4 Ways to Get Around in New York City

Visiting NYC can be daunting for folks who aren’t used to using public transportation. Luckily I have a cheat sheet for you guys right here.
Cabs
Taking a cab in NYC is very convenient if you are traveling in a small a group. While cabs can be expensive they will drop you off exactly where you ask to go and they are accessible from almost any corner in Manhattan. For more information on taking cabs in NYC check out 10 Tips for Getting a Cab Like a Boss.
Subway & Bus
NYC’s subway system is very regular and very consistent. Each way is $2.50 and will take you just about anywhere you’d want to go in the five boroughs. If you are going to be in town for longer than a day or two invest in the unlimited pass it’s worth it if you are going more than two places per day. The pass works for all subway trains and MTA buses. If you’re worried about getting lost, download one of the many transit apps. I like City Mapper but there are a million out there. This $2 investment will save you lots of headaches and help you know exactly where to get on and off.
Walking
New Yorkers walk A LOT. Our idea of a short walk is worlds different than most people’s idea. When you visit NYC make sure you’re wearing good walking shoes, you’ll need them. Also, take a stroll down the Highline. It’s an old elevated railroad track turned urban park. It’s gorgeous and a great way to spend a warm afternoon.
Car
Parking is a nightmare and extremely expensive. Plus, traffic is crazy and meter maids are quick to give parking tickets. I’ve known dozens of people who’ve gotten towed. I do not recommend driving in NYC unless you are very familiar with the traffic and parking patterns. If you have no problem driving in city traffic, then rental cars can be picked up at any of the airports.

Lesbian Travel Guide: 12 Things To Do In New York City

As a New Yorker, I’m always being asked for insider tips and tricks to my hometown. NYC is so big that you could spend a year here and never see everything. Have realistic goals for your first trip. Here are 12 of my favorite attractions for first timers in NYC.

Brooklyn Bridge

Photo Credit Pete LaMotte-LGBT Guide to New York City-Lesbian Travel Guide DopesOnTheRoad.com

Photo Credit Pete LaMotte


The Brooklyn Bridge has the best view of the NYC skyline. Start out on the Brooklyn side and walk over the bridge towards Manhattan. Try to avoid going during the workday rush hour and make sure you wear good walking shoes because the bridge is over a mile long. While you walk across the bridge make sure you stop in the middle to get the iconic center bridge photo.

Statue of Liberty & Elis Island

If you’re a history buff, take the Elis Island tour and spend the day exploring the exhibits at the Elise Island Museum. If you’re not into the museums save some cash and take the Staten Island Ferry. It goes right by the Statue of Liberty for a photo opp and it’s free.

Pro Sports Game

NYC has eight professional sports teams… and the Mets. If you even have a passing interest in sports, there is an event for you. Catch a Brooklyn Nets game, who knows, maybe co-owners Jay-Z and Beyonce will be courtside. If football is more your thing check out Giants Stadium. Don’t forget about the Yankees! They have a brand new stadium up in the Bronx that is a site to see in itself.

Broadway Performance

Most people who come to NYC will see a Broadway show at some point. An insider trick is to grab your tickets at the TKTS Booth in Time Square, but all locals know there is another TKTS Booth at South Street Seaport that has about ¼ the line. Plus, at South Street Seaport they don’t sell out as quickly and you can enjoy and incredible views of the Brooklyn Bridge while you wait. If you come to NYC for theater, join The Theater Development Fund for huge discounts on last minute shows.

Time Square

As a New Yorker, I have to admit, I have a bit of a personal bias against Time Square. It’s loud, crowded and full of slow walking tourists. That being said, I have to admit, It’s a pretty incredible sight the first time you see it. The bright lights, giant crowds and comically large retail stores can be a spectacular sight for someone not used to big city living. Pop into the American Eagle store for a chance to get your picture projected on the big screen outside the store. This is the perfect opportunity for an Instagram worthy shot.

 Local Tips 

Apollo Theater

Apollo Theater Amateur Night- LGBT Guide to NYC- Lesbian Travel Guide-DopesOnTheRoad.com
The Apollo Theater is located on 125th street in the heart of Harlem. It’s famous for being the place where dozens of famous acts were discovered. Ella Fitzgerald and Michael Jackson both got their start under the bright lights of the Apollo. Go for Amateur night to see undiscovered performers compete for the chance to make it big.

Prospect Park

Prospect Park is like Central Park’s edgier younger sister. Sure, Central Park is glamorous and glossy in all the magazines but Prospect Park is just as cool in a more funky downtown way. Grab a blanket to people watch all the hipsters or take a date to the zoo and relive your childhood for an afternoon.

