Tag Archives: LGBTQ

Roundup: Longshore Pool, Netflix, Hair …


The Town of Westport website’s Longshore pool page says: “We anticipate opening on Memorial Day weekend, however we are awaiting on information from the State of Connecticut for updated COVID-19 guidance.”

Meanwhile, the 3 pools are filled, and the pumps are pumping.

Also meanwhile: The Westport Weston Family Y ends its pool reservation system — in place since last summer — as of Tuesday (June 1). For nearly a year, swimmers have had to reserve times, 3 days ahead of time. (Hat tip: Michael Catarevas)

Longshore pool (Photo/Pamela Einarsen)


Dog-walkers at Winslow Park have been intrigued by several large trucks parked in the nearby Westport Country Playhouse parking lot.

Yesterday, Wendy Crowther saw a man moving an enormous fan. She chatted him up, and learned it will be part of a movie shoot.

Netflix is filming “The Noel Diary” around Fairfield County. Based on the novel of the same name, and starring Justin Hartley, Bonnie Bedelia and Treat Williams, it’s a Christmas flick. The fan is to help with the “snow.”

No word yet on when the Westport scenes will be shot.

One of the trucks in the Westport Country Playhouse parking lot. (Photo/Dan Woog)


Another Compo Beach memorial bench has been found!

Barbara De Rome Gross posted on a Weston social media page that while kayaking at Compo, she found a bench honoring the Geismar family. David and Mirjam were longtime, beloved Weston EMTs — and Holocaust survivors.

Barbara told Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department of her find. They’ll retrieve it, restore it, and reposition it at its rightful place near the Ned Dimes Marina.

How it ended up where it did is “a mystery,” Barbara writes. But thanks to her eagle eye, the Geismars will once again have their place of honor by the water. (Hat tip: Laurie Crouse)

The Geismars’ memorial bench.


Catherine Cook purchased the house at 13 Morningside Drive North in 2020.   Her sister Julie French lives in Wimberley, Texas. Her hobby is family and home historical records.

When Catherine moved to Westport, Julie contacted the Westport Historical Society for information. She learned about their plaque program, and realized it would be a great housewarming gift.

It took a while, but Julie has finally presented her gift: a plaque citing “The Eliason House,” built in 1917.

In 1916 Clara Eliason purchased the property from Edward Birge. She built her house the next year. After Clara died in 1951, the property was transferred to family members, who lived there until 1997. (Hat tip: Bob Weingarten)

Catherine Cook (left) with the plaque purchased by her sister, Julie French.


The Staples High School boys lacrosse team made history yesterday.

The Wreckers scored early and often, held Wilton scoreless for the entire first half, and cruised to a 16-2 victory in the FCIAC semifinal, held at Staples.

The blue-and-whites — seeded 2nd in the league vie for the program’s first league title ever tomorrow (Friday, May 28, 5 p.m., New Canaan High School’s Dunning Field). They face top-ranked Darien. The Blue Wave won their regular season encounter 10-7, earlier this spring.


A reader recently wondered what happened to the wonderful crew at Compo Barbers.

Felice, Chau, Tony and Tina have moved just a few doors east — right across the driveway next to CVS — to Westport Hair & Co. They’ve even kept the old Compo Barber Shop phone number (203-227-9779).

And speaking of Felice: another great stylist, Felicia Catale, is back in business at Salon Nash, at Nash’s Corner on Post Road West.

Whichever side of the river you choose, your hair will thank you.

Felice and Felicia


Just in time for Pride Month, Jillian Elder — of Finding Westport, Finding Fairfield County and Finding Connecticut fame — has rolled out LGBTQ-themed merchandise. They’re available through June 30 only.

Jillian is donating 10% of all sales to Westport Pride, the group that is organizing local celebrations throughout June.

Click here for rainbow-style water bottles, coffee mugs, hoodies and t-shirts. Then show them off with pride!


Canal Beach may be one of Westport’s lesser-known spots. Still, it’s hard to imagine no one noticing someone cutting a metal pole holding a clamming sign.

It’s harder still to figure out why someone would do it.

The sign is now back up. Sort of.

(Photos/Gene Borio)

But the mystery continues.


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows a scene right outside Roseann Spengler’s front door:

(Photo/Roseann Spengler)


And finally … today in 1933, the Walt Disney Company released the cartoon Three Little Pigs. It included a soon-to-be-hit song: “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?”

Here’s how it sounded then …

… and how it sounds now:


Westporter Asks: Where Is The LGBTQ Community?

When Brian McGunagle and his family moved from Rye, New York 4 years ago, they looked at places like Greenwich, Darien and Norwalk.

But it was Westport that most attracted them. McGunagle and his husband Stephen Gustafson liked the town’s progressive, artistic history. The fact that the Brook Cafe opened as a gay bar around 1931, and flourished here for 7 decades, was particularly intriguing.

McGunagle and Gustafson have been happy here. Their 21-month-old son Henry is flourishing in daycare.

Still, when they joined a “new parents” group through Willows Pediatrics, they wondered if they’d be the the only same-sex couple.

They met 2 families in which the husbands were transgender. They learned about a Facebook group for LGBTQ parents that facilitated playdates. Through that, they met several same-sex partners.

Steve Gustafson, Henry and Brian McGunagle go pumpkin picking.

But McGunagle — who works in the energy sector, while studying to become an Episcopal priest — wants more than a quiet, open suburb.

“As one of Westport’s growing same-sex couple families,” he says, “I want to ensure that our community is visible.” He also hopes to provide models to people who are “questioning or awakening to their own sexuality.”

For 30 years, the Triangle Community Center in Norwalk has served the Fairfield County LGBTQ community. There’s a center in New Haven too, and of course plenty of resources in New York City.

Closer to home, Westport’s Unitarian Church has long supported LGBTQ causes, including meetings and programming.

McGunagle’s idea is to complement what exists, with a uniquely Westport spin.

Among his ideas:

  • Celebrating Pride Month in June with a parade and festivities on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, and at the Levitt Pavilion
  • Honoring our LGBTQ history and famous community members through the Westport Museum for History & Culture
  • Designing a rainbow crosswalk downtown
  • Creating programs and resources for people coming out at any age, singles, same-sex families, families with LGBTQ members, those who are transgender or gender fluid, seniors.=
  • Rallying allies
  • Partnering with Staples High School’s Gender Sexuality Alliance
  • Providing mentor opportunities.

“Do those ideas resonate? Is anyone interested?” McGunagle asks.

He hopes to hear feedback. He particularly hopes it is cross-generational.

McGunagle knows there are many individuals like him, and families like his, living quietly in Westport. Now he wants to find them, and bring them together for support, education and excitement.

To learn more, email westportctpride@gmail.com.