It’s NYC Pride Month and I got the pleasure to interview the writer and long time LGBTQ activist Michael Musto, we got to talk about the past, present, and future, go ahead and check it out…

Hello Michael, to start I want to say it’s a pleasure to have you here on the launch of

1- You’re one of the most influential voices for the LGBTQ Community in New York, how do you think the community is being treated during the pandemic?

It’s Pride month and it’s important for the LGBTQ community to be noticed and seen in the midst of the pandemic. We are doing everything possible to stay connected, stay visible, be vigilant about our health, and to fight for our rights, as the Trump administration removes them one by one. We also had to protest the homophobically evangelical Samaritan’s Purse setting up a hatey hospital in Central Park. That being said, me and most of my LGBTQ friends are most concerned right now with supporting Black Lives Matter, for obvious reasons.

2- Let’s go back in time, you’ve been an LGBTQ activist for many years, when a lot of people were still on the closet you were already out and about, what are the big differences between the ’80s / ’90s in New York and right now?

In the early ‘80s, AIDS reared its ugly head and started growing in horrifying ways. The President (Ronald Reagan) turned a blind eye to it and Mayor Ed Koch, a closeted gay, also wasn’t exactly stellar on the subject. But strangely, the downtown nightlife was bigger than ever—maybe as an escape, but also a way to stay connected and vital and cling to what was left of life. In ’87, the activist group ACT UP helped channel our grief and anger and we took the streets with protests by day, then went to clubs to connect at night. Jump ahead to now and it’s hard to believe there’s a whole other plague that’s being mishandled by the government. But as for the LGBTQ community, we’ve been through a lot and have a tough skin as a result, and the best thing about being gay in NYC is that the closet is pretty obsolete and gays are out and proud. I just hope they don’t go out of the HOUSE without a mask and distancing.

3- We’re living one of the Biggest Moments in Civil Rights History in the US right now, with the Protests, the Black Live Matters movement, the Elections coming up, what’s your thoughts about everything that is happening?

It’s an explosive time, when oppressed Americans have been pushed down so hard that the uprisings were inevitable. Police have routinely killed so many black people (including transgender ones) and gay people, and now that a lot of these murders are captured on video, the public won’t take excuses anymore. We have the documentation! It’s exhausting having to constantly fight for civil rights, but there is power in numbers, and protestors are all aligned in forcing police to change their behavior—and ousting Trump, whose racism has poured kerosene on the problem.

4- You’ve been very active on Twitter these days, what do you think about the fact-check warnings they’re adding right now?

I think fact checking is very important on all social networks, so that people—especially those in power—can’t get away with extremely damaging propaganda and other trickery. Anyone who violates the rules should be in “jail” for a while, and then, if they do it again, they should be banned. Ironically, people on social networks have been reprimanded for reposting some of Trump’s tweets; it’s regarded as hate speech and fake news. So why should he get away with it?

5- New Yorkers are known to be very tough, we’ve been going through a lot these days with the Covid19 Coronavirus Pandemic, how do you think the city will bounce back, and what’s the future of the LGBTQ Night Life Scene in New York?

NYC’s nightlife already faced a lot of challenges—the Internet, the rise of hookup apps, the predominance of new ways to hear music, the increased power of community boards, and the great expense involved in running a club. And now the (necessary) lockdowns have forced clubs to shutter, in some cases forever. But when some of them eventually come back (after a vaccine is released), people will be itching to party again and I bet the rents will be way lower, so opening a nightclub will be much more cost effective than before. Maybe I’ll even open a club! As for the city in general, it bounced back after 9/11 and it will bounce back after covid. When Oshkosh comes back, it’ll still be Oshkosh, but when NYC comes back, it’ll be NYC.

6- Please send a message to our readers around the world on the Pride month…

Don’t listen to anyone about what kind of LGBTQ you need to be. Just be your best version of yourself. That will do us—and you—proud.

Follow Michael Musto on Twitter @mikeymusto

Follow Jean Ferreira JF on Twitter @jeanferreirajf

“I talked about the pandemic, Pride month, civil rights, and the future of NYC in this interview for CityLife. Thank you, @JeanFerreiraJF.”Continue Reading

Michael Musto

. @LincolnCenter just announced an expansive roster of free spring performances, discussions, and civic activations, including a couple programs with the Library for the Performing Arts. Check out the full program on @citylifeorg.Continue Reading

NYPL Performing Arts

What an incredible way to kick off #LunarNewYear by celebrating Midtown Asian-American owned Hello Deli’s 30th anniversary! Check out highlights at City Life Org. #YearOfTheTigerContinue Reading

NYC Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME)

MOME congratulates the 2022 NYC-based #GRAMMYs winners: #GrammyAwards @RecordingAcad 🧵Get the info at @citylifeorg 👇 🎶Continue Reading

NYC Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME)

@NYCDisabilities, @MadeinNY, +@NYCDCA recently announced a new law that requires movie theaters in NYC to show a portion of their movies with open captions to create a more inclusive environment for moviegoers. Read more @citylifeorgContinue Reading

NYC Consumer and Worker Protection

Thanks @citylifeorg for highlighting NYC Life’s #Juneteenth programming this weekend, featuring celebrated docs exploring the Black experience through topics of housing segregation, education and sports in America, and more.Continue Reading

NYC Media

@citylifeorg Thanks for sharing info about the upcoming Smithsonian National Education Summit (July 27-28) with your readers and followers!Continue Reading

Smithsonian Education

@citylifeorg featured our 2nd annual Jazz Jam All-Stars Concert. Get your tickets for July 16th now and see our 10 All-Stars – incl. one as young as 15 years old!Continue Reading

Flushing Town Hall

Congratulations again to the #MadeinNY productions nominated for 2022 Primetime #Emmys! @TelevisionAcad Check out the list of local nominees at @citylifeorg.Continue Reading

NYC Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME)

Thanks @citylifeorg for spotlighting local NYC talents chosen as @nationalbook finalists.Continue Reading

NYC Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME)

Another great article by City Life Org highlights the work our MA in Museum Studies program and the New-York Historical Society are doing to diversify the museum studies field.Continue Reading

CUNY School of Professional Studies

Thanks @citylifeorg for spotlighting our #MadeinNY Talks series with @CenCom this spring season.Continue Reading

NYC Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME)

Thanks @citylifeorg for spotlighting MOME’s new #MadeinNY Marketing Credit Program for Digital Games!Continue Reading

NYC Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME)

Thanks City Life Org for spotlighting the new round of #NYCWomensFund recipients! @nyfacurrent Congratulations to these incredible talents- we can’t wait to see the final projects.Continue Reading

NYC Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment (MOME)

I just checked out their website and it is pretty good! Everyone should definitely check it out… especially if you’re in the city!Continue Reading

Joe Moravsky

1 Comment

Leave a Reply