Interest group: Activism

A Seat at the Table

State Representative Mark Pocan examines the pivotal moments in his life and how they’ve shaped his commitment to using his elected positions to effect change.

Time to ACT

What started as a job turned into something bigger as WKOW 27 news anchor Mitch Weber tells Our Lives why he decided to make the Wisconsin AIDS ride a part of who he is.

A Man on a Mission

Meet Justin Hager, the UW–Madison senior who’s combining faith and activism.

Home is Where His Heart is

Associated Bank residential loan officer Mike Fumelle uses his profession as his form of activism

Faith and the First Amendment

Even laws can’t keep religion away from politics. Tamara Packard looks at the struggles created when there isn’t a clear separation between church and state

Farewell: In Loving Memory of Felicia Melton-Smyth

Saying goodbye to Felicia Melton-Smyth

Farewell: In Appreciation of His Vision

Saying farewell to Club 5’s founder, Ed Grunewald

Life is a Cabaret

Meet Alexis M. Rouge, performer extraordinaire and co-founder of Lexi Ravyn Productions

A Pirate’s Crusade

At 19 years old, Bob Bowers became one of the first cases of HIV documented. Now, at 45, he looks back at whom he’s become after living longer with the disease than without.

The Test

Thrown into a sobering reality, in his own words Dustin Smith tells what it was like when he learned he tested positive.

The Status of HIV

New Executive Director Karen Dotson offers a comprehensive look at the emerging needs in HIV/AIDS prevention and care, and how the AIDS Network is responding to that demand.

Art’s Able Advocate

Meet Theresa Abel, activist and owner of the Artisan Gallery and Creamery Cafe in Paoli

Our Candle in Congress

Running for her sixth term, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin is still an equality pioneer as she talks about her newly-founded LGBT Equality Caucus and co-chairing Democratic Presidential Nominee Obama’s national gay leadership and policy committee.

When Hate Speaks Out

When a preacher implied murder in his Wisconsin speech, what followed challenged our right to debate. Tamara Packard reviews a Supreme Court decision.

The Value of Charity

Looking to rebalance your portfolio? How do you contribute to something you feel passionate about? Jaime Zimmerman offers an attractive option.

The Teachers’ Teacher

As the GLBTQ Resource Teacher for the Madison School District, Bonnie Augusta is empowering GLBTQ students while educating faculty and staff on how to support the needs of queer youth.

Dear Cris

After surviving years of declining health and a double transplant, OutReach’s Development Director Nikki Baumblatt looks back at the woman who cared for her, loved her, and stayed next to her through it as she tries to say: I Love You.

Finding Their Common Voice

Past Fair Wisconsin Board President Dan Ross charts the path that he and his partner Charlie Squires took from meeting at a graduate school party into a shared life of activism.

Quitters Do Win

Diverse and Resilient partners with OutReach on “Room to Breathe,” a solution to help us stop smoking. Amber Ault reports.

Justice Warrior

Caroline Werner interviews Carrie “Chaous” Riddle, a working class grandmother who has dedicated herself to volunteering on behalf of the most vulnerable among us

Before Christopher Street

Years before George Segal’s “Gay Liberation” was permanently installed in New York’s Sheridan Square, the statues’ first home was in Madison’s Orton Park. Richard Wagner celebrates the work of the New Harvest Foundation.

National Women’s Music Festival

Festival producer Jane Weldon chronicles how Madison became the home to this 35-year mission.

As Goes Iowa…

How did our neighboring state 90 minutes west achieve marriage equality? Tamara Packard reviews their Supreme Court’s unanimous opinion.

Pedal to the Mettle

Meet Ali Dwyer. Through We Are All Mechanics, she is empowering women, one bike rider at a time.

The Courge to Act

In their own words, Fair Wisconsin Leadership Award winners Kathy Flores & Ann Kendzierski of Appleton exemplify the power we each have to make a difference.

We Shall Overcome

GSAFE Educator of the Year Scott Lone of West Bend East High School approaches his role with dedication and courage.

Changed for life… changed for good

Wisconsin AIDS Ride Coordinator Angela DuPont reflects upon her involvement with the ACT Rides and what she’ll take with her as she says goodbye.

40 years after Stonewall: Pride In Progress

The past 50 years in a civil rights movement through the eyes and perspective of a Madison native by Brian Powers.

Up to the Challenge

Meet Katie Belanger. As Fair Wisconsin’s new Executive Director, she’s using her experience and resolve to fight the good fight.

Addressing Religion-Based Homophobia

Crisis by Mitchell Gold and Mindy Drucker

Teach Your Students Well

“After my first year as one of a very small number of ‘out’ students at Marquette, this class was like a life raft,” Jo Futrell said. “To be in a law class where I could speak from my own perspective as a lesbian—that was a big deal.”

Love Makes a Family

And sometimes, love also makes the man. Tyler Driscoll, Michele Burton-Driscoll, and their son, Johnny, show us how.

The Diary of Josie Lynn

What a fun way to promote this awesome show, walking around the Capitol Square during a Farmers’ Market in full drag. And that’s exactly what we did—coffee in one hand, show fliers in the other.

Our History: “Homocrats” stir up Wisconsin

The so-called “sex plank” by the Young Democrats led the way toward future legislation protecting gay and lesbian Wisconsinites in 1966.

Networking Nutrition

Meet Ellen Berz. As AIDS Network Board President, she shares her pride in the Network’s ability to address the ever-changing needs of clients, including the reopened food pantry.

