Are you in the market for a psychotherapist? Jimmy Owen encourages you to empower yourself by selecting someone who will be a good fit for you. Imagine walking into an unfamiliar office and sitting in a strange room for the first time. As you look around, you notice a box…
Interest group: LGBT
Dr. Sue Gill looks at alcohol and drug dependence in LGB populations.
Marty Fox tallies the progress of incorporating LGBT sensitivity and supportive policies in Madison workplaces.
When Jere Foley couldn’t find a mainstream fantasy novel with a queer hero, he set out to write one of his own in Slumberscythe.
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.
Historian Dick Wagner recalls his part in some of the pioneering efforts to officially recognize and support gays and lesbians through Wisconsin government.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Attorney Meghan Roed looks at the possible outcomes of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality case and notes how the fight for
LGBTQ equality will not end there, one way or another.
GSAFE Youth Leadership scholarship winner Cas Bacon is fighting for the rights of a new generation of LGBTQ+ people, starting at home in Fond du Lac.
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.
Local surf-rock band Venus in Furs are doing it all, from releasing a new record to having a baby, while blazing a musical trail based on close friendships and rad riffs.
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.
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.
Attorney Tamara Packard highlights the legal clean-up process that remains post-marriage equality, and the other important work that remains to be done for wider equality.
LGBT people still face unique legal challenges in Wisconsin and elsewhere, causing Abigail Churchill to argue for the importance of LGBT-specific attorneys and law firms.
Caroline Werner reflects cheerfully on misperceptions about the aging process and stereotypes about people of a certain age.
Tulin Waters takes another look at the life’s work of her tío—and owner of the Cardinal Bar—Ricardo Gonzalez.
Sheltreese McCoy, Crossroads Coordinator at the LGBT Campus Center & Multicultural Student Center at U.W.-Madison, muses on life at the intersections of multiple identities, and her work to build bridges between them for herself and others.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Haruka Yukioka didn’t see faer truth reflected in faer childhood in Fond du Lac, but a trip to GSAFE’s leadership camp motivated faer to build a more inclusive community at home.
Anna Vogelzang muses on the challenges and triumphs of life as a professional musician, where the journey is the destination.
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.
Molly Hermann shares intimate details of seeking healthcare as an LGBTQ-identified person and the ways in which our health providers hit and miss the mark in providing compassionate and considerate care.
Alex Einsman explains why past relationship traumas shouldn’t define our sense of self or what’s possible in the future, but that we can and should learn from them.
A 1930s study of homosexuals in Wisconsin.
Tiffany Loomis of the Madison Cougars football team reflects on what her leadership role has taught her.
Angie Alcorta follows her lifelong dream of becoming a counselor with a little help from her experiences with Outreach.
Felicia Melton-Smyth talks candidly to Our Lives about transitioning, her AIDS philanthropy work and the most important thing she’s ever done.
The road to self-acceptance is full of speed bumps and landmarks along the way. Dale Decker helps you steer clear of wrong turns.
Meet Emily Harris, the 25 year-old owner of the Wylymar farms in Argyle
Kenji Yoshiko explores the ways all minorities mask their identities to assume social roles in his new book, Covering & Max Wolf Valerio brings his journey from female-to-male to life when he stops by A Room of One’s Own to talk about his book, The Testosterone Files
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.
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.
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.
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
Through struggles with identity, death, dyslexia, and homophobia, author Bridget Birdsall found a way to reclaim her self, her memory, and her life through the power of the written word.
Dick Wagner looks back at some of the efforts, realized or not, to create separate spaces for LGBTQ people in Wisconsin.
A Q&A with author Michail Takach about the recent publication of his book, LGBT Milwaukee, chronicling the LGBTQ history of Brew City.
Diverse voices from our community share how the mass shooting has affected them.
anessa Tortolano could have rested her laurels on co-founding and running the popular NessAlla Kombucha company, but the draw of improv and stand-up comedy brought her into a world where laughter was the necessary medicine.
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.
Blair Braverman carved out a space for herself in the hyper-masculine word of dog sledding, finding her own unique sense of self and serious adventure in the process.
2016 GSAFE Youth Scholarship winner Keiana James talks about what motivated her to join her school’s GSA and work toward creating a safer environment for all students..
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.
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.
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.
Historian Dick Wagner explores the voices of gay liberation through the words of Wisconsin poets.
Dr. Shannon Andrews tells her own story of self-discovery and how it helped lead her to fighting to ensure that transgender people have equitable access to the care they need.
Karin Wolf explores the artwork of Bernadette Witzack, whose multimedia works explore what it means to be female bodied, and just plain embodied, in a world that seeks to impose meaning on us.
Amy DeGraff-Castro found ways to reconcile and embrace all the diverse parts of themselves through LGBTQ activism and outreach.
