Amy Luettgen, a lifelong Milwaukeean, grew up in Bay View. Married for 36 years, with three children and two grandchildren, Amy will soon retire from the State of Wisconsin after a quarter century of service.
At the same time, Amy has identified as bisexual for over 40 years.
"I tried to use 'pansexual,' but I guess I was just ahead of my time! I could just as easily use pan or queer, but I use bisexual because so many activists have worked so hard to make sure the B was included in LGBTQ."
"I don't remember a time when I was not attracted to more than one gender," said Amy. "I knew bisexuals existed, but I couldn't seem to find any in real life, and references to bisexuality were all so negative and diminishing. The only person in the world who acknowledged their bisexuality was David Bowie. It seems so quaint now, but you so rarely heard the word, so it was very affirming. It really mattered. Anything that made you feel as though you were not the one and only one mattered, a lot."
"When I left home at age 17, I just knew I did not belong in straight spaces and so I sought out LGBTQ people," said Amy. "It was not easy being out as a bi+ person. You were pressured to 'pick a side' and I just couldn't. I was always identified by whomever I was in a relationship with. People were always telling me who I was, and that made things very difficult. I knew precisely who I was and there was no one who could convince me otherwise."
"After commuting to Madison for many years, I found time for extracurricular activities for the first time in a long time," said Amy. "I'd tried to connect with the community for years but could never seem to find what I was looking for."
"I felt isolated for most of my adult life, feeling like one of the few bisexuals I knew, and wanting to feel part of a larger community," said Amy. "I realized the only way to get things going was to try to do it myself. I reached out to the Bi+ Pride Milwaukee Facebook page in 2018 and it took off from there."
Amy joined Facebook group founder Sarah Wallisch and other passionate local activists in 2018 to form a dedicated steering committee for a new Bisexual-awareness group. The group hosted a series of regular monthly events that brought people together from across the region. Within two years, their online community grew from 100 to 700 followers. Although the pandemic stalled their social schedule, and planning virtual events proved more difficult than expected, Bi+ Pride MKE is committed to their community.
In 2021, Amy was interviewed by LGBT historian and Curator of the Wis LGBTQ History Project, Michail Takach. Together with fellow Bi-activist Sarah Wallisch, the three discussed the current Bisexual community in Wisconsin, and their co-founding role in the Bi+ Pride MKE organization. Takach wrote a full article of the intervew.
Credits: Amy Luettgen biography and interview by Michail Takach.
Web site concept, contents, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: October-2021.
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