According to the New York City LGBT Historic Sites Project, there are over 400 New York City locations connected to the history of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in New York City, and many of those places are the former homes of America’s greatest writers. New York City is a rather open place for all people regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation. However, this has not always been the case. For many of these LGBTQ+ writers, coming into their sexuality was an internal struggle, one that was often reflected in their groundbreaking work. All of these authors paved the way through literature for the next generation of LGBTQ+ people. Pay homage to these LGBTQ+ writers by learning about their former New York City homes this Pride Month:
1. Allen Ginsberg, 170 East 2nd Street, Manhattan
If you get down to Beat poetry, check out the former residence of “Howl” author, Allen Ginsberg. Beat poetry, born in New York City in the 1940s and 50s, thrived on critiquing conventional American life. Ginsberg started writing with other LGBTQ+ writers at Columbia University (where he met literary icons such as Jack Kerouac). Not only was Ginsberg openly gay, but much of his work focused on the lived queer experience. Ginsberg lived in this apartment with his longtime lover, Peter Orlovsky from 1958 to 1961. It was in this apartment that Ginsberg wrote the majority of his poem “Kaddish.” After moving out, Ginsberg and Orlovsky hopped around to various locations in the East village.