OPEN for Business

J. James Tye III shares the opening sequence of the Out Professional and Executive Network.

A Force to be Reckoned With

GSAFE’s Middle School Program Assistant Monica Adams is ready to advocate for multicultural, queer youth around the state.

Ferguson to Madison: A Black Queer Synopsis

Freedom Inc.’s M. Adams makes the case for intersectionality and why Black rights and queer rights are inextricably bound together.

M. Adams (right) in Ferguson, Missouri.

Justice Warrior, pt. 2

In the second of a two-part series, Caroline Werner delves into the history and ethic of a queer activist family.

The Long Fight

Outgoing president Katie Belanger recaps the challenges and successes of her time at Fair Wisconsin on the eve of the organization’s transition to new priorities.

The Good Word

How the LGBT Books to Prisoners project is bringing a bit more hope and community to those serving time.

The Fighter

A fierce advocate for her rights and those of the people who come after, Ret. Col. Sheri A. Swokowski tells the story of how she came from conservative Wisconsin roots to become one of the highest ranking out transgender officers in the world.

Art Is My Sword

Performer Alena Joling, a.k.a. Colin Acumen, found a way to fight the hard fights within the supportive and radical community of drag artists in Milwaukee.

Protecting Our Youth

Congressman Mark Pocan issues a rallying cry for the movement to turn its sights more thoroughly on creating safe and supportive environments for LGBTQ youth.

Pushing Forward

Kristen Petroshius, Cindy Breunig, and Laura McNeil of Groundwork urge continued constructive dialogue and action around issues of racial disparity in Dane County

Mother Love

After the nightmare of losing her child to suicide, Skylar Lee’s mother Joanne Lee is dedicating herself to continuing the work that her son began on behalf of the LGBTQ community that she struggled for so long to understand.

Gay and Lesbian by Official Order

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.

A Call for Wider Queer Solidarity

T. Banks with the Young Gifted and Black Coalition makes the case for why queer people everywhere should be standing in solidarity with people of color against state sponsored violence.

A Life of Service

Gary Hollander talks about his transition out of Diverse & Resilient, the nonprofit he founded to assist LGBTQ youth, and the exciting future in store for our state’s largest LGBTQ service organization.

Getting Past Good

GSAFE’s Brian Juchems digs deep into the heart of how good people can and do still harbor biases, and the work that must be done to fully examine and work beyond them.

Small Town, Big Change

GSAFE Youth Leadership scholarship winner Cas Bacon is fighting for the rights of a new generation of LGBTQ+ people, starting at home in Fond du Lac.

Queer Little Theater

Encore Studio for the Performing Arts Executive Director KelsyAnne Schoenhaar talks about her own journey of unexpected
discovery at the crossroads of theater, disability, queer identity, and a million other things that make people
who they are.

At the Crossroads

Sheltreese McCoy, Crossroads Coordinator at the LGBT Campus Center & Multicultural Student Center at U.W.-Madison, muses on life at the intersections of multiple identities, and her work to build bridges between them for herself and others.

Black Trans Lives Matter: Health Care for All

An open letter from the Wisconsin Trans Health Coalition on the necessity of community efforts to eradicate state violence against transgender people.

Lisa Mitchell

Hope Springs Up

Madison Urban Ministry’s Linda Ketchum muses on what has changed—and what hasn’t—since the death of Tony Robinson in Madison, and where hope for the future of the community comes from the ground up.

Willma’s Way

Donald Haar describes his journey from personal struggle to becoming the helping hand that prevents our most vulnerable citizens from falling through the cracks of LGBTQ life.

Be the Change

Haruka Yukioka didn’t see faer truth reflected in faer childhood in Fond du Lac, but a trip to GSAFE’s leadership camp motivated faer to build a more inclusive community at home.

It’s a State of Mind

Team Orange’s Lora Wilkinson loves to recruit new members.

The Great Connector

Anders Zanichkowsky is the hub that keeps all the many spokes of the ACT Ride wheels spinning.

Turning a Passion into a Profession

Angie Alcorta follows her lifelong dream of becoming a counselor with a little help from her experiences with Outreach.

Living with Purpose

Felicia Melton-Smyth talks candidly to Our Lives about transitioning, her AIDS philanthropy work and the most important thing she’s ever done.

Forward Thinking

Setting a course for advocacy has lead John Quinlan from Outreach to providing a progressive voice for our
community on the radio with “Forward Forum.”

Finding Her Rhythm

With the first anniversary of Women Who Want to Dance approaching, organizer Susana Torres talks to Our Lives about coming here from Mexico, beginning to laugh, and Women Across Wisconsin

Activism Within the System

Longtime community activist Kathy Flores reflects on pursuing her calling while navigating the slings and arrows that come with being a public face in the fight for equality.

Just As Strange

Amy DeGraff-Castro found ways to reconcile and embrace all the diverse parts of themselves through LGBTQ activism and outreach.

Learning for Liberation

GSAFE’s Ali Muldrow pays it forward as an educator to incarcerated youth.

A Survivor Finds Community

Intimate Partner Violence is an often ignored but, still serious issue, within the LGBTQ community in particular. Kathy Flores of Diverse & Resilient interviews a survivor who is part of efforts to educate, support, and create better resources for those impacted by IPV.

Connection is Everything

A former 1960s radical hippie activist looks back at the lessons she learned during the last great social upheaval in the U.S., and to how we might grow and move on from past mistakes when confronting new challenges (same as the old challenges)

10 years of Our Lives

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.

We Did Not Surrender

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…