From the Holocaust in Europe to the civil rights movement in the United States, there’s a lot to learn about the fight for gay and lesbian equality. Here’s our list of 10 LGBT landmarks that will make those fascinating, and in some cases, heartbreaking historical moments come to life!
10. Dr. Frank Kameny's Home
At 5020 Cathedral Avenue NW, you’ll find the home and office of Dr. Kameny. The LGBT activist and co-founder of the Mattachine Society of Washington worked diligently to overturn sodomy laws in the 1960s. Kameny is also credited with helping to eliminate homosexuality as a mental illness from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
9. Gay and Lesbian Holocaust Memorial
If you’re taking a stroll through Green Park in Darlinghurst (a Sydney gayborhood), you won’t miss the large pink triangle built to commemorate the lives of thousands of gays and lesbians killed in the Holocaust. Green Park is right next to Sydney Jewish Museum.
8. Walt Whitman’s Tomb
This famous literary figure is discussed as much for his sexuality as he is for his brilliant poetry. Whitman died more than a century ago, but fans of his work can still visit his granite tomb at Harleigh Cemetery, built into a wooded hill.
7. Versace Mansion
More than a decade after Gianni Versace was killed, the fashion designer’s home and the scene of his murder continues to be a macabre tourist attraction. Versace was killed by Andrew Cunanan, a gay man from San Diego who went on a cross-country killing spree. Cunanan murdered five people, including Versace, before killing himself.
6. Gay Holocaust Memorial
This unique monument was erected three years ago next to Berlin’s main Holocaust memorial in Tiergarten Park. The structure is a simple grey concrete slab with a window which allows visitors to watch a video of two men kissing.
5. Matthew Shepard Memorial Bench
The horrific murder of Matthew Shepard shocked the nation and a decade after his death, the University of Wyoming put a bench in Quealy Plaza to celebrate his life. Shepard’s brutal death inspired an award-winning play and tougher legislation for crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation.
4. Oscar Wilde Statue
The next time you’re in Merrion Square, stop by and visit “The Queer with the Leer.” On the northwest corner you’ll find a multicolored stone statue of the literary genius sitting on a large granite boulder.
3. Castro Camera
What’s now the HRC store on Castro Street used to be Harvey Milk’s camera shop and headquarters for the pioneer LGBT politician’s various campaigns. Some visitors say they’ve seen Milk’s ghost roaming around the store.
The most iconic gay Holocaust monument is a large granite triangle made up of three smaller pink triangles in the center of Amsterdam. The landmark opened in 1987 and sits on the bank of the Keizersgracht canal, near the historic Westerkerk church. One triangle points in the direction of the house where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis.
1. Stonewall Inn
New York City
The bar that served at the first battleground of the gay liberation movement in the United States is a designated National Historic Landmark. In 1969, gay patrons started fighting back against police raids at the bar, triggering the legendary Stonewall Riots. The bar reopened in the late 1990s but closed again in 2006.
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