Interest group: Gay

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.

Caring & Committed Couples List 2014

Each year since we introduced our collaborative list with Fair Wisconsin, our number of out and allied couples grows stronger! This year over 550 Wisconsin couples answered the call of Our Lives and Fair Wisconsin to stand up for love and fairness. Together we are sending a message—to our community,…

A Culmination of Community

Each year the Madison Gay Hockey Association invites its members to write about the role that the MGHA plays in building their identity. 2007 scholarship winner Mark Sadowski shares his essay.

Waking Up the Sleeping Giant

Madison Gay Hockey Association Founder and Our Lives Publisher Patrick Farabaugh shares his personal story and experience behind the birth of the MGHA

My Outings

Recounting the many different ways we come out over the years, Stephen Calvert looks back on his most important two.

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.

Capitol Reflections

David Clarenbach sings the praises of a city and a state where anything is possible.

The Pink Plaque Tour

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

Coming Home

Restaurant owner Robert von Rutenberg looks back on his return to Madison and the family business.

Brave Heart

Paul Wesselmann, The Ripples Guy, shares his formula for bringing our best, true selves to all we do.

Not Sicko

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

Legal or Not, Here We Come!

Wondering “why bother” to have a gay wedding where it isn’t legal? Jay Edgar and Joshua Feyen chose to despite the fact, and were blown away by how significant it was—for them and everyone else.

Garden Confessions

Edward Lyon, Director-Horticulture, Allen Centennial Gardens, is not just a gardener; he’s an addict. Here, he shares insight into his passion for plants and provides an introduction to our collection of stories from local gardening enthusiasts.

Pursuing the Path Less Traveled

Dean Health System President & CEO Dr. Craig Samitt has spent his life learning how to embrace his own differences and use them to challenge the status quo professionally and personally.

What Gay Hockey Means To Me

Each year the Madison Gay Hockey Association invites its members to write about the role that the MGHA plays in building their identity. 2011 scholarship winner Jeff Godsey shares his essay.

Mr. Forward

Forward Theater’s Richard Ganoung looks back over a life destined to be on stage, and the company he has come to embrace as home.

Caring & Committed Couples List 2012

Our collaborative list with Fair Wisconsin.

Feed Your Passion

Journey with Ken Monteleone on his path of self-discovery and expression to learn what went into his creation of the Madison jewel: Fromagination.

Christian Right – And Left

When Reverend Scott D. Anderson became the world’s first out ordained clergy in the Presbyterian church he found himself in the middle of religious controversy. In his own words, he takes us through the best and worst of his spiritual journey with grace and wisdom.

The Embodiment of Fitness

What do Greek gods, break dancing, tear gas, and the circus have share in common? They are all mile-markers along Septimiu Teodorescu’s path to the American Dream.

The Big Chill

Meet Michael Dix, the man who keeps Michael’s Frozen Custard cool.

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.

The World According to Michael

From private chef to cruise ship videographer, paper sculptor Michael Velliquette came a long way to find his creative niche in the “absurdly awesome.”

Becoming Trina

Christopher Wilford kicks off a new entertainment column by mapping out his own path to an entertainer’s persona.

Comrades in Arms

Tim Lom found in fellow Madison Minotaurs and other gay rugby teams an extended family. But first, he had to know what he was looking for.

Play & Learn

Steve Mendez is helping to change the lives of young people, one adventure at a time.

The Wisdom of Years

Owl artist Clarence P. Cameron owes his success to the 
love and support of his partner, Bob Lockhart, with whom 
he has spent half a century.

For the Love of Good

The Mad City Sisters just can’t get enough of the stares and questions. It’s all about getting the conversation started.

Dream Home, Real Business

David Waugh and Bob Klebba are pursuing their 
bed-and-breakfast vision on Lake Mendota, restoring a 
historic home while also looking to the future.

Running Man

From Mexico to America, Rolando Cruz found passion and purpose in a pair of running shoes.

A New Sport, A New Culture, A New Community, A New Life

Madison Gay Hockey player Chue Xiong talks about life in a refugee camp, 
running away from home, 
coming out, and finding 
support in a most 
unlikely place.

The State of LGBTQI Healthcare

After years of being ignored by most mainstream medical policymakers and practitioners, progress is being made in many areas—but crucial problems remain for many LGBTQI citizens.

