Collectives, Enclaves, and Gayborhoods: Pier 45, NY

View of the Pier from the water.
Christopher Street Pier (Pier 45) taken from the Hudson River.

Photo by Joe Mabel (CC BY SA 2.0;

Since the 1970s, the Christopher Street Pier (Pier 45) has been a popular meeting place for drag queens, as well as gay and transgender people. The pier has been a popular social spot for decades, particularly for communities of color, despite pressure from residents and local authorities. With a deep history of oppression and abuse, queer people of color have found space to call their own on the margins of less desirable neighborhoods across the country. In the case of Pier 45, an area that was once ignored and left to the enjoyment of queer social outcasts came to be identified as edgy, trendy, and queer friendly, bringing in wealthier residents and putting pressure on local authorities to remove the "rowdy youths" disrupting the neighborhood.

Part of a series of articles titled Finding Our Place: LGBTQ Heritage in the United States.

Last updated: February 20, 2018