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Tuesday, 29 June 2021



                                                 WISCONSIN  HISTORICAL SOCIETY

                      In American Indian communities, the term Two Spirit has been used for many generations, predating western religion and LGBTQ+ terminology. Two Spirit describes individuals who have both masculine and feminine spirits and are uniquely blessed to see life through the eyes of two genders. Two Spirit people possess a unique identity and should be recognized as such, as the term is not necessarily interchangeable or synonymous with other commonly used LGBTQ+ terms. Someone who is Two Spirit embodies two genders residing in one person. A Two Spirit person may be gay, but a gay person is not necessarily Two Spirit. You can learn more about what it means to be Two Spirit in the article from Indian Country Today below.

                                                    MILWAUKEE SENTINEL

              Wisconsin has a long and rich history of advocacy when it comes to LGBTQ rights, dating back well before the Stonewall Riots in 1969 spurred national activism for the queer community. 

But much of the state's history is not well-known to its residents, despite Wisconsin being a place of many "firsts" for LGBTQ individuals.

In 1971, students at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee founded the Gay Peoples Union (GPU). It soon rose to become the most prominent gay rights organization in Milwaukee and later published a news outlet called GPU News, which gained national recognition. 

The group's purpose was to help educate the community about gays, lesbians and other members of the LGBTQ community. Some of the group's accomplishments include:

  • Producing the first gay and lesbian scripted program in the nation called Gay Perspective.
  • From 1971-81, publishing a monthly magazine centered on gay issues.
  • Establishing Milwaukee's first gay and lesbian community center.
  • Opening the first gay health clinic, which later became BESTD Clinic.


                     e.g. in WISCONSIN

Friday, 25 June 2021



June 24, 2014 
Shared with Public
Tom attending Pride Scotia, June 21st, 2014
May be an image of 3 people
Julie McGarvey, Scott Forster and 5 others


  • Cheenghee Masaki Koh
    Oh, are you also part of the LGBTQ+ community? I know three statisticians (my other two PhD-leveled statistician friends and me, a master-leveled statistician) so far who are also part of the LGBTQ+ community. We statisticians don't really talk about t… 
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  • Thomas Leonard
    I was an LGBT activist in Wisconsin during the 1980s.
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  • Thomas Leonard
    Tom Leonard - The Life of a Bayesian Boy
    The Field House, UW Madison… 
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  • Tom Leonard - The Life of a Bayesian Boy
    The Field House, UW Madison
    A primary-source document relating to a full meeting of the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the
    UW Field House on 4th December 1989, which received national attention.
    ‘They’re in for it now!’ as John Nohel, the Director of the Army’s Math Research Center, said, following my speech, to Professor James Koutsky of the UW Department of Chemical Engineering, and our faculty responded by, quite unexpectedly, voting against the military, by about 350 votes to 250. Several of their officers were sitting in full regalia in the front row. Professor David Runyon from UW Whitewater took a film for his television channel and lodged it in the State Archives, and several people ran up to me in the street to thank me for my contribution, which was generally acknowledged as completely turning the tables on the military at the end of an otherwise insipid and quite unconvincing debate.
    During my surprisingly devastating speech, I reported that a U.S. army captain had advised me, at an otherwise convivial Second Thursday reception, that ‘these freaks have never even opened a bible’. I also discussed a high-flying naval student in Annapolis who’d been stripped of his degree simply because he expressed his fears to his chaplain that he might be gay. I more generally objected to the intrusions perpetrated by the US military on the innermost thoughts of American students.
    Assistant Attorney General for Winconsin, Daniel O’Brien congratulated me afterwards, and he’s visited me in Edinburgh since. The leaders of Madison’s gay community, who were none too keen to raise their own heads above the parapet, congratulated themselves, and gave each other prestigious awards. So much for philanthropy.
    The item "ROTC under fire" by David M. Halperin describes the enormous impact of the faculty vote. The reports by Professor Joe Elder of the UW Department of Sociology are incomplete in several respects.
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  • Thomas Leonard
    The Field House Madison. Scene of Full Faculty Meeting, December 4th 1989. Seminal for gay people everywhere
    May be an image of outdoors
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  • ROTC Under Fire

