By Kristin Dvorak
At the beginning of the month, the rainbow Pride flag was raised proudly over the Wisconsin State Capitol. Pride parades and events will once again take place in person — loud, proud and swathed in color. To celebrate Pride Month, we’ve rounded up a list of some local (and non-local) books, podcasts, apparel and resources.
“We Will Always Be Here: A Guide to Exploring and Understanding the History of LGBTQ+ Activism in Wisconsin”
An inspiring and educational telling by Jenny Kalvaitis and Kristen Whitson of Wisconsin’s LGBTQ+ history and activism, “We Will Always Be Here” draws from a collection of personal and historical archives that paints a picture of the untold stories from across the state. shop.wisconsinhistory.org/we-will-always-be-here
“Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good”
We mentioned adrienne maree brown’s book in our recent article about Dr. Sami Schalk and pleasure activism, as it applies to much of what’s been going on in our country over the last few years. brown is not only an author, but she’s a Black activist, feminist and a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Her book shares firsthand knowledge and brings perspective to many social and political issues. The publisher, AK Press, shares: “Drawing on the Black feminist tradition, she challenges us to rethink the ground rules of activism. Her mindset-altering essays are interwoven with conversations and insights from other feminist thinkers.”
Another must-read by brown is “We Will Not Cancel Us and Other Dreams of Transformative Justice.”
“Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York 1987-1993”
This book by Sarah Schulman takes a deep dive into the history of ACT UP, the activist group that tackled the American AIDS crisis at its height. Rich with firsthand accounts of how the AIDS crisis was handled in the political spehere and how it devastated gay America, “Let the Record Show” is a comprehensive narrative of this harrowing time in history.
Search your favorite podcast app (Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Castbox, Spotify, et cetera) for these gems.
“Making Gay History”
In this history-focused podcast hosted by Eric Marcus, listen to audio archives and original interviews with both well-known and long-forgotten heroes, champions and witnesses to LGBTQ+ history.
This podcast that’s on the lighter side features co-hosts and comedians Carolyn Bergier and Melody Kamali chatting about lesbian and queer life, news and pop culture with various celebrity guests.
“Lovett or Leave It”
Combining comedy with current events, Jon Lovett, former speechwriter for President Barack Obama, discusses anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, gay news and more with a rotating list of celebrity guests.
Show Your Pride
Don these pieces for a Pride-worthy ensemble, year-round.
- Shop Pride apparel and gifts at the Wisconsin Historical Society: wisconsinhistory.org/pride
- Add a little flair to any outfit with this Memorial Union Terrace Pride Pin: terracestore.union.wisc.edu/product/terrace-pride-pin/
- Block the shade with Forward Madison’s pride hat (it’s out of stock now, but check back!): flamboyance-324797.square.site/product/adult-fmfc-pride-hat/10?cs=true&cst=custom
Show Your Support
These organizations bolster the LGBTQ+ community and advocate for equitable conditions for all.
Fair Wisconsin Inc. is an important advocate and ally for the LGBTQ+ community in Wisconsin. This organization aims to protect and support LGBTQ+ members’ civil rights by educating the voting public, educating the media on LGBTQ+ issues, grassroots organization and more.
OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center and The Road Forward
OutReach is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to ensure equity and quality of life for all LGBTQ+ people. OutReach also founded The Road Forward, a series of virtual education and skill development programs targeted toward Madison’s underserved and marginalized LGBTQ+ homeless, transgender and gender-nonconforming communities; LGBTQ+ seniors and communities of color; as well as LGBTQ+ individuals with behavioral health needs, substance and alcohol abuse issues.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
PFLAG is a support and resource group that aims to promote the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ individuals and their families. PFLAG provides a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community and their families to discuss LGBTQ-related issues, advocate for equal civil rights and connect with others. While PFLAG does not meet during the summer months (June-August), they are still available for information and support, and can often be found at the Dane County Farmers’ Market.