About the Documentary

Collage of historical images related to Wisconsin LGBTQ+ . Text over the image reads "Wisconsin Pride."Wisconsin Pride invites us to witness our state’s history through a new lens. This two-hour documentary brings hidden LGBTQ+ stories to the foreground and reconsiders the long narrative of Wisconsin in light of the lived experiences of LGBTQ+ people in our state.

Premiering on PBS Wisconsin and available for streaming online in June 2023, the documentary is a groundbreaking collaboration between PBS Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Historical Society.

LGBTQ+ history is Wisconsin history. Learn about trailblazing Wisconsinites who – facing intolerance, cisgender heterosexism and transphobia – responded by forming community, chosen family, living authentically, and fighting for their rights. In a word: manifesting pride.

The film demonstrates how diversity in sexual orientation, gender identity and expression are a broadly shared part of the human experience. It tells stories of Indigenous two-spirit people prior to and after European settler colonization and Wisconsin statehood, and continues through the 19th and 20th centuries — exploring how forward-looking Wisconsinites challenged LGBTQ+ harassment and injustice in visionary ways, long before LGBTQ+ activism reached the national stage.

Wisconsin Pride features and celebrates R. Richard Wagner’s work as a historian and author. Wagner, who passed away in 2021, was a beloved activist, gay rights leader, elected official and public servant who worked for the state of Wisconsin for 33 years. His two-volume history from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press — We’ve Been Here All Along: Early Gay History in Wisconsin and Coming Out, Moving Forward: Wisconsin’s Recent Gay History — provides guidance and inspiration for the program. 

Advisory Team

These members advised the project from its inception, bringing a breadth and depth of experience in preserving and interpreting the LGBTQ+ past for present day and future audiences.

Portrait of a woman (Ariel Beaujot) wearing glasses and smiling.

Ariel Beaujot, PhD
Professor Ariel Beaujot is a public historian from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse and the Executive Director of Hear, Here, an international award-winning oral-documentary project highlighting stories told by historically underrepresented groups. Beaujot has written about queer La Crosse with co-author Víctor Macías-González, for the edited volume Queer Sites in Global Contexts: Technologies, Spaces, and Otherness (2020).

Portrait of a man (Patrick Farabaugh) looking into the camera and smiling.

Patrick Farabaugh
Patrick Farabaugh is the founder and publisher of Our Lives magazine, created in 2007 to provide a living record of the local and state LGBTQ+ community. As publisher for the past 16 years, he’s established the magazine as Wisconsin’s premiere LGBTQ+ media. Originally from Indiana, Farabaugh moved to Madison in 2005 and, shortly after arriving, founded the Madison Gay Hockey Association—now the world’s largest LGBTQ+ hockey league.

Portrait of a man (Víctor M. Macías-González) wearing glasses and smiling.

Víctor M. Macías-González, PhD
Víctor M. Macías-González is Professor of History and an affiliate of the Department of Race, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at UW La Crosse. He was the inaugural recipient of the LGBT Studies Research Fellowship from Yale University (2015), served on the governing board of the American Historical Association’s Committee on LGBT History (2018–20), and on the advisory board of OutHistory.org. He is a prolific published scholar.

Portrait of a man (Scott Seyforth) wearing a suit, glasses and smiling.

Scott Seyforth, PhD
One of the founders of the Madison LGBTQ+ Oral History Project and the Madison LGBTQ+ Archive at UW-Madison Archives, Scott Seyforth has been actively involved in collecting, archiving, teaching, and telling the history of the local LGBTQ+ community for the last fifteen years. Seyforth holds a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Wisconsin–Madison where he is the Assistant Director of Residence Life.

Woman (Virginia Harrison) wearing glasses and standing in front of colorful patchwork.

Virginia Harrison (Advisory Board Chair)
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism, Virginia Harrison has served in an editorial capacity with Our Lives magazine for most of its 16 years, including editing Dick Wagner’s history columns. Our Lives is Wisconsin’s LGBTQ+ bi-monthly print and online magazine.

Affiliate Advisors

These contributors, brought on the project for specific research and editorial work, became invaluable consultants through sharing their identities and experience.

Portrait of a woman wearing glasses, smiling, and standing in front of water.

Robyn Bayland
Robyn Bayland is a Milwaukee-based multimedia storyteller whose freelance work has appeared in online news, videos, podcasts, public radio and traditional print media. Her 2019 short film project, “Pride Prom,” tells the story of Marquette University’s first LGBTQ+ Pride Prom, and was an official selection at the 2019 Milwaukee Film Festival.