    The campus movement to end anti-gay discrimmination in the US armed forces

    by David M. Halperin

    The following article is reprinted from Blueboy, published in June,
    1991. MIT Professor David M. Halperin chronicles the move by colleges
    and universities across the country to eliminate discrimination on the
    basis of sexual orientation from the military, and specifically from
    ROTC. The statements and subsequent policies of higher education
    institutions with regard to withdrawing campus support for ROTC are
    discussed below, providing an important historical perspective as MIT
    convenes its ROTC Task Force.
    	The most recent, and perhaps the most serious, challenge to
    the Department of Defense policy that bars from military service all
    those who do not conform to a standard of exclusive heterosexuality in
    their sexual practices has come from an unanticipated quarter -- the
    nation's colleges and universities. What has made this movement
    possible is the presence on some five hundred campuses of the Reserve
    Officers Training Corps, or ROTC. ROTC offers tuition scholarships,
    monetary stipends, textbook allowances, and other material benefits to
    qualified college students who agree to undergo military training
    while in school and to serve in the officer corps of the Armed
    Services upon graduation. In conformity with current US military
    policy, lesbians and gay men, as well as bisexuals (who, according to
    military definitions, do not exist as such and are simply assumed to
    be "homosexuals"), are ineligible to join ROTC or to obtain the
    various material benefits it provides non-gay undergraduates.
    	The current nationwide movement to force ROTC, and by
    extension the Department of Defense, to stop discriminating against
    sexual non-conformists or to get off campus began in 1982, when
    Wisconsin became the first state to pass a lesbian and gay civil
    rights law. Two students at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee,
    Eric Jernberg and Leon Rouse, decided to ask their school to adhere to
    the spirit of the new law by suspending participation in the ROTC
    program if that program continued to violate the terms of the
    statute. They eventually succeeded in getting their motion passed by
    the Faculty Senate, but at a subsequent meeting of the general
    faculty, their motion was voted down. This defeat outraged Richard
    L. Villaseor, who in the summer of 1986 was about to begin his
    sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. After
    arduous efforts to build an effective campaign and to organize the
    faculty, Rick managed to reverse the Milwaukee scenario: his motion
    was initially defeated in the Faculty Senate, but he got three times
    the necessary votes to convene a meeting of the general faculty, and
    on December 4, 1989, several months after Rick had graduated, the
    faculty of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, by a vote of 386 to
    248, asked the Regents of the University to sever its contracts with
    ROTC by June, 1993, unless "those programs no longer discriminate on
    the grounds of sexual identity." (The Regents ultimately rejected the
    motion, but they lobbied the Wisconsin congressional delegation to
    demand that the policy be changed at the Federal level, and the
    University appointed a task force to work with other colleges and
    universities to put pressure on Washington.)
    	The Wisconsin vote touched off an explosion of activism on
    campuses around the country. Local protests and actions took place at
    colleges and universities throughout the spring of 1990. On May 4,
    1990, at 1:30 p.m. Central Standard Time, student leaders on 32
    different campuses read an identical statement, distributed by Jordan
    Marsh, University Affairs Director at the Wisconsin Student
    Association in Madison, protesting Defense Department policy on sexual
    orientation. On November 9, 1990, less than a year after the Wisconsin
    vote, the American Civil Liberties Union sponsored a national
    organizing conference at the University of Minnesota called "About
    Face: Combating ROTC's Anti-Gay Policy." By that time, more than
    eighty schools were involved in the movement. Pitzer College in
    southern California had eliminated ROTC from its campus, and Rutgers
    University had decided to suspend financial participation in the ROTC
    scholarship program. Dramatic developments had also taken place at
    many other schools, among them the Massachusetts Institute of
    Technology, which is where I teach.
    	I first became interested in the issue in May, 1989, when
    Robert Weinerman, a former MIT student on the staff of the Admissions
    Office, showed me a letter he had written to a committee investigating
    the relationship between MIT and ROTC, in which he argued that ROTC's
    overt and formalized policy of discrimination violated the spirit of
    MIT's non-discrimination clause. I quickly realized that this was one
    lesbian/gay-rights issue on which academic personnel could have a
    decisive influence at the national level: if your school has an ROTC
    program, you have a direct line to Washington. In January, 1990, after
