New walking tour uncovers Rochester’s history in the LGBTQ movement

July 11, 2018 05:28 PM

We know Rochester had a big involvement in the civil rights movement and women's rights movement, but a new walking tour will show you the history involving the LGBTQ rights movement downtown. 

The tour includes stops at City Hall, the Federal Building and Genesee Crossroads Park, and the Saint Luke and Saint Simon Cyrene Episcopal Church.

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In 1977 at City Hall, city council made a historic vote to advance gay rights in Rochester. Genesee Crossroads Park and the Federal Building were where one of the first gay rights rallies took place. The Saint Luke and Saint Simon Cyrene Episcopal Church are one of the oldest public buildings in Rochester.

Historian Evelyn Bailey with the Out Alliance spent more than 10 years gathering this information.

The theme of this tour is 'Resistance in the 70s: Have we come full circle?'

"The LGBTQ community has been in the forefront of civil and gay rights from Susan B. to Frederick Douglass and onward, and this community really needs to take on a sense of pride," Bailey says.

Larry Francer, associate director of preservation at the Landmark Society of New York, says organizers thought this event in this political climate was the time to renew and reignite the passion.

"We thought it was an important time to let the community know about these very important sites in Rochester," Francer says.

Roc Pride Week kicks off this Saturday. The free LGBTQ historic walking tour begins Thursday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall parking lot.


Kaci Jones

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