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Twenty Year Total Now Exceeds $10 Million
Milwaukee - Over 3,000 people from across Wisconsin gathered at the Summerfest grounds here October 11 and raised $362,278 for the fight against AIDS in the state at the 20th Annual AIDS Walk Wisconsin. The total was an 18.5% boost over last year’s Walk tally.
“AIDS Walk Wisconsin is an event of profound solidarity. People from all walks of life came together today to raise much needed funds for AIDS prevention and to assure access to health care for all HIV patients,” President and Chief Executive Officer for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (ARCW) Doug Nelson said during the opening ceremonies prior to the 5K walk. “We are proud that in the twentieth year of the AIDS Walk the people of Wisconsin have raised more than $10 million for the fight against AIDS.”
Also speaking at the Walk opener was Wisconsin U.S. Senator Russ Feingold. He reminded the crowd that the 143% increase in new HIV infections among young gay men in the state over the last three years was sad but dramatic proof that the fight against the disease was far from over.
Headlining the opening ceremonies for AIDS Walk Wisconsin was Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. Vernon is an Eau Claire native and is one of the fastest rising stars in indie rock music today. Bon Iver will also played a sold-out benefit concert for the Walk that evening at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee.
In addition to ARCW, other agencies benefiting from AIDS Walk Wisconsin proceeds include One Heartland, HIVictorious, the City of Milwaukee’s “No Condom? No Way!” campaign, the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, Common Ground Ministry/Elena’s House, the Sheboygan County AIDS Task Force, Equality Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Association of Nurses in AIDS Care.
ARCW is the largest and most comprehensive AIDS service organization in Wisconsin. Proceeds from AIDS Walk Wisconsin 2009 primarily benefit ARCW and the ARCW Medical Center. The ARCW Medical Center is the largest and fastest growing outpatient HIV medical clinic in the state, offering integrated medical, dental, and mental health services for people living with HIV and AIDS. It has provided care and treatment to over 1,200 HIV patients over the past year.
MillerCoors was the presenting sponsor for AIDS Walk Wisconsin 2009. Other sponsors included Dynacare Laboratories, the Sovereign Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, Brewers Charities, SC Johnson, Weyco Group, Inc., Promolux, American Family Insurance, 88nine Radio Milwaukee, OnMilwaukee.com, the Onion, the Shepherd Express, Central Bark Doggy Day Care, Stone Creek Coffee Roasters, Milwaukee County Parks, Bartoli Filmworks, Midwest Airlines, Marcus Theaters, and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.
World & National News:
First Person: Reflections On The National Equality March
By Callen Harty
A crowd estimated at between 75,000 and 150,000 mostly young queer men and women and their allies filled the streets and public spaces of Washington DC Sunday, October 11 during the National Equality March, the fifth such LGBT march on the nation’s Capitol since 1979. Put together in less than four months by a mixed coalition of LGBT human rights groups, the rally may have been the smallest such demonstration in gay civil rights history, but it was also the most-cost effective and a strong signal that the “Stonewall 2.0” movement first evidenced by Join The Impact simultaneous nationwide rallies last November is not only alive and well but growing in its organizational power. The next generation’s message was clear: they are tired of waiting for full equality, from workplace protections to marriage rights.
Broom Street Theater Artistic Director, Proud Theater collaborator (with long-time husband and creative partner Bryan Wild) and veteran Madison activist Callen Harty journeyed to the march and agreed to share his thoughts about the March and its significance with Quest readers.
My day started and ended with promising images, and there was an incredible symbolic one in the middle. Early in the morning before the march started, I overheard a boy who was maybe ten or eleven years old ask why there were so many police cars around. His older sister and mother guessed, then he figured it out and said, “It must be the gay march.” His mother said he was probably right and then the boy said, “Why can’t people just leave them alone?” This was a sign of an incredible day ahead.
The march itself was awesome, tens upon tens of thousands of colorful people in a march of love. It was a perfect day—sunny, warm, hardly a cloud in the blue sky. There was a moment when I saw several people look up to the sky and point. I turned around and there in the middle of the blue sky, in the one small patch of clouds anywhere in sight, was a rainbow, pretty much right over the White House. I took it as a sign.
After the march I was walking away when I saw another boy next to a car with Kentucky license plates. He was about thirteen and he was holding up a sign as his mother was trying to get him into the car to go home. It was clear he wanted to hold onto it and share it as long as he could. The sign said, “Equality for All”. As he got into the car he turned toward me and smiled. This seemed a good sign for our future.
These three images will stay with me long after everything else fades. There is also a refrain that keeps coming into my head, over and over, that defines my feelings about the march. The refrain is this: It is over; it has begun.
No one said it. I didn’t read it. But as the rally on the Capitol lawn was winding down this is what came into my head. This is the summary for me. The march is over, yes, but it is not just the march that is over. An era is over. The old guard has been set to the side and the new generation has taken the stage. It is over; it has begun. And it is time for this to happen. It is past time for this to happen. But don’t be fooled. The torch was not passed to the youth—they reached out and grabbed it. They took it and they said loudly and clearly that they have taken the fight from those who got us to this point and they are going to win that fight—now.
This is what I came away with from the march and rally. It is over; it has begun. And I couldn’t be happier or more hopeful.
As much as I like Barney Frank’s politics in general, he is now a relic in the queer community. Last week he reverted to the closeted Barney Frank who only came out because he got caught doing things he shouldn’t have been doing. Last week a man who should be a leader in our community publicly said that people should stay away from the march and stay home, that they should just contact their Congressional representatives if they want change. As if one can’t call their Congressperson and participate in a march at the same time. Is that too much to ask? Is that too much work? I’m sorry, but what the hell does Barney Frank think the forty years since Stonewall have been if not a call for change? Some of us in the old guard are tired of waiting. The youth won’t wait, and that will be good for America.
I voted for Barack Obama and I like much of what he represents. He has been inspirational in many ways. But he has also been a disappointment in several areas, LGBT rights among them. He delivered an eloquent speech to the Human Rights Campaign, knocked it out of the park—if he does nothing else, he always speaks well—and he promised many things. Well, he can please the queers to our ears, but he needs to make sure those pleasing sounds aren’t hollow oaths. We have seen too many broken promises from too many leaders. We are no longer content with promises. We want action. Speaker after speaker at the rally said that an Easter egg hunt that includes queer families is not enough. We want the full meal. We want our seat at the lunch counter. And the waiting is over. We will start sit-ins at the lunch counter. We will start bus or other boycotts. With these energized youth leading us we will win full equality. It is time. It is past time. It is about time.
