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: Transgender
Felicia Melton-Smyth talks candidly to Our Lives about transitioning, her AIDS philanthropic work and the most important thing she’s ever done.
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
After years spent searching for somewhere to belong, Eri Madder discovers how that quest—and owning an authentic life—leads back to a realization about self-acceptance
With gender identity/expression dropped from ENDA, Tamara Packard helps find the resources that are available to transgendered and gender variant people.
2011 Fair Wisconsin Activist Award winner and author of She’s Not the Man I Married, Helen Boyd, is our definition of what a trans ally and advocate looks like.
Our collaborative list with Fair Wisconsin.
Each year the Madison Gay Hockey Association invites its members to write about the role that the MGHA plays in building their identity. 2012 scholarship winner James (Sutherland) Parens shares his essay.
Writer Ja’Mel Ware is rich beyond any monetary valuation. Find out why.
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.
A winding road of ups, downs, and big changes has bonded Will Van Roosenbeek and Tara DeLong ever closer together.
Anders Zanichkowsky explores inner and outer terrains through multidisciplinary artworks.
The TransParent support group helps parents of trans* children navigate uncharted waters.
Joining Proud Theater helped Adrian Connor find his voice and a calling to help give that gift to future generations.
What we can learn from the traditions of First Nations people.
Same-sex unions are as newfangled as the chariot or butter churn.
Dina Martinez blazes a trail through comedy, radio, and gender
Molly Herrmann looks at ways we can build better bonds between LGBs and Ts, and the need to destigmatize mental health issues for everyone.
Proud Theater Mentor Gavin Logan on art and its power to connect and transform.
John Quinlan talks with OutReach Executive Director Steve Starkey about Outreach’s plans to host the Pride Parade.
The culture and community of roller derby helped Alex Hanna get comfortable with their non-binary gender identity and kick butt on skates.
Gypsy Vered Meltzer became the first trans* person elected to public office in Wisconsin when he became an Appleton alderperson earlier this year.
Dylan Bryne recounts her privileges and struggles within a health care system that too often falls dangerously short for transpeople.
Connie North explores the work of author and teacher Helen Boyd and what it means to love a trans* person.
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
Learning how to recognize when denial is doing more harm than good can be challenging. Dale Decker shows you the difference.
One of our most consistent and visible allies, the Reverend Curt Anderson openly affirms all people at First Congregational United Church of Christ
David Valdes Greenwood goes inside a same-sex marriage to candidly show the ups and downs of domestic bliss.
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.
Meet Terry Halverson vacation planner, social mixer
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.
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
Searching for LGBTQA women and men to model herself after, UW–Madison senior Amanda Hunter finds the importance of visible role models.
Mel Marcum found acceptance and a crafty calling in the world of queer theater (and beyond)
Artist Nicole Bresnik found herself and her purpose in pushing paintbrushes and boundaries
Linking her spiritual journey and her trans journey, Heather Field uses a faith community to find serenity in living her personal truth
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
Saying goodbye to Felicia Melton-Smyth
In the 1890s, the UW–Madison Haresfoot Club brought gender-bending into vogue.
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.
Could gays present themselves as parents? No, said the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the early 1970s
Diverse and Resilient partners with OutReach on “Room to Breathe,” a solution to help us stop smoking. Amber Ault reports.
While demystifying the legal aftermath of California’s Proposition 8 vote, Tamara Packard offers a perspective on our progress.
Embracing her sexual identity later in life, an Anonymous Reader shares the discovery that helped her feel love.
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.
Dr. Sue Gill explores the ways in which some queer-identified people end up ostracized or unseen even within the LGBTQ community.
The Sweet In-Between by Sheri Reynolds
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.
GSAFE Educator of the Year Scott Lone of West Bend East High School approaches his role with dedication and courage.
The past 50 years in a civil rights movement through the eyes and perspective of a Madison native by Brian Powers.
Dawn Siebert and Ben Monty share how Madison came to host the 2009 ASANA Softball World Series.
Crisis by Mitchell Gold and Mindy Drucker
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.
Jaime Zimmerman explains the basics and benefits of a well-designed estate plan.
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.
