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This is a contributing entry for Rainbow City: Mapping Queer Newark and only appears as part of that tour.Learn More.
One thing you’ve probably noticed is that a lot of the locations mentioned in this project are near or on Halsey Street like the Newark LGBTQ Center. Halsey Street passes through the city's four historic districts: James Street Commons-Washington Park at the north, the abutting Military Park and Four Corners and, after a two block break, Lincoln Park at the south.

Car, Land vehicle, Wheel, Building

Halsey Street is a north-south street in Downtown Newark, New Jersey, which runs in between and parallel to Broad Street and Washington Street.

Rectangle, Fixture, Building, Sky

“The stroll. The stroll for the MSM’s, for the men who have sex with men, was Halsey Street. From, you can actually say, Washington Park perimeter, 500 Broad Street all around, and I’m talkin’ about McCarter Highway, all the way, as an ex-stroll person. Bernie and them was teasin’ me about this a couple of weeks ago—“Bitch, we will see you anywhere,” because if it was a spot that I thought that was conducive to contouring a date, yes, I was there.” (Aaron Frazier 20)(third interview (0:50:14-0:50:55 third transcript)

To be honest there is little to know documentation of Halsey’s affiliation with the LGBTQ community. Everything you need to know is passed through work of mouth. Aaron Fazier mentioned in his interview that people just knew where the hotspots were. Once many queer spaces like Le Joc, Doll House and S.R.O found a home on Halsey street but something has changed. This street is still popular with creative shops and beautiful apartment buildings but it is not the LGBTQ space it used to be. Aaron mentioned in this interview that he felt like gentrification is the culprit. He pointed out the moment he felt like things started to change in his interview. “The other incident would’ve been when Dana Rone, who was an out lesbian council woman, nephew got pulled over on the stroll, and she came, and from that point, that’s when it changed, because Rutgers Police were very nasty to people on the stroll.” (Aaron Frazier 21)

Significance: Popular strolling area. “This is cruisin’. The stroll was all about crusin’. Nine times out of ten you could pick up a date, and it wasn’t always a pay date. Those who was out there paying, you knew who they were.” (Aaron Fraizer 21) Strolling was a way for gay men outed and closeted to search for other gay men under the radar. Their would be areas in towns or even in parks that were known for being a place gay men could find a new sexual partner or new friend. Here in Newark, the area Aaron Fraizer describes was a route he used to take when he was on the stroll. His friends even joke with him about how he was always outside on the stroll.

Aaron Frazier, Queer Newark Oral History Project. Accessed May 12th 2021.