The Maps

For a quick introduction on how to use these maps, check out the video on the Teaching & Research Tools for AEQNY page.

No one map will ever fully render queer history visible, let alone with a dozen or hundred or even a thousand maps. Our lives are too complex and dynamic to render to fixed points and lines, and assume all is revealed.

The project of mapping queer history then affords a radical way of seeing versions of our lives and pasts, to think in broader and deeper, distinct and more refined way about how gender, sexuality, race, class, ability, citizenship, and so on shape our lives. I offer two maps of LGBTQ history in New York City that show the diversity of queer life in the city.

Drawing on archival research I conducted at the Lesbian Herstory Archives (LHA) in Brooklyn, New York, I created . The LHA houses few collections that record the space and time of meetings, often as a way of offering protection and anonymity. For that reason, I am only (yet?) able to map the places listed in publications and LGBTQ organizations spanning my period of research from 1983 to 2008.

Teaching & Research Tools for AEQNY

Check out this first video to learn how to use the An Everyday Queer New York maps for your teaching or research.

A further series of teaching posts for use in high school and college classrooms will be posted soon. Check back for updates!

Wanda '84's mental map of New York City. CC-BY Jack Gieseking 2020.
Wanda ’84’s mental map of New York City. CC-BY Jack Gieseking 2020.

About A Queer New York, the Book

Use QUEERNY30 on the NY Press website for 30% off.

Over the past few decades, rapid gentrification in New York City has led to the disappearance of many lesbian and queer spaces, from beloved feminist bookstores to iconic local lesbian bars. Many neighborhoods inhabited by lesbian and queer communities for decades have since been gentrified by the white and wealthy, displacing some of the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ community. In A Queer New York, Jen Jack Gieseking highlights the historic significance of these spaces, mapping the political, economic, and geographic dispossession of an important, thriving community that once called certain New York neighborhoods home.

Focusing on a number of well-known neighborhoods, such as Greenwich Village, Park Slope, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Crown Heights, Gieseking shows how lesbian and queer spaces have largely folded under the capitalist influence of white, wealthy gentrifiers. With a compassionate eye, they focus on how these radical changes have impacted poor and working-class lesbians and queers—particularly those of color—many of which  have often struggled to assert their right to the city. Nevertheless, Gieseking highlights the resilience of lesbian and queer communities who continue to carve out spaces—and lives—in a city that many still call home, even if only symbolically. Beautifully written, A Queer New York is an eye-opening account of how lesbians and queers have survived in the face of twenty-first century gentrification and urban development.