Nick-Walker-Danielle-Mastrion-and-Concrete-Jungle-street-art-in-Bushwick-Five-Points-LGBT-Guide-NYC-

Artist Credit: Nick Walker

Street Art in Bushwick

Bushwick is a working class neighborhood in Brooklyn that has become a mecca for incredible street art. As artists were forced out of NYC’s historic Fivepointz last year, street art in Bushwick has soared. If you aren’t sure where to go you can book a free tour with Free Tours by Foot.

The Boxx

The Boxx

The Box

The Box is one of those places that everyone in New York has heard a story about. Everyone has a friend of a friend who saw the naked guy eating pizza covered in plastic clothespins. Or knows the girl who did the aerial silks act with nothing but pasties on. The box is a nightclub known for its burlesque-circus style freak-show. If you can get past the velvet rope, you’ll be in for a night like no other.

LGBT 

Christopher Street

Christopher Street- LGBT Guide to NYC-Lesbian Travel Guide-DopesOnTheRoad.com

Photo Credit m01229


Christopher street is the birthplace of the LGBT rights movement. For the last 50 years, this neighborhood has been a safe haven for the queer community. Stop at Stonewall, Yes, I’m talking about THE Stonewall. Every LGBT person visiting NYC should see the Stonewall as a tourist destination and pillar of our community. But let’s be real, while it does have some fascinating history, it also is a bar. A bar that has a great casual atmosphere with pool tables and an upstairs dancing area. Head upstairs on a Friday night, it’ll be packed with sweaty people breaking it down to a mix of pop and hip-hop.Don’t forget to check out the small memorial in the triangle park out front.  After you visit Stonewall make your way down to what remains of the Christopher street pier and send out thoughts of thanks to the folks who fought for our rights before it was popular to do so.

Lips

Lips is a delightfully campy and a tiny bit tacky drag restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Honestly, I’d be disappointed if a drag themed restaurant wasn’t camp and tacky. Lips is a one part American restaurant and two parts drag show where all the performers are drag queens. If you’re really in for a treat go on a Sunday when the drag gospel choir takes us to church.

Leslie-Lohman Museum of LGBT Art

I recently wrote a review on the Leslie- Lohman Museum. You can find it here.  That being said, I believe that this small museum is one of the most important LGBT cultural landmarks in NYC. The Leslie-Lohman Museum was built out of a need to preserve the history of the LGBT community during the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. At the time, many people thought that AIDS was going to wipe out the population of queer people. Go to this museum, support our history and make a donation.
 
 
 

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[Additional terms and conditions may also apply to specific portions, services, or features of the Website. All such additional terms and conditions are hereby incorporated by this reference into these Terms of Use.]]

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Governing Law and Jurisdiction

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Any legal suit, action, or proceeding arising out of, or related to, these Terms of Use or the Website shall be instituted exclusively in the federal courts of the United States or the courts of the State of New York, in each case located in the City of New York and County of Kings County,] [although we retain the right to bring any suit, action, or proceeding against you for breach of these Terms of Use in your country of residence or any other relevant country]. You waive any and all objections to the exercise of jurisdiction over you by such courts and to venue in such courts.

Arbitration

At Company’s sole discretion, it may require You to submit any disputes arising from these Terms of Use or use of the Website, including disputes arising from or concerning their interpretation, violation, invalidity, non-performance, or termination, to final and binding arbitration under the Rules of Arbitration of the American Arbitration Association applying New York law.

Limitation on Time to File Claims

ANY CAUSE OF ACTION OR CLAIM YOU MAY HAVE ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THESE TERMS OF USE OR THE WEBSITE MUST BE COMMENCED WITHIN ONE (1) YEAR AFTER THE CAUSE OF ACTION ACCRUES; OTHERWISE, SUCH CAUSE OF ACTION OR CLAIM IS PERMANENTLY BARRED.

Waiver and Severability

No waiver by the Company of any term or condition set out in these Terms of Use shall be deemed a further or continuing waiver of such term or condition or a waiver of any other term or condition, and any failure of the Company to assert a right or provision under these Terms of Use shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.

If any provision of these Terms of Use is held by a court or other tribunal of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable for any reason, such provision shall be eliminated or limited to the minimum extent such that the remaining provisions of the Terms of Use will continue in full force and effect.

