City’s LGBTQ historic sites get spotlight in tour

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By Ivan Pereira

Since 1969, The Stonewall Inn has stood as an icon of the LGBTQ rights movement. But many other bars, businesses and homes throughout Manhattan played important roles in the equality movement though they receive less fanfare, said Bobby Traversa, a tour guide with New York Tour 1.

A new walking tour aims to give some of those locations a brighter spotlight. The tour — which runs Wednesday, Friday and Saturday — begins and ends at The Stonewall Inn, making 12 additional stops along the way.

“We are there to remember what happened in ’69, but also everything that came before and after it,” Traversa said of the Stonewall riots that sparked a fresh push for LGBTQ civil rights. “The tour really aims to educate and celebrate.”

His team intensely researched Greenwich Village while designing the tour. One stop will be at Julius’ Bar at 159 W. 10th St., where a “sip-in” protest in 1966 challenged the anti-LGBTQ laws that were in effect at the time.

They will also stop by the IFC Center, which is known in part for its midnight showings of the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

“It was this major cultural activity that attracted [more than just] the LGBT community,” Traversa said.

One of the most important parts of the tour, he said, will be the visits to the homes of several unsung New York LGBTQ pioneers, such as Murray H. Hall, a 19th century Tammany Hall politician who was later discovered to be biologically female.

“People had no idea about it until he died,” Traversa said.

Other famous residences featured on the tour will include those of Eleanor Roosevelt, “A Raisin in the Sun” playwright Lorraine Hansberry and author Larry Kramer.

The tours cost $25, and proceeds will go to the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative, an advocacy organization for LGBTQ issues. Traversa said the company is planning future events to coincide with major city happenings, such as New York Comic Con.

“We are looking to do a lot of events where we have out-of- towners, so that we can show a different side of New York,” he said.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 14th, 2017 at 5:04 pm and is filed under amNewYork, Education, Feature, Print Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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