Attorney Tamara Packard highlights the legal clean-up process that remains post-marriage equality, and the other important work that remains to be done for wider equality.
Interest group: Wisconsin
LGBT people still face unique legal challenges in Wisconsin and elsewhere, causing Abigail Churchill to argue for the importance of LGBT-specific attorneys and law firms.
Rep. Mark Pocan is helping to push a comprehensive LGBT equality bill in Congress and calls on us all to continue the fight for truly full equality nationwide.
Meet Emily Harris, the 25 year-old owner of the Wylymar farms in Argyle
Michail Takach spoke with the notorious filmmaker and culture jammer about everything from the election to the state of gay bars in advance of his show, “A John Waters Christmas,” December 16 at the Barrymore Theater in Madison
Historian Dick Wagner explores the voices of gay liberation through the words of Wisconsin poets.
Dr. Shannon Andrews tells her own story of self-discovery and how it helped lead her to fighting to ensure that transgender people have equitable access to the care they need.
While we do have lesbian farmers in Madison, we do not have a taco truck on every corner. Yet. What we do have is a plethora of food carts, and what they lack in ubiquity they make up for in variety and social activism. More than 30 of the carts’…
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.
GSAFE’s Ali Muldrow pays it forward as an educator to incarcerated youth.
Wisconsin Alumni Association President Paula Bonner reflects on important family ties, barriers broken, gracious mentors, and a life’s work to help create equality and innovation in evolving academic and alumni relations environments.
Our Lives turns 10 years old this July, and this issue marks the start of our year-long retrospective. We take a look back at some of the people, stories, and changes that have marked the past decade of the LGBTQ community here in Madison, the state, and beyond.
Sandy Eichel followed the road laid out for her by others, until she found her calling—and her own path—in a new place and a new career.
The first-ever Wisconsin Male Burlesque Festival teased and titillated, all while lifting up the women who pioneered the art form, and queering and challenging standard definitions of masculinity.
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…
Sue Gill offers ways to acknowledge our very real fears without feeding into them or allowing our own hearts to turn to hate in times of struggle.
Attorney Emily Dudak Taylor walks us through some of the realistic legal concerns for the LGBTQ community—as well as what’s just rhetoric and rumor—in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential victory.
Joey Jadryev looks back on coming to terms with his sexuality, and how dance and drag both helped him fully embrace his whole identity—and what he would tell his high school self now.
Simone Justice found her life’s drive in cycling and is determined to see the sport better reflect and reach out to minority communities.
Madison’s first queer tango community aims to bring a timeless tradition to new heights and a more supportive space.
Rodney Lucas, aka F. Stokes, talks about his new documentary Ain’t No Babies in the City and why he felt compelled to tell the story of his sister and her partner’s decision to start a family in the face of massive societal prejudice.
Renee L. Herber & Tamara B. Packard on preserving the history of their east side home and renovating with community support and outreach in mind.
Marge Anderson tracks her upbringing during the heyday of Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry to her current work in sustainability, and how she sees hope for a better world even amid life’s many ups and downs.
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
It’s all in the family, as Vivienne Andersen profiles the new Café Social and its owners Omar Lopez and Doug Swenson, who strive to bring Madison a truly sublime
cup of joe.
Our Lives turns 10 years old this July, and we’re celebrating with our own year-long retrospective. We take a look back at some of the people, stories, and changes that have marked the past decade of the LGBTQ community here in Madison, the state, and beyond.
OD Kimani found a platform for personal expression, empowerment, and social change in the world of neo-burlesque.
From New Dehli to Dubai to Madison, Akshat Woodhouse Sharma grapples with what it means to live an authentic life when family and cultures clash.
TransLiberation Art Coalition founder Kaci Sullivan talks creating community and the importance of carving out space for trans and gender non-conforming people
to express and support themselves.
Alaura Seidl reflects on using art as a means to seek answers—or better yet, start new conversations—around everything from gender to sexuality to chronic pain and memory.
Historian Dick Wagner recounts the efforts by Wisconsin’s chapter of the radical AIDS activism organization to force lawmakers to stop ignoring and stigmatizing people with HIV/AIDS.
Caroline Werner talks to Jane De Broux of the Area Agency on Aging about resources available in Dane County.
Casey Thompson and Thomas Beckwith-Thompson embark on a new phase of their relationship, expanding it to include ownership of longtime State Street institution Fair Trade Coffee.
Nayeli Portillo reflects on living at multiple identity intersections and learning to navigate different spaces without burying her truth.
Ben Bisbach and Cody Egan felt driftless until they found organic farming, a life-work journey that’s taken them across the country and back again.
Anna Alberici grew up in Madison’s storied Greenbush neighborhood and continues to cultivate its tastes, smells, and community ethic at the Greenbush Bar.
Tommy Hanna, owner of the Mediterranean Hookah Lounge & Café, recalls his journey through family kitchens, civil wars, coming out, and becoming whole
Our Lives turns 10 years old this month, and we’re celebrating with our own year-long retrospective. We take a look back at some of the people, stories, and changes that have marked the past decade of the LGBTQ community here in Madison, the state, and beyond.