Entire Agreement

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The Ultimate Lesbian Books List; 75 Lesbian Stories to Read ASAP

The Ultimate Lesbian Books List; 75 Lesbian Stories to Read ASAP

Lesbian literature is an extensive genre-spanning over 2,500 years. Though the ancient Grecian poet Sappho is credited with producing the earliest forms of lesbian writing, the genre as we know it today began taking shape in the 19th century. Works from this period relied heavily on subtext and most often ended in heartache or tragedy, while the early 20th century saw the arrival of specific references to lesbianism in literature. The Well of Loneliness, published in 1928, is considered the first English language novel with explicitly lesbian themes. Lesbian literature surged in popularity during the ’50s and ’60s with the publication of pulp fiction novels and Women’s Barracks, Tereska Torres’ dime-store novel about World War II was the first of its kind. The foundational texts of lesbian literature were written in the latter 20th century. Today, the genre has expanded to include a more diverse and intersectional representation.

Overwhelmed with the myriad of great titles to choose from? Hungry for more lesbian literature? Use this list to find the best lesbian books in any genre.

Lesbian Fiction Books

The Price of Salt (1952) – Patricia Highsmith

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The critically acclaimed film Carol is based on The Price of Salt, one of the earliest lesbian romance novels with a happy ending. In a tale of infatuation at first sight, discontent department store worker Therese is instantly enamored with Carol, an elegant older woman who purchases a doll for her daughter. Carol leaves her address so the doll may be delivered which Therese uses to send Carol a Christmas card. Carol, who is in the midst of a bitter divorce, responds. As Carol and Therese begin spending time together, their attraction intensifies.

Read the Book // Watch the Movie

 

The Color Purple (1982) – Alice Walker

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Winner of the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Color Purple tells the story of Celie, a poor girl living in the rural South under bitter conditions. Celie is abused by her father then married off to another abusive man, Mister. Mister’s mistress, a sultry jazz singer named Shug, comes to stay with Celie and Mister while recovering from an illness. Celie and Shug develop an intimate relationship.

Read the Book // Watch the Movie

 

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1987) – Fannie Flagg

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While visiting her mother-in-law in an Alabama nursing home, bored housewife Evelyn Couch strikes up a friendship with Ninny Threadgoode, an elderly resident. Ninny tells Evelyn about her childhood in the 1920s when Ruth Jamison, a pious and proper young woman came to live with the Threadgoodes in order to tame rambunctious tomboy Idgie. Idgie and Ruth become inseparable and develop an unspoken attraction. To Idgie’s dismay, Ruth must leave Whistle Stop at the end of summer to marry Frank Bennett. Years later, Idgie and Ruth reconnect.   

Read the Book // Watch the Movie

 

Stone Butch Blues (1993) – Leslie Feinberg

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Jess struggles to navigate life as a butch lesbian in1970s upstate New York. She finds refuge and community in gay bars and is taken under the wings of older butches. Cops raid the bar, harass and arrest everyone inside, and the bar closes down leaving Jess homeless. In a harrowing tale of survival, Jess searches for another place to fit in and finds herself along the way.

Read the Book

 

Fingersmith (2002) – Sarah Waters

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Sarah Waters is a prolific writer of lesbian historical fiction. Fingersmith and Tipping the Velvet, her two most prominent works, were adapted into BBC mini-series. Fingersmith follows Sue, a pickpocketing orphan raised on the streets of Victorian London. One night, she is approached by a con man who seeks her assistance in defrauding the heiress Maud Lilly and having her committed to an insane asylum. Sue agrees and poses as a maid to gain Maud’s trust. When they form an unexpected bond, Sue begins regretting her involvement in the con man’s scheme, but it may be too late.

Read the Book // Watch the Movie

 

Sing You Home (2011) – Jodi Picoult

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Zoe and her husband Max want to have a baby but are unable to conceive. They try in vitro fertilization and give up after multiple unsuccessful attempts. The couple’s fertility issues strain their marriage leading to divorce. Later, Zoe meets Vanessa Shaw. The two women fall in love, get married, and decide to have children using the frozen embryos from Zoe’s previous marriage. But first, they need permission from Max, now a born again Christian uncomfortable with his ex-wife’s new relationship.  

Read the Book

Other titles to check out: The Well of Loneliness, Patience and Sarah, Orlando, Zami: A New Spelling of my Name, The Hours, Middlesex

Young Adult Lesbian Books

Annie on my Mind (1982) – Nancy Garden

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Annie on my Mind was one of the first young adult books to portray a lesbian love story between teenagers. Annie and Liza are two seventeen-year-olds coming of age in New York City. Annie lives in an upscale neighborhood and attends a private school while Liza comes from a lower-class background. Despite their differences, Annie and Liza meet at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on one fateful rainy day and fall in love.

