Interest group: Lesbian

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,…

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.

Her Path to the Pulpit

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

Turning a Moment into Momentum

Lucia Nuñez comes out as a cancer survivor and explains how her job became more poignant as a result of her diagnosis.

Still Dancing After All These Years

Danielle Dresden and Donna Peckett celebrate 25 years of TAPIT/newworks.

Our Home

Rebecca Ryan and partner Marti open their home to share what’s inside: Creativity.

A Tribute to Tradition

Jennifer DeBolt’s The Old Fashioned summons memories of classic Wisconsin taverns and supper clubs of old and welcomes us to create memories within the restaurant’s culture of happiness.

Good Family

Linda S. Balisle summons memories and weaves together varied life experiences to define what makes a family.

Choose Love

Healer/Communicator Asia Voight on how tragedy put her back in touch with her intuition and the healing power of love.

Caring & Committed Couples List 2012

Our collaborative list with Fair Wisconsin.

Love on Trial

In June of last year, the United Methodist Church publicly put the Rev. Amy DeLong on trial after she married two women. With it now behind her, DeLong narrates her experience reconciling her two loves.

This is What Sustainability Looks Like

Claire Strader, Farm Director for Troy Community Farm and Community GroundWorks on learning to feed herself and her community today and for the long term.

Dharma Talk

In a world full of self-doubt and the lure of distracted living, Lives Unlimited’s Mare Chapman discovered that radical self-acceptance is the path to freedom. Let her show you how.

From Russia With Love

Denise Matyka and Margaret McMurray found their 
dream come true in the form of a little girl named Maria.

Fueling Our Passion, Living Our Dream

Nan Mortensen, co-owner of Dutch’s Auto Service, reflects back over a lifetime of building a livelihood and how she and her partner and co-owner, Crystal Rossman, are living their dreams.

The Chocolaterian

A sweet and soothing addition to the Atwood neighborhood.

Head Over Skates

Victoria Echeverria, aka Elle Machete of the Mad Rollin’ Dolls, looks at a life lived on roller skates.

Home Values and The Habitat ReStore

How Jen Voichick and a lot of volunteers helped start a 
home design recycling revolution in Madison.

Java Cat Coffeehouse

“The Place Where Everybody Knows Your Name”

Feeding Bodies, Feeding the Soul

FairShare CSA Coalition executive director Kiera Mulvey charts her journey from snack crackers to sustainable agriculture, all while finding ways to connect people with food and the folks who grow it.

Art and Independence

Babette Wainwright infuses her sculpture work with personal history and passion.

Soil & Soul

Owner of Harvest and The Old Fashioned, Tami Lax brings her passion and a family farm tradition to Madison tables.

Tradition Meets Innovation

Farmers like to be “Liked,” too.

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.

Salvation in Sport

Cathy Noth found strength and direction through athletics, 
faith, and family.

Iron Woman

Colleen Capper runs, swims, and bikes toward a better, longer life and finds plenty of role models in the triathlon community.

The Stir-Stick Ranch: Build what you love with whom you love

Laura Webster details the vision and journey that led her and partner Jill Munich to build their dream home in Madison.

Our Uncomfortable Truths

Examining real issues of racial disparity in Dane County is tough but crucial work that everyone, LGBT progressives especially, needs to engage in.

Look for Silver Linings

Dr. Sue Gill personally explores how we deal with suffering, grief, betrayal, and hope.

Spirit of the North

Learning to love the community of ice fishing and shanty culture with Tami Lax.

The Born Creative

Through her art, Janis Senungetuk found a life’s work and a lantern to guide through adversity.

Finding Her Place

Cindy Crane talks about her journey through a life of faith, and the LGBTQ in Faith Communities conference she helped to organize for February.

Roar

Madison duo Lion’s Mouth find their voice and their purpose through a unique musical experience

100 Percent Acceptance

UW student Roxanne Meyer navigated a rocky road to coming out, but found a place and people to call home in the Ten Percent Society.

Heather & Heather Blend a Family

If only creating a happy blended family were as simple as throwing us all in a blender and pressing “whip.” Instead, it is something more like the art of keeping oil-and-vinegar dressing mixed, requiring constant vigilance and lots of experimentation with how hard, long, and often to shake, not to…

Creature Comforts

Ann Jakel & Peggy Stormoen introduce us to their four-legged family members and the joys of taking them hunting, too.

Found in Translation

Yvette Pino’s “Veteran Print Project” builds bridges between communities by pairing military veterans with artists to create unique and powerful works of art.

Circle of Art

Children’s Theater of Madison’s Roseann Sheridan found acceptance and a lifelong passion among the drama geeks.

The Artist Philosopher

Beth Racette seeks to explore and reveal the systems of the world through art.

Creature Comforts

Susan Frikken and Debra Hanrahan talk about their adopted animal companions and why rescuing is important and fulfilling

On Wings, Waves, and Quivers

A selection from “Our Storytellers.”

Coming Out with the Great Outdoors

Diane Schwartz talks about her work with the Madison LGBT Outdoor Group & Madison Area Women’s Outdoor Network.

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.

But Words Will Never Hurt Me…

Our Lives Copy Editor Kelly Murray dreams of a day when she and her partner are unremarkable to the public eye.

Caring & Committed Couples List 2013

Our third collaborative list with Fair Wisconsin.

The Kellihan Clan

Meet the Brady Bunch of the animal world: the dogs and cats of the Kellihan family

They’ve Got Game—and Heart

Madison Blaze Women’s Football Team members Rebecca Havens and Jessica Lundgren talk about their love of the game—and the team.

