Paul Masterson

Since returning to Milwaukee in the early 1990s, Paul Masterson has been a contributing writer to Milwaukee’s LGBTQ and mainstream press. His beat spans the spectrum from athletics to the arts (culinary, visual and performing) and from heath, politics and history to religion. His work includes theater and visual arts previews and reviews, lifestyle features and interviews with a broad range of local and national personalities. He has also published fiction and poetry. His OpEd pieces with a focus on social justice make up a good portion of his current work.

Masterson’s inspiration draws on his long community engagement as a volunteer (ARCW, LGBT Community Center) , member on various boards of directors (Milwaukee Pride, GAMMA, the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center) and team participant (SSBL, Monday Night Irregulars Bowling League, MGVA) and as communications director of the 2009 NAGAAAfest, Gay Softball World Series committee.

He spent his formative years in Connecticut in an Irish Catholic family of storytellers. After graduating Marquette University with an MA in German, he moved to Germany, working for the next two decades globetrotting as a flight attendant for Lufthansa German Airlines and Air Zimbabwe. Over the years he pursued another Master’s Degree (in History) at UWM, took up cultural studies in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary and culinary training in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Trump administration has inspired comedy and creative resistance, including the work of Randy Rainbow. Read more

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As part of a nationwide show of support for the current regime, Gays for Trump planned to rally in D.C. last Saturday. Appropriately enough, LGBTs were to congregate around our national paragon of obe,My LGBT POV Read more


Th Skylight Theater is putting on a host of LGBT related productions in the near future. Read more


There was a collective Log Cabin Republican (LCR) clutching of pearls heard round the nation last week. The occasion was the release of the 2016 Republican Party Platform. Read more


Paul Masterson muses on recent legislation affecting LGBT rights, particularly the Trans bathroom issue; a bill to watch in Wisconsin is AB 469. Read more



Photo Courtesy Mark Frohna

In his third season Viswa Subbaraman again proves the Skylight Music Theatre’s versatility, exploring beyond the tried and true into the realm of modern works that might otherwise remain unheard b,Theater Read more


Following International Holocaust Memorial Day, Wednesday, Jan. 27, Paul Masterson reflects on the Nazi persecution of homosexuals. Read more

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In light of World AIDS Awareness Day (Dec. 1) Paul Masterson explores the current state of mindfulness and prejudice in U.S. society. Read more

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Paul Masterson compares the first Republican primary debate to the reality show, “Big Brother.” Read more

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Paul Masterson discusses ageism within the gay community and U.S. culture in general. Read more

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Paul Masterson explores the history of “rugged gays,” touching on beard culture among gay and straight men, and its current incarnations among metrosexual and “lumber-sexual” men. Read more

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Paul Masterson discusses the upcoming Easter holiday and Christian ethics in light of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, recently signed into law by Governor Mike Pence. The law allows discrimination by business owners of faith ag... Read more

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PrideFest Milwaukee is working on a solution to its binary bathroom problem, which discriminates against transgender persons. Universal-access facilities as well as private individual bathrooms may be made available. Read more

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LGBT people have a duty to maintain a certain dignity and respect. Allowing our compassion to fail in an effort to prove ourselves as insensitive and crass as those who oppress us is not art. Read more

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We should not dismiss the LGBT struggle as “over and done with.” Read more

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Paul Masterson discusses the Guerrilla Gay Bar movement. Begun in San Francisco in 2000 and expanded to Milwaukee in 2007, it is a moving-the-mountain strategy to bring LGBT and straight people together. Read more

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In light of Black History Month, Paul Masterson discusses the contributions made by African Americans to Milwaukee’s LGBT historical narrative. Read more

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I recently attended a meeting during which someone raised the subject of diversity. The presenter concocted an ungainly acronym I’d never seen before: LGBTTQQIAAP. A seemingly logical extension of the familiar “LGBT,” it includes more ri... Read more

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If you crave Indian home-style and street food, visit Indian Bazaar (5254 S. 27th St.). The all-vegetarian selections span the subcontinent’s cuisine, ranging from southern dishes to the Indo-Chinese fusion found along the northeastern bord... Read more

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Paul Masterson explores the concept of heteronormativity, rebellion against it in gay art and the implications of attitudes taken toward the subject. Read more

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The dog days of summer call for a relaxing retreat into any one of these LGBTQ core books. Read more



Photo credit: Benson Kua

Resistance to progress still a battle, yet nothing unmanageable. Read more

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The end of Pride Month doesn’t let backlash extinguish its success. Read more


The 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots revisits the elitist renditions and poor recreations of the historic landmark for the LGBTQ community. Read more


Nares offers LGBTQ representation and a learning opportunity for Milwaukee through her art. Read more

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Photo credit: Milwaukee Pride

The most successful PrideFest and Pride Parade yet in Milwaukee reflect progress for our city. Read more


For the fifth year, the Shepherd Express LGBTQ Progress Awards honors people and organizations that have worked and taken risks to improve conditions for LGBTQ people in Wisconsin. Read more


PrideFest reminds us of all the allies and villains, past and present, of the LGBTQ community to inspire action towards true equality. Read more


JoCasta Zamarripa and Peter Burgelis, two openly LGBTQ politicians, are running for the Common Council. Read more



Photo Credit: Rihaij/Pixabay

While most of our local events may not be Stonewall 50-themed, they are all progenies of the LGBTQ struggle that began 50 years ago. Read more


The traditional gay “leather scene” hasn’t died out; it’s morphed into morph-suit-wearing Millennials and erotic cosplay. Read more



Photo Credit: Katherine Keller/Bay View Compass (

In Bay View, an anti-LGBTQ rally protested against a Drag Queen Story Hour, just a few weeks after an Alabama gay teen committed suicide. Read more

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Police raids of gay bars were commonplace, but this time, the standard police practice of harassment and arrests went awry. There was resistance. Read more



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Bar games, like bar dice and Sheepshead, permeated LGBTQ culture in Milwaukee. Read more


A former pope’s diatribe resurrects the blame game at a time when the Milwaukee Archdiocese is trying to forget its chapter in the Catholic Church’s sordid past. Read more

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Despite Brian Hagedorn’s scathing homophobia, the LGBTQ community was complacent and didn’t vote massively against him. Read more

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Milwaukee made national news again last week. It had nothing to do with the 2020 Democratic Convention, either. Read more

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Photo credit: Kathy Wittman, Ball Square Films

As the vote for the Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice approaches, Paul Masterson draws lessons from L’Incoronazione di Poppea. Read more


For Transgender Day of Visibility, on March 31, Paul Masterson talks about transgender people and Trump’s campaign of fear. Read more

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Bouguereau, currently exhibited at the Milwaukee Art Museum, was best known for his paintings of the female body, which Paul Masterson sees as the male gaze. Read more