Read the Book

 

Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit (1985) – Jeanette Winterson

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Though not a memoir, Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit is semi-autobiographical and details Jeanette’s experience coming of age in an evangelical household in England. Because of her staunchly religious upbringing, Jeanette is an outcast at school. She begins a relationship with another girl which makes her an outcast at church as well and complicates her feelings about faith.

Read the Book // Watch the Movie

 

Keeping You A Secret (2003) – Julie Anne Peters

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Peters is a well known YA writer whose books feature LGBT characters. Other prominent titles include Luna, Between Mom and Jo, and Rage: A Love Story. In the novel, 17-year-old Holland is crushing her senior year of high school—she has a great boyfriend; she’s Student Council President, and she’s headed to an Ivy League. But the arrival of new girl CeCe makes Holland question everything.

Read the Book

 

The House You Pass on the Way (2003) – Jacqueline Woodson

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Staggerlee has never fit in: she’s biracial in a predominantly black town and her grandparents were killed in an infamous racist bombing. As a result of unwanted attention, Staggerlee is quiet and keeps to herself. All that changes when Trout, her outspoken cousin, comes to visit. They spend a transformative summer together helping each other come to terms with their identities.

Read the Book

 

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2012) – Emily M. Danforth

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In 1990’s Montana, 12-year-old Cameron Post loses her parents in a car crash and is taken in by her religious aunt and grandmother. While processing her parents’ death, Cameron begins questioning her sexuality and falls in love with her best friend Coley Taylor. Cameron’s conservative aunt finds out and resorts to drastic measures in order to “fix” Cameron. The novel was turned into a 2018 film which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.

Read the Book // Watch the Movie

Other titles to check out: Rubyfruit Jungle, Everything Leads to You, Juliet Takes a Breath, If You Could Be Mine, You Know Me Well, Boyfriends with Girlfriends, Little & Lion

Lesbian Fantasy Books

Ash (2009) – Malinda Lo

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A dazzling retelling of Cinderella, Ash is the story of a teenage girl forced to live with her cruel stepmother after her father’s death. Ash finds solace in fairy tales and wishes a fairy would steal her away. One night, she is approached by a fairy prince with the power to grant her wish, but the next morning she meets the King’s Huntress Kaisa and falls quickly in love with her. Now, Ash is faced with a difficult decision: go with the fairy prince or stay with Kaisa. A prequel, Huntress, is set in the same universe.  

Read the Book

 

Of Fires and Stars (2016) – Audrey Coulthurst

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Denna has been betrothed to the prince of Mynaria since childhood, but she has the ability to conjure fire which and magic is forbidden in Mynaria. As future queen, Denna must learn to ride warhorses and her teacher is none other than her betrothed’s sister: Mare. Denna and Mare do not get along, but when an assassin strikes, they must team up for the fate of the kingdom.

Read the Book

Other titles to check out: Kissing the Witch: Old Tales in New Skins, Labyrinth Lost, Girls of Paper and Fire, The Abyss Surrounds Us, The Dark Wife, The Warrior’s Path

Lesbian Vampire Books

Carmilla (1872) –  Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

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Carmilla is one of the earliest vampire stories, even predating Dracula. When a mysterious girl named Carmilla arrives in town unexpectedly, Austrian teenager Laura is happy to have a new friend. The two become close, but Carmilla’s sudden mood changes and refusal to divulge anything about her past drives a wedge between them. Meanwhile, girls in nearby towns are dying from an unusual ailment. The book inspired the popular lesbian web series Carmilla and a movie of the same name. The entire novella can be read online at Project Gutenberg.

Read the Book // Watch the Movie

 

The Gilda Stories (1991) – Jewelle Gomez

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Told through a series of vignettes, The Gilda Stories depicts the many lives of a black lesbian vampire over a 200 year period from 1850 to 2050. The novel won two Lambda Literary Awards, one in fiction and one in science fiction.

Read the Book

Other titles to check out: The Midnight Hunt, Women of the Bite: A Lesbian Vampire Anthology

Lesbian Comic Books

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic (2007) – Alison Bechdel

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Adapted into a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Fun Home is a graphic memoir of Bechdel’s relationship with her emotionally distant father who ran the town’s funeral home. When her father dies mysteriously, Bechdel uncovers his hidden gay past while also discovering her own sexuality. Bechdel is the recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Award. Other works include a second graphic memoir Are You My Mother and Dykes to Watch Out For, a lesbian comic strip that ran for 25 years.

