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Jun 1, 2024

June is PRIDE month and we’re celebrating by bringing you an episode about efforts to bring LGBTQ+ history to light. As one guest, historian William Mann writes, “Throughout its history, Connecticut’s LGBTQ population has moved from leading hidden, solitary lives to claiming visible, powerful, valuable, and contributing places in society.”  In this episode, we talk about what historians have found in Connecticut’s Colonial records, some surprising connections to famous individuals and landmarks and at the end of the episode, there’s a recommendation for  three places to visit to celebrate LGBTQ+ history.


In order to prepare for this episode, two digital resources created by our guests were used. Both of these are available on the web and the links are below.


The first is the Historic Timeline of Connecticut’s LGBTQ Community online exhibition directed by William Mann for the Connecticut Museum of Culture and History. Mann is an author and historian whose books include Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn, named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times; The Wars of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of America’s Greatest Political Family; Behind the Screen: How Gays and Lesbians Shaped Hollywood; and Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood.  He is an Assistant Professor of History at Central Connecticut State University, where he teaches LGBTQ History.

See the timeline here:


Mann is available for lectures and book talks. He can be reached at


The second digital resource is a recorded lecture, Intemperate Habits: LGBTQ History from a Connecticut Perspective, a talk by Dr. Susan Ferentinos . She is an advisor to an inspiring new project, the Ridgefield LGBTQ Oral History Project. The Ridgefield Oral History project is a partnership between the Ridgefield Historical Society and Ridgefield Pride that will train high school students to conduct oral interviews with members of Ridgefield’s gay community. Ferentinos is a public history researcher, writer, and consultant helping cultural organizations share untold stories about women and LGBTQ people. She is advising the Ridgefield LGBTQ Oral History Project and has recently worked with the Palmer-Warner House in East Haddam, Connecticut, and the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, New York. She is the author of the award-winning book Interpreting LGBT History at Museums and Historic Sites and has contributed her expertise to the National Park Service initiative “Telling All Americans’ Stories.” Ferentinos is available for lectures and book talks. Contact her at

Watch her lecture here:


Here are three fantastic places to visit that celebrate LGBTQ+ lives-links for each of these is below:

1)    James Merrill House

CT Open House Day @ the James Merrill House


Jun 08, 2024, 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM EDT

Stonington, 107 Water St, Stonington, CT 06378, USA

The James Merrill House is a writer's home and a home for writers. As part of CT Open House Day, we will open the doors of the JMH to the public for an opportunity to tour the charming, color-drenched home of one of America's greatest poets at 107 Water Street in the picturesque Stonington Borough.


2)    Philip Johnson’s Glass House-New Canaan, open now for the summer tour season, order your tickets on line at:


3)    Bloodroot Restaurant

Bloodroot, a vegan, feminist, activist restaurant, owned by lesbians Selma Miriam and Noel Furie in Bridgeport, Connecticut, has thrived for 42 years. See their website for information on reservations for dinner or lunch.




Can you spare $10 a month to help support the new voices, research, and books featured on Grating the Nutmeg? It’s easy to set up a monthly donation on the Connecticut Explored website at   Click the donate button at the top and then look for the Grating the Nutmeg link. Thank you!


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This episode of Grating the Nutmeg was produced by Mary Donohue and engineered by Patrick O’Sullivan at   Follow GTN on our Facebook, Instagram and Threads pages.


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