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May 28, 2021

 Lives of the state’s LGBTQ citizens have moved from being hidden and solitary to claiming visible, powerful, valuable, and contributing places in society. In this episode, Mary Donohue, Asst. Publisher of Connecticut Explored, interviews CCSU Assistant Professor of History William J. Mann about when and how the LGBTQ movement started in Connecticut, what legislative goals and strategies drove the movement, and what the current goals are for the LGBTQ movement. Mann discusses the impact of AIDS and the ways that the LGBTQ community supported its members. He describes how his students helped to research and uncover the people and events highlighted in the online exhibition, “Historic Timeline of Connecticut’s LGBTQ  Community.” Mann wrote CT Explored’s “A Brief History of Connecticut’s Gay Media,” available at


Mann teaches LGBTQ history, film history, and the history of AIDS. He is the director of CCSU's LGBTQ Center. From 1989-1995, he was the editor and later publisher of Metroline, the state’s LGBTQ newsmagazine, and coordinator of Your Turf, the first LGBTQ youth group in the state. In 1989, along with Terri Reid, William founded the long-running queer film festival known today as Out Film CT. He is author of 12 books, many on American film history. 

Find the LGBTQ Timeline at It is a partnership between Central Connecticut State University and the Connecticut Historical Society, and is based on the work of Richard Nelson, CCSU 403 students in 2019, and will continue to grow. 


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Ann Stanback-

This episode was produced by Mary Donohue, Assistant Publisher of Connecticut Explored, the magazine of Connecticut history and mixed by Patrick O’Sullivan. 

Mary Donohue has documented Connecticut’s architecture, built environment and popular culture for over 30 years. Contact her at