An LGBT History Site in a Great LGBT History City

LGBT history is American history.

NYC is one of the world’s great LGBT history cities and Woodlawn Cemetery is one of NYC’s richest LGBT history sites. We are a National Historic Landmark where visitors can learn about the gay community’s impactful history and notable figures. Woodlawn is listed as one of the many spots to visit on the NYC LGBTQ+ Historic Sites Project, the first initiative to document historic and cultural sites associated with the LGBT community in the five boroughs.

More than 320,000 people are buried in 400 acres of rolling lawns, spectacular trees, and impressive memorials designed by some of the nation’s most renowned artists and architects. That includes the famous female impersonator Bert Savoy, prolific illustrator J.C. Leyendecker, and prominent NYC lawyer John W. Sterling. Vaudeville stars, suffragists, artists, writers, and other LGBT icons are at rest in our active, non-sectarian garden cemetery.

During Pride Month, the Woodlawn Conservancy hosts Trolley Tours to the sites of LGBT history makers. Each grave is commemorated with rainbow flags to honor their lives and contributions to American culture. The founders of the NYC LGBTQ+ Historic Sites Project are key partners in the campaign to illuminate LGBT residents.

An open-air art gallery and living history museum where stories are told and made, we have the largest collection of funerary art in the country. One of the most significant works of art in our collection is Patricia Cronin’s Memorial to a Marriage (2002), a full-sized depiction of award-winning artist Patricia Cronin and her (now) wife Deborah Krass in a lover’s embrace. The sculpture is the world’s first marriage equality monument. Imagining a world where homophobia and misogyny didn’t exist, Cronin said, “What I couldn’t have in life, I would have forever in death.”

Memorials are so much more than simply stone grave markers. Memorials offer a sacred place for quiet reflection and contemplation—by creating a permanent tribute to a life that was lived, family and friends can revisit memories, share stories, and continue to celebrate their loved one’s life. Thinking ahead and planning your own memorial in advance can be a great way to support your loved ones. Writing down your directives is not only important for your benefit, but it’s a tremendous gift to your family. These discussions and decisions will spare your family the heartache of making difficult choices during an emotionally stressful time and save you from arrangements you may not have been comfortable with in life.

Preparing for end-of-life situations can be challenging, but it’s important for ensuring the best possible support for you and your loved ones. Spare your family from making hard decisions at an emotionally stressful time. Our compassionate Family Service Associates are experienced at helping people from all backgrounds make plans and decisions about the end of their life. Our complimentary Personal Planning Organizer can help you make informed and thoughtful decisions about arrangements. Planning ahead ensures your wishes are known and allows costs to be guaranteed at today’s rates. We have a number of traditional burial and cremation options to choose from, including private mausoleums, community mausoleums, and traditional burial with a headstone. Cremation options include beautifully constructed glass-front niches as well as niches nestled in the landscape along a brook in our picturesque Brookside Cremation Garden. Putting your wishes in writing can solve many potential issues ahead of time. Call to make a no obligation appointment with one of our Family Service Associates to see all Woodlawn has to offer and get your copy of our Personal Planning Organizer.

Since our founding in 1863, we’ve been proud to be a welcoming, inclusive community for all. A nonsectarian burial ground, Woodlawn is committed to serving the diverse population of New York. At Woodlawn Cemetery, LGBT representation goes beyond the gravestones. Discover Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx—”an oasis in an urban setting.”