Here's something you might not know: Women have been legally allowed to go topless in public in New York City since 1992. So if you’re in Central Park or on the High Line or at one of the best beaches in New York, you have every right to take off that godforsaken bra and let your boobs feel the sun’s sweet rays (but don’t forget the sunscreen). In honor of Women’s Equality Day on Friday 26 and the GoTopless Day march through the city on Sunday 28, we rounded up four ways you can join forces with other women (and men!) to #freethenipple.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Go Topless Day
March in the Go Topless Day Parade
On Sunday 28, get down with feminism alongside hundreds of women and allies in this second annual march (assemble at W 58th St and Eighth Ave; gotopless.org) through midtown. At 1pm, under a pair of giant balloon boobies, marchers head down Broadway and turn onto 48th Street, then hear from speakers at a rally at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza from 1:20 to 4pm. “We want to encourage women to exercise their rights,” says GoTopless President Nadine Gary. “It’s a celebration of our bodies and putting the shame behind us.”
Lounge with Topless Pulp Fiction
Part book club, part social gathering, Topless Pulp Fiction is a group of women who get together to enjoy each other’s company as well as a few shirtless (and sometimes pants-less) hours. They strip down in public parks, on members’ balconies or even in restaurants that agree to host them. “Being topless in a situation where any man can be topless without an issue is a goal of feminism,” says member L.G. “It’s a good way to protest the establishment in a setting where you can feel safe.” Into it? Email firstname.lastname@example.org. And rescue your boobs from a lifetime of darkness.
Party with Boobs of Bushwick
Bushwick resident Kate Chiplinsky started hanging out topless with her friends because she thought it was fun. Then she started a Tumblr, Boobs of Bushwick, and things took off from there. She posts readers’ submissions of their own photos of their unclad breasts in Bushwick to the blog and hosts a yearly pub crawl as well as events with drink-and-food specials and DJs. You can submit your own photos to email@example.com or like Boobs of Bushwick on Facebook to get clued in to upcoming happenings.
Model for Topless New York
The photographer behind the Twitter handle @toplessnewyork (who prefers to remain anonymous) started photographing bare-breasted women around the city in 2007 to help raise awareness of the law. “Nobody’s insisting women should go around public topless—it’s just the matter of wanting everyone to have the right to make their own choice,” he says. He’s shot pictures of between 40 and 50 women in city spots like the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park, and he’s looking for new models all the time (contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested). One of his favorite photos is of a woman sitting on the subway with no shirt on while everyone ignores her. “New Yorkers are hard to shock,” he says.