Interest group: In the 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.

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.

I Am Grateful!

Volunteering for ACT 5 herself, Barbara McKinney discovers the commitment and courage that her late son Mike always described as “a life changing experience”

For Barb

As the threat of a marriage amendment grew across our state, so did the voices and hearts of those it targeted. This is the story of one college student, Madison Alder Eli Judge, who heard that voice—and answered: For Barb.

Growing Together

Richard Kilmer and Tim Spires show how respect, care, and commitment can create a relationship rich with love and quality time spent together

Making Schools GSAFE

Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools Executive Director Cindy Crane offers a comprehensive look inside the climate of our schools and how GSA programs are shaping systemic change for our entire community

One School’s SAGA

When Teddi Hereid experienced discomfort from her classmates in Mount Horeb, she chose to help initiate one of the most active and enthusiastic clubs in her school. Now, as a freshmen at UW-Madison, she is offering a student’s perspective on the impact of GSAs.

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

Home is Where His Heart is

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

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

Welcome to Planet Madison

After years in California, moving to Wisconsin left Mike Meholic in culture shock and unable to identify gay life in the Midwest. Then, his search led to a revelation.

Where the Good Dogs Go

Holding service to high standards, Bad Dog Frida adds color to canine care.

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.

Blue Plate Specials

Preserving the great diner tradition while offering a variety of healthier options, Monty’s Blue Plate Diner knows how to liven up the classics.

I Am Strong

Zachariah Strong comes out about identity, being himself, and the strength it takes to resist labels.

Art’s Able Advocate

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

Getting Beyond Borders

Triathlete Amber Ault is competing for a cause

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.

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.

Artist Profiles: A spotlight of area talent on local stages

Learn about some of the area’s local talent!

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.

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.

Hope Rising

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

In Search of Zen

Proselytizing from a queer perspective, academic Michael Sweet, ponders the draw to Buddhist principals that LGBT people feel when searching for serenity and a spiritual path.

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

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.

My Moms and Me

After Cal Schroeder’s mother came out, all she had to do was find the courage to do it for herself.

There’s No Place Like Home

Meet Queer Shorts’ brainchild, Katy Conley.

As Fiction Becomes Fact

Homecoming by Nell Stark

The Path Back

Recovering from heartbreak, Rob Vogel looks at how he moved beyond it and what it took to open himself up again.

Sharing the Love

The recipe to chocolatier Gail Ambrosius’ success, Jill Nebeker finds, comes from caring as much for her team as she does her customers and chocolates.

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.

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.

The Bounty of Harvest

Home to the Slow Food Movement, Harvest reconnects you to the love of the dining experience, with a passion for local sustainability.

Form and Formlessness of Love

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

Long Live a Grand Dame

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

If the Shoe Fits

After already establishing a career in footwear, Bernie Fatla found a niche when an idea lead him to create Le Dame Footwear.

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.

Leaping Past the Hurdles

Motivation and realistic goals are only the start of your fitness obstacle course. Amber Ault reports on ways to achieve better results.

The Captain’s Table

With winter soon a memory and spring in bloom, the Betty Lou Cruises can again offer the best way to dine and experience the Madison skyline.

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*

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.

Look What Love Has Given Me

How do you make it in the music industry as an out artist? In her own words, legendary folk musician Tret Fure chronicles her career from piano lessons to Billboard charts.

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.

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.

The Short and Simple

Bonnie Raimy’s tips to purchasing the perfect summer shorts.

Take Steps to Reduce Debt

Looking for some relief from the stress of the recession? Jaime Zimmerman suggests ways to lessen your debt and keep financial independence.

Happy Anniversary

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

Pedal to the Mettle

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

Greg Harris and the Madison Shakespeare Project

What happens when your passion for language, poetry and theater meet your resolve to demystify Shakespeare? If you’re Greg Harris, you found the Madison Shakespeare Project.

A Genre-bending Children’s Book

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

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.

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.

Mineral Point

Richard Melnick creates the first podcast architectural tour in Wisconsin showcasing a town’s living history.

Stepping Up to the Plate

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

Our Apparel: Styling Dennis “DJ” Johnson

Personal Shopper Bonnie Raimy on dressing DJ

Listening and Learning

If you know how to hear it, your body will tell you what’s right. Dr. Sue Gill shows how tuning in to our bodies puts us in better touch with our selves.

Out on the Water

Slow down a bit, take a breath, maybe dangle your feet in the water for a moment, and you’ll discover this: These lakes have a social life of their own.

Keeping it Fresh

Lombardino’s Italian Restaurant & Bar stays up with the times in its kitchen and its causes.

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.

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.”

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.