Read the Comic

 

Lumberjanes (2014) – Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Brooklyn A. Allen and Noelle Stevenson

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In this comic book series, Lumberjane Scouts Mal, Ripley, Molly, April, and Jo realize they got more than bargained for when they discover mythical creatures and supernatural phenomena at summer camp. The gang decides to solve the mystery of these strange occurrences, earning scout badges along the way. Noelle Stevenson is also behind Nimona, a sci-fi/fantasy graphic novel about a mad scientist’s shapeshifting sidekick.  

Read the Comic

Other titles to check out: Skim, Batwoman: Elegy, Bingo Love

Lesbian Romance Novels

When Katie Met Cassidy (2018) – Camille Perri

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Successful lawyer Katie Cassidy must reevaluate her ideal of a perfect life when her fiance suddenly dumps her. Reeling from the breakup, Katie agrees to have after-work drinks with a coworker, the confident and dapper Cassidy. Katie and Cassidy push each other out of their comfort zones and a sexy game of cat and mouse ensues.  

Read the Book

 

The Gravity Between Us (2013) – Kristen Zimmer

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Payton and Kendall have been best friends since childhood, but Kendall is a rising starlet poised to become Hollywood’s next “it” girl. To keep herself grounded, Kendall moves Payton to Hollywood with her. Payton has been harboring a secret: she is in love with Kendall and terrified her feelings won’t be reciprocated. Payton must pluck up the courage to confess her feelings even if it might ruin the friendship they both cherish.

Read the Book

Other titles to check out: Blend, Waiting in the Wings

Lesbian Short Stories

Her Body and Other Parties (2018) – Carmen Maria Machado

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A lyrical debut combining multiple genres of speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, fabulism), this collection uses magical realism to center women and their experiences in society. Each story examines what’s inflicted upon women’s bodies whether it’s sexuality and sensuality or violation and violence.

Read the Stories

 

Trash: Stories (2002) – Dorothy Allison

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In this collection, Allison interrogates the South’s troubled history with evangelicalism, social class, racism, sexism, and homophobia in raw and realistic detail. These stories offer a visceral portrait of heartache and humanity’s darkest impulses that are difficult to encounter but impossible to ignore. Allison is also the author of the novel Bastard out of Carolina.

Read the Stories

Other titles to check out: Am I Blue, Missed Her, Valencia, Felt in the Jaw

New Lesbian Books

The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles) (2018) – Amy Spalding

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Out 17-year-old Abby Ives runs a plus-size fashion blog and dreams of making it big in the fashion world. When she has the opportunity to intern at her favorite boutique over the summer, Abby feels like her dreams are finally coming true. Complicating matters, Abby starts crushing on Jordi Perez, a fellow intern she’s competing against for a paid position at the boutique.

Read the Book

 

Stray City (2018) – Chelsey Johnson

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After a drunken hookup with a man, 24-year-old Andrea Morales discovers she is pregnant. Though her tight-knit group of queer friends express concern, Andrea decides to keep the baby. 10 years later, Andrea’s daughter Lucia wants to know more about her father.

Read the Book

Other titles to check out: The Love & Lies of Rukhsana Ali, Pulp, Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World, Just for Show

Bisexual Books

Empress of the World (2003) – Sara Ryan

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Nicola attends the Seigel Institute, a college preparatory summer program and quickly fits in with a group of new friends. Nic is inexplicably drawn to one of them, the beautiful Battle Hall Davies, and their dynamic soon evolves from friends to something more.

Read the Book

 

Queens of Geek (2017) – Jen Wilde

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Three best friends and proud geeks attend the popular fan convention SupaCon. Charlie, a vlogger and actress who just had a public breakup with her costar Reese has her eyes set on the con’s surprise guest: Alyssa Huntington.

Read the Book

Other titles to check out: Under the Udala Trees, Love in the Time of Global Warming, Not Otherwise Specified, Corona, The Life and Death of Sophie Starks

 

The Best LGBT Photographers Documenting Our Community

The Best LGBT Photographers Documenting Our Community

Photography plays an important part in documenting the experiences of queer people. LGBT photographers have documented everything from the biggest touchpoints of the queer rights movement all the way through the tiniest most intimate details of our journey to create families of choice. Media representation of our community hasn’t always been as accessible as it is now – keep in mind that it wasn’t until the 90s that we even saw LGBT characters on TV. The LGBT photographers on our list today have given our community the gift of access to millions of queer people from every walk of life. These photographers have allowed us to see ourselves reflected in the media we consume. There’s immense power in seeing yourself reflected- not only does it allow us to see the diversity and nuance in our people, but it also gives us models of hope for our future.

