Interest group: Social

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.

Waking Up the Sleeping Giant

Madison Gay Hockey Association Founder and Our Lives Publisher Patrick Farabaugh shares his personal story and experience behind the birth of the MGHA

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”

Finding Her Rhythm

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

The Dancing Queen

Meet Liz Tymus, the mind behind Madison’s iQ

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

Living With Gender

UW-Madison associate professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, A. Finn Enke examines the roles that gender expression have layered into our society and how they affect our own gendered identities

Challenging Sex Stereotypes

With gender identity/expression dropped from ENDA, Tamara Packard helps find the resources that are available to transgendered and gender variant people.

My Outings

Recounting the many different ways we come out over the years, Stephen Calvert looks back on his most important two.

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

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. 2011 scholarship winner Jeff Godsey shares his essay.

Becoming Trina

Christopher Wilford kicks off a new entertainment column by mapping out his own path to an entertainer’s persona.

Comrades in Arms

Tim Lom found in fellow Madison Minotaurs and other gay rugby teams an extended family. But first, he had to know what he was looking for.

This I Believe

Glimpse the inner spirit of GSAFE 2012 Educator of the Year 
Abra Bankendorf Vigna to understand how she helps 
LGBTQ teens find their balance and embrace their strengths 
as group facilitator of Teens Like Us.

For the Love of Good

The Mad City Sisters just can’t get enough of the stares and questions. It’s all about getting the conversation started.

New Lease on Life

Robert Mahr reflects on what it took to bring back a beloved community spot, the Shamrock Bar & Grille, and the outpouring of support that made it happen.

Sing to Live

Gay men’s choruses across the country, including Perfect Harmony Men’s Chorus in Madison, have provided places of comfort and revitalization for Arthur Durkee.

One Fruity Day

FruitFest Festival organizers Corey Gresen, Rico Sabatini, and Liz Tymus talk about Madison’s newest queer Pride celebration.

Coming Out with the Great Outdoors

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

Serving for a Cause

Madison Gay Volleyball’s Rob Littell credits the league with helping him come into his own.

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

You Gotta Have Friends

Tamar Zick encourages us to keep our friendships healthy and strong, offering three qualities to strive for to help maintain these relationships.

Net Worth

Kurtis Hopp found a tight-knit community and a way to give back in Madison’s volleyball scene.

Marching With Pride

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

Relationships in the Grindr Era

Alexander Einsman explores whether digital gaydar really brings us together…or keeps us apart?

Eat, Drink, and Be Mary

In a profile of Milwaukee’s rollickingly queer food and entertainment joint, Hamburger Mary’s brings the fun with the feast.

Free to Roll

The culture and community of roller derby helped Alex Hanna get comfortable with their non-binary gender identity and kick butt on skates.

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.

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.

A Strong Alliance

The Indian Mound Middle School GSA provides a safe space for students to provide support for each other and explore their own personalities.

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 Invitation

When a wedding invitation arrives in his mailbox, Patrick Farabaugh is left pondering about homecomings and bridesmaids

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.

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.”

Along the Water’s Edge

When searching for balance and serenity, Jill Nebeker finds it along the urban shores of Lake Monona where Williamson Street meets downtown.

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.

Rolling on the River

Twenty minutes northwest of Madison, nature, art and history combine to motivate Jody Kapp to be a pioneer—not a settler.

“Old Fashioned” Wisconsin Pride

As it turns out, Wisconsin Cuisine is not actually an oxymoron.

Oh, the Places He Goes!

Meet Terry Halverson vacation planner, social mixer

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

Romancing State Street

Recent Milwaukee transplant Robert Leschke finds his home in our cultural core.

A Taste of the Exotic

Hookah dips Madison cuisine into the Mediterranean

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.

Building Body Confidence

Learning how to understand and love your body image is often challenging. Dale Decker offers solutions that promote better acceptance.

A Seafood Smorgasbord

The Mariner’s Inn is defining destination dining in Madison

A Man on a Mission

Meet Justin Hager, the UW–Madison senior who’s combining faith and activism.

Home is Where His Heart is

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

Farewell: In Loving Memory of Felicia Melton-Smyth

Saying goodbye to Felicia Melton-Smyth

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.

The Test

Thrown into a sobering reality, in his own words Dustin Smith tells what it was like when he learned he tested positive.

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.

Art’s Able Advocate

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

Avenue Q Meets StageQ

What happens when the Artistic Director of Madison’s queer theater troupe talks with Rod, Avenue Q’s investment banker?

Precisely Placed Wit

When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris

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.

How Her Jouney Begins

For Daun Johnston, the road less traveled leads through Madison and ultimately to her own personal truth.

Made in Canada

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

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.

‘Tis the Season

With winter returning and hours of sunlight on the decline, Dale Decker offers some advice on how to cope through seasonal depression.

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.

Acting with Pride

Executive Director Brian Wild reflects on the past, present, and future of Proud Theater.

A Derby Diva

Meet Rae Kyritsi, the lass putting the sass into her Mad Rollin’ Dolls alter ego, Sassafrass.

There’s No Place Like Home

Meet Queer Shorts’ brainchild, Katy Conley.

As Fiction Becomes Fact

Homecoming by Nell Stark

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.

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.

What is Love, Anyway?

Trying to describe a seemingly intangible feeling, local author Darwin Ward turns to lyrics to help reveal the language of love.

Relationship Roadblocks

Are you looking for love in all the wrong places? Jimmy Owen sifts through some potenital barriers that might be holding back your happiness.

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.

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.

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.

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*

Invisibly Queer

Dr. Sue Gill explores the ways in which some queer-identified people end up ostracized or unseen even within the LGBTQ community.

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.

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.

Do You Tell the Whole Truth?

Can you see your glass ceiling? Jimmy Owen looks at the facts about what “little white lies” can do to our physical and emotional health.

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.

Pedal to the Mettle

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

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.

Mineral Point

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

Our Apparel: Styling Dennis “DJ” Johnson

Personal Shopper Bonnie Raimy on dressing DJ

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

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.

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.

Nau-ti and Nice

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

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.

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.

Homage to Fromage

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

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.

Say It with Gear

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

Cross-pollination

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

Our Town

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

Debits and Credits

Marty Fox tallies the progress of incorporating LGBT sensitivity and supportive policies in Madison workplaces.

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.

The Good Word

How the LGBT Books to Prisoners project is bringing a bit more hope and community to those serving time.

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.

Queering the Farm

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

More to Love

Hallie Lieberman explores and explains the past, present, and future of Madison’s diverse and somewhat unique poly community.

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.

Team Spirit

Madison Gay Hockey Association’s annual essay contest winner Logan Kirwin talks about transition, acceptance, and the queer athletic community.

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.

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.

Universal Dance

Madison’s first queer tango community aims to bring a timeless tradition to new heights and a more supportive space.