Glad-to-be-gay-badgeWelcome to the website of OutStories Bristol. We collect and preserve the social history and recollections of LGBTQ+ people living in or associated with Bristol, England.  Use this website to tell us your story. Visit our Facebook page. @OutStoriesBris


Help create a gender exhibition in Bristol?

The 'Progress' pride flag comprising the six colours of the original plus white/pink/light blue representing trans people and brown and black for people of colour.Bristol Museums in partnership with National Museums Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Museums are working on an exhibition about gender. The exhibition will open in Bristol in Spring 2025, and then tour to the other cities.

They are seeking people to select objects for the exhibition and provide responses based on their own lived experience of gender. Read more ….

Gay West: Civil Society, Community and LGBT History in Bristol and Bath 1970 to 2010‘Gay West’ book now available as a free download

In 2011 Robert Howes published a wonderful book Gay West: Civil Society, Community and LGBT History in Bristol and Bath 1970 to 2010. It analyses the development of the local movement, focusing on the history of social and support group Gay West, but also other local LGBT+ organisations set up in the mid-1970s. The story continues with the battles against HIV/AIDS and Section 28 in the 1980s and the development of the commercial gay scene.

This book is now available from OutStories Bristol as a free PDF download (15MB).

Frankie Howard

Middle-aged man pouting "oohh" and pointing finger, with painted mock Roman columns behind.Comedian and actor Frankie Howard was famous for starring in the West End musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and the TV sitcom Up Pompeii! He lived over 20 years in Somerset with his partner Dennis Heymer.

Jonathan Rowe tells the story of his life and career.

Two women with Bristol associations
Photo of half-smiling woman, aged 60s, with swept-back hair wearing fur-collared coat.

Frances Power Cobbe

Two other recent articles from Jonathan: Frances Power Cobbe (1822-1904) was a lesbian writer, philanthropist, religious thinker, anti-vivisection campaigner and women’s suffrage activist. She lived in Bristol for a short time in the 1850s working with leading social reformer Mary Carpenter.

Anna Letitia Waring (1823-1910) was a Welsh poet and Anglican hymn writer who lived most of her life in Bristol and enjoyed “a love between two women that could not be revealed”.

Rare witness statement reveals tragic story of gay couple executed in 1753

Part of a hand-written statementIn 1753 Richard Arnold and William Pritchard were executed for “the detestable crime of buggery”. They were observed in the backroom of a Bristol alehouse by the innkeeper. A recently discovered witness statement reveals rare details. Read more.

LGBTQ+ in Bristol Archives

Marchers carrying a larger banner "Pride '94 West" walk down a street lined with grand stone buildings

Bristol Archives have produced an excellent guide that lists their LGBTQ+ collections and gives general advice on researching our history.
Sources for research: LGBTQ history.

Get involved with OutStories!

Come help us:

  • Record the lives of LGBT+ people in the Bristol region, past and present.
  • Explore Bristol Archives and other local resources.
  • Collect peoples’ memories using oral history recording.
  • Add these stories to this website and our LGBT+ Life map.

Get in touch and we’ll help you become involved. Contact us via our webform or email
A fresh-faced man, aged mid twenties, white shirt and trouser braces, standing in a garden with drink in hand.

Alan Farr – victim of a gay raid in Bath

In 1941 an unremembered man died at his office in Bath. Alan Farr was a fresh faced thirty-year old. A police raid on a friend’s flat led to the discovery of a network of gay and bisexual men – and tragedy. We tell the story.

An Anglo-American love story

Andrew Foyle tells the story of a remarkable gay couple, John Judkyns and Dallas Pratt, and the museum they founded – the American Museum & Gardens at Claverton Manor, near Bath.

From their chance meeting in 1937 until John’s tragic early death their love and lives embodied a passion for collecting which inspired them to create the museum.

Telling the stories from Bristol LGBTQ people going back 300 years

Street crowded with a parade of happy people with flags and balloonsIn this 42-minute podcast from the Bristol Cable OutStories’ Andrew Foyle discusses with Tom Brothwell the stories of LGBTQ people throughout Bristol’s history, from the 17th century to the present day.

Wonderful documentary ‘Talking LGBT+ Bristol’

Bristol’s listings and features magazine Bristol24/7 and Tusko Films produced a wonderful documentary Talking LGBT+ Bristol. This Heritage Lottery funded video shares the rich heritage of LGBT+ life in Bristol over the last century, with contributors coming from all backgrounds and ages from across the city. It prominently features some OutStories people.

Watch it now!

Explore our map of Bristol’s LGBTQ+ past

'Mapping LGBT+ Bristol' logo superimposed on a old street map of central BristolYou can explore Bristol’s LGBTQ+ past online through our map that uses pictures, oral history recordings, archival documents and personal stories to bring our hidden histories to light. Go to the map now!

The map also appears on Bristol City Council’s website Know Your Place which brings together multiple layers of Bristol’s diverse history.

Finally …. a 5-minute slideshow about OutStories and some of our achievements.

Video for stall at Bristol Pride 2020 from Cheryl Morgan on Vimeo.

Read about Bristol ….. quirky, diverse, historic.

The opinions expressed in this website are the views of individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of OutStories Bristol.

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*LGBTQ+ means lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, including all gender, sexual, and romantic minorities.
HLF logoFive figures waist up, in silhouette, arms raised and speaking forcefully.