Forgotten Gay History – December 14th, 1974: NYC’s FIRST Gay Disco “Flamingo” Opens It’s Doors

Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, writer, blogger and owner of A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Advocate, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, Raw Story, and The Huffington Post

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9 Responses

  1. Presty says:

    Saw Donna Summer singing her guts out in the deejay booth, but so zoned on whatever, it didn’t occur to me until Monday morning how live and up close it happened to be. I didn’t have close to the 600 buck membership fee, I was twenty and barely affording rent but “I met a big financier…and I’m still here”, just a lot sadder and hopefully a little wiser….

  2. John Festa says:

    Flamingo was the greatest club of all time. There was an energy to it, an intent to celebrate life, music and men. I am so happy to have lived through it, and to have lived through it.

    • Will Kohler says:

      I just missed the Flamingo. I was more a Crisco Disco, Anvil, Alex in Wonderland era guy. If you’d like to add any memories of the place please feel free to comment. So much of our history from that time is undocumented.

  3. Marc says:

    I went about 5 times…and overtime was incredible. the music, the ambience and the men.

  4. I use to sit at the front door of the Gallery, the black disco downstairs from Flamingo, on Houston and Mercer, and would come up the block to Flamingo when the door staff for both clubs changed after closing the doors to see the other side of the world: Flamingo and the Gallery were playing drug music only on Sat. PM. Flamingo was white; the Gallery was black. I wrote about my experiences in these clubs and more: The Gaiety, Paradise Garage, Studio 54, Hurrah, 12 West, Crisco Disco, the Anvil, the Saint, the World, Sound Factory,…’Homo GoGo Man: a fairytale about a boy who grew up in discoland.’ (DonnaInk, Amazon, BarnesandNoble)

  5. Rickey says:

    I was there…My very good friend Richie Rivera was a disc jockey there, also Larry Sanders…I have lots of magical stories of love hat place and time…Flamingo 12 West Infinity were like going to church

  6. Ben Benson says:

    Above all Flamingo was where you heard the esoteric and the exotic. The music there was superb, and always full of surprises. I was there from beginning to end, and my favorite DJ was Wayne Scott. No-one could play funk and sleaze like Wayne. “I’ll kill a brick” – Hot Sauce, “Treat me like woman- Jackie Carter. Remember? The music was always best after 5AM when Donna Summers and Michael Jackson were dispensed with hours ago.. A morning at the Flamingo was pure magic, and the slamming and smacking of the tambourines were pure musical ecstacy. Does such even exist any more? But then again, I’m way past 60 now, and things may have changed. Fell free to contact me if you you wish. The memories linger.

  7. Pierre Labelle says:

    I have a membership card from Flamingo which I be willing to let go to a collector. Please get in touch with me if you are interested. A very rare membership ! Find out why it’s extremely rare ?

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