Radio Milwaukee has partnered with the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project on a six episode podcast called “Be Seen” documenting the state’s LGBTQ history.
The podcast will be hosted by Radio Milwaukee Director of Content Nate Imig and curator for the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project Michail Takach.
“It’s important for LGBTQ youth, who face disproportionate risks of suicide and self-harm, to see themselves in history,” said Takach. “It has never been more critical for our people to be visible, accessible and connective.”
The podcast’s six episodes will be released weekly and will also be shared in Radio Milwaukee’s “Uniquely Milwaukee” podcast each week.
- Episode 1: Wisconsin’s First LGBTQ Uprising
Eight years before Stonewall, Milwaukee had its own LGBTQ uprising at the Black Nite bar. Featuring archived audio from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, this episode shares the story of Josie Carter, a gender nonconforming “queen” who defended her home bar when it was targeted by sailors in August 1961.
- Episode 2: When was it illegal to be LGBTQ in Wisconsin?
Bob Schmidt, owner of the M&M Club, speaks about opening the now closed bar when it was illegal to be gay and being among the first establishments to have open windows.
- Episode 3: When was Wisconsin’s first drag show? (June 6)
Wisconsin drag legends BJ Daniels and Tempest Heat share firsthand experiences entertaining in the 1980s to the present, particularly how the community came together through drag benefits during the AIDS crisis.
- Episode 4: What were Wisconsin’s most notable women’s bars?
Walker’s Pint owner Betsy Boenning speaks to Milwaukee having one of only 21 women’s bars left in the country. Milwaukee natives Maryann “Flash” Gorski and Diane “Legs” Gregory recount two generations of Milwaukee’s lesbian and bisexual nightlife scene.
- Episode 5: What is Wisconsin’s longest running gay bar?
This is It owner George Schneider talks about creating an intentionally inclusive community and Michail speaks about his interviews with original owner, June Brehm.
- Episode 6: How did Wisconsin respond to HIV and AIDS?
We hear from two leaders of vital organizations in Wisconsin’s response: Sue Dietz, the original co-founder of AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, and Mark Behar, the co-founder of Milwaukee’s first LGBTQ clinic, BESTD. We also hear how today’s front line community health leaders are navigating HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment.
Episodes of “Be Seen” will be available for listening on all major podcast platforms, including Spotify and Apple Podcasts, in addition to radiomilwaukee.org.