Rebecca Havens and Jessica Lundgren

Vinegar Kisses: A Poem

Nicholle Johnson, UW-La Crosse Pride Center peer educator, received a Seekardia Writing Award for her poem “Vinegar Kisses.” We are pleased to reprint an excerpt of it here, accompanied by an introduction by the writer.

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

Axel, Aspen, and Their Family

Jennifer Carlson & Tina Rogers introduce us to their furry family members.

Marching With Pride

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

Fierce and Fabulous

Local performers Kitty La Rue and Moxie Rhodes of Peach Pies Caburlesque helped to bring the second annual Fierce! International Queer Burlesque Festival to Madison this summer.

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.

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.

Love Warriors

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

Water Rhythms

As the Mendota Rowing Club approaches its 40th anniversary in Madison, rowers reflect on their time on the water and what the sport means to them.

Talk of the Town

Meet LezTalk listowner Patti Thompson and moderators Daña Alder and Donna Wess. The trio have created a thriving online community for area lesbians.

The Lesbian Thespian

Four Seasons Theatre Artistic Director Andrew Abrams introduces us to UW Theatre major Angela Birrittella

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.

V for Valuation

UW Allies Program co-president Amanda Hunter opens up about the friend that helped her find the courage to step out and stand up for herself.

A Needle in the Haystack

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

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.”

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.

Landing on Solid Ground

Emma Donoghue delivers a story exploring how distance and difficulty don’t have to overwhelm a relationship

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.

Oh, the Places He Goes!

Meet Terry Halverson vacation planner, social mixer

A Walk Through Time

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

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

What Makes a House a Home

Her attention to detail has made realtor Liz Lauer one of the best in Dane County

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.

Mother, Daughter, Spirit

Photographer Lois Bielefeld recounts the long and twisting path toward self-acceptance and reconciliation with her family

Mending the Ties that Bind

Are There Closets in Heaven? by Carol Curoe and Bob Curoe

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

Where the Good Dogs Go

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

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.

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.

Made in Canada

For Tammy Champion, hockey is more than a sport. It is a way of life.

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.

Our History: How Far We’ve Come…

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

Tackling Life, Head-On

Katie Jayce found a home and fulfilled a dream by joining the rough and tumble world of women’s tackle football.

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.

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.

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.

Form and Formlessness of Love

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

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.

Families Connect

Kim Simes and the Family Equality Council work to lift up the voices of children in the fight for marriage equality.

Justice Warrior

Caroline Werner interviews Carrie “Chaous” Riddle, a working class grandmother who has dedicated herself to volunteering on behalf of the most vulnerable among us

Finding Family

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

The Privilege of Planning Ahead

Linda Ketcham examines the ways in which we worry about our children, depending on where they come from.

Unmasked

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

An Identity Comes of Age

The Sweet In-Between by Sheri Reynolds

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 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.

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.

Stepping Up to the Plate

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

A Mosaic of Pain and Humor

Sex Talks to Girls: A Memoir by Maureen Seaton

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 Valentine Poems

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

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.

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.

Justice Warrior, pt. 2

In the second of a two-part series, Caroline Werner delves into the history and ethic of a queer activist family.

Hit So Hard

In the full-contact world of rugby’s rucks and scrums, Greta Slack found an inclusive and supportive family to call her own

Lay of the Land

Pat Blair found her life’s work and a sense of community in the traditionally male-dominated field of lawn care and landscaping.

Feel Good Wine

Square Wine Company makes the case for the little guy at their Capitol Square shop.

Calling the Shots

Madison boasts a world-class curling scene, and Lori Karst is proud to be part of the community that fulfills and challenges her every day.

Life in the Fast Lane

For Shannon Anderson, a competitive nature and love of precision found an outlet through the high-speed world of motorcycle racing.

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.

Queering the Farm

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

Sweet Returns

Leanne Cordisco has walked a slightly improbable but always interesting path from caretaker to business consultant to purveyor of sweet confections and a home-away-from-home at the well-regarded Chocolaterian Café.

New Lease On Life

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

Full Court Press

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

Heart Strings

In spite of being warned to find something more practical to pursue, violist Diedre Buckley followed her passion for music to great opportunities and a fulfilling career.

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.

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.

Lesbians Who Lunch

Rollers co-organizer Liz Dannenbaum shares the group’s history and why having a gathering place for older lesbians is so crucial—and fun.

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.

Turning a Passion into a Profession

Angie Alcorta follows her lifelong dream of becoming a counselor with a little help from her experiences with Outreach.

Literary Community

Author and poet Rita Mae Reese reflects on her tentative first steps into the lesbian community via the conduit of the written word, and the importance of those connections even now.

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.

Activism Within the System

Longtime community activist Kathy Flores reflects on pursuing her calling while navigating the slings and arrows that come with being a public face in the fight for equality.

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.

Earth Mover

Tricia Bross of Luna Circle Farm talks about her decades worth of experience in organic farming, the challenges and rewards of the farming life, and the girlfriends and broke-down cars that helped get her there.

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

Building on a Legacy

Wisconsin Alumni Association President Paula Bonner reflects on important family ties, barriers broken, gracious mentors, and a life’s work to help create equality and innovation in evolving academic and alumni relations environments.

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.

Ride for Life

Simone Justice found her life’s drive in cycling and is determined to see the sport better reflect and reach out to minority communities.

Legacy House

Renee L. Herber & Tamara B. Packard on preserving the history of their east side home and renovating with community support and outreach in mind.

From Dream to Reality

Marge Anderson tracks her upbringing during the heyday of Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry to her current work in sustainability, and how she sees hope for a better world even amid life’s many ups and downs.

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.