Charles Kaiser, author of The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America , wrote that in the era after World War II , "New York City became the literal gay metropolis for hundreds of thousands of immigrants from both within and without the United States: the place they chose to learn how to live openly, honestly and without shame. The Stonewall Inn, located at 51 and 53 Christopher Street , along with several other establishments in the city, was owned by the Genovese crime family. Once a week a police officer would collect envelopes of cash as a payoff; the Stonewall Inn had no liquor license. It was the only bar for gay men in New York City where dancing was allowed;  dancing was its main draw since its re-opening as a gay club. Visitors to the Stonewall Inn in were greeted by a bouncer who inspected them through a peephole in the door. The legal drinking age was 18, and to avoid unwittingly letting in undercover police who were called "Lily Law", "Alice Blue Gown", or "Betty Badge"  , visitors would have to be known by the doorman, or look gay.
Gay sports leagues in NYC: Athletic clubs for every gay jock
In the spirit of gay rights , I bravely squeezed into my tightest pants, chapsticked my lips, and dragged my whiskey sour-drinking ass to as many self-identifying queer bars as one lightweight gay boy can. I wanted to make going out easier for you, dear queer, by ruling out the spots with watery well drinks, exorbitant cover charges, and predatory creeps. Also impressive? The Rosemont Williamsburg Late-night dancing on a quiet Brooklyn street In a neighborhood once dominated by Metropolitan , The Rosemont sprouted as a trendier alternative for Brooklynites to get their freak on. The Rosemont creates a welcome environment for all queer people -- enough so that their occasional Peggy parties have become a favorite in the lesbian community. Just steps from other Village hotspots, the bar brings crowds below street level, where a technicolor dance floor and stage area already play host to some of the hottest events in the city. Every so often, the dancing drink-makers clack their boots across the counter to the sounds of Dixie Chicks, Shania, Dolly, and the like.
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