    the Wisconsin vote -- widely reported in the lesbian and gay press --
    I started up a group called Defeat Discrimination at MIT, or
    D-DaMIT. With Robert as our strategist, we orchestrated a campus-wide
    petition campaign, modeled on the Wisconsin faculty resolution. But
    before we were far advanced, Robert L. Bettiker, a senior in Navy
    ROTC, came forward with a startling story. It seems that Robb, who had
    not realized he was gay when he joined NROTC, had come out to his
    commanding officer in November, had duly been expelled from the
    program, and had just been ordered by the Secretary of the Navy --
    over the recommendation of the local NROTC board, which had found that
    Robb had not intended to deceive the Navy about his sexual orientation
    when he joined -- to repay nearly $40,000 in NROTC scholarship
    support. On March 5, 1990, the day his story appeared in a progressive
    MIT student newspaper and the first day of our petition campaign, the
    New York Times reported that James Holobaugh, an Army ROTC cadet at
    Washington University in St. Louis and former ROTC poster-boy, had
    been order to repay $25,000 for identical reasons. The news quickly
    became a national scandal.
    	D-DaMIT had soon gathered more than two thousand
    signatures. In a student referendum that involved half the
    undergraduate student body, a majority of those who voted and who
    expressed an opinion favored removing ROTC from campus within four
    years unless it ceased discriminating on the basis of sexual
    orientation -- perhaps the first time such a referendum succeeded on a
    college campus. On April 10, 1990, the Provost of MIT, John Deutch, a
    former Undersecretary of Energy under the Carter administration and a
    Department of Defense insider for many years, wrote a letter to
    Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney, in which he criticized DOD policy
    on sexual orientation and deplored efforts to recoup scholarship funds
    from ROTC cadets disenrolled for being gay. This letter, which D-DaMIT
    made public, may represent the first time a major Defense Department
    figure had visibly dissociated himself from the policy. In the
    resulting glare of media attention, the Navy withdrew its demands for
    repayment from Bettiker and another NROTC midshipman, while the Army
    backed down in the case of Jim Holobaugh. On October 17, 1990, the MIT
    Faculty, with explicit support from the students, the administration,
    and the Chairman of the board of trustees, approved without dissent a
    resolution opposing anti-gay discrimination in ROTC. The resolution
    provided for a five-year lobbying effort to eliminate the
    discriminatory policy; toward the end of the five-year period, the
    President of MIT will appoint a task force to assess the situation,
    "with the expectation that inadequate progress toward eliminating the
    DOD policy on sexual orientation will result in making ROTC
    unavailable to students beginning with the class entering in 1998."
    	The struggle is not over. The military continues to pursue its
    discriminatory policy ruthlessly and vindictively. As of the summer of
    1990, eight cadets in the Navy alone found themselves precisely in
    Robb Bettiker's former situation. In 1987 the Navy, seeking to recoup
    $25,600 from Peter Laska, a midshipman who had been forced by
    systematic harassment to drop out of NROTC at the University of
    Pennsylvania, placed a lien on the home of his parents, who discovered
    in this manner that their son was gay. And only recently, a
    19-year-old Marine Corpswoman, suspected of being lesbian, targeted by
    a military investigation, and threatened with all sorts of punishments
    if she dId not reveal the names of her friends, unable to face her
    parents and unwilling to betray her comrades, took her own life with a
    service-issue firearm.
    	How long must we wait before colleges and universities will
    take steps to protect students, their parents, and the quality of
    campus life from such institutionalized harassment? The time to act is
    	And in 1995, after a promise to lift the ban on gays in the
    military, after a federal policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't
    Pursue," the struggle is still not over, and the time to act is still
    now. The suspected inadequacy of Clinton"s compromise on
    discrimination in the armed forces has been realized over the last two
    years as witch-hunts and persecutions of military personnel suspected
    of being gay, lesbian, or bisexual continue, often in blatant
    disregard of the executive order (see "How is Clinton's Plan Working?
    Don't Ask...," this page). As MIT gathers together yet another group
    of students and faculty to form its ROTC Task Force, it is imperative
    that this campus remains vigilant to the fact that discrimination on
    the basis of sexual orientation is alive and well regardless, and in
    some cases because, of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" order. The fact
    that the DOD policy on gays in the military is in direct conflict with
    MIT's non-discrimination policy is well-known; what remains then is
    for the MIT community to remedy this campus of ROTC.