The old days of waiting, of accepting the scraps from the table, are over. We are no longer content with taking little offerings in return for big dollars. It is over; it has begun. There is something the youth recognize that the older generation has mostly forgotten. It is not about little victories. It is not about dancing with your partner at a bar without getting raided. It is not about a few rich ones in our community getting well-placed jobs. It is about justice and justice cannot wait, not in a country that promises equality to all. It is about partnership with all oppressed minorities. Don’t kid yourself—when this battle is won, there will be more. There is always a group at the bottom of the rung.
The queer community has an agenda and isn’t afraid to say so. We want - no, we demand - an end to the Defense of Marriage Act. We demand an end to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” We demand a hate crimes bill that includes us. We demand gay marriage, not something similar. We demand acceptance, not tolerance. We strive for a more perfect union with our partners in love and with the country we love. We demand full and absolute citizenship. We demand full and absolute equality. And with this new generation taking the lead, we will get it.
Those of us who have struggled all these years who are not happy with the status quo and are not happy with waiting will join the youth leaders in a cross-generational march to freedom. My legs are more tired, my heart is more pained, the struggle is harder. This is why I gladly watch these young people take the lead. But let there be no doubt; I will march with them until I can march no more.
Ex-Student Defends Gay Safe Schools Czar Jennings “Good Advice”
Washington, DC - Since last Spring President Obama’s Safe Schools “czar” Kevin Jennings has been the target of a coordinated effort by right wing pundits and religious extremist groups seeking his ouster because of both his sexual orientation and his years of success as the head of the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN).
Jennings now heads the Department of Educations Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. He recently has come under increased right wing fire for a 21 year-old episode in which he counseled a teenaged gay student about using safer sex to prevent HIV transmission. The call for Jennings’ head culminated on October 15 when 53 Republican Congressional Representatives led by Steve King (R-Iowa) sent a letter to the President asking for Jennings’ dismissal.
Fox News personality Glenn Beck and several “family values” groups now claim that Jennings condoned statutory rape and child molestation in his 1988 counseling session because he did not tell authorities that a 16-year-old student revealed to Jennings that he’d had sex with an older man.
However the lie has been put to the conservative rants by the former student himself. In a statement recently obtained and broadcast by cable news giant CNN, the former student - identified as “Brewster” - wrote: “Since I was of legal consent at the time, the 15-minute conversation I had with Mr. Jennings 21 years ago is of nobody’s concern but his and mine. However, since the Republican noise machine is so concerned about my well-being and that of Americas students, they’ll be relieved to know that I was not inducted into homosexuality, assaulted, raped, or sold into sexual slavery.”
Brewster’s statement went on to recount the events that led him to seek out Jennings for advice. “In 1988, I had taken a bus home for the weekend, and on the return trip met someone who was also gay,” he wrote. “The next day, I had a conversation with Mr. Jennings about it. I had no sexual contact with anybody at the time, though I was entirely legally free to do so. I was a 16-year-old going through something most of us have experienced: adolescence.”
Brewster continued by lashing out at the critics who have used the incident to attack Jennings. “I find it regrettable that the people who have the compassion and integrity to protect our nations students are themselves in need of protection from homophobic smear attacks. Were it not for Mr. Jennings courage and concern for my well-being at that time in my life, I doubt Id be the proud gay man that I am today.”
CNN obtained a copy of Brewster’s drivers license which verifies he was 16 at the time. The legal age of consent for sexual activities in Massachusetts is 16.
Jennings had written abut the incident in one of several books that he has had published. “I listened, sympathized, and offered advice,” he wrote, then added “I hope you used a condom.”
Education Secretary Arne Duncan and the White House both continue to unconditionally support Jennings. National Association of Secondary School Principals executive director Gerald Tirozzi also pointed out that Jennings support crosses political lines among educators, noting that Jennings expertise in bullying has earned him recognition from school principals in conservative as well as progressive districts.
Pew Poll: 57% Support Civil Unions In U.S.
Washington, DC - A new report based on a recent national survey by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds that a clear majority of Americans - 57% - favor allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into legal agreements with each other that would give them many of the same rights as married couples, a status commonly known as civil unions. This finding marks a slight uptick in support for civil unions and appears to continue a significant long-term trend since the question was first asked in Pew Research Center surveys in 2003, when support for civil unions stood at 45%.
Over the past year, support for civil unions has grown significantly among those who oppose same-sex marriage while remaining stable among those who favor same-sex marriage. At the same time, opponents of same-sex marriage continue to outnumber supporters overall. The poll was conducted August 11-27 among 4,013, and also found 53% oppose allowing gay and lesbian people to marry legally, compared with 39% who support same-sex marriage, numbers that are virtually unchanged over the past year.
State News:Demonstration Planned For “Ex-Gay” Conference
Travis Swanson Also Updates Quest On His Search For Bryce
Green Lake - Troubled Christians hoping to “pray away the gay” at Exodus International’s Fall North Central Conference at the American Baptist-owned Green Lake Conference Center October 30 through November 1 will find a refreshing viewpoint as they enter or leave the gated compound over the weekend. LGBT and allied demonstrators are planning to share the “good news” that it’s okay to be gay at various times during the conference.
The demonstration largely is the work of one young gay man: Travis Swanson. Travis has had his life turned upside down by those who practice the twisted tenets of fundamentalist Christianity. Last Spring Travis’ relationship with Bryce Faulkner was abruptly aborted after Faulkner’s parents coerced Bryce into entering Exodus International’s 14-month “reparative therapy” program.
Swanson’s quest to speak directly with Bryce captivated the gay online community throughout the summer of 2009, generating Facebook groups and YouTube videos. The Faulkner family’s attempts to speak for their sequestered adult son even got the brief attention of the “fair and balanced” cable news giant Fox News.
Like recent Autumn weather, gay interest in Bryce and Travis’ plight has also cooled. After Facebook pulled several “Where Is Bryce?” pages from their website at the family’s insistence, supporters of the young same-sex couple have established a presence on the gay-friendly Ning social networking site, though registration requirements for both the website and the “Friends of B.R.Y.C.E” network makes casual access difficult.
Quest’s Mike Fitzpatrick caught up with Travis just days after he had returned from the National Equality March in Washington DC to find out the latest news on the search for his partner and the upcoming protest event.
Quest: The official estimates for the National Equality March have varied from 50,000 to 150,000. How big do you think the march was?
