In the Republicans’ 2011–13 biennial budget, funding was slashed in every major category, including education and health care, with one notable exception: transportation.
Tucked away on a quiet side street in Racine sits the LGBT Center of Southeast Wisconsin, and without a doubt you will find inside its doors the subject of my “honoring local heroes” column: Jolie McKenna.
Jolie has been the executive director since August 2010 and, since taking the helm, has done amazing work. The once tiny center has grown by leaps and bounds under her leadership.
LGBT studies courses at our public universities are among the greatest resources for promoting understanding of queer culture. Dozens of Wisconsin students will earn certificates in the field this month.
With this weather, it’s hard to imagine that summer is so very close. But it is, and that means it’s almost time for Milwaukee PrideFest. To help us get in the spirit for Pride, over the next four issues I will honor four grassroots heroes of Wisconsin’s LGBT community. They symbolize the many commitment and selfless actions that have helped move our community forward.
In March, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, the former head of the Wisconsin GOP, issued a report warning that the party’s future depends on cultivating minority and younger voters. He proposed doing this by taking such actions as supporting immigration reform and embracing “welcoming and inclusive” attitudes on gay rights.
Recently, we took our son to West Allis Memorial Hospital for a simple out-patient surgical procedure. Prior to arriving, I had to come out over the phone three times – once to each department in the hospital as they asked for the parents’ names. Questions included, “Do you have the right to authorize care?” and “Are you the legal guardian?” There were also a lot of questions about family health history.
The 37th annual WisCon Feminist Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention takes place in Madison at the Concourse Hotel May 24-27. WisCon is the biggest convention of its kind in the world. Speakers, discussions, movies, parties, music and more focus on feminist ideas in sci-fi, fantasy and speculative literature.I’ve been to WisCon, and it’s the coolest combination of nerds and radicals, eggheads and fan girlz and boyz in the cosmos. The four-day event costs just $50, which proves WisCon’s admirable commitment to accessibility while portending its doom in interstellar commerce.
A homophobic diner visited the Applebee’s in Rice Lake last month, where he was waited on by out gay server Tim Phares. After slinging derogatory anti-gay epithets at Phares behind his back all evening – slurs that were overheard and reported by diners at nearby tables – the culprit called the following day to say he would not eat at the restaurant again until it fired Phares.