Ithaca LGBTQ History Walking Tour


Contributed by Luca Maurer

Through a unique Student Affairs/Academic Affairs/community partners collaboration, our Launch Party/ Guided Tour of the Ithaca LGBTQ Local History Walking Tour will take place on Sunday, April 28 at 1 pm. We'll gather at the Textor Ball, and the the tour's creators will lead a guided walking tour including campus and community sites of LGBTQ historical significance. The initiative represents a year of work by students Rachel Steinmetz '19, Cal Goodin '19,and Gianna Caputo '19, alumna Rachel Kreidberg '18, and LGBT Center director Luca Maurer. We're delighted that the tour has already been designated an Ithaca Heritage Tour, and our guided tour event is sponsored by The History Center. Planned to coincide with the 8th Streets Alive! Ithaca event, we hope people will join us as we take to the streets to rediscover our history. 

We'll give a primer on how to use the Pocket Sights app that hosts the tour, run through its features that can be customized by each user for an individualized experience, and offer our own reflections as we proceed to a few historic sites featured on the IC campus, and then to select sites in downtown Ithaca. We invite everyone to start with us on campus and decide the level of involvement in terms of time and energy that works best for them. Plan for an experience of about 90 minutes, that will include some steep downhill grades.

Bars and public spaces have been sites of LGBTQ resistance and resilience for decades. But many of the people and places that make up our history’s shared past have been forgotten, erased, overlooked, or ignored. This LGBTQ local history tour is designed to preserve some of the rich stories and heritage of our Ithaca community. It's for anyone wanting to learn about our local LGBTQ history and culture.

We are grateful for the campus and community partnerships that supported this initiative, including Laurie Arliss and the Department of Communication Studies, Rod Howe and Lucy Walker '14 and the History Center in Tompkins County, Bridget Bower and Cathy Michael and the Ithaca College Library, the Tompkins County Public Library, Human Sexuality Collection at Cornell University, and the many LGBTQ Ithacans and former Ithacans who shared their recollections, stories and artifacts.

After our launch party and guided tour, the tour will be available 24/7 via the app for anyone to take as a self-guided experience.

Cosponsored by The History Center and Ithaca Heritage, and an approved Streets Alive! Ithaca activity host. We hope you'll join us as we take to the streets to rediscover and continue to create our history. 

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Luca Maurer at or (607) 274-7394. We ask that requests for accommodations be made as soon as possible.