The queer history of New York City
NYC, New York, USA

NYC’s LGBT+ roll of honour

Here are just some of the astonishing number of famous names in New York City’s LGBT+ history. They are mostly creative or performing artists, underlining the important role the arts have always played here.

PoetsPlaywrightsNovelists
John Ashbery, W H Auden, Hart Crane, Allen Ginsberg, Langston Hughes, Audre Lorde, Frank O’Hara, Edna St Vincent Millay Edward Albee, Noël Coward, Arthur Laurents, Tennessee Williams, Lanford WilsonJames Baldwin, Djuna Barnes, Rita Mae Brown, William S Burroughs, Truman Capote, Henry James, Larry Kramer, Carson McCullers, Herman Melville, Felice Picano, Edmund White
EssayistsArtistsPhotographers
Fran Lebowitz, Eleanor Roosevelt, Susan Sontag Jean-Michel Basquiat, Paul Cadmus, Charles Demuth, Keith Haring, Marsden Hartley, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, Andy Warhol, David Wojnarowicz Berenice Abbott, Alvin Baltrop, Nan Goldin, Robert Mapplethorpe, George Platt Lynes, Francesco Scavullo
DesignersComposersSingers
Thom Browne, Tom Ford, Calvin Klein, Gianni Versace Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, John Cage, Aaron Copland, Jonathan Larson, Gian Carlo Menotti, Cole Porter, Ned Rorem, Stephen Sondheim, Ray Stonghorn, Virgil Thomson Alberta Hunter, Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters
ChoreographersPerformersRockstars
Alvin Ailey, Merce Cunningham, Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor, Antony Tudor Penny Arcade, Joey Arias, Justin Vivian Bond, Montgomery Clift, Quentin Crisp, Alan Cumming, Greta Garbo, Joel Grey, Rudolf Nureyev David Bowie, Lou Reed

Please note that this list is partial, compiled with a ‘vague’ definition of a ‘New Yorker’ in mind and the realisation that names could belong in more than one category.