Jackson Heights, New York – On June 21, the Queens Historical Society and New York City Council Member Shekar Krishnan unveiled a “Queensmark” at Friend’s Tavern in Jackson Heights, celebrating it as the longest standing LGBTQIA+ bar in Queens. Established in 1989, Friend’s Tavern has played a pivotal role in the LGBTQIA+ rights movement in Queens and is a safe space for immigrant members of the LGBT community, some of whom come from countries where homosexuality is prohibited by law and/or shunned by popular culture. Queensmarks honor structures and venues that have outstanding architectural, cultural, and historical significance in the borough of Queens.
“Friend’s Tavern has served as a safe haven for self-expression and has fostered a community built on inclusivity for over three decades,” said Council Member Shekar Krishnan. “As we honor Friend’s for its historic importance to the LGBTQIA+ movement, we also recognize its continuing role as a source of resiliency and joy for the LGBTQIA+ community in Queens.”
“The Queens Historical Society is honored to stand with Friend’s Tavern for this truly historic event,” said Jason D. Antos, Queens Historical Society Executive Director. “For more than 30 years, the Friend’s Tavern of Jackson Heights has been providing a safe nightlife space for the LGBTQ+ community and is a living testament to the wonderful historic diversity of Queens.”
“Friend’s Tavern has become a Refuge, for many customers who run from persecution in their countries and are looking for new Friends and a new beginning. It’s a place where New Yorkers will find the friendliest Staff who serve drinks with love and zero attitude. Friend’s has been and will always be Friend’s!” said Eddie Valentin, owner of Friend’s Tavern.