After more than two decades, the gay owned and operated Bum Bum Bar in Woodside has closed, according to the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project.
Since its opening in the early 1990s, the Bum Bum Bar, located at 63-14 Roosevelt Ave., attracted a mixed, but mostly working-class, Latina lesbian crowd and along with several other gay and lesbian bars in Jackson Heights it provided support for the inaugural Queens Pride Parade in 1993.
The Bum Bum Bar was also known for hosting numerous events that attracted customers from across the five boroughs and was one of only four lesbian bars still in operation in New York City.
The NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project says Bum Bum was pronounced Boom Boom after a Brazilian beauty contest. The non-profit organization was not sure why it closed.
“These are the kinds of historic places, dating back to the city’s founding in the 17th century to the year 2000, that we are continuously documenting,” NYC LGBT Historic Sites Manager Amanda Davis said. “So that our project reflects the diversity of the LGBT community throughout the five boroughs.”
While their significance is often underestimates of dismissed by heterosexual society, bars and other establishments play a pivotal role in LGBT culture as centers for LGBT acceptance, community and activism. Through history, these spaces have given LGBT people the freedom to be themselves in a way they often cannot be in their personal or professional lives.
Other significant LGBT bars and nightlife venues in Queens included the now-closed Love Boat in Elmhurst which has a popular dance venue for gay men from Latin America, and Friends Tavern, in Jackson Heights, known as the oldest active gay bar in Queens. Both have been documented by the Project as historic sites.