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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.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey established the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Corporation (PATH) in 1962. The rails operate 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, connecting Manhattan with neighboring New Jersey communities. While this is not an explicitly queer location, riding this train connected the Newark and New York queer communities.

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“What I had to do, because I was coming out of the church scene at that time, I had to feel safe. I had to get on the PATH train. I remember being terrified as it was going to Christopher Street because I knew anyone who gets off at 17 Christopher Street is gay. I knew once I got off of that train—that was my perception at the time. Once I got off of that train, I'm like, oh, my God. Everybody's gonna know I'm gay. Everybody's gonna know that I'm coming out here to look at boys and all of that,” is how Joseph Canarelli remembers the PATH train.

For the queer community, the PATH train goes beyond a train that takes them from New Jersey to New York, and back, it was a place that connected them to a broader queer community. In 2012 PATH celebrated its 50th year of operation. The PATH train was not meant to have queer associations, yet the community has made space for themselves here. Not all queer locations are inherently queer and this is an example of the community finding community where they could.

The PATH train continues to connect communities from New York and Newark and be used by the queer communities.

History, Port Authority Ny NJ. Accessed May 12th 2021.

Joseph Canarelli, Queer Newark Oral History Project. Accessed May 12th 2021.

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