Travis: I think was about 125,000 to 150,000. I think that’s pretty accurate. I know when we first got there -and we were there for the very first speaker - the lawn in front of the Capitol was just completely packed full. Our group ended up getting separated. That sort of thing just happens at those types of things. The lawn was completely packed and (the speaker) said the marchers were still seven blocks deep on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Quest: I understand that you have actually had a phone call from Bryce?
Travis: I had a voice mail. He said that the decisions he made were his, and that me getting involved with his family was wrong, that I was harassing his family and that I needed to quit harassing his family.
Quest: Do you think that it was a legitimate message, or do you think he was coerced into doing a voice mail?
Travis: It sounded very coursed, it sounded very rehearsed. It sounded scripted, like it was being read from a piece of paper. What I want to point out about that phone call - never once in it did he say anything like “leave me alone” or “I don’t want to have anything to do with you, back off.” It was all about “my family.” You know, “you’re hurting my family, stop doing this to my family.”
There was never anything about me... So it makes sense, if it was scripted, it would have been (about family). I feel like his mother feels that she has been harmed at this point. Now she wants to try and get her name back. So if she wrote that out for him, it would be “all about my family.” And about her. She’s making everything about her.
Quest: So you think that he’s doing everything under duress at this point?
Travis: Well I think if anything, that phone call just confirms that (he’s under duress) even further. It helped cement my belief in that. The call (was) using words that I never heard or known him to use.
Quest: When did you get that call?
Travis: That was the last Tuesday of August (August 25). Nothing since. Though two days after the phone call I got a call from a police officer at the Oshkosh police department. He told me that he received a phone call from Bryce, that I was harassing him and that it needed to cease immediately or I would be arrested. I asked him if this was a civil matter or a criminal matter. He said it was a civil matter. To me that sounds like a situation with a crooked cop, because there is no such thing as arresting somebody on a civil matter.
Quest: Did you get his name or file a complaint with the police department?
Travis: He said his name three times. But every time he said it I couldn’t understand it. It started with a Z, but I could not get it. His demeanor was very much talking down to me, saying I was responsible for “all this” even though I do not own the (“Help Save Bryce”) website. His demeanor did change when I mentioned that I was a card carrying member - and this is the truth - of the ACLU. He became not as demanding and not trying to intimidate me after I mentioned the ACLU.
Quest: But how did this officer know he was even talking to Bryce? How did he verify that alleged original complaint?
Travis: Those are the kinds of questions that went through my head after I got off the phone with him. But the semester’s been so busy for me. I was actually going to make an appointment with the campus attorney to talk to him about possibly filing a complaint. I think I’m still gonna do that.
Quest: Well my crap detector is up around an “eight” right now.
Travis: Exactly. And he said that if I did not cease immediately, all these things would happen to me. Well, that was the last week of August and I’ve yet to hear anything else from the Oshkosh police department.
Quest: So where do you think Bryce is now?
Travis: I’m sure that if he was in Florida, they’ve probably moved him. All the (“Help Save Bryce”) websites said that he was in Florida. I do believe very much that he is in a facility somewhere.
Quest: At some point they’re going to have to let him out and breathe the air of the free. What do you know about these “conversion” processes? When do they give up? What’s going to happen?
Travis: Basically they say you’re “cured” after you’ve put in the time that you’ve paid to be there. From what I’ve been told, it’s a 14-month program so he’s scheduled to come out in August of next year. And he can’t be hidden forever. They know that.
Quest: Has anyone tried to make contact with Bryce on the inside?
Travis: I’ve talked with Truth Wins Out in Brooklyn. You’re the one who suggested that I contact them. I talked to Wayne, They could try to reach him but they have to know where to look - that’s the thing.
Quest: Has the heat from the larger gay community cooled down?
Travis: There’s not as many posts in the guest book. But there are people on Facebook who use the “Where is Bryce?” Facebook picture posted as their profile picture. We’ve created a site on Ning.com (friendsofbryce.ning.com).
Quest: Well it’s important to remember that while people are going on with their lives, there are others like Bryce still going through this personal Hell. It’s important to remind people that this isn’t a story that you are going to let go away.
Travis: Exactly. If all this were true, why would Bryce just do a press release? He could have made all this media attention go away. Nobody would have an interest in doing a story if the person who the story about came forward and said “This is not true.” But its always a spokesperson saying that.
Quest: And you’ve got something coming up to get people involved in Wisconsin. Tell me about that.
Travis: Exodus is holding their regional conference in Green Lake at the Green Lake Conference Center on Highway 23 west of the city. We haven’t finalized plans but we’re looking at having a demonstration on Saturday, October 31. That is when most people are able get there. Some friends and I may go out Friday night (Exodus lists the Green Lake conference registration from 5-7 PM on their website). But the big protest will be on Saturday because so many people are coming in from out of town.
Quest: One of your problems is that so many of the people who are attending these conferences are already brainwashed. Is the purpose of the demonstration to reach the conference attendees or to raise public awareness that this kind of programming is going on?
Travis: The main purpose is to bring attention. If you have an extreme view on something, you’re not going to change your mind. It’s the middle of the road people we’re trying to reach the most. They’re the ones who might think “maybe (Exodus International) is right, maybe they’re wrong.” Parents of people who might consider sending their child there. That’s who we want to reach out to.
Quest: How can people get ahold of you to get the latest information if they want to join the demonstration?
Travis: We have the demonstration posted as an event on Facebook, and they can email me from there as well.
Quest: How many people do you hope to get for this protest?
Travis: The Facebook page has 131 confirmed guests who way they are coming. Some will likely not show up, but with that many committed we expect a decent turnout.
To learn more about the planned demonstration at the Exodus International conference in Green Lake, visit Facebook and search for the “Protest Exodus International/Ex-Gay Therapy”event page or contact Travis Swanson directly via his Facebook profile page.
Two Members Join Chippewa Valley LGBT Center Board
Eau Claire - Cassandra Cook and Jessica Janiuk were elected to the board of the LGBT of the Chippewa Valley at the organization’s Annual Meeting and anniversary party held here October 10. Cassandra and Jessica join Ann Marie Hoeppner, Christopher Iannone; Mark Juergens, Amanda Mondlock, Joe Schneider, Rev. George Stammand Quay Webber on the board.
Officers elected to serve through 2010 are: Christopher Iannone, President; Jessica Janiuk, Vice-President; and Ann Marie Hoeppner, Treasurer; Mark Juergens, Secretary. Departing board members Dale Larson, Karl Maki, and Cindy Stamm were thanked for their dedicated service to the LGBT Community Center of the Chippewa Valley.
