This was my first lesbian bar -- my first queer bar of any kind. I was twenty-two and had just moved to new york and it was the year I would meet my first real girlfriend. Nearly seven years later I find the place is still the same. I live in another city but am staying with a friend, one of my queer chosen family, for the weekend. We sit in the back with our drinks and watch a throuple of (maybe teenage) baby dykes making out in matching backwards hats. They pick up a fourth at the bar. In front of us a group of older soft butches starts dancing and goofing around with some younger folks who have been dancing for what seems like hours. Everything is wonderful.
I realized I could be liked and cared for as a trans boy.
Had lesbian sex for the first time!
After pride we lay on your rainbow flag and read Dorian Grey.Touching without kissing because we didn’t want to change things. Things are different now but I wouldn’t change any of it.
I suggested the theater around union square because I thought that this park had the power to start things, even things that shouldn't have started. Also I wanted some new memories here.
We sat and talked for hours after seeing Call Me by Your Name. It was March, it was probably freezing, it was definitely dark then, and none of that mattered. You are my soulmate and I will talk to you forever.
This mediocre Irish pub. 3am on a weeknight. Age 21. First time I ever said out loud "I'm bi".
First came out to myself here. Thanks for the mems, Guild.
Listened to PYNK on repeat.
Was having a convo with my step mom about the future, she said something along the lines of "when you have a wife.... or husband..." and I flushed and got mad at her.
New Year's concert at Irving Plaza. The band was playing a cover of Staying Alive, and at the line "life is going nowhere, somebody help me" you turned to me and said "my life is going somewhere". We kissed. I fell even more in love with you than I thought I could.
We got too many giant cookies and came here for our three month anniversary. It was dark and we sat in the abandoned park and I was absolutely enchanted with you. I felt a rare absolute contentment. Thought you were my Plato other half, maybe.
Saw a gay couple kissing on the street and it honestly just made my day, I couldn't wipe the giant stupid smile off my face for the rest of the day.
Had a huge crush that made me question things. Lmao.
You called me over at 2 am just to hear my voice and look into my eyes. My heart still flutters thinking about that night.
We'd only been dating for six weeks when it came time for Halloween, 2017. You recently came out to me as non-binary, and expressed how you wanted me to teach you how I do my signature winged eyeliner look. We took over the bathroom in my dorm room and I made up your face, and when you looked at yourself in the mirror for the first time, visibly tangibly femme, you absolutely glowed with such joy. It's one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. We held hands the whole night, dressing up as goth twins, and I'm so glad I got to share that night with you, the first time you publicly presented femme. Our relationship didn't end well, but I hope that you think of that night fondly, because I do.
First date while I was on a work trip. It was so thrilling to hold your hand!
First time visiting my girlfriend’s parents house.
When you kissed me outside my parents' house.
Lived in my first apartment with my partner.
My gay self grew up here, discovered porn here, wrote many angsty journal entries here, etc. In particular, this is where I had a REALLY INTENSE sleepover with my then-best-friend who I was madly in love with but didn't know it yet. We were teenagers and thought we were super deep, and had a lot of intense conversations and I cried on her--my first time crying on one of my friends like that--and it all felt very deep and meaningful and transcendent. It was probably the night that kicked off my slow realization that I was in love with her. (She turned out to be kind of a jerk, but hey, I made it out of the closet and now am now having a gay ol' time, so meh!)
We were on the platform waiting for the E train when an old lady told us we made a good couple. We looked at each other awkwardly. I realized then that I was in love with him.
Staten Island dump. Maybe people cruised here.
Safe haven while I'm still working out the kinks of what it means to be a nonbinary gay person.
My first gay kiss & sexual encounter with another boy. We were 14.
I was never out growing up around here, but once showed my boyfriend around was empowering. It felt so good!
I'll never forget the first lesbian couple I saw in public. Made me feel so hopeful for the future.
Where my love and I established our life together with a community that supports and loved us.
Things are different now but I'll never forget how good they were.
This is where I grew up in my toddler years. <3
Bullied as a child here from K-8th grade for being the feminine kid.
First time getting chased for holding hands with my girlfriend in the subway.
Got my heart broken for the first time. Cried on the 1 train the whole way home.
You came out to me here in a december wind. I love you.
Bullied in middle school here, with people jeeringly calling me gay.
Fell in and out of love with a narcissist.
Spent a summer here; OITNB and Warehouse 13 taught me how gay I was.
