Seven Minutes In Heaven With Stonewall Inn Co-owner Stacy Lentz

“I knew at a young age how tough it was to be different but appear normal.”

Welcome to “Seven Minutes in Heaven,” GO Magazine’s brand new interview series that profiles a different queer lady each day, by asking her seven unique (and sometimes random) questions. Get to know the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of the groundbreaking, fierce forces-of-nature in the queer community.


“Stacy Lentz is like the Ellis Island of the lesbian world” someone once said to me. “You move to New York, meet Stacy, get a new name.”

I laughed to myself because it’s wildly, wildly true. Lentz is the Ellis Island of the LGBTQ scene—not because she gives you a new Americanized name—but because Lentz represents a landing point for the queer people in this city. She is the ultimate connector who represents our safe place (the historic Stonewall Inn, in which she is co-owner). She is the wonderful, warm and tirelessly active entity that has helped so many of us find our way in the LGBTQ community.

Stacy Lentz Photo by Courtesy of Stacy Lentz

Whether you’ve met her hanging out at Stonewall, partying at our lesbian mecca The Cubby Hole, rallying at a downtown protest against Trump, or at sipping wine at a high-fluting fundraiser in Manhattan—one can not argue that Lentz is hyper-consistent. She is always her unabashed, friendly, authentic self.

It never ceases to amaze me how Lentz possesses the ability to mingle and connect with every person in the room. Regardless of age. Regardless of where one lands on the queer spectrum. Regardless of personality type, or hometown, or current residing neighborhood. She’s the reason why so many of us know one another, regardless of how different our window dressing appears.

Lentz attains the unique, increasingly rare ability to bring all kinds of people together. And thank the goddess for that. Our community needs to be united, right now, more than ever.

Not only is Lentz an amazing force for the community on a social level, she’s a powerful political activist too. Lentz has been a prominent LGBTQ rights activist for over a decade and played a leading role in the rescue and renewal of Stonewall. She’s been on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC and other news outlets powerfully speaking about gay rights. She was even recently knighted by The Imperial Court of New York. During Pride month this year, she launched a non-profit “The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative” who’s unwavering mission to help lift the underserved members of the LGBTQ community. All in a day’s work for Lentz.

 

Join us for our official launch party at the historic @thestonewallinn on June 1st. #stonewallgivesback #stonewall #lgbtq #pridemonth

A post shared by The Stonewall Initiative (@thestonewallinngivesback) on

For today’s “Seven Minutes in Heaven” get to know more about the woman behind the activism, the socializing and the endless non-profit work. Enjoy our interview with the fierce force of gay nature, Stacy Lentz.

GO Magazine: Who are you and what do you do?

Stacy Lentz: I am a crazy, walking contradiction and die hard humanist who is a co-owner at The Stonewall Inn and the CEO of the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative. I am passionate about connecting people and fighting to make everyone feel equal and understood. I am equally as passionate about making sure everyone has a good time and love throwing events that combine both of these elements.

GO: What is the driving force behind your career/activism?

Growing up in a cornfield in a conservative Christian town in Kansas, I knew at a young age how tough it was to be different but appear normal. It makes you question your very existence and hide who you truly are out of fear and necessity. I never want anyone to face the things I had to face in that environment and or ever have to hide who they truly are just to feel safe.

GO: Where do you go for inspiration when you’re feeling discouraged or depleted? 

SL: I am a movie buff  (some series that exist on Netflix, Amazon, HBO are just extended versions, so they count as well). Movies have always been my form of escape and to me, they are the ultimate art form. They combine storytelling, music, and cinematography to make people question, laugh, cry, think and love. 

You know, all the things that really make people feel alive. Also, LGBTQ bars; they are like our church and for me, I have made my friends and chosen family there. When I need a boost, that feeling of community and meeting people over a few drinks, and hearing their stories and common goals and struggles, does the trick.

GO: Who are your biggest queer lady role models?

SL: Way too many to name and all for different reasons.

So I will say, any woman who lives her life, openly, freely, on her own terms and is also confident in her sexuality and her own skin, then she s a role model to me.

GO: Describe yourself in three words? 

SL: Still not jaded.

GO: What music are you listening to right now? 

SL: I love country and Broadway music for the Storytelling, but at this minute The 1975 is on repeat.

GO: Where can people find you?

SL: In person at Stonewall or Cubby Hole(my neighborhood bar) but also at most LGBTQ fundraisers, events, and protests around the city.

Instagram: StacyLentz

Facebook: Stacy Lentz

Oh, and feel free if you an idea for a fundraiser or want to get in involved in some activism to email me: Stacy@theStonewallinnnyc.com!