Taking art into your own hands

Tara Ayres explores the world of contact improv, where participants combine improvisational movement and response with dance, music and physical connection.

Our Apparel: Styling Steven Heller

Personal Shopper Bonnie Raimy on dressing Steve

Come Out to Support LGBTQ Triathletes

Thousands of spectators assemble at Monona Terrace before dawn to find viewing spots along the Monona shoreline for the 7:00 a.m., 2.4-mile swim start.

Nau-ti and Nice

The Nau-Ti-Gal serves up casual, waterfront dining with an emphasis on fun.

Moving Beyond Labels

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Embracing our “Genderness”

What gender role do you take on in your relationship? Your workplace? Dr. Sue Gill suggests we examine if our internal gender matches our external gender expression.

Our Apparel: Styling Mary Alice McGreevy

Personal Shopper Bonnie Raimy on dressing Mary Alice

Dispelling Myths

Amber Ault examines the common assumptions about the H1N1 virus and urges caution.

Homage to Fromage

Fromagination offers an intimidating selection of artisan cheeses in an environment that is anything but.

My Evolution

Antoinette Coles poetically describes how she continually comes out to herself and others.

Smells Like Team Spirit

Meet McGee Steffes of the Wisconsin Wolves Women’s Football team. She and her teammates learn lessons on the field that apply off of it as well.

The Cultural Advocate

People came expecting Special Olympics, something warm and fuzzy. It was so far from that, dealing with sexuality, rape, and relationships.

Our Journey to Jackson

We stayed in hotels bonding with a child who we may or may not parent. We were glorified babysitters during this period, yet we already fell in love with him.

For the Love of Country

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

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.

The Valentine Poems

Linda Lenzke ‘s poetic prose chronicles love’s past and future.

Say It with Gear

Amber Ault has an unconventional suggestion for a gift for that special someone this Valentine’s Day.

Our Apparel: Styling Louie Phillips & Brian Schultz

Personal Shopper Bonnie Raimy on Dressing Louie & Brian

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.

Cross-pollination

The Bartell Theater—home to six theater companies—is a haven of collaboration and cooperation.

“Missing Monona’s North Shore” by local poet Nicky Sund

Poetry featuring local poet, NIcky Sund.

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.

Our Town

Local community members reflect on their favorite Madison destinations from grocery stores to lakeshores, from neighborhoods to nightclubs.

Our Apparel: Styling Scott Staples

Personal Shopper Bonnie Raimy on Dressing Scott

Decisiones de Hombres

Diego Campoverde-Cisneros hace una reflexión cargada de emociones y vivencias personales acerca del camino hacia su aceptación.

School of Fish

Meet Barb Carey, creator of Wisconsin Women Fish—a popular source of education, events, and networking for female anglers from our state and beyond.

Sarah Free

Sarah Newport is an extraordinary, ordinary person who has taken risks to have a creative life and be part of Madison community theater.

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. 2010 scholarship winner Amy Barker shares her essay.

Departure

Poetry by Bob Leschke

On Solid Ground

Rev. Everett Mitchell talks about the whys and hows of his work to support the LGBTQ community within his own congregation, the challenges and misconceptions faced there, and why the work is an important part of the greater struggle for social justice in the African American community.

Behind the Scenes Builder

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

Defined by Drive

Henry Gaylord represents a new generation of LGBTQ-identified youth who refuse to be pigeonholed, one way or another, by their sexual orientation.

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.

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.

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

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.

School of Life

Madison College Vice Provost Turina Bakken brings a wealth of life experiences, travel, sports and a commitment to lifting others up to her leadership role at the innovative campus.

A Needle in the Haystack

Meet Emily Harris, the 25 year-old owner of the Wylymar farms in Argyle

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.

HighFlier

We talk to Katie Kuehl of Cycropia Aerial Dance about how she got involved with Madison’s legendary performance troupe, and why the challenges of aerial performance are worth the learning curve.

Urban Country Club

We talk to co-organizer Ja’Mel Ware of Intellectual Ratchet about the group’s origins and goals to provide a social and networking group to support Madison’s increasingly diverse population of movers and shakers.

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.

Eat, Drink, Love

Tami Lax of Harvest and The Old Fashioned takes a survey of the history and current state of Madison’s incredible farm-to-table dining and drink scene, including chefs, restaurants, farmers, brewers, bartenders, and more.

Rise of the Food Carts

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’…

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.

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.

QPOC Pride

Reporter Amber C. Walker profiles LGBTQ+ people of color who are movers and shakers both locally and across Wisconsin.

Growing, Together

Publisher Patrick Farabaugh shares the personal journey he’s been on to create a magazine that’s truly representative of our diverse community.