Grace Chu

 

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Grace Chu is a 2018 Brooklyn Nightlife Awards Winner Best Photographer. Official photographer of Reykjavik Pride 2018 and 2019. House of Yes, Hot Rabbit, Ellis, Whitney Day Events, Babetown, Alexander Wang, and more. Grace loves capturing anything with movement and exuberance. Grace says the best part of her job is capturing happiness, letting go of inhibitions and ferocity, because this world can be a rigid and unhappy place. Getting the shot for the performers in queer nightlife, because they put so much time into their craft and looks that they should be documented and recorded. Traveling abroad for shoots and making new friends. Really, all of it. Grace’s tips for hiring a photographer are “I’m just going to put out the obligatory heads up to anyone wanting an outdoor shoot in NYC, which is one of the most crowded places in the world: the best time for an outdoor shoot is early in the morning right after sunrise. Yes, I know it is early, but if you want excellent lighting you have two choices when it is sunny: right after sunrise, or right before sunset. Everyone wants a shoot at an iconic public place in NYC, such as Central Park or Brooklyn Bridge, but if you go during sunset, groups of tourists will be in them taking the exact same shots. So if you want other people taking selfies in your special photo or photo-bombing, choose sunset. They have every right to use a public place as you do. So if you’re fine with a bunch of strangers potentially making funny faces or scratching their butt in the background, by all means, go at sunset. But if you want it all to yourself, choose sunrise. If you can’t get up early, then choose a place off the beaten path.”

Follow Grace Chu: Web Page, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter


Jamie Thrower

 

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Jamie Thrower is the owner and Queer femme photographer at Studio XIII Photography, an LGBTQ photography studio. In addition to being a published photographer, she is an avid traveler, writer and loves combining activism and photography whenever possible. She lives in Portland, OR with her wife, their dog and cat, and chickens named after L-word characters. Yes, really. Jamie loves photographing people. Whether it’s couples or a family or an individual– there’s a humbling power in being able to photograph and capture someone’s essence and energy. I get to bring my most creative self and document what I see— I love tapping into all the feels. Jamie says the best part of her job is “I love telling Queer love stories. I love telling family love stories, romantic love stories, and self-love stories. Being able to capture my community in such a vulnerable and special way is something that feels so incredibly humbling to me. I get to meet so many wonderful people through my job and share in the magic that is being a part of the LGBTQ community. I couldn’t feel more lucky to connect to my community in this way.” Jamie’s tips for hiring a photographer “Find someone whose work you connect with deeply. Don’t think about whether or not it’s trendy, or the photographer has 10 or 10K followers— find someone whose work makes you feel something. Find someone whose lens you want to be seen with.” Upcoming for Jamie is “I’m hoping to continue my Studio XIII Stripped sessions and do more creative portrait sessions for members of the Queer community. I have big dreams of publishing a book someday :)”

Follow Jamie Thrower: Web Page, Instagram, Facebook


Matthew Schueller

 

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Matthew Schueller is a travel photographer from Portland Oregon who focuses on portraiture and LGBTQ+ lifestyle works. Alongside his husband, Michael they travel the world together to find the best of the best in LGBTQ+ hotels, tours, and locations. Matthew went to school for photography in Seattle, worked for a Peruvian nonprofit after graduating, and resettled in the Pacific North West to work in social media and travel in 2018. When they aren’t traveling together, Michael works as a dentist locally and Matthew writes for a men’s wedding publication. Matthew says his favorite photography to shoot is “Portraits and journalistic style travel photography. I love getting into a new environment and exploring it through photograph”. Matthew says “The absolute best part of my job is meeting people around the world that I surprisingly fall in love with. Whenever traveling to a new place, it’s bound that there will be new people there. What’s unexpected, is that over time and through mutual experiences, all of the walls that we put up in everyday life seem to come down and the people we are surrounded with become our best friends. I love that about travel… and in a working environment where we may be under pressure to capture content pertaining to a specific assignment, working together it sometimes feels like I’m inheriting a new family. Travel and photography are incredible and can be super difficult things, but what makes it all worth it, in the end, are the people I meet along the way. It’s the most unexpected, surprising, and outright craziest thing I’m grateful for. I’ve met people along the way that I couldn’t possibly imagine my life without.” And his advice for couples looking to hire a photographer “Make sure you get along well with your photographer! A personal connection between the photographer and their subjects is super important when creating art together, plus having someone alongside that you love hanging with is always amazing when experiencing something together! Another tip is to make sure you like their photographic style! Photographers have a huge variety of styles from super informal candid photos to extremely curated and polished extravagant scenes. Questions to ask yourself are, “What am I looking for in professional photography, what is my personal style I’d like communicated, and what will these photographs be used for.?” You can find that some photographers will allow flexibility when editing photographs and others may have a strict formula. Depending on the purpose, marketing, brand or even personal use of the photographs you’re looking to get, these are all important questions and conversations to have with your photographer prior to hiring.” What Matthew has planned for upcoming projects “The nature of the beast is that this job is completely different from one week to another. A lot of the time I have no idea what’s happening next! Currently, I’m looking forward to a few projects next year that are going to bring Michael and me from Scotland to Italy, to Greece! I’m excited to continue working with the publications I consult and write for, and I’m ecstatic about the potential of developing a long-term project with a tour company abroad!”

