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Welcome to the web site chronicling the History of the Gay/ Lesbian/ Bisexual/ Transgender Community
in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.

INTRODUCING: the publication of "LGBT Milwaukee", written by local author Michail Takach with foreword by Don Schwamb of the Wisconsin LGBT History Project.

LGBT Milwaukee, published by Arcadia Publishing & the History Press as part of the Images of Modern America series, will be released August 22, 2016.

The book, believed to be the first comprehensive social history of LGBTQ Milwaukee ever published, traces the rise and fall of over six dozen landmark bars, gathering places and pride festivals. With contributions from many local elders and icons, LGBT Milwaukee celebrates the resilience, determination and unity required to bring a community out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

The new book complements this web site by presenting new facts and rare photographs discovered by Michail Takach in his "spare time". Together, the book and this web site are about the men and women who have made today's LGBT community what it is, and the places and events that got us where we are today.

Note that although many pages at the links on the left and throughout this web site are primarily focused on Milwaukee, this is more as a result of incompleteness than exclusion. The webmaster continues to attempt to include more non-Milwaukee material. For example, see the special page covering Bars and Clubs outside the Milwaukee area.

We have created five categories to help organize this story: People; Organizations; Businesses; the Media; and Events. Each of these areas has its own section on this web site (see links on the left), and as we collect materials, we attempt to categorize and display them in this open fashion. (Note that, especially on this web site, we may edit certain materials to obscure names of living persons who may object to appearing in a public forum for privacy reasons.)

Curious what's new on the website? Check out the "What's New" page!

We Welcome Community Input

We welcome your contributions of information for this site. It is very much a work in progress. For example, we may have quite a few detailed history pages for bars, but few for other businesses or media. These will be filled in and fleshed out over time. Feel free to browse the various sections and pages herein, and send us any corrections or additions. If you have any information which might help us, please send us an email. If you have materials or archives or memorabilia to donate, contact us also.

Clisk this link to view the Main Page for the Milwaukee LGBT History Project website!

Email us at:

(Please note that we will often use the terms “gay” and “lesbian” by themselves on this site. Our purpose in doing so is not to exclude bisexual, transgender, or any other persons, but to reflect accurately the historical period in question. For example, the National Gay Task Force did not add “Lesbian” to its name until 1986. Historians of bisexual activism have noted that many of the earliest “gay liberation” activists during the 1970s were bisexuals who saw no reason at the time to distinguish their bisexual identity from the gay liberation movement. Only later, when some “gay rights” activists began to use the term “gay” in a more exclusive manner, did bisexual activists and lesbians also begin wide use of exclusive terminology to represent themselves. So please look upon use of the terms as an evolution that is not always easily distinguishable at any one point in time.)

PDF files are used extensively on this site. To view them,
download Adobe Reader (aka Acrobat Reader) from:

Credits: concept and format by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: July-2016.