There are 87,000 sites in the United States designated as national landmarks, but only five have a connection to LGBT history. Activists and historians are working to find and document more of them for official designation, too. NY1's Erin Clarke filed this report.
The Manhattan neighborhoods of Greenwich Village and Chelsea are considered Ground Zero of the gay rights movement, but historians say the story of the LGBT community goes way beyond those places.
"Woodlawn Cemetery is a place that needs to be interpreted as an LGBT site," said Andrew Dokart, Director of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia University School of Architecture.
Buried alongside well-known New Yorkers are also important Lesbian, Gay and perhaps Bisexual and Transgender people, like John Sterling, the man behind the legendary law firm, Sherman and Sterling.
"For much of his life he lived with a man named James Moore and in his will he said that nobody could be buried in his mausoleum except for himself, his sister and if Moore chose he could be buried here as well and he notes in his will that they had lived together for 40 years," said Dokart.
Hidden stories that the founders of the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project say are important.
Their work will uncover and document significant places to the LGBT community in all five boroughs and nominate them for national landmarks.
Currently only a handful of America's 87,000 national landmarks are linked to LGBT history.
"Given how many Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, Bisexual people there are in America, that seems like a pretty small percentage," said Kerry McCarthy, Senior Program Officer for Arts and Historic Preservation at NYCT.
The New York Community Trust is helping to fund the endeavor, which also aims to draw connections among the sites to tell a bigger story.
The narrative and historic LGBT sites cross boroughs. 28 West 28th Street in the city is where the Everard Turkish baths, a popular gay social spot, once stood. The Everards are buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.
The founders of this project can't do it all on their own though and will be soliciting help from the community to create an online map of important locations.
"They will be able to put information on the map," said Ken Lustabder, co-founder of the project. "We will then verify information, curate the information and then make it public."
They're hoping to go live by year's end with plans to continue enhancing the map and even develop an app for walking tours.