You may have heard about L.A.’s gay history. But if you want to really track it, block by block, there’s a resource for that.
It’s called “Mapped: The underground origins of LA’s queer nightclubs.”
“Mapped” is a project by KCRW’s Curious Coast and was put together by Emily Mae Czachor.
Your exploration of the “underground origins of L.A.’s queer nightlife,” as the map is labeled, can take you to 4217 S. Central Ave. where, in 1931, Club Alabam opened. Known for its famed jazz performers, it also hosted a yearly drag ball. Then there’s Cooper’s Do-Nuts on South Main Street in downtown L.A. It was a gay hangout that police raided in May 1959, only to find themselves “bombarded with doughnuts, coffee and paper plates.” That turned into a riot that shut down Main Street. And there’s so much more.
“We’ve compiled an interactive map, charting the initial germination and proximate spread of nightclubs catering to LGBTQ folks across the city,” Mapped explains. You can see it all here.