2010 Pride Alive Town Hall Meetings Set
Appleton, Green Bay - The NEWPride Committee has announced that the festivities for Pride Alive 2010 are getting under way The committee has scheduled two Town Hall meetings to solicit community suggestions and feedback for next year’s event.
The first meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 27 at 6:30 PM in lower level of the downtown location (Pine St.) of the Brown County Library the Downtown Public Library in Green Bay. The second meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 3 at 6:30 PM on the upper level of the Harmony Café, 233 East College Ave. in Appleton. Accommodations for those with limited mobility who plan to attend the Appleton event will be made upon request by emailing NEWPride at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second Green Bay Event For Harry Knox Set
Green Bay - A second event for Harry Knox, the openly-gay member of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and HRC Religion and Faith Program Director, has been set for Sunday, October 25. Knox will be the guest preacher at Union Congregational Church, 716 S. Madison St., at 10 AM.
Knox’s sermon is being delivered as the congregation celebrates its tenth anniversary as an Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ. Though a minister in the Methodist tradition, Knox was the recipient of the United Church of Christ’s Lancaster Theological Seminary’s 2005 Robert V. Moss Medal for Excellence in Ministry.
The Obama appointee will also be the lead speaker at the Angels of Hope Metropolitan Community Church “Conversation With Harry Knox” on Saturday, October 24 beginning at 7 PM at the church, 3607 Libal St. Bth events are open to the public without charge.
Milwaukee’s David Is New Mr. Northwoods
Hilbert - David Of Milwaukee is the new Mr. Northwoods 2009-10. David received his sash at the recent Argonauts - Castaways Joint Run held at the at the Al Kamke Farm August 21.
The Argonauts will hold a special club night on November 13 at the Napalese Lounge in Green Bay. The event will offer a beer bust and a food drive for the ARCW Green Bay Pantry. Attendees will receive a raffle ticket for each food or personal grooming product brought to the club night. Tickets will be eligible to win Thanksgiving-themed prizes that will include the evening’s grand prize: a frozen turkey and diner fixings.
Features:Revisiting Matthew Shepard:
The 11 Year Effort To Add Sexual Orientation As A Federal Hate Crime
By Brian Mahany
Editor’s Note: Recent events have brought the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard back into the forefront of the national conscience. On October 8 the U.S. House passed the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act as part of the bill funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On October 12, the sequel to “the Laramie Project” made its simultaneous debut at theatre companies across the United States, including productions in Milwaukee and La Crosse. In the following piece, author Brian Mahany, a lawyer in Milwaukee and Portland, Maine who specializes in representing victims of discrimination looks at the long struggle to get true justice for Shepard’s death. Brian can be contacted at email@example.com
Burn a cross in the yard of a black neighbor and you have committed a hate crime. Deface a local mosque or temple and you commit a hate crime but beat someone up solely because they are gay - as of today, that’s not a hate crime under federal law. That should soon change, however.On The Cover: Meet Rick, the new Mr. Midtowne for 2010
The U.S. House has overwhelming approved legislation adding crimes motivated by sexual orientation to the list of federally prohibited hate crimes. Activists have tried to enact such a law for the last 11 years. Each time they were thwarted by President Bush, conservative legislators or the inability to agree on language.
As both a law enforcement officer and prosecutor for much of my life, I frequently saw the aftermath of hate crimes. It wasn’t until 2002, however, when I witnessed hate crime first hand. While driving across the Kennebec River in Augusta, Maine. I observed 3 young men hurl bottles at a feeble, old homeless woman crossing the bridge with a shopping cart. I arrested those boys. In their twisted minds, she was “guilty” of being old and unemployed.
The court thought otherwise, enhancing their sentences because the crime was motivated by hatred. The behavior I witnessed that afternoon was pure evil, it was a hate crime.
Enhancing sentences if the crime is a so called hate crime makes perfect sense to most. Unless the victim is gay, bisexual or transgendered.
As a society, we have no problems enhancing penalties for people who abuse the elderly. We have little tolerance for skin heads and KKK type behaviors and thankfully most of us do not have the religious bias that leads to mass violence and even genocide in other parts of the world. But getting the votes needed to protect gay people from physical harm has taken over a decade.
It is interesting to revisit history and see where the legislation really began. Although there had been talk about protecting gay people from hate crimes for many years, the move to include sexual orientation as a protected class did not gain momentum until 1998. That year Matthew Wayne Shepard was tortured and murdered near Laramie, Wyoming because he was gay. His death, and the subsequent prosecution of his attackers, gripped the nation for several weeks.
Friends described Shepard as an optimistic young man who could relate to anyone. But his life was anything but easy. According to published reports, his torture and murder was not the only time he was suffered from a vicious hate crime. Apparently while on a high school trip to Morocco just a couple years earlier he was beaten and raped.
It was not until his death in October of 1998 that his plight became known. Shortly after midnight on October 7th, 1998, Shepard accepted a ride from two local men. He was discovered 18 hours later after he had been beaten, robbed, pistol whipped, tortured, tied to a fence and left to die. Shepard never regained consciousness. He died from his injuries days later on October 12.
The trial of the Shepard’s attackers took many twists and turns. At one point, his attackers tried to raise a “gay panic defense,” that is, they were driven to temporary insanity by alleged sexual advances by Shepard. The jury saw through that specious argument, however. Ultimately, one of his attackers pleaded guilty and the other was found guilty of felony murder after trial. Both men are serving life sentences.
Immediately after Shepard’s death, many called for Wyoming to enact its own hate crime law based on sexual orientation. The bill failed after a 30 - 30 tie vote in the Wyoming House of Representatives. President Clinton renewed federal efforts at passing similar legislation a year later in 1999. The bill passed but was ultimately killed in a conference committee. Years later then President George W. Bush indicated he might veto a similar bill.
In April of this year, the Matthew Shepard Act, was debated on the floor of the House. With Matthew’s mother in the gallery, Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina called the hate crime labeling of Matt’s murder a hoax. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia would later label nothing more than legislating “thought crimes.”
Unfortunately, legislative efforts to protect gay people from assault failed for the last decade. Until now.
The Senate is expected to easily pass the measure and President Obama has promised to sign the bill.
