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.
Interest group: In the Community
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.
Volunteering for ACT 5 herself, Barbara McKinney discovers the commitment and courage that her late son Mike always described as “a life changing experience”
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.
Richard Kilmer and Tim Spires show how respect, care, and commitment can create a relationship rich with love and quality time spent together
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
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.
Getting a later start on building your own life creates some unique challenges. Dale Decker offers a few ways to handle a delayed adolescence
Associated Bank residential loan officer Mike Fumelle uses his profession as his form of activism
Saying farewell to Club 5’s founder, Ed Grunewald
Meet Alexis M. Rouge, performer extraordinaire and co-founder of Lexi Ravyn Productions
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.
Holding service to high standards, Bad Dog Frida adds color to canine care.
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.
Thrown into a sobering reality, in his own words Dustin Smith tells what it was like when he learned he tested positive.
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.
Preserving the great diner tradition while offering a variety of healthier options, Monty’s Blue Plate Diner knows how to liven up the classics.
Zachariah Strong comes out about identity, being himself, and the strength it takes to resist labels.
Meet Theresa Abel, activist and owner of the Artisan Gallery and Creamery Cafe in Paoli
Triathlete Amber Ault is competing for a cause
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.
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.
Learn about some of the area’s local talent!
In the 1890s, the UW–Madison Haresfoot Club brought gender-bending into vogue.
When a preacher implied murder in his Wisconsin speech, what followed challenged our right to debate. Tamara Packard reviews a Supreme Court decision.
Looking to rebalance your portfolio? How do you contribute to something you feel passionate about? Jaime Zimmerman offers an attractive option.
Meet Jason Rae. At 21, he’s the youngest Democratic superdelegate in America
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.
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.
Wisconsin Rainbow Families’ Vance Skinner and Brendan Barrett outline the evolution of their identities and what lead to their desire to have children.
Could gays present themselves as parents? No, said the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the early 1970s
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.
After Cal Schroeder’s mother came out, all she had to do was find the courage to do it for herself.
Meet Queer Shorts’ brainchild, Katy Conley.
Homecoming by Nell Stark
Recovering from heartbreak, Rob Vogel looks at how he moved beyond it and what it took to open himself up again.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Diverse and Resilient partners with OutReach on “Room to Breathe,” a solution to help us stop smoking. Amber Ault reports.
Home to the Slow Food Movement, Harvest reconnects you to the love of the dining experience, with a passion for local sustainability.
Embracing her sexual identity later in life, an Anonymous Reader shares the discovery that helped her feel love.
After surviving the Vietnam War and HIV, J. Patrick thrives in Madison’s theater community.
After already establishing a career in footwear, Bernie Fatla found a niche when an idea lead him to create Le Dame Footwear.
Local community members share their favorite small town getaways.
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.
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.
John Quinlan talks with author Will Fellows about the timeless relevance that helped inspire Brokeback Mountain—the collection of narratives in Fellows’ Farm Boys.
Motivation and realistic goals are only the start of your fitness obstacle course. Amber Ault reports on ways to achieve better results.
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.
Meet Corey Gresen and Rico Sabatini the dynamic duo behind Plan B, the new Williamson Street nightspot.
Four Seasons Theatre’s Founder and Artistic Director*
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.
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.
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.
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.
Festival producer Jane Weldon chronicles how Madison became the home to this 35-year mission.
Emily Mills surveys the diverse family of musicians that call Madison home.
How did our neighboring state 90 minutes west achieve marriage equality? Tamara Packard reviews their Supreme Court’s unanimous opinion.
Amber Ault goes out for a jog with the Madison Front Runners/Front Walkers and finds support for athletes at any level.
Bonnie Raimy’s tips to purchasing the perfect summer shorts.
Looking for some relief from the stress of the recession? Jaime Zimmerman suggests ways to lessen your debt and keep financial independence.
Making the choice to come out let Adam Nelson live openly. 10 years later he looks back at how he did it.