Acting Out

New Our Lives editorial facilitator and Madison entertainment guru Michael Bruno catches up with actor Richard Ganoung.

Searching for Home

Our Lives Publisher Patrick Farabaugh shares how he learned the meaning of “home is where the heart is.”

Striking Community Gold

David Rhode helps us get to know the Honeymooners bowling league and the appeal of a Monday night at the lanes.

The House Design Built

Dino Maniaci and Jason Hoke renovate a mid-century ranch into a modernist urban dream and bring a little East Coast city flavor to the Midwest.

Immigration Reform’s LGBT Impact

Rep. Mark Pocan and State Rep. JoCasta Zamarripa make a joint call for immigration reform that includes LGBT-identified aspiring citizens.

New Lease on Life

Robert Mahr reflects on what it took to bring back a beloved community spot, the Shamrock Bar & Grille, and the outpouring of support that made it happen.

Embracing the Scrum

Rugby helped Andy Best embrace vulnerability and overcome the anxieties of an uncoordinated, sensitive kid.

Were Asked, Didn’t Tell… Much (part II)

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.

Marriage Equality in Our Time

Rep. Mark Pocan details some of the struggles and successes on the road to marriage equality, and the work yet to be done.

Congressman Mark Pocan stands outside of the United States Supreme Court on June 26 as the decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act is announced.

We’re Federally Recognized Now

Attorney Christopher Krimmer explains the hundreds of marriage rights now available to same-sex spouses who live in Wisconsin.

If You Build It, We Will Come

The owners of Ground Zero coffeehouse and Cargo Coffee, Lindsey and Lynn Lee, eye their next location in the new Constellation development on East Washington Avenue.

Reaching Out to Bring Together

Vicente Lezama has been a driving force for LGBTQ rights and acceptance at Fond du Lac High School and now hopes to continue that work in the larger Wisconsin community.

A League of His Own

Lee Kampa talks finding acceptance, community, and a place to grow as an out gay man and athlete in the world of Madison softball.

Sing to Live

Gay men’s choruses across the country, including Perfect Harmony Men’s Chorus in Madison, have provided places of comfort and revitalization for Arthur Durkee.

Finding His Voice

Z104 radio host Aaron Rogers traces a curving path to chasing his dream of being an out professional on-air personality.

Were Asked, Didn’t Tell…Much: Wisconsin Gays and World War II

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.

A Family Fueled by Diesel

Say hello to Steven Sievert, Philip Keller, and Diesel

Stressing Out

Dennis Christoffersen identifies the things that cause us stress in our day-to-day lives and offers a first step toward finding peace.

Happy Guy, Happy Fry!

Steven Lawrence’s Fried and Fabulous food cart creates smiles for customers and business-owners alike.

Living the Dream

Joey Broyles lives according to a simple, radical code: “Be Yourself: It Will Change Your Life.”

Getting to Work

Introducing U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) as the newest regular contributor to Our Lives! Our congressman will be keeping us up to date on what he’s working on in Washington, D.C., and at home in Wisconsin, especially as it relates to LGBT people.

Metamorphosis

An accident challenges a nature photographer to adapt and find beauty in a new life and a new lens.

Theoretical Physicist, Priest, Gay

Michael Ramsey-Musolf shows how he built a beautiful life in a paradox.

The Judge Among Us

One Madison man’s road to Westminster.

Young, Gay, and Latino in America

Alianza Latina’s Christian Alejandro Real Merino is working to bridge a cultural divide and build up a community along the way.

Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

A look at why gay bars have been added to America’s icons of equality.

Just after 6 am on Sunday, February 18, 1996, fire broke out at the Hotel Washington. Fire crews arrived at the scene at 6:28 AM, but the building was largely gutted.

Health-Care Crusader

James Lehman is working for better LGBTQ health care by every available means.

Serving for a Cause

Madison Gay Volleyball’s Rob Littell credits the league with helping him come into his own.

Presenting Lucy Von Cucci

Trina Avalon-Pirahna talks with her fellow performer and current holder of the Miss Club Wisconsin title.

Caring & Committed Couples List 2013

Our third collaborative list with Fair Wisconsin.

How Sweet It Is

Danez Smith shares a taste of what Self Love can be.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

The Overture Center’s Tim Sauers has given of his talents and expertise to the betterment of Madison’s premier arts center, arts education, and the community at large.

