In 1978 the Reverend Shelley A. Hamilton described Worcester in the bulletin of the Metropolitan Community Church, which ministered to the LGBTQ+ community, as “a strange city. Ugly, oppressive, and yet beautiful and warm and alive.” When her congregation found a meeting place on Wellington Street, she was thrilled: “At last we have a single area large enough for both worship services and fellowship activities. It is a space we can call our own.” Follow the paths of these early bar hoppers, community builders, cruisers, and Pride marchers as they cautiously and sometimes defiantly navigated the blocks around Worcester’s Main Street in pursuit of sociability, spiritual fellowship, sexual pleasure, and political rights between 1950s and 1990s, making the CITY THEIR OWN.

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