Meet Ali Dwyer. Through We Are All Mechanics, she is empowering women, one bike rider at a time.
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.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
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.
GSAFE Educator of the Year Scott Lone of West Bend East High School approaches his role with dedication and courage.
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.
The past 50 years in a civil rights movement through the eyes and perspective of a Madison native by Brian Powers.
A newspaper columnist from the 1950s chronicles the hidden life of his friends, revealing that even under-cover gay men found community.
Richard Melnick creates the first podcast architectural tour in Wisconsin showcasing a town’s living history.
Dawn Siebert and Ben Monty share how Madison came to host the 2009 ASANA Softball World Series.
Personal Shopper Bonnie Raimy on dressing DJ
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.
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.
Lombardino’s Italian Restaurant & Bar stays up with the times in its kitchen and its causes.
Meet Katie Belanger. As Fair Wisconsin’s new Executive Director, she’s using her experience and resolve to fight the good fight.
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.
Crisis by Mitchell Gold and Mindy Drucker
“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.”
And sometimes, love also makes the man. Tyler Driscoll, Michele Burton-Driscoll, and their son, Johnny, show us how.
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.
The so-called “sex plank” by the Young Democrats led the way toward future legislation protecting gay and lesbian Wisconsinites in 1966.
Tara Ayres explores the world of contact improv, where participants combine improvisational movement and response with dance, music and physical connection.
Personal Shopper Bonnie Raimy on dressing Steve
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.
The Nau-Ti-Gal serves up casual, waterfront dining with an emphasis on fun.
Every gay person I met told me they had recognized it at a very young age—I hadn’t…
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.
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.
Michael Bruno shares his theatrical journey with Tara Ayres.
Some local companies have established employee resource groups or employee networks that provide a format for supporting LGBT workers and their allies.
J. James Tye III shares the opening sequence of the Out Professional and Executive Network.
One: The Homosexual Viewpoint, a Southern California magazine from the 1950s, provides a lens into pre-Stonewall gay Wisconsin.
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.
Personal Shopper Bonnie Raimy on dressing Mary Alice
Amber Ault examines the common assumptions about the H1N1 virus and urges caution.
Fromagination offers an intimidating selection of artisan cheeses in an environment that is anything but.
Antoinette Coles poetically describes how she continually comes out to herself and others.
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.
People came expecting Special Olympics, something warm and fuzzy. It was so far from that, dealing with sexuality, rape, and relationships.
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.
A soldier and her wife reflect on their loneliness and honor in the oppressive world of military discrimination.
Our Lives Publisher Patrick Farabaugh recounts his first.
Linda Lenzke ‘s poetic prose chronicles love’s past and future.
Amber Ault has an unconventional suggestion for a gift for that special someone this Valentine’s Day.
Personal Shopper Bonnie Raimy on Dressing Louie & Brian
Jimmy Owen reflects on the coming out, coming together journey that he and his parents have traveled.
Out and proud Jake Aebly is hopeful for all those who will come out to a more open-minded society.
The Bartell Theater—home to six theater companies—is a haven of collaboration and cooperation.
Poetry featuring local poet, NIcky Sund.
GSAFE’s Middle School Program Assistant Monica Adams is ready to advocate for multicultural, queer youth around the state.
Local community members reflect on their favorite Madison destinations from grocery stores to lakeshores, from neighborhoods to nightclubs.
Personal Shopper Bonnie Raimy on Dressing Scott
Diego Campoverde-Cisneros hace una reflexión cargada de emociones y vivencias personales acerca del camino hacia su aceptación.
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 Newport is an extraordinary, ordinary person who has taken risks to have a creative life and be part of Madison community theater.
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.
Poetry by Bob Leschke
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.
Caroline Werner talks to a motivating force behind OutReach LGBT Community Center, board president Roger Hansen.
Henry Gaylord represents a new generation of LGBTQ-identified youth who refuse to be pigeonholed, one way or another, by their sexual orientation.