Follow Matthew Schueller here: Web Page, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube


Tess Harrison

 

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Tess Harrison is just a small town girl chasing her dream of capturing all the beauty that life gives us. Tess shoots boudoir and landscape photography. When asked about the best part of their job, Tess says, “The very best part of this job is getting to restore peoples self-image. When they see the final product, it’s almost if they’re falling in love with themselves all over again. Seeing their faces light up is the best feeling ever.” And Tess’ advice for couples looking to hire a photographer is “No matter what kind of shoot you’re booking, always get a feel for your photographer beforehand. If you’re not fully comfortable with your photographer then the photos will definitely reflect it!” Tess also stated she has planned upcoming projects. “I’m starting a little themed photography series. I also just booked a shoot for the Hooters calendar auditions.”

Follow Tess Harrison here: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter


Kelly Balch

 

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Kelly Balch is a Queer international wedding and editorial photographer and loves photographing couples of any kinds in any kind of love, lust, or desire. The best part of Kelly’s job is “The connecting of spirits and capturing human experiences and feelings.” Kelly’s advice for hiring a photographer is “First look at my work, look how I edit and capture emotion. If you like it then reach out and meetup. The deciding factor is to see If we vibe and connect. Essentially I want all the people I photograph to be friends”. Kelly has this planned for upcoming projects “My upcoming project that I have is a collaboration with a queer artist who paints raw emotion while she is bare and raw. We will be collaborating on art pieces and my photography and will be showing it in an Los Angeles gallery come spring 2020.”

Follow Kelly Balch here: Web Page, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter


Steph Grant

 

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I’m Steph Grant. Owner of Steph Grant Studios (a global, full-service media agency owned and operated by a powerhouse team of LGBTQ+ creatives. Specializing in bringing your business to life through a compelling compilation of rich video production and show-stopping imagery) and Founder of the Promote Love Movement (a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community raised in a religious environment to connect and share their stories). I believe in the importance of being visible and vocal for those in our community who cannot. Sharing our stories can change minds and softens hearts. I have experienced this firsthand through my work as a photographer and during my own coming out process. It’s so rewarding to have complete strangers say that they felt like they had a front row seat at the events that I have shot or that after seeing my images and stories they can no longer support their stance against the LGBTQ+ community. Random Facts: Known for being the first LGBTQ+ Wedding photographer in the industry and for photographing the first lesbian Indian wedding in the US which went viral in 2013 with 81K people on my site in 1 day. Recognized on the Senate floor in CA in 2018 for my work with the LGBTQ+ community. Spoke on behalf of the LGBTQ+ community at a Google event & Rebelution Resurge in NYC…where I was asked to share my story and engage in conversations surrounding inclusion and representation in the wedding industry. Was the face of Fossil’s 2019 Pride Campaign and was asked to share my story for their social media campaign. Featured in “Proud Women: A Collection of Women Who are Proud to Represent the LGBTQ+ Community.” Steph’s favorite kind of photography is portraits and says the best part of their job is “The people. And that it’s always a wild adventure that keeps me on my toes.” Steph’s tips for looking to hire a photographer are “Have a Skype chat with your photographer and see how you vibe. You’ll be with them most on your wedding day… it needs to feel effortless.” Steph’s upcoming projects include “Launching StephGrant.com in 2020. It’s my new brand site with fresh content and the story of my last 10 years in business! It’s important to see the progress. I believe it helps others relate and also helps me take some time to sit back and be proud of my accomplishments.”