Jordan Bingham is the Health and Racial Equity Coordinator for Public Health Madison and Dane County, and is one of seven primary people who worked to build the new LGBTQ+ Health Profile to be used to highlight both progress and challenges that remain in bringing comprehensive care to LGBTQ people in the area.
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.
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.
Breaking the boundaries of drag performance, Jake Posateri, aka Baby Bear, has carved out a cutting edge, charmingly bedraggled niche for himself in Madison’s
queer performance scene.
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.
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.
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)
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.
Sandy Eichel followed the road laid out for her by others, until she found her calling—and her own path—in a new place and a new career.
The first-ever Wisconsin Male Burlesque Festival teased and titillated, all while lifting up the women who pioneered the art form, and queering and challenging standard definitions of masculinity.
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…
Attorney Emily Dudak Taylor walks us through some of the realistic legal concerns for the LGBTQ community—as well as what’s just rhetoric and rumor—in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential victory.
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.
Simone Justice found her life’s drive in cycling and is determined to see the sport better reflect and reach out to minority communities.
Madison’s first queer tango community aims to bring a timeless tradition to new heights and a more supportive space.
Rodney Lucas, aka F. Stokes, talks about his new documentary Ain’t No Babies in the City and why he felt compelled to tell the story of his sister and her partner’s decision to start a family in the face of massive societal prejudice.
Renee L. Herber & Tamara B. Packard on preserving the history of their east side home and renovating with community support and outreach in mind.
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.
Isthmus editor Judith Davidoff takes the not-so-straight-and-narrow path to journalism.
A trip to their birthplace in Hawaii helped Marcelle Richards find a more whole self, and to at last feel at home in their surroundings
Our Lives turns 10 years old this July, and we’re celebrating with our own 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.
OD Kimani found a platform for personal expression, empowerment, and social change in the world of neo-burlesque.
From New Dehli to Dubai to Madison, Akshat Woodhouse Sharma grapples with what it means to live an authentic life when family and cultures clash.
TransLiberation Art Coalition founder Kaci Sullivan talks creating community and the importance of carving out space for trans and gender non-conforming people
to express and support themselves.
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.
Caroline Werner talks to Jane De Broux of the Area Agency on Aging about resources available in Dane County.
Dr. Kathy Oriel explains the importance and mechanics of medicines that can help prevent HIV infection.
Casey Thompson and Thomas Beckwith-Thompson embark on a new phase of their relationship, expanding it to include ownership of longtime State Street institution Fair Trade Coffee.
Nayeli Portillo reflects on living at multiple identity intersections and learning to navigate different spaces without burying her truth.
Ben Bisbach and Cody Egan felt driftless until they found organic farming, a life-work journey that’s taken them across the country and back again.
Anna Alberici grew up in Madison’s storied Greenbush neighborhood and continues to cultivate its tastes, smells, and community ethic at the Greenbush Bar.
Tommy Hanna, owner of the Mediterranean Hookah Lounge & Café, recalls his journey through family kitchens, civil wars, coming out, and becoming whole
Marcelle Richards explores and explains the emerging healing practice of erotic embodiment, also called bodywork, and access to pleasure for all people beyond physical or mental barriers.
Our Lives turns 10 years old this month, and we’re celebrating with our own 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.
An interview with actress and Wisconsin AIDS Walk Honorary Chair Jane Lynch, by Steve Noll for Our Lives Magazine.
Longtime Indigo Girls member Emily Saliers is embarking on a tour to support her first solo album, with a stop in Madison on October 5 at the High Noon Saloon. Sandy Eichel interviews her for Our Lives in advance of the show.
Ehren Hasz took a leap of faith when she came out as transgender to her partner, Becky Peterson. Through diving, dogs, and love, they’ve navigated the bumpy waters into smoother sailing.
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.
There is power in solidarity between survivors, regardless of gender, orientation, or race. We must not let the movement become exclusive.
Wisconsin’s LGBTQ newlyweds share their wedding experience and advice.
U.W. Ph.D. candidate Laura P. Minero draws strength and inspiration for her work from her own experiences as an undocumented, queer Latinx—and from the parents who worked so hard to give her opportunity.
In roller derby, Eddie “Rufhouse Wainwright” Lupella finally discovered a sport that not only welcomed queer people, but provided a needed team environment that ended up feeling more like family.
Filmmaker and YouTube star Bria Brown carves out space for queer, black identity in an entertainment and cultural landscape still largely hostile to her existence.
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.
GSAFE’s Ali Muldrow tackles the question of how to know who your friends are in the era of Donald Trump, and how to be a better friend in return.
Vivienne Andersen gives us a glimpse of a new culinary collective aimed at giving women and nonbinary people in the business a place to commiserate, collaborate, and grow.
