A brief and random selection of significant people with local connections, who are LGBT or who have influenced our lives.
- William Beckford (1760-1844)
Wealthy novelist who fled England due to a gay scandal, but lived the last 22 years of his life in Bath.
- Julie Burchill (1959- )
Controversial journalist and writer
- Charlotte Charke (1712?-1760)
18th century actress and writer who played male “breeches” roles, lived as a man and may have been lesbian.
- Michael Dillon (born Laura) (1915-62)
The world’s first person to complete gender reassignment surgery; lived in Bristol at the time surgery began.
- Amelia Edwards (1831-1892)
Writer and traveller, lesbian and early advocate for women’s suffrage.
- UA Fanthorpe (1929-2009)
Poet and academic
- “Michael Field”
Pseudonym used for the poetry and verse drama of Katherine Harris (1846-1914) and Edith Cooper (1862-1913)
- Mary Hamilton (1721 – ? )
18th century lesbian who married several women while posing as a man
- LP Hartley (1895-1972)
Gay novelist who lived in Bathford.
- Rob Hayward (1949 – )
Gay activist and former Bristol MP
- Robert Hitchens (1864-1950)
Successful novelist who lived in Bristol for a few years around his late teens.
- Annie Kenney (1879–1953)
Leading Suffragette, Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) organiser in Bristol 1907-11.
- CHB Kitchin (1895-1967)
Clifton-educated gay novelist
- Matt Lucas (1974- )
TV comedian, co-writer and performer of Little Britain
- Angus McBean (1904-1990)
Theatre and surrealist photographer who was arrested at his home in Bath for gross indecency, and imprisoned.
- Frank Miles (1852-1891)
Friend of Oscar Wilde and possibly his first male lover
- Angela Needham (c. 1945- )
Minister to the first gay Christian church in Bristol
- Vicky Pollard (1993- )
Single mother and TV personality
- Mark Ravenhill (1966- )
Playwright and journalist who studied at Bristol
- Michael Redgrave (1908–1985)
Bisexual actor, father of the Redgrave acting dynasty
- Mary Renault (1905-1983)
Novelist whose works had a large gay following
- Aled Richards (1956/7–1985)
One of the first people in Bristol to die of AIDS-related illness; Bristol’s first support organisation for people with HIV was named in his memory.
- Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967)
One of the greatest poets of the the First World War and lived the last half of his life in Wiltshire.
- Monica Sjöö (1938-2005)
Swedish-born artist, writer and feminist who became one of the visionaries of the Goddess movement.
- Bram Stoker (1847-1912)
Author of Gothic novel Dracula, Stoker was a frequent visitor to Bristol.
- John Addington Symonds (1840-93)
- Bristol writer, art historian and forerunner of the 20th century liberation movements. His pioneering work to free homosexuality from religious and moral distortions are of world significance.
- Dale Wakefield (1941-2020)
The founder of Bristol Gay Switchboard in 1975
- James Whale (1889-1956)
Gay Hollywood film director James Whale made numerous visits to Bristol in the 1920s and 1930s.
- Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
Oscar Wilde never lived in Bristol, however he had friends in the city and was a frequent visitor.
- Stephen Williams (1966- )
Bristol’s first openly gay MP
Someone you would like to see included? – then tell us!
Please write a biography, giving the source of your information (website, reference books, etc).
Read our comments policy