How Buffalo Bill Became My Idol

The Physical Markings of a New Gay Man

Please Don’t Stop the Music

Disc jockey Tim Walters keeps the music—and his dreams—going on and on.

Boo and His Dads

Justin Krause & Scott Brown introduce us to their Boo.

Nobody Is Helping the Fags

StageQ’s Scott Bennett on the emotionally charged and historically based Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart. This play about the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic is directed by Steve Noll.

Remember…

The 30th anniversary of gay rights in Wisconsin is a time for celebration—and a time to remember.

Donna Brukett and Manonia Evans, who, in 1971, applied for a marriage license at the Milwaukee County Clerk’s Office, and had their request denied. Image: Milwaukee LGBT History Project

Net Worth

Kurtis Hopp found a tight-knit community and a way to give back in Madison’s volleyball scene.

The Closet

Goodbye closet of fear. Hello to my open closet of hope.

Marching With Pride

John Quinlan talks with OutReach Executive Director Steve Starkey about Outreach’s plans to host the Pride Parade.

A Custard Kinda Guy

Self-proclaimed “custard guy” Michael Dix of Michael’s Frozen Custard opens up about his often tumultuous journey toward self-love and sweet rewards.

Hints of What’s Hidden

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

Relationships in the Grindr Era

Alexander Einsman explores whether digital gaydar really brings us together…or keeps us apart?

Why Gay Sports?

The essays that players from the Madison Gay Hockey Association write each year show the unique significance of the support they receive by playing in an LGBTQ sports league.

Love Warriors

Meet the eight plaintiff couples in the ACLUís lawsuit to bring marriage equality to Wisconsin

Our Stamp on History

Rep. Mark Pocan draws inspiration from the life and work of the LGBTQ pioneers who helped bring us to a time when progress is made every day.

Why PFLAG is So Important

After talking with the Madison chapter President Kay Heggestad, the value of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays becomes as real as the love a mother has for her son

The Invitation

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

Friendly Faces in Familiar Places

Returning home helps Bjørn Holtan discover that Midwestern values have grown to include our family values at one of Madison’s most endeared traditions.

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.

Conscious Living

It’s no surprise that minorities have increased problems with depression, addictions and compulsive behavior. Gay people are no exception.

Building Support

Tim Foster treats himself to some little treasures from businesses in our community.

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.”

Dog Day Heaven

Couple Dino Maniaci and Jason Hoke show your canine companions a level of care, understanding and style at Spa Woof that brings new meaning to “gone to the dogs.”

Understanding Denial

Learning how to recognize when denial is doing more harm than good can be challenging. Dale Decker shows you the difference.

Connecting Through Faith

One of our most consistent and visible allies, the Reverend Curt Anderson openly affirms all people at First Congregational United Church of Christ

Happily Ever After

David Valdes Greenwood goes inside a same-sex marriage to candidly show the ups and downs of domestic bliss.

Community Law for the Community

Jen Hitomi Bond is a one-woman, do-it-herself show. Don’t expect a receptionist to take your call or answer the door. Bond does it all.

Nature vs. Nurture

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

Oh, the Places He Goes!

Meet Terry Halverson vacation planner, social mixer

A Reason to Smile

On Madison’s East side, Tamim Sifri uses professionalism and compassion to help care for his patients.

A Walk Through Time

Hear Us Out: Lesbian and Gay Stories of Struggle, Progress, and Hope, 1950 to the Present by Nancy Garden

A Glimpse at the Future

Wide Awake by David Levithan

Changing the Game

Two Madison West High School seniors, Isabel Medina and Miles Walser, are attempting to push the boundaries for queer youth with a Wisconsin first: The Young Queer Sports Club.

Holding Schools Accountable

After an Ashland student was harrassed and beaten by his classmates, he took his school to task. Tamara Packard takes a look at a legal precedent

Who I Am Today

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

Our Gay Greats

Searching for LGBTQA women and men to model herself after, UW–Madison senior Amanda Hunter finds the importance of visible role models.

Hard Truths & True Love

GSAFE scholarship winner Quintin Smith-Bickham found a path away from despair and toward a living truth that’s helping lead the way for LGBTQ youth in Milwaukee and beyond

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 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

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 Literary Legacy

Crafting quite possibly the most distinctive collection of gay poetry has been a lifetime’s work for Michael Bemis. In his own words, he explains the value in gifting it to the University of Wisconsin’s Special Collections Library.

