OUTgoing: The Hidden History of New York's Gay Nightlife – is an effort to map documented historic locations of gay nightlife in New York City as far back and comprehensively as possible.
From historic records, we’ve gathered 969 nighttime spots – bars, clubs, bathhouses, coffee houses, cruising areas, late-night diners, etc – from the 1800s to 2015.
It is nowhere near complete, and you can help by sending edits through the form, also found at the top of the map and in location descriptions.
> Missing or wrong locations/dates/categories
> Stories about these places
Where are you getting your data?
Mainly gay guidebooks, which have been produced to help queers navigate strange cities since about 1966.
- Anything before then comes partially from texts about gay life (Gay New York, The Gay Metropolis, etc.) which have documented locations and clues to follow to find others. Also, there are municipal records – old police records and liquor licenses – but still researching those.
- As a project that attempts to document people who are in fluid in their characters and preferences, we use anecdotal stories, hearsay and gossip to reinforce our research. dates and specifics may not be accurate, but rest assured, it makes for a good time. Tell us if you have gossip:)
- A catalog of sources is coming very soon.
What other cities are you considering?
For the moment, New York is the one being actively built out. San Francisco has a good base of information, so it will begin development in the end of summer. It’ll require some travel. There is a GoFundMe to help with that effort.
How are you choosing sites?
This whole process is more of an art than a science. The locations are places of business that had their main activity after dark, or supported life after dark and were popular or used by LGBTs.
What do the data parts mean?
Name: The name of this location and, if identical in name to another, a qualifier (v1, v2, v3, after-hours, etc).
Open/Close dates: Approximate dates on most, more verified dates are coming. If you see one wrong, please let us know. If a date is completely unknown on both ends, it is generally listed as 5 years earlier and later, just to give a possible range.
When are the stories and images coming?
We are looking at a Fall 2015 release of this feature.
There is a bar on your map that isn’t gay. Why?
Some locations had a strong gay clientele for awhile then the crowd shifted. Example: The Four Seasons in the 50-60s was popular with gays but isn’t really now – so is listed only for that time approximate period.
Have a question you want answered? Ask below!
- Sign up for updates and enjoy the memories.
- Follow this project on Twitter @outgoingNYC
- Contact us by email
Big thanks to: Anthony Denaro, Chrys Wu, Joanne McNeil, Richard Dunks, Chris Henrick, Eric Brelsford, and the CartoDB crew.