Why I Love Milwaukee: Being Queer Doesn’t Have to Be a ‘Thing’

“The LGBTQ community in Milwaukee is thriving right now.”

Who: Geoff Hoen, 32, wants to see Milwaukee keep getting better. As a gay man, he doesn’t want to hide who he is. He wants to be himself while he runs Milwaukee’s first “brotique,” Beard MKE, where Milwaukee’s men can discover their own personal style.

Where: Beard MKE, 1812 E. North Ave.

There are so many queer people who exist in Milwaukee. Let’s talk about it. Let’s make it not even a “thing.”

The LGBTQ community in Milwaukee is thriving right now. There’s a lot of activism and a lot of support within the community. But I’d also love to see it grow and flourish.

There are all sorts of things going on. Look at the local charity Courage MKE and the things they do (finding homes for homeless LGBTQ youth). And I work with the Cream City Foundation, another LGBTQ philanthropic organization.

Even just the idea of drag queens being palatable – they’re doing drag shows at Boone & Crockett. There are taxidermies of dead animals on the wall there! And now they’re having drag shows there. That’s cool to see, the constant evolution.

Last year, after Trump tried taking away trans rights, there were a lot of people at a protest outside City Hall. There’s huge turnout for things like that.

Maybe I’m just more tapped into it, but a solid example would be what happened at LaCage. The nightclub’s owner was accused of saying some racist stuff, and the community rallied and said: “We’re not tolerating this type of shit.”

As told to Adam Rogan


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s February issue

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Adam is a journalist who recently returned to his Wisconsin home after graduating from Drake University in December 2017. He interned with MilMag in the summer of 2015 and has been a continual contributor ever since. Follow him on social media @Could_Be_Rogan