Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York has called for the Cherry Grove Community House And Theatre to be designated an Historic landmark. The locale is found on Fire Island and apparently played role in the formation of the LGBT Movement.
The New York Democrat stated “The Cherry Grove Community House represents the first civic entity to integrate gay and lesbian interests into governance and social life. This historic organization is the first civil rights organization for the LGBT community and should be acknowledged for their contributions.”
Diane Romano, the president of the Cherry Grove Community Association, said “We are honored and tremendously thrilled. The Community House has been the heart and soul of Cherry Grove for more than six decades and holds a unique and iconic place in the lives of gay men and women everywhere. We are so grateful to U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand who championed our nomination as a milestone in gay history from the very beginning.”
The Community House and Theater was established in 1948 and headquartered the Cherry Grove Property Owner Association. At the time, there were no LGBT organizations out there, but they were starting to come into existence. At the time, the Community House played a major role in attracting quite a laundry list of performers who came there. Many lesbians and gays there were able to feel free from the normal constraints of society.
According to the CGCA, W.H. Auden, Christopher Isherwood, Stephen Spender, Janet Flanner, Paul Cadmus, Hermione Gingold, Nancy Walker, Earl Blackwell, Kaye Ballard, Liz Smith, Jerry Herman all lived, visited or entertained there.
The early days of the LGBT have not been taught or preserved very well until recent years when the LGBT Community began to gain strength and equality has become far more common that it was even a decade ago.