price in Chelsea is $960,185.

Schools: There are over 15 schools in the Chelsea neighborhood for children of all ages. Some are private and some unrated.

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Hell’s Kitchen

Hell’s Kitchen is a neighborhood chock full of food fare. It also has a high concentration of same-sex couples and merges with the Theater District (home to Broadway). The dining-dense area has endless restaurants, drag shows, friendly nightlife, and rainbow flags galore.

Property is selling for about $1,392/sq. ft. Apartments, single-family, and multi-family homes are the most popular, with the area having an average of 152 homes for sale.

The median home price in Hell’s Kitchen is $957,919.

Schools: There are over 15 schools in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood for children of all ages. Many are focused on the performing arts.


West Village

This is where it all started. Stonewall Inn is off 7th Avenue and Christopher Street, which sparked the LGBTQ movement more than 50 years ago. The inn still stands and hosts nights of Drag Bingo and Big Gay Happy Hour. It’s also the site of the annual Pride Rally during Pride Week.

The LGBT Center (also known as “The Center”) has its home on West 13th Street in the Village. The community organization hosts several art events a year and provides services like HIV resources and counseling.

West Village is a charming neighborhood full of historical row houses and cobblestone streets that make for the perfect stroll on a brilliant NY day.

Property is selling for about $2,136/sq. ft. Apartments, condos, single-family, and multi-family homes are the most popular, with the area having an average of 53 homes for sale.

The median home price in West Village is $1,995,000.


Arts and Entertainment

Central Park The largest urban park in the country, Central Park is located between the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side. It sees an estimated 38 million visitors a year and is approximately 843 acres in size. It’s a total escape.

Broadway Broadway is a general term that refers to the theatrical performances in 41 professional theaters (each with more than 500 seats). These are located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center in Midtown Manhattan. The district is teeming with energy.

Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (LLM)  Located in Soho, this is the only museum in the world dedicated to artwork that documents the LGBTQ experience.

Lesbian Herstory Archives Located in a townhouse in Brooklyn, this gallery features over 12,000 photographs, 11,000 books, 1,300 periodical titles, and 600 videos (along with various other items). 

Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance  This is a New York performing and visual art workshop space and performance venue located in The Bronx. It was co-founded in 1998 by Arthur Aviles, dancer and choreographer, and Charles Rice-Gonzales, an LGBTQ activist and publicist. The center focuses on pieces that explore the margins of Latino and LGBTQ cultures.


LGBTQ-centric Publications

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