Published blog comments on the current bill find that roughly 1/3 of the people commenting are hardened conservatives or simply anti-gay. Another third simply misunderstand the legislation and mistakenly believe it will prohibit the ability to preach or speak out against homosexuality.
Prohibiting the beatings, assaults and murder of people because of their race, religion or sexual orientation is a far cry from regulating free speech or one’s opinion. Rep. Tom Price, a conservative Republican, called the legislation a “disgrace” and said it amounted to creating “thought crimes.”
Personally, many would call such narrow minded thinking an absolute disgrace. The new legislation isn’t about being gay or straight. It is not about the pro’s and con’s of gay marriage. It’s about simply about protecting people from physical harm because of their values or beliefs. Discrimination based on sexual orientation has long been against the law in many jurisdictions. Once the Matthew Shepard Act is signed into law, committing a crime against someone simply because he or she is gay will soon be a hate crime anywhere in the nation.
Of note is how the bill is drafted. Congress wrote the law in a neutral fashion. The legislation protects against bias based on sexual orientation, not because one is gay. Under the law, a group of gay people who beat a person because he or she was straight would also be guilty of a hate crime. It’s hard to argue that as drafted the law promotes homosexuality as several commentators have suggested. It simply favors people who wish their personal choice and privacy to be respected.
The Ball Game’s Rick Kowal:
Four Decades Making Milwaukee’s Gay Community Feel At Home
By Mike Fitzpatrick
Milwaukee - When Ball Game owner Rick Kowal turned 80 last October 4, it was not just a milestone birthday. It was a reminder that Rick has spent the last four decades - fully half his life - making the city’s gay and lesbian community feel at home in a site that has had gay-friendly establishments for over a half-century.
The building at 196 S. Second Street in Milwaukee has housed one of the longest running series of gay and lesbian- friendly bars any where in the country. First known as the Night Beat in the early 1960’s, it was one of the first ever bars in Wisconsin to both break social barriers and have drag shows. Back then Night Beat also endured police raids for holding such events.
Next came the Castaways South. Not much is known about that bar, but Castaways outlived its business operation and gave birth to Levi/leather club of the same name.
Then the building hosted Jamie’s. Short lived, Jamie’s was open for about one year. Then the Ball Game opened.
Over the last 40 years Kowal and the Ball Game have sponsored numerous local bowling, softball, volleyball, billiards, golf and dart teams and tournaments that have brought gay friends from around the world to Milwaukee. One look at the trophy case in the back of the building offers a snapshot of some of the awards his sponsorship has netted.
The Ball Game has been an official sponsor of multiple softball tournaments, among which are the Wreck room Classic, the Milwaukee Classic, and the NAGAAA World Series (3 times). Kowal is also a long-time sponsor of the H.I.T. bowling and Ozz-A-Boo-Boo golf tournaments.
Kowal has always tried to make the Ball Game a gay home away from home. Gay folks never fear being alone during the Holiday season. Rick has always had an open door with a buffet style meal for the season. There’s Turkey on Thanksgiving, Ham at Easter, hot dogs and apple pie on the Forth of July, all served up amongst the Ball Game’s seasonal decor.
For the Ball Game’s regulars, one holiday always stands out: St. Patrick’s Day. The Irish holiday also coincides with the Ball Games’ Anniversary party. Rick’s lavish corned beef, boiled cabbage, Irish potatoes and other “Luck O’ The Irish” amenities usually have people waiting in line at the door to get in.
Some Ball Game holidays, however, don’t show up on most people’s calendars. The bar’s annual “Christmas in July” party,” complete with a fully-decorated bar is followed a week later by a mid-summer “New Years Eve” party.
Rick is also known for his very generous heart. Every year he hosts an annual visit to the Veterans Memorial Park at the Vietnam Memorial to honor friends still here as well as those that have passed away. He furnishes those who accompany him on this visit with a glass of champagne to toast in their honor. The Ball Game is also the only establishment with a dedicated AARP table that honors LGBT seniors.
Kowal has also been a long-time player in the fight against AIDS. In the early 1980’s, he held fundraisers to support the Milwaukee AIDS Project. Throughout the years he was a regular supporter of the Possum Queen competition, a campy kind of “scare drag” fundraiser that originally raised money solely for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin. Team Ball Game walkers recently participated in the 20th Annual AIDS Walk October 11.
As Halloween nears, regulars and visitors are keeping alive another tradition: trying to guess the weight of a giant pumpkin housed at the bar. The next time you’re in the neighborhood, why not stop by the Ball Game and say “hello” to Rick and thank him for his four decades service to the gay community. It will also be an opportunity to rediscover the Ball Game a living bit of Milwaukee’s rich gay history.
Editor’s Note: Special thanks to the Ball Game’s Gary Kaye For his contributions to this article.
So, What About…?
An interview With Ray Bradford and Dale Gutzman
By Paul Masterson
Milwaukee - RSVP Productions Ray Bradford and Off the Wall Theater's Dale Gutzman join forces in an upcoming production of Paul Rudnick's “The New Century” at the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center.
Bradford and Gutzman have extensive stage histories both as actors and directors. They've been running their own companies for years. Now, Gutzman is back on the stage with Ray in the director's chair with RSVP Production's staging of “The New Century.” How does it work? Quest wanted to know.
Quest: Gentleman, you each have your own theater companies and a long history of performing in Milwaukee. How does it happen that you're now collaborating on a project?
Bradford: Dale and I worked together nearly a decade ago. I directed him in a “Ruthless” at Off the Wall Theater. Dale got great reviews. So we have a successful history.
Quest: And you found a role for him?
Bradford: I wanted to do Rudnick's “The New Century” and someone suggested I play the role of Mr. Charles, a rather flamboyant character exiled from New York for being too gay. But I don't like being in a show I direct. I thought Dale would be great for the part. But, of course, it depended on his interest and availability.
Gutzman: When Dale asked me to join him I was very interested. But the issue of availability needed to be sorted out. It was and here we are. But, I have to say, as much as I enjoy acting, I only like to act with certain directors - only ones I trust. And, I trust Ray.
Quest: You're two very different directors with entirely different styles. Isn't there a potential for a clash?
Gutzman: I can talk easily with Ray. He gives his actors lots of room and when I'm an actor, I'm strictly an actor and a respectful one. Some actors fight the director all the way. If Ray asked me to stand on my head and whistle Dixie, that's what I'd do.
Bradford: We share the same theater experience. In fact, we think a lot alike. We might not always have the same point of view but I'll listen to what he has to say. I make the final choices. We haven't had any problems so far, but, you never know, we're all artists. (both raise eyebrows here)
Quest: So, what about the play?