Hope Rising

Meet Jason Rae. At 21, he’s the youngest Democratic superdelegate in America

The Path to Parenting

As the reality of creating our own families increases, so do the paths we take to get there. The Law Center for Children and Families reports on a variety of options and success stories.

Fatherhood Realized

Wisconsin Rainbow Families’ Vance Skinner and Brendan Barrett outline the evolution of their identities and what lead to their desire to have children.

Our History: How Far We’ve Come…

Could gays present themselves as parents? No, said the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the early 1970s

Acting with Pride

Executive Director Brian Wild reflects on the past, present, and future of Proud Theater.

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.

Our History: Love Knows No Color

After describing himself as “the unhappiest kid in the world,” Michael Adams falls in love and publishes it in the newsletter of Black and White Men Together.

Quitters Do Win

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

What Comes After Prop 8?

While demystifying the legal aftermath of California’s Proposition 8 vote, Tamara Packard offers a perspective on our progress.

Long Live a Grand Dame

After surviving the Vietnam War and HIV, J. Patrick thrives in Madison’s theater community.

A Connoisseur of Wanderlust

Big Trips: More Good Gay Travel Writing by Raphael Kadushin

Our Towns

Local community members share their favorite small town getaways.

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.

Men with a Plan

Meet Corey Gresen and Rico Sabatini the dynamic duo behind Plan B, the new Williamson Street nightspot.

Spotlight: Andy Abrams

Four Seasons Theatre’s Founder and Artistic Director*

Victories and the Work Ahead

Rep. Mark Pocan reflects on his first term in Congress and the successes and challenges that lay both behind and ahead.

The 113th Congress freshmen class

What Gay Hockey Means to Me

Each year the Madison Gay Hockey Association invites its members to write about the role the MGHA plays in building their identity. 2009 Scholarship winner Max Camp shares his essay.

The Music Man

When his love for music mixed with a passion for performing, Christopher Lange developed PianoFondue—a comedy cabaret that puts humor and musical diversity on the center stage.

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.

From Serene to Sureal

Emily Mills surveys the diverse family of musicians that call Madison home.

As Goes Iowa…

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

At Your Own Pace

Amber Ault goes out for a jog with the Madison Front Runners/Front Walkers and finds support for athletes at any level.

Happy Anniversary

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

We Shall Overcome

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

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.

Our History: Early Awakenings and Survival

A newspaper columnist from the 1950s chronicles the hidden life of his friends, revealing that even under-cover gay men found community.

Stepping Up to the Plate

Dawn Siebert and Ben Monty share how Madison came to host the 2009 ASANA Softball World Series.

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.”

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.

Estate Planning Basics for Same-Sex Couples

Jaime Zimmerman explains the basics and benefits of a well-designed estate plan.

Gay Firsts

Scott Seyforth provides highlights from the first year of the Madison Alliance for Homosexual Equality as the organization celebrates the 40th anniversary of the birth of gay liberation in Wisconsin.

A Novel Collaboration

New Harvest Foundation awards grant to the University of Wisconsin Press to distribute Gay American Autobiography: Writings from Whitman to Sedaris

Madison’s Own Fairy Godmother

Michael Bruno shares his theatrical journey with Tara Ayres.

The Corporate Diversity Initiative Report

Some local companies have established employee resource groups or employee networks that provide a format for supporting LGBT workers and their allies.

OPEN for Business

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

Already a Classic

Sugarless: A Novel by James Magruder

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.

Our History: Love That Body!

How a 1920s era Madison man enjoyed fine specimens of the male physique.

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.

Our Pages: Reviewing Travels in a Gay Nation & Something to Declare

Travels in a Gay Nation: Portraits of LGBTQ Americans and Something to Declare: Good Lesbian Travel Writing reviewed.

Emotional Landscapes

Photographer Rolando Cruz tackles life’s mysteries, personal identities, and small, intimate moments through his ever-curious lens.

A Song in His Heart

Despite early setbacks, Bobby Goderich knew his love for singing was worth the hard work and patience that have since brought him to the stage with Madison Opera and beyond.

Figuring It Out

US and Olympic Figure Skating Judge Robert G. Rosenbluth.

