Crafting Your Experience

New YorkHistory
NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project

LGBT Brooklyn

This experience is sponsored, in part, by the generous support of American Express, Con Edison, a Humanities New York Action Grant, and the NYC & Company Foundation. Sites along the Brooklyn waterfront, including the neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights, have had important LGBT connections for well over a century. Several important artists and activists called the area home, including author Truman Capote, Broadway set designer Oliver Smith, and activists Renee Cafiero and Nancy Garden. The waterfront itself was a well-known cruising area. Bars and hotels on and around Montague Street provided the LGBT community with spaces for socializing, cruising, and organizing outside Manhattan, and Spencer Memorial Church was home to the Gay Alliance of Brooklyn and an early, short-lived gay synagogue. This collection represents a sampling of LGBT life in one of New York City’s most iconic neighborhoods. This tour represents a selection of extant sites associated with LGBT history that are located within a small geographic area. As such, it does not represent the entire long LGBT history of New York City, nor does it entirely reflect the diversity of today’s LGBT community. This collection is limited to the research we have included on the project website so far. For more information or to suggest a site, please visit our website at

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