Bradford: It's a series of four one acts. All deal with changes we're experiencing in the “New Century.” By we, I mean the gay community. Rudnick is concerned about diluting our gayness in the rush to be accepted. The straight view about us may be changing but our identity may be as well. Dale's character is that over-the-top stereotype. He's kicked out of New York for being too gay. The other plays deal with a parent of four gay children, a mother's perspective on the death of her child with AIDS, and finally, there's a play about hope for the future.
Gutzman: Rudnick writes theater that's entertainment and at the same time makes the audience think. There are lots of one-liners that have a New York gay sophistication, vitality and reference but if the audience is savvy, and Milwaukee's is, it will not only get the humor but also understand the moral and political message. The plays all tackle social our experiences and issues with a wit and wisdom. Rudnick has mastered that.
“The New Century” opens November 5 at the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, 703 South 2nd Street in Milwaukee's Historic Walker's Point. For ticket reservations call 414-272-5695
“The best thing we could of done is have a Mr. Midtowne contest.” Midtowne Promotions Director Dave Whitney told Quest. “Now we have someone in the community who goes to the Spa regularly, and represents Midtowne in a positive way. With that he performs at other venues,and will be running for Mr. Club 2010. Also he makes guest appearances and will be our model for the pride parade.”
Milwaukee’s premier private gay men’s health club Midtowne Spa Milwaukee recently celebrated 10 years in business. Midtowne Spa offers a wide variety of amenities, daily specials, and entertainment in a clean, safe environment for men to meet and mingle.
According to General Manager Maurice Lilley, much of the Club’s success is based on spa management and who dedicate their time and energy for men to have a place to patronize. “People chose what they want to do and what we have to offer is different than any other place in Milwaukee or even Wisconsin.” Lilley said. “I wish people would understand how difficult it is to keep the facility operating with inspections and city requirements.”
Lilley noted that Midtowne recently received life occupancy status from the city. “We can keep our doors open as long as we comply with laws, city, and state regulations,” he added.
Positive feedback customers from customers is one of the secrets to Midtowne’s success, according to Lilley. “We are always open to ideas and suggestions for improvements, updates, and events, and so far we hear we are doing a great job,” he said. “Back in July Midtowne hosted an open house event to celebrate our 10 years which included porn stars from Flavamen Productions, free food, and prizes. 75 people came to the event including bar owners and managers, Mr. Harbor Room, and Easton our first Mr. Midtowne winner. It was a big success and we are considering making this an annual event.”
Promotions Director Dave Whitney also noted that Midtowne now has plans for a game room and even more events with guest appearances and porn star “meet and greets.”
As for “Rick,” he is anxious and excited to represent Midtowne Spa. “I understand that Midtowne is not for everyone but I encourage people to try it out for the first time,” he said. “Then you can say you were there and draw your own conclusions, not what others may have to told you about it.”
Midtowne can be found on Facebook as Midtowne Spa Milwaukee and MySpace at: myspace.com/midtowne_milwaukee. For a free first time visit pass to Midtowne, visit www.midtownespa.com. Additional information about the spa also can be found in their regular advertisements in Quest and Outbound.
Arts & Entertainment:
Lesbian Comedy Legend Karen Williams In Milwaukee November 7
Milwaukee - Legendary comic and author Karen Williams will perform a benefit stand-up concert for the Cream City Foundation Saturday, November 7 at 8 PM at the Pitman Theatre at Alverno College, 3400 S. 43rd Street here.
As a solo entertainer, Karen Williams has delighted audiences from San Francisco to South Beach to Sydney.
PrideFest attendees got a live sample of Karen’s wickedly quick wit when she emceed the festival’s final headline show that starred Etta James and Deborah Cox last June.
Williams has been featured regularly on LOGO, which recently broadcast her hour-long comedy special “I Need A Snack.” She also has had comedy specials on HBO and is a favorite headliner on Olivia Cruises.
Karen was featured in the documentary and comedy films “We’re Funny That Way” and “Laughing Matters,” in which she appeared alongside with Kate Clinton and Suzanne Westenhoefer. She also was a nominee for the 1999 GLAMA Award for her outrageously funny comedy CD, “Human Beings: What A Concept” (available on Uproar Records).
Karen also is the former television host of the award-winning New York-based LGBT variety show “In the Life.” She is known for her work as a comedy writer as well. Williams’ humor pieces appear in numerous anthologies, including “Out in All Directions” (Warner Books); “Out, Loud & Laughing” (Random House); “Joke Stew” (Andrews McMeel Publishing) and Revolutionary Laughter” (Crossing Press).
Karen currently lives in Cleveland with her three teenaged sons. As a single lesbian mom living in Berkeley in the 1980s, Karen Williams started doing stand-up comedy “because it was something I could do that didn’t cost anything,” though she backdated her start in comedy during a recent interview with SistersTalk by claiming “I started doing comedy as a baby!”
Known for her quick repartee, insightful commentary and audience rapport that crosses all lines of gender and sexual orientation, Williams is a comic craftmaster, a gifted actor, a multitalented writer, and an inspirational lecturer. Armed with her “heal with humor” philosophy, she gives humor workshops specifically designed to build self-awareness and self-confidence, and to encourage tolerance and respect for the dignity of human life.
The November 7 CCF event is a benefit for gay and transgender causes and domestic violence programs in southeastern Wisconsin. Sponsors for the event include Clark Graphics, WMSE 91.7 FM, WUWM 89.7 FM, Quest, CitiGal magazine, the HaHa Institute, and the Cream City Foundation.
Tickets for the Karen Williams concert are $15 and $25. Tickets may be purchased by contacting the Cream City Foundation at: 414-225-0244 or though the foundation’s website at: www.creamcityfoundation.org.
Outwords Offers Murder Mystery And Romance October 27
Milwaukee - Outwords Books will welcome two absolutely delightful lesbian novelists - Anne Laughlin, author of a new murder mystery, “Veritas” and Elizabeth Ridley, author of the rollicking historical romance “The Remarkable Journey of Miss Tranby Quirke” - for readings and book signings on Tuesday,October 27.
Anne Laughlin is yet another fine writer to join the ranks at Bold Strokes Books. Her debut effort for BSB, “Veritas,” offers a compelling murder mystery with more than a dash of romance.