Took an acting masterclass at Atlantic Acting School in the summer of 2015... that glorious week of the SCOTUS ruling. I was only 13 and highly closeted, just in the midst of realizing I wasn't straight, fittingly staying in an AirBnB right on Christopher Street- with both of my parents. Beginning to develop an obsession with Ruby Rose, getting irrationally excited about the rainbow flags hanging out of every window, the life-sized chocolate statue of two brides in the window of Li-Lac Chocolates... you know the drill. Anyway, June 26, around 10:30 AM, everyone's phone buzzes. A 9-year-old kid stands on a chair and yells, "GAY MARRIAGE IS LEGAL IN ALL 50 STATES!!" And no kidding, EVERYONE started cheering. We were all between like 8 and 15 years old, and being so young and insecure about my identity it was so reaffirming to be in a room full of celebration and support when this landmark moment happened. I've never felt more at the heart of history than in this exact second.
He kissed me here for the first time. I thought of him as the one who got away for years until I met the one who didn't.
I met the two guys I had the most formative NYC relationships with at the Phoenix, a couple years apart. They were both standing in pretty much the same place, by the pole with the flames painted on it.
At the cubbyhole, I told my girlfriend I loved her for the first time.
You made me feel heard. We scared some rats.
We (trans girl and trans guy) got drunk and tried to run into each other really fast so that maybe we would switch bodies.
Our first date spot; I knew I loved her in, like, 10 minutes.
First girl hit on me and turns out we're both Bi. Cross your fingers!
Met Hayley Kiyoko, a lesbian idol. Felt so gay and free singing along to her songs w/ a crowd of queers. Everything felt so right.
There's a sex shop here where it's generally safe for queers into dick, to get the dick. Mostly cis-man dick. Glory holes in the back. Have to pay for the "viewing rooms" though. Met a few cis-men into public sex here and there's lots of space around here to fool around.
The queers run this place!!!
Made out on a stoop here after Cubby Hole during the summer for what felt like hoursss.
Sometimes even in the shittiest places you can find some of the best queer pals, even if it does take 21 years.
Lots and lots of dates here. We bought each other books in the bookstore.
Where I found my first boyfriend, Sam <3
On the train right around here when I first read the email where my crush confessed their mutual crush (now we're married).
I told you I could fall in love with you... and I did.
We met outside Citipups for our first date. I had a 10 hour layover before going home to Ireland. I almost missed my flight. We didn’t kiss... until I came back 8 months later. We have kissed many times since.
I went on a tinder date with a boy at this school when I was a teenager and he was so icky!
The first time I officially moved in with someone I loved.
A lesbian lived here, 2000-2007!
We made out in your car here for a while, because we were both living with our parents and couldn't do it at home. What's it to be mid-20's, gay and living w/ your folks. It was still fun.
Made my first out gay friends and discovered my sexuality going to school here.
Where you broke my heart. 9 months of bliss and this was it. You had your reasons, which I understand now, but I didn’t then. I’d spend the next 2 years crying over you, wondering why I wasn’t enough. I could blame you all I wanted, but one smile from you and the whole world would still melt away. You were always it. (11th & 3rd)
Made out with you on a rooftop bar. You ghosted me a few weeks after.
Another guy and I fucked in the women's bathroom of this bar while all of our friends were none the wiser.
First time I met my girlfriend in person. I tackled/hugged her so hard she nearly fell over. We were both nervous wrecks. I panicked and spewed animal facts at her because I wanted to impress her. When I wasn't looking, she took a candid photo of me playing with the snakes, later telling me that she was surprised to find out she fell in love with a parseltongue.
First kissed my girlfriend.
Met my wife.
You kissed me in the philosophy aisle.
GodDAMMIT I had such a crush on you but we both had girlfriends at the wrong time.
Kyle accidentally started a lesbian cult.
Met you for the first time.
This is the spot where I first laid eyes on my fiancé. I remember shaking and almost dropping my headphones when they came over to me. I didn't know at the time that I was looking my forever in the eyes, I'll cherish this spot forever.
Went on a date with a cute girl and missed my chance to kiss her. Still haven't had a real kiss with a girl and I long for the experience.
Everyone at camp came out to me. I still didn't know about myself, even though I had been crushing on girls like nobody's business on the old yellow bus. The only people who suspected weren't nice about it.
Your birthday brunch.
Follow my story from the Manhattan bridge archway. Halloween of 2016, we partied all night at Bar 13 with his roommate and best friend.. they eventually left.. he took the opportunity to kiss me before we walked to Wendys while he kept me warm with his cape. We weren't new to making out, but this time both our hands fell down to our sides at the same time and it was the first time we held hands.
He touched me in ways he shouldn't have... damaging ways.
We sat in the semi-wet grass for ages. I couldn't stop touching her hair and breathing in the nearness of her.
I finally got up the nerve and told you to "move over" so I could climb into your dorm room single bed and kiss you.
Growing up around white, conservative, cop-loving Republican neighbors sucks so bad, but sometimes you hop the fence to the neighborhood pool and sit with your feet dangling in the water, sharing the secrets you've never told before. That's where I realized I was in love with you.
