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

Cary Grant

Head and shoulders photo of handsome smartly-dressed man, late '30s, looking directly at the camera.There have been debates and rumours about Bristol-born Cary Grant’s sexuality ever since he became a Hollywood star in the 1930s.

Jonathan Rowe explores this lesser known aspect of Grant’s life in advance of ‘Archie’, a four-part drama by ITV available on the ITVX streaming site from 23rd November and later on ITV1. Jason Isaacs takes the role of the effortlessly suave film star.

LGBTQ+ History Day at M Shed

OutStories Bristol in association with Bristol Museums will be holding a day of events on LGBTQ+ history at M Shed museum. Details to follow soon.

Saturday 24th February 2024.

Save the day!

Mapping LGBT+ Bristol mobile app withdrawn

For technical reasons we have had to discontinue the iTunes app that displayed the LGBT+ Life map on Apple mobile phones. Sorry! But you can still see the map on this website.

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.

Henry Scott Tuke

Oil painting of a rowing boat in calm sea with three nude young men, one being helped from the water by an oarsman who is clothed.Henry Scott Tuke (1858-1929) is best known for his paintings of nude boys and young men. He lived most of his life in Falmouth but attended a school in Weston-super-Mare and had friends in Bristol.

Jonathan Rowe writes about Tuke’s local connections.

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.

Handsome man, late 30s, wearing old clothes, outside open garden doorsBeverley Nichols

Jonathan Rowe tells the story of writer, journalist, playwright and broadcaster Beverley Nichols (1898-1983). Born in Bower Ashton on the edge of Bristol, he became a household name.

But his admiring public never knew about his sexuality or the family secret he hid.

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 balloonsOut now is a 42-minute podcast from the Bristol Cable in which 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 have 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.

Copyright and citations

Website comments policy

Data protection policy

*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.