The hallowed halls of academia become the stage for murder in “Veritas.” Grafton College and its faculty and students are home for Beth Ellis, newly appointed Dean. Beth has her hands full trying to keep the peace as the president of the college manages to rub just about everyone the wrong way, especially the new English professor who is just about as unpopular.
Still, Beth did not expect a tenure battle to end in murder. Enter Sally Sullivan, formerly a Chicago police homicide detective recently returned to her hometown to become chief of police. Sally finds small-town policing isn’t as simple as she thought it would be. Neither are her growing feelings for Beth Ellis. A second murder on campus places the survival of the college itself, their tenuous relationship, and even their lives in jeopardy.
P.D. Publishing published Anne’s first novel, “Sometimes Quickly,” in 2008. Anthologies published by Alyson Books, Cleis Press, and Bold Strokes Books have included some of Anne’s short stories. Also in 2008, Lambda Literary Foundation named Anne as an Emerging Writer. In 2009, she was awarded a writing residency at Ragdale, where she will work on her next novel for BSB.
Joining Anne is a second BSB debuting novelist, Elizabeth Ridley. Ridley’s “The Remarkable Journey of Miss Tranby Quirke” - originally published by Virago in the UK - explores London, 1909. Thirty-four-year-old spinster and secret suffragette Tranby Quirke spends her days toiling in obscurity as a lecturer to modern women and spends her nights embarking on exotic foreign adventures—but only inside her head. Then love enters Tranby’s life in the most unexpected way and her real-life adventures take her on a journey beyond her imagination.
Elizabeth Ridley earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University plus a master’s degree in creative writing from The University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. In 1994 Liz received a Hawthornden Fellowship. Liz Ridley lived mostly in Great Britain from 1989 to 1998, spending time as a nanny, a house parent to handicapped teens, a student, and a free-lance journalist. Since 2001, she has owned and operated “The Writer’s Midwife,” a home-based freelance critiquing, editing, and publishing consultation business. Liz’s previous novels are “Rainey’s Lament” (The Overlook Press, 1999), “Throwing Roses” (The Permanent Press, 1993) and “Dear Mr. Carson” (The Permanent Press, 2006).
Elizabeth Ridley and Anne Laughlin will read and sign copies of their respective new novels beginning at 7 PM on Tuesday, October 27 at Outwords Books, Gifts & Coffee, 2710 N. Murray Ave.
This is a free event and all are welcome. For further information, please call 414-963-9089 or visit Outwords online at: www.outwordsbooks.com.
Milwaukee Multicultural Theatre Begins With “M”
Milwaukee - The Milwaukee Multicultural Theatre will begin its first-ever season with preview of “M” - A Collection of Mothers along with a related art exhibition on Friday & Saturday, October 30-31 at 8 PM, Saturday, and Sunday, November 1 at 2 PM at King Commons II located, 2775 N. Martin Luther King Drive here
“M” A Collection of Mothers, is a series of endearing, heart breaking, delightful and soul stirring monologues that cover a wide range of mothers. Each character tells a different tale of their lives sometimes without sentimentality and need for acceptance from viewers. Audiences will enjoy spoken word, live acappela song and hear tales as horrifying as the mother who takes the life of her child only to be haunted by the voice of the dead child.
Audiences also will be inspired by the spirit of a mother long passed who pays a visit to her daughter in varying stages of maturity. Attendees should be prepared to have these stories, enliven, provoke and inspire them.
The four powerful vignettes that comprise the Autumn production of “M” is a preview of a full production to be presented in the Spring of 2010. The art exhibition accompanying “M” is a pivotal portion of the production, featuring the visual character interpretations of each mother by seven of Milwaukee’s exceptional artists.
The production features a multi-ethnic and multi-generational cast that includes Dasha Kelly, Biba, Yvette Mitchell, Chastity Washington, Christopher Miller, Alyssa Ray Alden, Rhonda Nordstrom and Virgillette Adams. The play preview was written by Deaduri Gales and directed by Katina Jordan, and features the theme song “Mama,” with music & lyrics by Lamarlon Jordan
Artists being exhibited include Brad Anthony Bernard, Loretta Jordan, Kari Garon, Andrea J. Avery, Tia Richardson, Katie Jesse and Eddie Davis.
Tickets for the production are $10 and will be on sale at the King Commons II box office on Saturday, October 24 from10 AM to 4 PM. Tickets are also available at the door. Seating is limited and is first come, first served.
The Milwaukee Multicultural Theatre’s mission is to engage, educate, connect and unite various cultures in Milwaukee through the dramatic arts. “In doing so, we aim to promote understanding among these diverse groups and develop a greater sense of community and cultural harmony,” Milwaukee Multicultural Theatre founder and Artistic Director Katina Jordan told Quest.
For more information about the production, contact the Milwaukee Multicultural Theatre by phone at: 414-721-1512 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
StageQ ‘s Church Lady Musical “The Stops” Opens October 30
Madison - StageQ, the city’s local queer theater company, will bring a special show to kick off its 2009 -10 season October 30. “The Stops,” written by Eric Lane Barnes, directed by J.S. Fauquet and choreographed by Cindy Severt, is a play with music about three lady church organists - played by men in drag - who have formed a singing group called “The Stops” who are on tour across the USA.
Ginny, Euglena, and Rose come to Madison for “one night only” in order to give a benefit concert for their mentor Dale Meadows, a church music director and songwriter, who has recently been ousted from his position because of his sexuality.
These three ladies of NALOG (North American Lady Organists Guild) spread the gospel by singing a number of church songs, ranging the comedy gamut from “The Potluck,” “It’s Raining Amen,” “A Bossa Nova for Jehovah,” “Hallelujah Aloha,” and “The Fundamental.” Ultimately, the three ladies of different faiths find ways to come together despite their theological differences, united in the love of music and the gospel.
The Stops will run October 30 – November 21 and stars Scott Albert Bennett, Bob Moore and Bruce Wheeler. Show times are Thursdays at 7:30 PM; Fridays and Saturdays at 8. Two Sunday matinees will run at 2 PM on November 8 and 15. All performances will be at the Bartell Theater, 113 E. Mifflin Street in downtown Madison.
Tickets are $15 for Friday and Saturday shows and $10 for Thursday evening and Sunday matinee shows. Tickets may be purchased or reserved online at: www.StageQ.com or by calling 608-661-9696, Ext. 3.
Upcoming shows include the touching ghost story “Random Harvest,” opening New Year’s Eve. February will bring some much needed winter laughs in “Sappho In Love.” Finally StageQ will wrap up the season with the fifth annual Queer Shorts festival in June 2010.