People came expecting Special Olympics, something warm and fuzzy. It was so far from that, dealing with sexuality, rape, and relationships.
An Archeology of Posing by Moe Meyer reviewed
Virginia Harrison reports on a groundbreaking study of trans* and gender-nonconforming youth in Wisconsin schools and the unique challenges they face.
Trans*, Asian-American, young, and queer: Skylar Lee is blazing a trail for intersectional equality in the Madison school system and beyond.
A fierce advocate for her rights and those of the people who come after, Ret. Col. Sheri A. Swokowski tells the story of how she came from conservative Wisconsin roots to become one of the highest ranking out transgender officers in the world.
Baraboo High School senior Catherine Hartup has been an active and driven member of her school’s GSA and was the lone student to speak in support of the district’s new trans-inclusive athletic policy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rep. Mark Pocan is helping to push a comprehensive LGBT equality bill in Congress and calls on us all to continue the fight for truly full equality nationwide.
Therapist and social justice consultant Owen Karcher is working to turn agony into action to support trans and gender non-conforming people through a more mindful practice.
An open letter from the Wisconsin Trans Health Coalition on the necessity of community efforts to eradicate state violence against transgender people.
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.
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.
Ret. Col. Sheri Swokowski reflects on recent gains for transgender rights within the US military and looks forward to note that the “light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train.”
Alex Hanna explains how access to the various pieces of necessary health care can be extremely limited or nonexistent for many transgender people seeking transition care.
Felicia Melton-Smyth talks candidly to Our Lives about transitioning, her AIDS philanthropy work and the most important thing she’s ever done.
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
Ray McMahan found his inner athlete and a welcoming home in the sport of roller derby. Now he’s looking to build a space specifically for cis- and trans-identified men to play in Madison, too.
Madison Gay Hockey Association’s annual essay contest winner Logan Kirwin talks about transition, acceptance, and the queer athletic community.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Madison Gay Hockey Association’s annual essay gave Ashleigh Baldwin a chance to reflect on rediscovering her life’s passion and finding a place to call home in the league
After Shelly Sabourin’s son came out to her as transgender, she sought to educate herself and others and push for equality, using the New York City Marathon as a means to put her money where her mouth—and heart—is.
Kaci Sullivan gives us a vulernable, beautiful update on his journey into trans parenthood and the birth of baby Pheonix (a continuation of an article that appeared in our November 2017 issue).
A review by Terri Schlichenmeyer of the book by Denise Chanterelle DuBois
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.
James Van Abel found support and direction through Briarpatch’s Teens Like Us group, and now has the chance to give back to the next generation.
Kaci Sullivan speaks to being transmasculine and pregnant in a society still steeped in binary expectations and understandings of childbirth.
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.
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.
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)
Our Lives contributor Charles Wetzel talks coming out as a home-schooled kid in an Evangelical church, and finding a passion for both photography and politics.
Meet the independent group of attorneys behind Trans Law Help Wisconsin, and how they’re helping transgender and non-binary people navigate the rapids of a complex legal system.
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.
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.
Wisconsin’s Group Insurance Board votes to remove exclusion for transgender health care coverage.
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.
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.
The U.W.’s Trans Research Lab is pioneering research into mental and physical health needs and care for transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming (TNG) individuals. Lab founder Stephanie Budge and several of the lab’s researchers weigh in on the importance of the work being done, gaps in current knowledge, and why asking the right questions matters.
A delegation of local leaders from Madison traveled to meet LGBTQ activists in El Salvador, who are literally fighting for their lives against antagonistic governments and cultural stereotypes.
Lack of LGBTQ education especially deters trans patients from seeking healthcare; advocates prescribe continuous education.
Jessica and Erika Jones of Giant Jones Brewing recount the history of their relationship and business partnership, and why the trials and tribulations along the way have all been well worth getting to where they are now—and where they’ll go next.
Randi Hagen nearly quit hockey before she’d even started, but the community and support she found with the Madison Gay Hockey Association helped her through her darkest days.
Madison has celebrated LGBTQ Pride since the movement began, though it has taken many forms. Scott Seyforth guides us through the many iterations of the city’s festivities and protests over the decades.
The learning curve was steep for everyone when Vica Steel came out as transgender.