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.
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.
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.
An open letter from the Wisconsin Trans Health Coalition on the necessity of community efforts to eradicate state violence against transgender people.
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.
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.
Meet Emily Harris, the 25 year-old owner of the Wylymar farms in Argyle
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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’…
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.
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.
Reporter Amber C. Walker profiles LGBTQ+ people of color who are movers and shakers both locally and across Wisconsin.
Publisher Patrick Farabaugh shares the personal journey he’s been on to create a magazine that’s truly representative of our diverse community.
Attorney Tamara Packard interviews her friend and current candidate for Dane County Circuit Court, Susan Crawford, about her background and what drove her to run for the post.
Kathy Flores gives an update on the murder trial of Andrew Nesbitt and offers insight and tips for how we can work to prevent such tragedies, and why hookup-related violence in the LGBTQ community is both an issue of intimate partner violence and sexual assault.
LGBTQ Pioneer David Clarenbach interviews current candidate for Dane County Circuit Court, Marilyn Townsend, about her judicial and legal career
Bills working their way through the Wisconsin Legislature aim to undo local employee non-discrimination protections, as well as other basic rights, and are backed by several area restaurant owners.
Connecting racial and environmental justice is all part of bringing their full selves to the table for Brenda Coley, Ann Brummitt, and the rest of the diverse crew at
the Milwaukee Water Commons.
Milwaukee resident James Katherine Carnell offers a personal look at the struggles of transgender and nonbinary people navigating the prison system, and offers ideas for a more humane way forward.
Joseph Brooks, co-founder of Miltown LGBT Families, talks about the group’s origins and why creating a space for LGBTQ parents and kids to come together and share friendship and resources is crucial.
Michal Osier surveys some of the area social groups aimed specifically at LGBTQ elders and providing needed alternatives to isolation.
Gary Tipler explains the vital LGBTQ history of the Wuennenberg-Clarenbach House, where some of the city’s and state’s pioneering LGBTQ lawmakers and movements made their home.
Finding little current information, OutReach’s new LGBT Senior Advocate, Michal Osier, is hoping to create a reliable list of LGBTQ welcoming senior care centers.
Photographer Caitlin (Katie) Barry set out to build queer community and provide authentic, sensitive portraiture with her LGBTQ Photo Pop-Ups.
U.W. Rowing coach Lowell McNicholas built a career, and a strong sense of self, by being out on the water.
Beloved east-side dessert shop Chocolaterian Cafe suffered a major fire in February and is relying on the goodwill of friends and supporters to help them survive.
A Room of One’s Own, Madison’s 43-year-old independent, feminist bookstore, will keep its doors open under new ownership by longtime employees
Vandalism at our own office, violence and harassment against the community, and increased antagonism from the highest levels of power are stark reminders of the continuing importance of LGBTQ Pride and visibility.
Madison Gay Hockey player Tim Tender shares his experience learning to expand his worldview—and his own sense of self—through his time in the league.
Our Lives Publisher Patrick Farabaugh speaks with Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Jason Rae about the organization’s founding and future.
Controversy around Madison Police’s involvement in the annual Pride Parade highlights divisions within the LGBTQ community. Exactly what happened, and is there a positive way forward?
Whether on social media, via email statements, or in-person interviews, Madison’s LGBTQ community has made its various thoughts and feelings known in response to the controversy around police at Pride. We’ve worked to compile some of those responses below, as a way to paint a more comprehsive picture of the ways in which we grapple with an intensely complex and emotional issue—and to show how diverse those positions are.
Recent news stories have highlighted the plight of LGBTQ asylum seekers, who often face persecution and even death in their home countries, only to experience discrimination and abuse in the U.S.
Mineral Point is one of Wisconsin’s hidden gems, boasting art galleries, historic buildings, and as of 2017, its own LGBTQ Pride celebration. Get to know some of the people and places that have turned this former lead mining town into a must-visit destination in the Driftless Area.