From hand-locked married couples leaving the City Clerk’s office wearing matching Bride & Bride hats to a rainbow-hued Empire State Building at Pride, there’s no doubt that New York City is one of the world’s great cities for LGBTIQ+ travelers. Indeed, few places come close to matching the breadth and depth of queer offerings here, from cabarets and clubs to festivals and readings.

Promoters

One of the best ways to dial into the party hotline is to follow the various goings-on of your favorite promoter. Here are some to start you off:

BoiParty (www.boiparty.com)

The Saint at Large (www.saintatlarge.com)

Daniel Nardicio (www.danielnardicio.com)

Josh Wood (www.joshwoodproductions.com)

School Night Shenanigans

Here in the Big Apple, any night of the week is fair game to paint the town rouge – especially for the gay community, who attack the weekday social scene with gusto. Wednesday and Thursday nights roar with a steady stream of parties, and locals love raging on Sunday (especially in summer). While there’s undoubtedly much fun to be had on Friday and Saturday nights, weekend parties tend to be more ‘bridge and tunnel’ – Manhattanites often use these nonwork days to catch up with friends, check out new restaurants and attend house parties.

By Neighbourhood

  • Brooklyn Multi-neighborhood borough with gays of every ilk, and diverse watering holes peppered throughout.
  • East Village & Lower East Side Slightly grittier, sweatier, grungier versions of the west side haunts.
  • Midtown Hell’s Kitchen is the city’s 21st-century gay epicenter, with a plethora of eateries, bars, clubs and shops for the LGBTIQ+ community.
  • Union Square, Flatiron District & Gramercy Hosts a small spillover of venues from the East Village, West Village and Chelsea.
  • West Village, Chelsea & the Meatpacking District Classic bars and clubs in the Village, with a wilting scene in high-rent Chelsea.

Resources & Support

One of the largest centers of its kind in the world, the LGBT Community Center provides a ton of regional publications about LGBTIQ+ events and nightlife, and hosts frequent special events – dance parties, art exhibits, Broadway-caliber performances, readings and political panels. Plus it’s home to the National Archive for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender History (accessible to researchers by appointment); a community-oriented cafe; a small exhibition space, the Campbell-Soady Gallery; and a cyber center.

Need to Know

Websites

There are tons of websites geared towards the goings-on of the city’s gay community.

Get Out! (www.getoutmag.com) Online version of a print guide to all things queer in town.

Gayletter (www.gayletter.com) E-newsletter covering queer-related culture, musings and parties.

Gay City News (www.gaycitynews.nyc) News and current affairs with a queer bent, as well as arts and travel reviews.

Metrosource (www.metrosource.com) Bimonthly publication with a focus on culture, design, entertainment and travel.

LGBT

  • NYC Pride Rainbow-clad pomp and circumstance.
  • Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay & Lesbian Art The world’s first LGBTIQ+ art museum.
  • Industry One of the best-loved bar-clubs in kicking Hell’s Kitchen.
  • Marie's Crisis Sing your heart out at this deliriously fun show-tunes bar in the West Village.
  • Duplex Camp quips, smooth crooners and a riotously fun piano bar define this Village veteran.
  • Eagle NYC Love-it-or-loathe-it debauchery and plenty of leather.

Places to Stay

Classic NYC Gay

  • Marie’s Crisis One-time hooker hangout turned Village show-tune piano bar.
  • Stonewall Inn Scene of rioting drag queens during the Stonewall riots of ’69.
  • Julius Bar The oldest gay in the Village.
  • Cock Tongue-in-cheek sleaze in a former gay-punk hangout.

Lesbian

  • Ginger’s Happy hour specials, karaoke and Sunday bingo pull the girls at Brooklyn’s G-Spot.
  • Cubbyhole A no-attitude Village veteran with jukebox tunes and chatty regulars.
  • Henrietta Hudson A fun, classic dive packed with super-cool rocker chicks.

Daytime Scene

  • Brunch on Ninth Avenue Pick a sidewalk table and do your bit for Neighborhood Watch, Hell’s Kitchen–style.
  • Shopping in Chelsea Style-up at Nasty Pig and other queer-centric Chelsea boutiques.
  • Pier 45 (Christopher Street Pier) Butt-hugging trunks and loved-up couples make this a summertime sunbaking staple.
  • Fire Island Mingle with the hot and rich at this sand-dune-swept playground just off of Long Island.

Dancefloors

  • Industry As night deepens, this Hell’s Kitchen hit turns from buzzing bar to thumping club.
  • Monster Cheeky go-go boys and cheekier drag queens keep the punters purring in the basement.
  • Therapy Small fun dancefloor when you need a break from the mega clubs.

Weeknights

  • Therapy Evening music, drag and showbiz guests give school nights some much-needed razzle dazzle.
  • Flaming Saddles Boot-scootin’ barmen pouring liquor down your throat – who said weeknights were boring?
  • Boxers NYC This sports bar sees dudes tackling the tighter ends on and off the field.

Events