Season tickets are also available for just $50 for all four shows and may be purchased at www.StageQ.com.
Gallery Exhibit Finds Hints of Homosexuality In U.S. Advertising
Racine - A new exhibit at the LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin asserts that ideas about homosexuality can be traced in print advertisements appearing in American periodicals from as far back as a century ago.
Based on Professor Bruce H. Joffe’s book “A Hint of Homosexuality? Gay and Homoerotic Imagery in American Print Advertising” (Xlibris: 2007), the gallery at the LGBT Center features original copies of more than sixty classic print advertisements. Sponsored in part by a grant from the Racine Arts Council, the exhibit will be on display at the LGBT Center through December with a special, members-only reception on Friday, October 30.
The author examines trends, themes and advertising campaigns that, he contends, support a basis for believing romantic and/or sexual interest between members of the same sex appeared in ads published by American newspapers and magazines.
Explicit or implied, impressions of homosexuality in more than 225 advertisements published by major manufacturers, retailers, companies and well-known brands in American periodicals over the past hundred years or so are depicted.
Some same-sex ads are “strangely erotic while others may be silly caricatures, more burlesque than bizarre,” Joffe’s book maintains. By and large, however, “most tend to be snapshots of the male (and, to a lesser extent, female) convivial spirit encountered and observed in intimate conditions and circumstances.”
“Gay intimacy and interaction, references to the male genitalia, and threats of sexual conquest can be seen in advertisements created by some of the greatest illustrators, designers and copywriters of the twentieth century,” Joffe said.
Although the images reflected in their advertising mirror are fewer and farther between, “women who prefer the company of other women similarly have been goosed and gandered by Madison Ave,” the author argued in a chapter dedicated to lesbians. “Whoever they are and whatever they’re doing, it’s apparent that displays of affection and intimacy between and among people of the same sex can be inferred in these advertisements.”
Formerly a professor of communication at Mary Baldwin College (Staunton, VA), and earlier at George Mason University (Fairfax, VA) who has focused on gender studies, today Dr. Joffe is an associate professor of communication at Carthage College and executive director of the LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin.
His book, upon which this exhibit is based, was named the winner and best book in the Gay/Lesbian: Non-Fiction category of The National Best Books 2008 Awards competition sponsored by USA Book News.
More information about the exhibit can be found on the LGBT Center’s website: www.lgbtsewisc.org.
OutReach Plans Halloween Party
Madison - OutReach and host William Wartmann will hold a Halloween celebration at Wartmann’s historic home in rural Edgerton on Saturday, October 31 from 8 PM to Midnight. The OutReach party will welcome people of all ages, genders, races, and sexual orientations.
Party activities will include pumpkin carving, a costume contest, and dancing with DJ Leo from 10-12. Food and beverages will be provided. Suggested donation for the event is $20, $10 for those with limited income. Folks 25 and under get in free. Round trip transportation from Madison will be available if needed. For more information, including directions to the event, call Steve at 608-255- 8582, or email: email@example.com.
Dale Gutzman Featured In RSVP’s “New Century”
Milwaukee - RSVP Productions will open a three weekend run of Paul Rudnick’s “The New Century”on November 5 featuring popular Milwaukee theater veteran Dale Gutzman. Gutzman will play a flamboyant talk show host with Christopher Elst as Shane his sidekick.
Gutzman is the producer/director of Off The Wall Theater on Wells Street. Gutzman will also be directing An Evening With Gilbert & Sullivan” for the Skylight Opera in Spring 2010.
“The New Century” is a series of one acts and monologues that contain adult themes on modern society. All of the characters come together for the final act of the play.
Also in the cast are Sharon Nieman, Kim Ballou, Gloria Loeding, Wayne Schick, and Sandy Lewis. Nieman plays the mother of several children who all come out. Ballou plays a craft person who had a son who died of AIDS. Gloria Loeding plays a young mother, Sandy Lewis a stage manager, and Wayne Schick the man in leather.
RSVP Productions perform at the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center, 703 South Second Street. All performances are at 7:30 PM. “The New Century” will open November 5 and continues on November 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 and 21. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors and students. For reservations, call 414-272-5694 or leave a message at 414-383-3727. The MGAC box office opens at Noon.
This is the eighth season for RSVP Productions. Some of the company’s past productions include “Judy,” “Regrets Only,” “Jeffrey,” “Show People” and “Closer.” “The New Century” is recommended for mature audiences. For more information about “The New Century” visit the company online at: www.rsvptheater.com.
Memorial Party Planned For Karen Lamb
Milwaukee - A special memorial party for Dr. Karen Lamb will be held on Sunday, November 8, 2009 at the This Is It bar, 418 east wells street in downtown Milwaukee. This open house will be from 3 PM to 8 PM or later.
This Is It was Karen's favorite bar, visiting it many times over the years. The bars manager, Joe Brehm, was one of Karen's favorite people. Joe and Jerry Johnson will co-host this festive event.
She, also, went to the former Jet's Place bar when the bar was hosting community fundraisers. A hat wearer, at one such event, she removed her hat and had it auctioned off!
Over the years, Karen supported Milwaukee's LGBT organizations, hosting three lawn parties and a Christmas party at her Delafield lake front home. Milwaukee's LGBT Community Center and the Cream City Foundation (CCF) were recipients of funds raised at these parties.
In addition, Karen gave an annual donation of $250 for many years to CCF.
Archbishop Rembert Weakland and Dr. Karen Lamb were co-chairs on the Community Advisory Council in Milwaukee which founded the Milwaukee Aids Project (MAP) in 1985 and, later, became The Aids Research Center of Wisconsin (ARCW).
At the first Pride celebration held in Milwaukee in 1988 at Cathedral Square, downtown, Karen was a featured speaker. At that time she was the wife of Milwaukee's late mayor, Henry W. Maier.
From the first issue of The Wisconsin Light newspaper in November 1987 to the final issue in 2001, Karen wrote a personal column entitled “A Note From Karen Lamb.” She often mentioned that she must be the only wife of a U.S. mayor writing a column for a gay newspaper. No doubt, she was.
Karen was a great lady, a southern belle and is deeply missed by her many friends and relatives. Everyone is invited to the open house. Please stop by and salute her with a drink.
In her memory, donations to CCF are encouraged . Checks may be left at the memorial or sent to The Cream City Foundation, 759 N. Milwaukee St., Suite 212, Milwaukee. WI. 53202. All donations are tax deductible.