Besides its larger-then-life sidewalks, hidden African-American cultural gems, historic and modern-day Renaissance, and of course the Apollo, Harlem is home to a thriving gay scene.
Every Day Is Gay Day In Harlem
On a weekend walk or afternoon cafe stop down Lenox, 125th Street, Frederick Douglas and other main Harlem thoroughfares, one can see a parade of gay men and women, mostly socializing in small groups or in transit to and from home to work or meetings. The number of LGBT people in Harlem is surprising to most, since the gay scenes of New York City are typically associated with tourist-heavy Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen; but a more subdued culture exists uptown.
Local Hangouts Trump Gay Streets
Locals hang out at LGBT-owned and friendly businesses. A growing number of small rainbow flag stickers appear in wine shops and on cafe doors welcoming not new clientele, but one that is perhaps more open in numbers.
The single hot streets of traditional gayborhoods gives way to several "it" places dispersed within the community. The advantage is one can discover hidden gems and share sophisticated spaces with like-minded and friendly people. One the other, rarely do Harlemites get together as a "community" in mass. That's why it's time for Harlem to celebrate its LGBT heritage and culture.
Harlem Host First Pride
Starting this year, Harlem will host its first pride weekend. Harlem Pride
will open on June 12th with the "Coming Out" art show and commence on the weekend of June 25th, with a VIP launch party, a festival along 119th Street (bet. Lenox and 5th Ave.), and a "Bowling With Pride" closing event.
"Harlem's Mount Morris Park Historic District because the area has become a thriving 'gayborhood,' and would be an excellent symbol of uptown gay pride," Harlem Pride organizers Lawrence Rodriguez and Carmen Neely said in a statement. "With thousands of
LGBT residents in Harlem and more visitors expected for general June Pride Month events, Harlem Pride's time has come."
Check out more information on Harlem Pride
after the jump.