Interest group: History

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.

My Outings

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

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.

Not Sicko

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

The Kindness of Strangers

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

A Wisconsin Fairy Tale

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

Progressive Pioneer

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

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.

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 Tale of Two Spirits

What we can learn from the traditions of First Nations people.

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.

On, Wisconsin!

Wisconsin’s arc of history and the making of a gay-friendly state.

Senator Tammy Baldwin

Diversionary Tactics

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

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

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

Hints of What’s Hidden

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

Firsts: Marriage Equality Pioneer Donna Burkett

On October 1, 1971, just two years after Stonewall, Donna Burkett and her partner walked into the Office of the Milwaukee County Clerk to apply for a marriage license.

Jurist Prudes from the Past

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.

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.”

Along the Water’s Edge

When searching for balance and serenity, Jill Nebeker finds it along the urban shores of Lake Monona where Williamson Street meets downtown.

A Walk Through Time

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

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.

LGBT Safe Schools

Part 1: Educational Employees Lead the Way toward Harassment-Free Schools

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

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 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.

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.

Our History: Mainstream Crossdressing

In the 1890s, the UW–Madison Haresfoot Club brought gender-bending into vogue.

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.

Our History: How Far We’ve Come…

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

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.

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.

LGBT Safe Schools

Part 2: Students Are the Focus

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.

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.

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.

Lizard Legacy

Jane Boyd, Outreach’s 2009 Susan Green Woman of the Year, receives due honors her role in forming and maintaining Lizards, a social group for “older” lesbians.

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.

Madison’s Own Fairy Godmother

Michael Bruno shares his theatrical journey with Tara Ayres.

Our History: Brotherhood Makes All Men One

One: The Homosexual Viewpoint, a Southern California magazine from the 1950s, provides a lens into pre-Stonewall gay Wisconsin.

For the Love of Country

A soldier and her wife reflect on their loneliness and honor in the oppressive world of military discrimination.

Our History: Love That Body!

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

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.

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.

Queering the Farm

Sociologist Jaclyn Wypler explores the growing community of lesbian farmers and finds a desire for better connections and visibility.

Moving Image

Megan Milks reviews The Wet Archive’s queer take on photography as a changeable art form as well as its challenge to traditional methods of museum curation.

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.

Don’t Cast That Stone

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.

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.

Balancing and Bridging

A 1930s study of homosexuals in Wisconsin.

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.

Milwaukee’s LGBT History

A Q&A with author Michail Takach about the recent publication of his book, LGBT Milwaukee, chronicling the LGBTQ history of Brew City.

Soul Food

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.

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

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…

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

Wisconsin Acts Up

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.

Holding On to the ‘Hood

Anna Alberici grew up in Madison’s storied Greenbush neighborhood and continues to cultivate its tastes, smells, and community ethic at the Greenbush Bar.