(NYC) An LGBT Alumni Tour of Greenwich Village

  • 19 Apr 2015
  • 2:00 PM
  • New York, NY

FFR/Princeton BTGALA Presents...
An LGBT Alumni Tour of Greenwich Village!
New York, NY

WHEN: Sunday, April 19th, leaving at 2PM
WHERE: Meet in front of Barnes and Nobles on the North side of Union Square (33 E 17th St)
COST: $20, payable in advance
RSVP: Please prepay and register at Zerve. The password is Princeton! Availability is limited to 20 pre-paid guests.

We all know about the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village. But who knows that Mae West was arrested in Manhattan for producing a pro-gay-rights play in 1926? Or that Walt Whitman read his homoerotic poems to friends at a bar on Broadway? Professor Andrew Lear has designed a series of tours to bring New York's gay *history* out of the closet.

On this tour, we venture from Union Square to Washington Square and into the heart of the West Village, where the Stonewall riots took place in 1969 and the first Gay Pride parade started a year later. But the Village's gay history goes back a century before that, to Walt Whitman's time. Like Paris' Left Bank, the Village has been the center of all of the city's many countercultures and artistic movements, from the Bohemians of the World War I period to the Beats, the Abstract Expressionists, the New York School, Pop Art, the creators of Off (and Off-Off) Broadway, and of course the gay liberation movement.

We see the places where Villagers have lived and loved, including the sites of the drag shows and gay bars which have dotted the Village for 150 years–in particular the Stonewall Inn. The list of LGBT greats we discover reads like a history of American culture: Herman Melville and Henry James, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Eleanor Roosevelt, James Baldwin, Allen Ginsberg, Andy Warhol, as well as a host of other famous names including gay icon Billie Holiday.

Andrew Lear is a Classicist and art historian. He has taught at Harvard, Columbia, and NYU. He is the author of Images of Ancient Greek Pederasty, currently the leading book on same-sex love in ancient Greek art. In the last year, he has left academia and founded Oscar Wilde Tours, the first company to offer tours focused on LGBT history. Professor Lear spoke to us on the UK National Portrait Gallery in November and ran an LGBT tour of the Metropolitan Museum for our group in February. This April, Oscar Wilde Tours will start running gay history tours of New York.

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