Kaci Sullivan speaks to being transmasculine and pregnant in a society still steeped in binary expectations and understandings of childbirth.
Former middle school teacher Abigail Swetz reflects on the triumphs and travails of the classroom, how wanting to be a good role model for her students pushed her toward a healthier and more open sense of self, and why she’s leaving the profession to work in public policy.
Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin President Tanya Atkinson takes a holistic view of social justice and healthcare advocacy, with plenty of love and laughter along the way.
Stacy Harbaugh interviews outspoken sex advice columnist and podcaster Dan Savage in advance of his tour stop in Madison
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.
Attorneys Michele Perreault and Raluca Vais-Ottosen explain two lawsuits making their way through U.S. courts regarding citizenship and immigration rights for children of same-sex parents.
Diverse & Resilient’s Kathy Flores examines the ways in which religion is still used to harm LGBTQ+ people, and offers methods for undoing the damage.
Historian Dick Wagner looks back at the history of the early lesbian magazine, The Ladder, and its many connections to Wisconsin.
Madison Planning Division’s new director, Heather Stouder, found a passion for building more equitable and sustainable cities through travel, starting a family of her own, and Madison’s unique needs and opportunities.
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.
Anti-transgender rhetoric under the guise of radical “feminism” has been popping up in Madison, highlighting issues of bigotry and misinformation as well as what constitutes free speech vs. hate speech.
Photographer Caitlin (Katie) Barry set out to build queer community and provide authentic, sensitive portraiture with her LGBTQ Photo Pop-Ups.
As the new director of the U.W.’s Gender and Sexuality Campus Center (formerly the LGBT Campus Center), Warren Scherer brings to the job a wealth of experience and a dedication to listening and letting youth lead.
Emily Mills reviews the new biography about a transgender pioneer, “Lou Sullivan: Daring to Be A Man Among Men” by Brice D. Smith (Transgress Press, 2018)
Cedric Johnson explores experiences of being the “token Black kid,” fighting his own internalized bias and the assumptions made by those around him about who
he ought to be.
Tobacco companies specifically target communities that suffer higher levels of minority stress, leading to higher rates of smoking among LGBTQ people.
OutReach’s Michal Osier looks into ways traditional grief support groups for bereaved spouses may fall far short of serving LGBTQ widows and widowers by examining our unique challenges and needs.
Brewer Tim “Pio” Piotrowski reflects on the path less taken, hiking the Appalachian Trail, and his journey toward opening his own brewery in Madison.
Cow & Quince and Lucky Dog Farm owner Lori Stern looks back on a winding-but-thoughtful path that took her from teaching young mothers to building sustainable and safe community centered around healthy food.
Oscar Villarreal and Jordan Wegner of Fuegos restaurant talk family, loss, and finding and sharing love through a delicious alliance between innovative and traditional foods.
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
Our Lives Publisher Patrick Farabaugh speaks with Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin about their plans in Wisconsin over the next couple of years.
Randi Hagen recently caught up with Sarah McBride, National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, on behalf of Our Lives—to discuss her new book, working on behalf of transgender rights in everything from health care to faith communities, and more.
Our Lives Publisher Patrick Farabaugh speaks with Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin about their plans in Wisconsin over the next couple of years.
Attorney Tamara Packard explains what the recent Supreme Court ruling in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case does—and doesn’t—mean for LGBTQ rights in the U.S.
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.
Karin Wolf interviews U.W.-Madison student Rena Yehuda Newman, whose new collection of essays and artwork gathers the work of transgender and non-binary artists in an effort to write their own stories of gender euphoria.
U.W. Gender & Women’s Studies Professor Dr. Sami Schalk on the many twists and turns in her life as a bisexual, polyamorous, black woman, and creating the queer life her younger self didn’t know was possible.
It’s been a long and often fraught journey, but Dane County Circuit Court Commissioner Mario White is living his authentic life, fighting for justice, and pushing for better representation in the law.
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.
Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe photographer Ryan Young reflects on the interconnectedness of their Two Spirit and Indigenous identities, and using art to build bridges and pride.
Mare Chapman offers readers a path to self-love and acceptance through mindfulness meditation practice and insights.
Artist and organizer Alaura Borealis reflects on their ambitious and far-reaching artistic project that spanned venues, communities, bodies, and the infinite spaces of the mind.
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.
Stand-up comic Dina Martinez found acceptance and inclusion among the women of Madison’s comedy scene. Now she’s giving back with the Lady Laughs Comedy Festival, returning for its third run this fall.
As Republicans pour record amounts of money into the state for the November senate election, incumbent Sen. Tammy Baldwin faces perhaps her toughest reelection bid ever. The longtime Wisconsin public servant talked with Our Lives Editor Emily Mills about the race and the issues that are shaping it and why she believes it’s more important than ever to stand up and be counted.