Hartford, CT Gay City Guide : Making Your Home in this Historical City

As the state capital of Connecticut, Hartford has a long and important history that it cherishes, blended with a vibrant and forward-looking culture of the present. Hartford was known for years as the heart of America's insurance industry, but beyond that, it is the proud home of 300 years of historic architecture, eclectic neighborhoods, and friendly people. Truly, Hartford would be a wonderful place to call home.

A Look at Hartford’s History

Hartford was initially settled in 1635, when a group of English colonists, led by the Reverend Thomas Hooker who established a settlement on the banks of the Connecticut River. The settlement grew throughout that time, eventually becoming a center of the Federalist movement, and the site of the first meeting of the Connecticut legislature. In the 19th century, Hartford was a center of abolitionist activity, playing an important role in the anti-slavery movement. Following the end of World War Two, the suburbs of Hartford began to grow, and today, it is now a thriving city with a number of unique and vibrant neighborhoods.  

A Few Fun Facts About Hartford

  • The Hartford Courant, which was founded in 1764 is the country’s oldest continually published newspaper.
  • Pedro Segarra, the former mayor of Hartford, became the nation’s first legally married gay mayor when he wed his partner of 14 years in 2012. When he was elected in 2010, he was only America's second openly gay mayor.
  • Mark Twain was once a resident of Hartford, and while living there, published some of his most famous writings, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Find more fun facts about Hartford here.


Hartford’s LGBTQ Community

Hartford has a strong LGBTQ population that is well supported by community resources. A couple of those resources include:

Our True Colors Community Center

True Colors is a non-profit organization located in Hartford that works with other social service agencies, as well as schools and other organizations in the community at large to ensure that the needs or sexual and gender minority youth are recognized and met. It is the proud organizer of the largest LGBTQ youth conference in the country, and it manages Connecticut’s only LGBTQ mentoring program.

New Haven Pride Center

The New Haven Pride Center is the LGBTQ community center for the greater New Haven and Hartford area, and includes a number of support groups and social activities for the LGBTQ community.

The Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective

The Hartford Gay and Lesbian Health Collective has been a pillar of the Hartford community for decades. It provides high-quality programs and clinical health services to Hartford’s LGBTQ community.


What’s the Weather Like in Hartford?

Residents of Hartford can expect to enjoy all four distinct seasons. Hartford gets 120 days of precipitation, on average, per year, and that is a mixture of both rain and snow, depending on the season. Average high temperatures in the summer are around 84 degrees, and the average low in winter is approximately 18 degrees.


The Best Events in Hartford

Hartford Pride

Hartford Pride is Hartford’s annual pride celebration for the LGBTQ community. In Hartford, Pride week aims to provide celebratory, cultural, artistic and educational events which affirm the lives of the LGBTQ community. Including a parade, festival, and many other fun activities, it’s a celebration you won’t want to miss!

OUT - Connecticut LGBTQ Film Festival

The OUT Connecticut LGBTQ Film Festival is held in Hartford each year, which is dedicated to presenting outstanding LGBTQ cinema and other theatrical events throughout the year, which culminates in the nine-day film festival. The event, held each spring, is Connecticut’s longest-running film festival, dedicated to celebrating all that makes the LGBTQ community unique.


Hartford’s Best Neighborhoods

Hartford is a warm and welcoming city generally, and many neighborhoods in the city would make a wonderful place to call home. Generally, however, the most well-known gay neighborhood in Hartford is in the southern part of the West End, and the adjoining area nearby known as Parkville. This eclectic and friendly neighborhood combines a sense of history with a modern and progressive vibe. This area includes Elizabeth Park and several historic mansions, although a good mixture of condos and single-family homes are available as well. The current median list price in Parkville is approximately $262,000.

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Arts and Entertainment

The Wadsworth Atheneum

The Wadsworth Atheneum is America’s oldest public art museum. It began in 1842 with just 79 paintings, and today, it houses more than 50,000 works of art. It is a must-see for any art or history lover.

The Hartford Stage

The Hartford Stage is a local theater with a warm and welcoming vibe, known for putting on classical and innovative plays, musicals, and more. With the wide variety of shows, everyone is sure to find something they enjoy!

Real Art Ways

Real Art Ways is a local theater organization known for showing cutting edge films, many of which are gay-themed. It also hosts GAZE, which is a gay happy hour, on the first Friday of every month.


Parks and Recreation

Bushnell Park

Bushnell Park is the oldest publicly funded park in the United States. Its beautiful 50 acres of green space includes walking trails, playgrounds, ponds, and even an early 20th century merry-go-round. It is a wonderful place to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors in the midst of the city.

The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center

Harriet Beecher Stowe was the well-known best-selling author of the anti-slavery novel "Uncle Tom's Cabin." The Stowe Center, named in her honor, offers interactive and educational tours and programs which are designed to inspire action on social justice issues.


Hartford Nightlife

Chez Est

Chez Est, located in Hartford’s South End, is a popular video bar with great jukebox music that draws a diverse and eclectic crowd for many of its parties, which include regular drag shows and karaoke nights.

Favela Rooftop

Favela Rooftop, located on Newfield Avenue is a bar and dance club owned by Ephraim Adamz, who is a DJ, filmmaker, musician, and LGBT Pride Festival coordinator. The club plays a range of music and offer a fun and inclusive environment.


Contact a Hartford Realtor Today

If you are interested in finding your next perfect home in Hartford, don’t wait any longer to get started. Contact a Hartford Gay Realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!