Throughout its history, New Yorkers have led the charge for equality, including fighting for the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) individuals. In 1969, a spark was lit in the already growing gay rights movement at the Stonewall Uprising in Greenwich Village, NYC. As the movement continued to grow nationally over the next few decades, New Yorkers participated in activism across the state, from the struggles of Gay Liberation through the AIDS crisis to the successful fight for marriage equality in 2011. New York holds a special place in LGBTQ+ history, as a haven for those in search of a safer environment and like-minded companionship, when strict laws across the country kept many deep in the closet. Across the state, the LGBTQ+ community has celebrated its strength and diversity, while working for equal rights, visibility, and inclusion through protest, pride celebrations, and community center activities.
The New York State Museum has a small, but growing collection, that tells the story of LGBTQ+ New Yorkers, and the continuing fight for equality.