An interview with actress and Wisconsin AIDS Walk Honorary Chair Jane Lynch, by Steve Noll for Our Lives Magazine.
Longtime Indigo Girls member Emily Saliers is embarking on a tour to support her first solo album, with a stop in Madison on October 5 at the High Noon Saloon. Sandy Eichel interviews her for Our Lives in advance of the show.
A review by Terri Schlichenmeyer of the book by Denise Chanterelle DuBois
Ehren Hasz took a leap of faith when she came out as transgender to her partner, Becky Peterson. Through diving, dogs, and love, they’ve navigated the bumpy waters into smoother sailing.
Wisconsin’s LGBTQ newlyweds share their wedding experience and advice.
Vivienne Andersen gives us a glimpse of a new culinary collective aimed at giving women and nonbinary people in the business a place to commiserate, collaborate, and grow.
East High student Daniel Gengenbach discovered a new self-confidence and a community of support through the world of slam poetry, Proud Theater, and an accepting environment.
Bills working their way through the Wisconsin Legislature aim to undo local employee non-discrimination protections, as well as other basic rights, and are backed by several area restaurant owners.
Connecting racial and environmental justice is all part of bringing their full selves to the table for Brenda Coley, Ann Brummitt, and the rest of the diverse crew at
the Milwaukee Water Commons.
Milwaukee resident James Katherine Carnell offers a personal look at the struggles of transgender and nonbinary people navigating the prison system, and offers ideas for a more humane way forward.
Joseph Brooks, co-founder of Miltown LGBT Families, talks about the group’s origins and why creating a space for LGBTQ parents and kids to come together and share friendship and resources is crucial.
High school student Zoë Wyse discovered her passion for social advocacy and fighting for LGBTQ+ rights during a pivotal writing workshop at the U.W. Her #IFeelSaferWhen campaign is just the start.
Tavernakaya has become a restaurant and a nightclub dedicated to radical hospitality and inclusivity, using tasty food, diverse entertainment options, and an “ask first” policy of consent to
Michal Osier surveys some of the area social groups aimed specifically at LGBTQ elders and providing needed alternatives to isolation.
Madison Planning Division’s new director, Heather Stouder, found a passion for building more equitable and sustainable cities through travel, starting a family of her own, and Madison’s unique needs and opportunities.
Gary Tipler explains the vital LGBTQ history of the Wuennenberg-Clarenbach House, where some of the city’s and state’s pioneering LGBTQ lawmakers and movements made their home.
Finding little current information, OutReach’s new LGBT Senior Advocate, Michal Osier, is hoping to create a reliable list of LGBTQ welcoming senior care centers.
Anti-transgender rhetoric under the guise of radical “feminism” has been popping up in Madison, highlighting issues of bigotry and misinformation as well as what constitutes free speech vs. hate speech.
Photographer Caitlin (Katie) Barry set out to build queer community and provide authentic, sensitive portraiture with her LGBTQ Photo Pop-Ups.
U.W. Rowing coach Lowell McNicholas built a career, and a strong sense of self, by being out on the water.
Local stand-up comic Shawna Lutzow found her voice and a comedy cause after coming out.
As the new director of the U.W.’s Gender and Sexuality Campus Center (formerly the LGBT Campus Center), Warren Scherer brings to the job a wealth of experience and a dedication to listening and letting youth lead.
Emily Mills reviews the new biography about a transgender pioneer, “Lou Sullivan: Daring to Be A Man Among Men” by Brice D. Smith (Transgress Press, 2018)
Our Lives contributor Charles Wetzel talks coming out as a home-schooled kid in an Evangelical church, and finding a passion for both photography and politics.
Beloved east-side dessert shop Chocolaterian Cafe suffered a major fire in February and is relying on the goodwill of friends and supporters to help them survive.
Meet the independent group of attorneys behind Trans Law Help Wisconsin, and how they’re helping transgender and non-binary people navigate the rapids of a complex legal system.
Brewer Tim “Pio” Piotrowski reflects on the path less taken, hiking the Appalachian Trail, and his journey toward opening his own brewery in Madison.
Cow & Quince and Lucky Dog Farm owner Lori Stern looks back on a winding-but-thoughtful path that took her from teaching young mothers to building sustainable and safe community centered around healthy food.
Oscar Villarreal and Jordan Wegner of Fuegos restaurant talk family, loss, and finding and sharing love through a delicious alliance between innovative and traditional foods.
A Room of One’s Own, Madison’s 43-year-old independent, feminist bookstore, will keep its doors open under new ownership by longtime employees
Vandalism at our own office, violence and harassment against the community, and increased antagonism from the highest levels of power are stark reminders of the continuing importance of LGBTQ Pride and visibility.
Get away, embrace island time, and reconnect with nature by visiting Madeline Island—the largest Apostle Island in one of the most progressive corners of Wisconsin.
When one Wisconsin parent learned his child was born intersex, it set him and his entire family on a crash course with medical professionals, and toward an even greater fight for acceptance and support.