I told you I hadn't left my house after some shit that happened in DC and you squeezed my hand until your knuckles turned white.
Tried on a dress for the first time and immediately realized I was trans.
My first time being called my new name out loud. My whole body got chills.
I couldn’t sleep without him. I thought that meant something.
Kissed one of my best friends here on a school trip, just supposed to be a practice kiss but it changed my life. She didn't talk to me for the rest of the trip or when we got back, I later found out she was spreading rumors about me.
We had a fun fling once after a night of drinking. You came back to my place and told me I was the first man you were ever with; I appreciated it. I did not appreciate hearing that you went and came out as bi the next night at the same bar by telling everyone you fucked me.
First time I kissed / hooked up with another man and finally felt free to accept that I am in fact bisexual. <3
Already Gone” - Sleeping At Last
I had one of the best first dates here with you. I'm sad things couldn't work out but I'll always be happy we met.
1st gay crush.
We got married spur of the moment. We had the papers ready and were planning to wait until May. We had already picked a venue and started planning. But you needed better insurance and I was so very ready to marry you. I don't regret our tiny ceremony. I love you.
So much of that summer before we started dating was spent growing here. Movies, tears, meals. All our time was spent together.
Came out as trans in a PRIDE Alliance meeting at my college. I was so scared but no one seemed to think twice and it was a cool step for me.
Walked home alone at 2am after I first met you, couldn't get you out of my head.
When I first met you it felt like time and space stopped. I couldn't breathe. It became much harder to keep repressing what I'd subconsciously known all along.
So many queer people! The GSA summit was the most accepted I've felt in so long.
The place where I walked in circles for two hours calling people to tell them I was hiv+. It was a Saturday in early January, late in the afternoon. I started talking with the sun low in the sky and when I ended it was dark.
Saw a cute girl wearing les bons bons earrings and realized I was gay.
Fell in love with a woman for a second time!
Got really drunk at an office party. First time I ever said I was bi to anyone other than my partners.
For a while, I got to be myself here.
I was here when DOMA was repealed. Got caught up in the fervor and came out to my mom, who told me it "wasn't something (she) needs to know" and warned me not to tell my dad. Years later, my dad is much more supportive about it than my mom, who pretends it doesn't exist. This memory still stings.
Will always be physically attracted to you.
I had one of my strongest sexual experiences with a guy at West Side Club (gay bathhouse). He let me spoil him and talked dirty to me. What a depressing experience to see this bathhouse compared to the European ones I've seen. AIDS policy destroyed an entire subculture. The hamam in this bathhouse was closed, a sign explaining that the public health department closed it.
Told my brother I was gay.
Went on my first date at this Applebee’s!!
I had a feeling you were into me but I wasn't a bold moves kinda girl, my friend nudged me to stop being a wuss and text you. You got out of bed, AFTER MIDNIGHT, and joined us for those delicious sweet potato fries. Then we dated for 7yrs. Long live the Sidewalk Cafe.
When I ran away from home I stayed the night with a nice lady who lives above a chinese restaurant here. I was going through queer turmoil and eventually found my way from Oklahoma to nyc and it was the first soft place I slept in 3 months. She probably doesn't even remember me but she was the nicest person I met the entire time and made me miss my mother. A year later I'm out, proud, and have been on T for nearly 3 months.
Spent the afternoon with my ex at Snug Harbor and had a great time, but also remembered why he was my ex. We barely saw each other after that and no longer speak — probably both having come to that realization.
We hid behind these bushes until he'd fall asleep, waking up the next day and pretending nothing had happened the night before.
I discovered myself, my sexuality, and my voice as an early-blooming teenager in this house. My poor mother endured so much from me during these years. This is also where I had my first penetrative experience with another boy. Jerrell was his name.
I was stuck in traffic on the phone with my Grandma and she asked how she should refer to me.
The first time we made out on her bed. I was not in love, but it prepared me for future experiences with women. Her smile was so genuine. I wish I was nicer to her.
Found out my dad told my grandpa i was gay here. Cried because it made me really stressed.
I cried in the bathroom after the 2016 election, and realized I needed to come out, to show that people like me existed.
You told me to sit on your lap. I thought I was dreaming.
First time I called someone daddy during sex. He didn't end up having a Gramercy Park key.
You gave me your number on a street corner at midnight. My friend was vomiting. I said I liked your hair.
My first experience coming out to the rabbi of my shul was horrendous. So I called this rabbi, at a shul I had never been to, and told him my story. I was treated with respect. It blew my mind. I cried when i hung up. <3
She had no idea that I wanted to go up to the light booth and kiss her.
I picked you up off your train into the city. Your twirl hug made me melt.