Timeline of Midtown Gay History, 1961-2000

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1965    An association of local property owners and businessmen calls for what the New York Times pegs "a crackdown on Midtown's Social Misfits" in the area around Eighth Avenue and 42nd Street, including its hosts of "mincing perverts."

1968    Representatives from seminal East Coast gay organizations including the Mattachine Society, the Daughters of Bilitis, and the Student Homophile League meet for a conference, part of which was held at the private gay Corduroy Club (240 W.

38th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues).

1975    Gloria Gaynor is crowned the Queen of Disco at gay club Le Jardin (110 W. 43rd Street at Sixth Avenue) in the basement of the Diplomat Hotel.

1977    The legendary heavily gay Studio 54 (254 W. 54th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues) opens, as does many a celebrity coke vial on its dance floor.

1981    Love, Sidney introduces America to its first gay lead fictional television character, Sidney Shore (played by Tony Randall), who shares his Midtown apartment (136 E. 46th Street at Lexington Avenue) with a single mom and her daughter.

1982    Thirty or so of New York City's finest raid the black gay Blues Bar (264 W. 43rd Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues), destroying the place and severely injuring many, reportedly claiming their bullets were just "faggot suppositories"; no arrests are ever made, nor is an investigation even opened.

1990    Greta Lovisa Gustaffson, the sometime lesbian actress better known to the world (from which she wanted to be left alone) as Greta Garbo, dies at her Midtown home (450 E.

52nd Street, between First Avenue and FDR Drive).

1991    In support of the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization who had been refused a place in the St. Patrick's Day Parade, Mayor David Dinkins gives up his front-of-the-parade spot to join the march with members of the ILGO (who marched without banners as part of another group) near St. Patrick's Cathedral (460 Madison Avenue, between 50th and 51st Streets); beer cans and angry slurs are hurled at Dinkins from the sidelines.

1994    The city finally shuts down the Adonis Theatre (693 Eighth Avenue, between 43rd and 44th Streets), the last of Times Square's gay porn theaters.
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