Follow Steph Grant here: Web Page, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube


Tara Beth Robertson

 

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Tara Robertson is the owner of Tara Beth Photography and an LGBTQIA+ Destination Wedding Photographer. Tara’s favorite kind of photography is all kinds of love! Any love! Love, Love, Love! Tara says the best part of her job is “Being able to celebrate two people in love every weekend! What could be better than that, all the while creating art? It’s incredible.” For upcoming projects, Tara says “I’m diving into my 2020 wedding season! The whole year is a project!” Tara’s advice for those looking to hire a photographer are “Fall in love with them! Make sure that you are excited about them + their work. Make sure that you trust them as well. You shouldn’t feel the need to give them a “shot list” if you trust that your photographer has it covered. Also, it helps if their personality matches yours!” Tara will be diving into the 2020 wedding season! The whole year is a project!

Follow Tara Robertson here: Web Page, Instagram, Facebook


Erica Camille

 

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Erica Camille is an LGBT wedding photographer based in NYC and SE Asia. Erica’s favorite kind of photography is candid moments at weddings and parties and travel. Erica says the best part of the job is “Knowing that people actually care about my photos, they mean something to my clients. And on a personal level – how much freedom it’s given me as a career.” For upcoming projects, Erica says, “I’m photographing an intimate music festival in Thailand in March. Colours of Love at Baba Beach Club in Phuket.” Erica’s advice for those looking for a photographer is “Ask to see full galleries, don’t skip hiring a photographer because your friend offered to take pictures, and make sure they have back up equipment.”

Follow Erica Camille here: Web Page, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter


Eden Estes

 

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Eden Estes is a queer, gender diverse, published photographer who specializes in fashion, runway, political, editorial work. Eden loves making people see in themselves what the world already does! Eden’s favorite kind of photography is editorial. Their favorite part about the job is “Meeting new people, especially the queer community around me. I love hearing others stories and they often tell me and it opens up our vulnerability to each other and creates a safe and comfortable space to create art, no matter the style.” When asked about upcoming projects, Eden says, “I was asked to be a campaign photographer for a queer woman politician running for office. I am organizing a very diverse, designer runway focusing mainly, and only on designers, models, business owners, and artists of color. I am dipping my toes into videography for a political project as well as began managing several queer models.” Eden’s advice for those looking to hire a photographer “Find someone who’s work represents everything you envision. Cost plays a factor but these will last forever. Sometimes some things are worth saving up for. I think memorable photos are one.”

Follow Eden Estes here: Web Page, Instagram, Facebook


Debbie Lamonte

 

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I’m Debbie Lemonte but you can call be DJ. I am an NYC/NJ-based wedding, portrait, and lifestyle photographer. This epic journey all started when my close friend gifted me my first camera, a Canon T3i. After graduating with a degree in Dance and Psychology, I focused my passion for both studies & infused it with my love for art, thrusting myself full-time into learning photography & building a business. I believe photography is a powerful and transformative art form and everyone deserves quality photography service while capturing a special day. I use my charisma, genuine spirit, and flexibility to help my clients feel warm & comfortable while enjoying a personable experience in front of the camera. My work has been featured on NBC News, Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue, The Cut, Refinery29, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, DapperQ, to name a few. Weddings and Elopements are Debbie’s Favorite kind of photography. Debbie says Meeting new people and learning new culture is their favorite part of the job! Upcoming, Debbie will be “I’ll be restarting my Queer Couples Project as well as my We Are Queens project. My focus on each project is to include only folks within the LGBTQIA company as my subjects from various walks of life, regardless of race or body size.” When asked for advice about hiring a photographer, Debbie says, “Always choose someone you have chemistry with & work you’re familiar with. It’ll make the day less stressful.”

Follow Debbie Lemonte here: Web Page, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

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Noelle Rappleyea

Fabulous Femme, Noelle Rappleyea was born into the business of wedding photography. Her Mother has been capturing beautiful moments for as long as she can remember. By age 10 she had a camera of her own and by age 16 she was equipped with the skills to start capturing weddings. Over ten years have passed since that first wedding and this New York-based photographer has carved out her own path in the industry. Her work has been featured in The Knot, Premier Bride, Get Married, Inside Weddings, and Wedding Style. She does an incredible job capturing the joy, raw excitement of her guests. Weddings, engagements, maternity shoots, and anything in between Noelle is ready to grab her camera and help capture the magic in every moment. 

Follow Noelle Rappleyea here: Instagram, Web Page, Facebook