New York’s Gay Street renamed ‘Acceptance Street’ for Pride

Emma Powys Maurice June 19, 2019
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Gay Street in New York has been renamed Acceptance Street in honour of Pride (Mastercard)

In honour of Pride month, the New York City Commission of Human Rights temporarily renamed New York’s Gay Street to ‘Acceptance Street’ on Monday (June 17).

The short, angled street was originally a stable alley, and is one of the most picturesque in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. It’s located a short walk away from the Stonewall Inn, where the modern LGBT+ rights movement began with a riot in 1969.

While the historic origins of the name Gay Street are debated, it is not in reference to the LGBT+ community, but is believed to have come from a family named Gay who lived or owned land there in the late 18th Century.

The famous street has featured in the opening shots of Cyndi Lauper’s music video for “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” and Sheryl Crow’s music video for “A Change Would Do You Good.”

The street’s renaming was sponsored by Mastercard, who also erected a LGBT-inclusive sign which will remain for the whole month of June. The rainbow sign displays a multitude of LGBT+ identities, including intersex, asexual, non binary and pansexual.

The Queer Eye chef Antoni Porowski unveiled the sign on Instagram.

The effort is part of Mastercard’s ongoing ‘Acceptance Matters’ campaign. In another step to support the LGBT+ community, Mastercard announced on the same day that it would be allowing trans customers to change their name on the credit cards, protecting people who face harassment because their legal names do not match their gender identities.

“We are allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, which means if we see a need or if this community is not being served in the most inclusive way, we want to be a force for change to help address and alleviate unnecessary pain points,” said Mastercard in a statement.

“This translates not only for our Mastercard employee community but for our cardholders and the communities in which we operate more broadly. Our vision is that every card should be for everyone.”

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