From LGBT Archive
Jump to: navigation, search
The Clifton Suspension Bridge
Bristol is a city and county in South West England. The town received a Royal Charter in 1155 and became a county of itself in 1373. It has been a city since 1542 when a local abbey became a cathedral. In 1974 it became a district within the county of Avon, but Avon was abolished in 1996, when Bristol regained its county status and became a unitary authority. In mediaeval times Bristol was one of the most important towns in England, and a port second only to London. Much of its subsequent growth was connected with the slave trade.

Notable Bristol landmarks include the Clifton Suspension Bridge across the Avon Gorge. In 1961 John Betjeman described Bristol as "the most beautiful, interesting and distinguished city in England".[1]

LGBT history

In the early 1970s there was a Bristol GLF branch.

Bristol CHE Group was founded in April 1970 and Bristol Youth Group in November 1971 [2].

In February 1976 the city hosted the Third National Lesbian Conference, attended by between 500-600 women [3].

Gay West, founded 1982, is a support and social group for LGBT people. The history of the group, and other groups in the area, is described in Gay West (2011) by Robert Howes.

Bristol Youth 1986 (LSE Hall Carpenter Archives)

In 1985 Rob Brettle held a meeting at his house with the plan of setting up a Gay Youth Group for Bristol and the West Country. By January 1986 the Bristol Lesbian and Gay Youth Group was up and running [4].

Bristol LGBT Forum was established in 1994

Freedom Youth Bristol was set up in 1995 and is still going strong in 2019 [5].

Local LGBT sports teams include Bristol Panthers FC, Bristol Bisons RFC and Bristol Cycle Out.

There is a local LGBT radio show, ShoutOut.

Sing Out is the local LGBT choir.

Bristol Pride is held annually in July.[6]

Pink Herrings is a social group for lesbians in Bristol.

Bristol Families and Friends is a support group for families and friends of LGBT people.

OutStories Bristol records the history of LGBT people in the area.[7]


  1. Reece Winstone, Bristol's Suburbs Long Ago 1985, page=124
  2. Bristol Youth Group was 'formally' listed by CHE National Organisation in April 1973 noting that it was recognised at Morecambe (1973 Conference).Groups Report April 1973 LSE HCA/CHE/2/2
  3. Gay News issue 90 'Lesbians in Bristol'
  4. Flyers in LSE Hall Carpenter Archives
  5. The Pink Paper in 1992 listed a new gay and lesbian youth group in Bristol for under 21s. The Pink Paper 2 Feb 1992. It is not known if this was a forerunner of Freedom Youth or this group folded before 1995.