Welcome to the Dollhouse

This month Plan B cast member Trixie Mattel becomes the first drag queen from Wisconsin to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race. Out of drag, Brian Firkus shares the inspiration for his alter ego.

A Camp Fantasy

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.

From House to Home

Paine Art Center and Gardens executive director Aaron Sherer remarks on how his own childhood memories of home helped shape his approach to building a family and career.

Home-maker

Former Plan B nightclub co-owner Rico Sabitini talks about growing up Jehovah’s Witness, being disfellowshipped after coming out, and helping others find the home they need.

Not-so-Innocents Abroad

Historian Dick Wagner explores the life and thoughts of Cooksville’s Ralph Warner, seen as an important figure in historic preservation.

Behind the Scenes Builder

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

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 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.

Finding Pride

In his Madison Gay Hockey Association award-winning essay, Drew White reflects on the internal struggle that brought him to Madison and the community he found on—and off—the ice.

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.

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.

Saving Five Nightclub

The community rallied to save a beloved LGBT space, and now owner Dave Eick is working hard to bring about a brighter future for the club and its wide spectrum of patrons.

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.

Not Done Yet

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.

Cardinal Points

Tulin Waters takes another look at the life’s work of her tío—and owner of the Cardinal Bar—Ricardo Gonzalez.

Safer Harbors

Fox Valley LGBTQ Anti-Violence Project and Governance Committee member Kathy Flores interviews Domestic Abuse Intervention Services Executive Director Shannon Barry about the work they’re doing to support LGBTQ survivors of domestic abuse.

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.

Proud Mama

Jane LaFlash never intended to become a crusader for LGBTQ rights, but when her son came out to her at 16, she sprung into action to make sure he had the support needed—and ended up helping to found Madison’s chapter of PFLAG.

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.

Love and Estate Planning

Proper estate planning may not be the most fun part of relationships, but attorney Michele Perreault points out how crucial it is for LGBTQ people in particular.

What Gay Hockey Means to Me

Each year the Madison Gay Hockey Association invites its members to write about the role that the MGHA plays in building their identity. 2011 scholarship winner Jeff Godsey shares his essay.

Pursuing The Path Less Traveled

Dean Health System President & CEO Dr. Craig Samitt has spent his life learning how to embrace his own differences and use them to challenge the status quo professionally and personally.

Balancing and Bridging

A 1930s study of homosexuals in Wisconsin.

The Invitation

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

Dog Day Heaven

Couple Dino Maniaci and Jason Hoke show your canine companions a level of care, understanding and style at Spa Woof that brings new meaning to “gone to the dogs.”

Nature Vs. Nurture

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

Men with a Plan

Meet Corey Gresen and Rico Sabatini the dynamic duo behind Plan B, the new Williamson Street nightspot.

What Gay Hockey Means to Me

Each year the Madison Gay Hockey Association invites its members to write about the role the MGHA plays in building their identity. 2009 Scholarship winner Max Camp shares his essay.

The Music Man

When his love for music mixed with a passion for performing, Christopher Lange developed PianoFondue—a comedy cabaret that puts humor and musical diversity on the center stage.

Give Me Shelter

Caroline Werner looks at the ways we do and don’t serve an aging population looking for stable housing options and the barriers to housing for LGBTQ seniors and those with special needs in particular.

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.

Gift-giving for people you love (and hate): An interview with John Waters

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

To Enclave or Not to Enclave

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

Inside Man

Scott Evertz reflects on building a career within the Republican Party without hiding his identity as a gay man, working in the Bush Administration, and supporting Bernie Sanders.

Living to Serve

Cargo Coffee owner Lynn Lee details the ups and downs and lessons learned from working in the service industry, from San Francisco in the early ‘90s toMadison in the now, and becoming a role model for his young LGBTQ employees along the way.

What Difference a Law Can Make

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

We Need a Hero

Local author Alex Bledsoe talks about the newest entry in his “Tufa” series of novels, including a gay protagonist, and breathing life into nontraditional heroes.

Gay, Black, and Blue

Madison Police Officer Brian Chaney Austin relates his reasons for going into law enforcement and how his experiences as a gay, Black man have shaped how he approaches both work and life.

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.

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.

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.

Early Warning System

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

Conscious Caffeination

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.