U.W. Gender & Women’s Studies Professor Dr. Sami Schalk on the many twists and turns in her life as a bisexual, polyamorous, black woman, and creating the queer life her younger self didn’t know was possible.
It’s been a long and often fraught journey, but Dane County Circuit Court Commissioner Mario White is living his authentic life, fighting for justice, and pushing for better representation in the law.
Whether on social media, via email statements, or in-person interviews, Madison’s LGBTQ community has made its various thoughts and feelings known in response to the controversy around police at Pride. We’ve worked to compile some of those responses below, as a way to paint a more comprehsive picture of the ways in which we grapple with an intensely complex and emotional issue—and to show how diverse those positions are.
Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe photographer Ryan Young reflects on the interconnectedness of their Two Spirit and Indigenous identities, and using art to build bridges and pride.
Incoming StageQ President Zak Stowe was bullied and shunned by his conservative, evangelical community for attempting to stage a play they felt was heretical. Now he’s finding his voice, and living life on his own terms, through the LGBTQ theater scene.
Brandon Rounds reveals the origins of Bianca Lynn Breeze, why he loves the Madison drag scene, and best practices for finding your own drag groove.
Artist and organizer Alaura Borealis reflects on their ambitious and far-reaching artistic project that spanned venues, communities, bodies, and the infinite spaces of the mind.
Creative writing helped Rachel L. reclaim the voice she’d lost after childhood sexual assault and trauma went unheard and disbelieved.
Recent news stories have highlighted the plight of LGBTQ asylum seekers, who often face persecution and even death in their home countries, only to experience discrimination and abuse in the U.S.
Artist Ben Brummerhop never expected to find the key to sobriety and a creative kick-start when he followed a boyfriend to the small community of Mineral Point, Wisconsin.
Mineral Point is one of Wisconsin’s hidden gems, boasting art galleries, historic buildings, and as of 2017, its own LGBTQ Pride celebration. Get to know some of the people and places that have turned this former lead mining town into a must-visit destination in the Driftless Area.
As Republicans pour record amounts of money into the state for the November senate election, incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin faces perhaps her toughest reelection bid ever. The longtime Wisconsin public servant talked with Our Lives Editor Emily Mills about the race and the issues that are shaping it and why she believes it’s more important than ever to stand up and be counted.
Having experienced discrimination and harassment as a young gay kid in Northern Wisconsin and elsewhere, Jim Chiolino has dedicated much of his career to advocating on behalf of LGBTQ people and other minorities in the workplace.
FORWRD Training co-owner and founder Raquel Sanchez is taking an approach to fitness based on patience, inclusivity, healing, and joy.
Take a look behind-the-scenes of Hotel Bar, a new, LGBTQ-inclusive web series that delves into diverse lives—and deaths, and hopes to help put Madison on the filmmaking radar.
Courage House is poised to become the state’s first home and drop-in space for homeless LGBTQ youth. We asked co-founder Brad Schlaikowski the whys and hows of opening the new space in Milwaukee.
An unassuming basement in the Riverwest neighborhood of Milwaukee is home to what’s believed to be the country’s largest independent collection of LGBTQ zines.
Appleton high school student Travis Thor talks finding internal acceptance and joy in coming to terms with his many identities.
Dr. Sami Schalk kicks off a new series of columns that aim to address some of the pressing and oftentimes thornier questions about the intersection of race and queerness in America.
Gary Tipler and Scott Seyforth chronicle the life and historical legacy left by David Runyon, tireless recorder and advocate of the LGBTQ community.
Madison area native Todd Larson went from the Peace Corps to the United Nations to the Obama Administration, helping pioneer the fight for LGBTQI rights within some of the world’s most complex bureaucracies.
The LGBTQ community faces unique and ongoing challenges in the quest for equitable health care. What progress has been made, and where do barriers remain?
Hybrid Athletic Club and Bakke Athletics owner Kjersten Bakke was taught from a young age to embrace her curiosity and the unknown, and to be true to herself. These lessons helped shape her somewhat unlikely life trajectory.
An incident at a drag show at Plan B has sparked a deluge of long-held criticisms of the club and its new co-owners, leading to serious questions about the future of one of Madison’s LGBTQ venues
As Plan B becomes Prism Dance Club, new management looks beyond a simple re-branding of the east side night spot and toward a more inclusive and diverse mission statement.
The new Black Arts Matter Festival highlights creative works from Black and QPOC artists
We checked in with OutReach and the Community Pride Coalition for an update on what’s happened since the controversy this summer over police and Pride.
UW educator sj Miller is helping the next generation of teachers and students create a less binary, more inclusive world for all.
Great Northern offers an inclusive and local approach to the craft cocktail movement. Founder Brian Cummins answers a few questions to help you get to know what the distillery is all about.
Milwaukee’s Collin Falvey has helped bring holiday queer cheer to the White House for the past four years. He offers some insight into how he got the invite in the first place, and what it’s like to continue the work in the age of Trump.
Davette Baker gives some insight into the recent strides made by the Human Rights Campaign to get out the vote in Wisconsin, and how to create a more lasting ground game for a pro-equality campaign.