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,…
Interest group: PoC
Felicia Melton-Smyth talks candidly to Our Lives about transitioning, her AIDS philanthropic work and the most important thing she’s ever done.
Volunteering for ACT 5 herself, Barbara McKinney discovers the commitment and courage that her late son Mike always described as “a life changing experience”
With the first anniversary of Women Who Want to Dance approaching, organizer Susana Torres talks to Our Lives about coming here from Mexico, beginning to laugh, and Women Across Wisconsin
Relying on reason to rationalize his own journey, Kevin Romero discovers how life doesn’t always follow a simple science.
Lucia Nuñez comes out as a cancer survivor and explains how her job became more poignant as a result of her diagnosis.
Our collaborative list with Fair Wisconsin.
Writer Ja’Mel Ware is rich beyond any monetary valuation. Find out why.
Steve Mendez is helping to change the lives of young people, one adventure at a time.
Babette Wainwright infuses her sculpture work with personal history and passion.
From Mexico to America, Rolando Cruz found passion and purpose in a pair of running shoes.
Madison Gay Hockey player Chue Xiong talks about life in a refugee camp, running away from home, coming out, and finding support in a most unlikely place.
Examining real issues of racial disparity in Dane County is tough but crucial work that everyone, LGBT progressives especially, needs to engage in.
La Follette High School teenager Charlotte Detra finds a voice and a cause through restorative justice programs at her school and with GSAFE.
State Rep. Lloyd Barbee broke lines of color and sexual identity as a tireless champion of equal rights for all citizens.
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.
Single mom Dana Pellebon has been navigating the public school system with and for her autistic son and offers up some tips to parents facing the same prospect with special-needs kids.
Representative JoCasta Zamarripa shares what coming out while in office was like, and giving a voice to both the LGBTQ and Latino communities in the State Assembly.
Diverse & Resilient’s Acceptance Journeys program uses families’ stories to lay the groundwork for changing hearts and minds about LGBT lives.
LGBT soldiers’ stories are largely erased or forgotten, but some fascinating and important accounts of life as a gay man in the Greatest Generation do exist.
GSAFE co-director Kristen Petroshius explains the difficult but important process of bringing racial justice into the mission for LGBTQ equality.
Vicente Lezama has been a driving force for LGBTQ rights and acceptance at Fond du Lac High School and now hopes to continue that work in the larger Wisconsin community.
Yvette Pino’s “Veteran Print Project” builds bridges between communities by pairing military veterans with artists to create unique and powerful works of art.
Linda Ketchum shows us why white progressives need to work harder to check their privilege and listen to the stories and needs of their neighbors of color.
What we can learn from the traditions of First Nations people.
Same-sex unions are as newfangled as the chariot or butter churn.
Linda Ketcham looks at how ensuring better educational opportunities for everyone also improves support for LGBTQ issues.
Alianza Latina’s Christian Alejandro Real Merino is working to bridge a cultural divide and build up a community along the way.
Dina Martinez blazes a trail through comedy, radio, and gender
Our third collaborative list with Fair Wisconsin.
Linda Ketcham, executive director of Madison-area Urban Ministry, launches a column examining the intersections of minority and civil rights struggles in our community.
Danez Smith shares a taste of what Self Love can be.
The 30th anniversary of gay rights in Wisconsin is a time for celebration—and a time to remember.
Proud Theater Mentor Gavin Logan on art and its power to connect and transform.
GSAFE co-director Kristen Petroshius explains why LGBTQ and race issues must go hand-in-hand.
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.
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.
Meet the eight plaintiff couples in the ACLUís lawsuit to bring marriage equality to Wisconsin
In order to really address racial disparities in our communities, Linda Ketcham explains why it’s crucial to change the systems that enforce monochrome workplaces.
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.
GSAFE Co-Director Kristen Petroshius: Let’s Stop Silencing People of Color
GSAFE scholarship winner Quintin Smith-Bickham found a path away from despair and toward a living truth that’s helping lead the way for LGBTQ youth in Milwaukee and beyond
Saying goodbye to Felicia Melton-Smyth
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.
For Daun Johnston, the road less traveled leads through Madison and ultimately to her own personal truth.
Linda Ketcham examines the ways in which we worry about our children, depending on where they come from.
Jaime Zimmerman explains the basics and benefits of a well-designed estate plan.
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.
GSAFE’s Middle School Program Assistant Monica Adams is ready to advocate for multicultural, queer youth around the state.
Photographer Rolando Cruz tackles life’s mysteries, personal identities, and small, intimate moments through his ever-curious lens.
Freedom Inc.’s M. Adams makes the case for intersectionality and why Black rights and queer rights are inextricably bound together.
The following is an excerpt of the speech given by Kristen Petroshius when accepting the LGBTQ Advocate of the Year Award at the Outreach Banquet this past fall.
Trans*, Asian-American, young, and queer: Skylar Lee is blazing a trail for intersectional equality in the Madison school system and beyond.
Kristen Petroshius, Cindy Breunig, and Laura McNeil of Groundwork urge continued constructive dialogue and action around issues of racial disparity in Dane County
After the nightmare of losing her child to suicide, Skylar Lee’s mother Joanne Lee is dedicating herself to continuing the work that her son began on behalf of the LGBTQ community that she struggled for so long to understand.
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.
T. Banks with the Young Gifted and Black Coalition makes the case for why queer people everywhere should be standing in solidarity with people of color against state sponsored violence.
Henry Gaylord represents a new generation of LGBTQ-identified youth who refuse to be pigeonholed, one way or another, by their sexual orientation.
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.
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.
An open letter from the Wisconsin Trans Health Coalition on the necessity of community efforts to eradicate state violence against transgender people.
Madison Urban Ministry’s Linda Ketchum muses on what has changed—and what hasn’t—since the death of Tony Robinson in Madison, and where hope for the future of the community comes from the ground up.
Angie Alcorta follows her lifelong dream of becoming a counselor with a little help from her experiences with Outreach.
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
Diverse & Resilient takes a hard look at the barriers to effective HIV preventative care for at-risk populations in Wisconsin and ways to achieve better and more impactful outreach to them.
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.
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.
Amy DeGraff-Castro found ways to reconcile and embrace all the diverse parts of themselves through LGBTQ activism and outreach.
GSAFE’s Ali Muldrow pays it forward as an educator to incarcerated youth.
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.
Simone Justice found her life’s drive in cycling and is determined to see the sport better reflect and reach out to minority communities.
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.
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
A lifetime of working with and for children of all abilities has taught the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Vaunce Ashby much, including the importance of bringing your whole self to the table.
Reporter Amber C. Walker profiles LGBTQ+ people of color who are movers and shakers both locally and across Wisconsin.
A candid glimpse into the life of Our Lives magazine reader Steph Tai.
Milwaukee’s Lex Allen charts a course through struggle, loss, finding his familia, and musical vulnerability and versatility.
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.
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.
Tavernakaya has become a restaurant and a nightclub dedicated to radical hospitality and inclusivity, using tasty food, diverse entertainment options, and an “ask first” policy of consent to
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.