Interest group: Dick Wagner

Take a stroll through time to discover some of the hidden history of Madison’s LGBT community. Dick Wagner gives you a guided tour.

Richard Wagner shares evidence that post-World War II homosexuals proved themselves to be above “diagnosis.”

Gay philanthropy follows a trajectory from coat checks and “hat” passing to a multi-million dollar community.

Dick Wagner shines a light on the story of bipartisanship that won early victories for LGBT rights in Wisconsin.

State Rep. Lloyd Barbee broke lines of color and sexual identity as a tireless champion of equal rights for all citizens.

LGBT soldiers’ stories are largely erased or forgotten, but some fascinating and important accounts of life as a gay man in the Greatest Generation do exist.

Camp McCoy shows the typical World War II camp in Wisconsin. Truax Field had a similar military layout.

PART 1: LGBT soldiers’ stories are largely erased or forgotten, but some fascinating and important accounts of life as a gay man in the Greatest Generation do exist.

Camp McCoy shows the typical World War II camp in Wisconsin. Truax Field had a similar military layout.

J. Edgar Hoover and the 1940s war on sex crimes in Wisconsin.

J. Edgar Hoover with his rumored lover, Clyde Tolson.

Novelist Edward Harris Heth and 1950s bromance in the Welsh Hills of Wisconsin.

Historian Dick Wagner illustrates how far we’ve come and compiles some of the less-than-friendly court rulings regarding LGBT people in the state’s past.

Part 2: Students Are the Focus

Dick Wagner examines how same-sex love found its way into mainstream press during the upheaval of the World Wars, though it still dared not speak its name.

Historian Dick Wagner recalls his part in some of the pioneering efforts to officially recognize and support gays and lesbians through Wisconsin government.

Gov. Anthony Earl signs the Consenting Adults Bill in 1983 decriminalizing homosexual acts and other private sex acts. Such a bill was first proposed by Lloyd Barbee in the early 1970s. 
Looking on are (left to right) Dan Curd, Linda Kessel, Dick Wagner, State Representative John Manske, State Representative David Clarenbach (author), State Representative Marcia Coggs (Barbee’s successor, State Representative David Travis, and an unidentified woman.

In light of the recent marriage equality ruling and its blowback, Dick Wagner
runs down the history of religious organizations and individuals that have worked for LGBT rights in Wisconsin.

The Rev. James C. Wright, shown here in 1983, was the Madison Equal Opportunities Commission’s first executive director.

A new historical preservation group aims to protect and share Madison’s LGBTQ past through oral histories and other collected materials. Dick Wagner relays one woman’s story of early lesbian life in the city.

Bar manager Penny Caruso (seated) and bartender Meika Alberici behind the bar in the restaurant Lysistrata.

A 1930s study of homosexuals in Wisconsin.

Dick Wagner looks back at some of the efforts, realized or not, to create separate spaces for LGBTQ people in Wisconsin.

Historian Dick Wagner explores the voices of gay liberation through the words of Wisconsin poets.

Historian Dick Wagner explores the voices of gay liberation through the words of Wisconsin poets.

Historian Dick Wagner delves into the history of Wisconsin’s groundbreaking sexual orientation non-discrimination law, its shortcomings and achievements, and
the people that helped see it enforced.

Signing of AB70 into law by Governor Lee Dreyfus (R), 
February 1982. Left to right: Leon Rouse, Governor Dreyfus, David Clarenbach

On November 11 The New York Times carried the story, “Trump Win Seen as ‘Devastating Loss’ for Gay and Transgender People.” A wonderful column from Jennifer Finney Boylan, a transgender professor at Barnard College, followed. It was called “Don’t Blame Me.” The stories expressed what many of us had hoped…

Historian Dick Wagner looks at the early history of HIV/AIDS in Wisconsin and some of the people who sounded the early alarm about its deadly reach

Historian Dick Wagner looks at the early history of HIV/AIDS in Wisconsin and some of the people who sounded the early alarm about its deadly reach