Interest group: Coming Out

A Road Less Traveled

W. Earle Smith has spent a lifetime on a path toward the most rewarding part of his career: as artistic director of the Madison Ballet.

Nature vs. Nurture

Relying on reason to rationalize his own journey, Kevin Romero discovers how life doesn’t always follow a simple science.

Better Late Than Never

Getting a later start on building your own life creates some unique challenges. Dale Decker offers a few ways to handle a delayed adolescence

Her Path to the Pulpit

Answering the call for the Reverend Eldonna Hazen first meant reconciling her sexuality with her faith. In her own words, First Congregational United Church of Christ’s Associate Minister talks about why she’s returned to the church.

The Civil Servant

Over the past two decades, Steve Starkey has built a professional career in community service. In 2006 he began using that experience to steer OutReach as it’s Executive Director.

Coming Out of Denial

Brenda Farabaugh opens up about how she first reacted when her son Patrick came out to her, and where she is at with it now.

Who I Am Today

UW-Madison student Charlie Martin found his unexpected confidence after given a kick out of the closet

To Be the First

Division I Badger hockey player Ilana Friedman started a You Can Play chapter to help LGBT athletes at the UW and around Madison come out and participate in sport.

The Psychology of Coming Out

Psychotherapist Alex Einsman explains why exploring the hidden layers of ourselves is essential to the process of being out in the world

The Stages of Her Life

In her own words, StageQ Artistic Director Tara Ayres describes how her search for culture and social change lead her across America and to a Madison theater community whose mission shines a spotlight on our queer experiences.

How Her Jouney Begins

For Daun Johnston, the road less traveled leads through Madison and ultimately to her own personal truth.

Form and Formlessness of Love

Embracing her sexual identity later in life, an Anonymous Reader shares the discovery that helped her feel love.

Our History: Don’t Forget the ‘Third Coast’

Years before Harvey Milk was elected in San Francisco, the Upper Midwest had out women and men serving in—and being elected to—office. Richard Wagner tallies our political scorecard.

Returning to His Roots

In his own words, David Waugh talks about how he has come full circle from being raised on a farm to coming out and owning his own.

A Thread in Our Cultural Fabric

John Quinlan talks with author Will Fellows about the timeless relevance that helped inspire Brokeback Mountain—the collection of narratives in Fellows’ Farm Boys.

The Revolving Door Closet

Dennis Yadon tells the story of his family and the times when going back into the closet became necessary for professional and emotional survival

Finding Family

Judge Rhonda Lanford found her true self through the love of families, both blood and chosen, and a lot of hard work

Invisibly Queer

Dr. Sue Gill explores the ways in which some queer-identified people end up ostracized or unseen even within the LGBTQ community.

Unmasked

In spite of struggles at home and at school, Tara Gregorich found the support she needed to come out and drop the mask she’d been living behind.

Happy Anniversary

Making the choice to come out let Adam Nelson live openly. 10 years later he looks back at how he did it.

Addressing Religion-Based Homophobia

Crisis by Mitchell Gold and Mindy Drucker

Love Makes a Family

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

Moving Beyond Labels

Every gay person I met told me they had recognized it at a very young age—I hadn’t…

Madison’s Own Fairy Godmother

Michael Bruno shares his theatrical journey with Tara Ayres.

The First Time I Fell in Love

We continued spending more time together and slowly he revealed more about himself, as he felt safe that his past wouldn’t affect how I felt about him.

Choosing Love

Jimmy Owen reflects on the coming out, coming together journey that he and his parents have traveled.

Everything’s Coming Out Roses

Out and proud Jake Aebly is hopeful for all those who will come out to a more open-minded society.

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.

Behind the Scenes Builder

Caroline Werner talks to a motivating force behind OutReach LGBT Community Center, board president Roger Hansen.

New Lease On Life

Tamara Dinkel chronicles the physical and emotional challenges of battling an aggressive cancer, all while
coming out to her family and making several other major life and career changes.

Full Court Press

Margaret Kucera was on track to be one of the greats of women’s basketball before extreme homophobia derailed her career and forced her to find new ways to become a role model to others.

Glory Days

Dalton Ray took the bold step of coming out as gay to his high school football team, but found himself back in the closet when he went off to college. It was the unexpected support he got from many of his old teammates, friends, and family—even in the often hyper-competitive and hyper-heterosexual culture of men’s sports—plus the ‘It Gets Better’ movement, that finally inspired Ray to take the final plunge to come out fully and finally.

Cuban, Libre

Cardinal Bar’s founder and longtime owner Ricardo Gonzalez recounts his experiences with revolutionary Cuba during his childhood, and his journey toward self-sufficiency and acceptance throughout some of the most tumultuous decades of the LGBT movement in the U.S.

The Jazz Man

Music has always been a major part of UW Director of Jazz Studies Johannes Wallmann’s life, and he is determined to see wider LGBT representation within his genre.

Preserving the Queer Past

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.

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.

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.

The Invitation

When a wedding invitation arrives in his mailbox, Patrick Farabaugh is left pondering about homecomings and bridesmaids

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.

An Individual Journey

The road to self-acceptance is full of speed bumps and landmarks along the way. Dale Decker helps you steer clear of wrong turns.

Love, Life, Literature

UW Press Executive Editor Raphael Kadushin reflects on a life of good fortune and world travel, from his first generation immigrant roots in New York to finding the love of his life and “settling” in Madison—and the work yet to be done.

The Wordsmith

Through struggles with identity, death, dyslexia, and homophobia, author Bridget Birdsall found a way to reclaim her self, her memory, and her life through the power of the written word.

Team Spirit

Madison Gay Hockey Association’s annual essay contest winner Logan Kirwin talks about transition, acceptance, and the queer athletic community.

Safer Schools, Braver Youth

2016 GSAFE Youth Scholarship winner Keiana James talks about what motivated her to join her school’s GSA and work toward creating a safer environment for all students..

The Fight for Self

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.

Just As Strange

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

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.

The Unexpected Path

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.

Find Your Rhythm

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.