Woman wearing glasses and smiling in front of shelving holding tax records.

Jenny DeRocher
Jenny DeRocher is a librarian at the La Crosse Public Library in the Archives & Local History Department. She earned a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from Simmons University in Boston. In La Crosse, Jenny guides seasonal history tours, one of which focuses on how La Crosse and the Midwest fit into our national LGBTQ+ history.

Portrait of a woman (JoAnne Lehman) wearing glasses and smiling.

JoAnne Lehman
JoAnne Lehman is Senior Editor in the Office of the Gender and Women’s Studies Librarian at UW-Madison. There she develops topics, recruits authors and writes columns for the academic journal Resources for Gender and Women’s Studies: A Feminist Review. Lehman is also the editor for the PBS Wisconsin partnership project, Wisconsin Women Making History.

Portrait of a woman (Kristen Whitson) smiling in front of a white backdrop.

Kristen Whitson
Kristen is a researcher, archivist, member of the LGBTQ+ community and lifelong Wisconsinite. She has worked in several community archives, including the Madison LGBTQ+ Archive, and is currently a Digital Projects Specialist with WiLS (Wisconsin Library Services). Along with Jenny Kalvaitis, Kristen is the co-author of We Will Always Be Here: A Guide for Exploring and Understanding LGBTQ+ Activism in Wisconsin.

Documentary Credits


Andy Soth

Executive Producer

Laurie Gorman

Writers – Part 1

Grant Fenster
Andy Soth

Writer – Part 2

Grant Fenster

Creative Director

Jon Hornbacher

Director of Photography

Dale Doebert


Grant Fenster

Art Director

Charles Barrows


Cherie B. Tay

Production Managers

Lisa Bultman
Donna Crane

Additional Videography

Brian Alberth
Jon Sovey

Lighting Design

Jess MacLeod

Additional Lighting

Tommy Matthews
Grant Cadwell

Production Assistance

Kyra Lyons
Emily Julka

Color Grade

Grant Fenster
Jon Hornbacher

Digital Support

John Dachik
Tom Micksch

Sound Design, Re-Recording Mixer

Rob Haggar, Haggar Audio


Vicki Way Kipp
Catie Pfeifer


Valerie Waszak


Kristen Whitson
Robyn Bayland
Olivia Poches
Rosie Rodriguez
Sophia Abrams


Matt Barnes
Erika Kachama-Nkoy
Chester Lee
Sigrid Peterson
Tim Schneider

Marketing and Promotion

Tara Lovdahl

Video Promotion

Heather Reese

Media Library

Ann Wilkens

Engagement Team

Dulce Maria Danel
Andrew Carlson
Rea Gaxha
Samantha Schnoll
Carol Griskavich

Director of Programming

Garry Denny

Director of Production

Christine Sloan-Miller

Special Thanks

Shiraz Bhathena
David Bensman
Michael Bridgeman
Samantha Crownover
Dr. & Mrs. A.C.V. Elston
Paul & Lari Fanlund
Isaac Fellman
Laura Godden
Paul Hedges
Drake Hokanson & Carol Kratz
Megan Holbrook & Eric Vogel
Jenny Kalvaitis
Cindy Killian
Laura Lob
Julie Mack
Lisa Marine
David Mindel
Katherine Naherny
Katie Nash
Catherine Phan
Troy Reeves

Funding for Wisconsin Pride is provided by Park Bank, SC Johnson, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, the Evjue Foundation, the charitable arm of the Capital Times, TruStage, the New Harvest Foundation, the Ruth St. John and John Dunham West Foundation, inc, Paula Bonner and Ann Schaffer, the La Crosse Community Foundation, the MGE Foundation, Rogers Behavioral Health, David E. Bedri and Jon E. Sorenson, the Cream City Foundation, Tom DeChant and Paul Gibler, the Frautschi Family Foundation, the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, Michael Gerdes in memory of Henry S. Lufler, Jr., the Greater Milwaukee Foundation Eldon Murray Fund, Madison College, Mike and Sally Miley, the Roth-Wheeler Family, the Susan M. Schaffer and Joan M. Hinckley Fund, Mary Strickland and Marie Barroquillo, UnityPoint Health – Meriter, the U.S. Bank Foundation, UW Health, The Valentine Fund within the Cream City Foundation, Susan M. Zaeske, Karen Gerdes, in memory of R. Richard Wagner, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation Pegi Christiansen Fund, Gary A. Brown and Paul M. Hayes, Julie Underwood, Michael Verveer, Jill Wheeler and Margaret Close, the Focus Fund for Wisconsin Programs, and Friends of PBS Wisconsin.