On August 7, the Rotary Club of Madison hosted Dick Wagner on the topic of his book, "We’ve Been Here All Along: Wisconsin Early Gay History." His presentation covered the early persecution of homosexuals in Wisconsin and how brave gay men and lesbians responded by affirming their own lives and building networks of support. In June 2019, the Wisconsin Historical Society Press published the first of his two-volume history of gay life in Wisconsin. Wagner highlights how gays and lesbians started participating in early studies conducted by researchers from the University of Wisconsin - Madison to "try to change the narrative by presenting their own lives." One of those studies was conducted by John Gillin, a UW sociologist, who studied "sodomy prisoners," gays who were imprisoned for being homosexual, at the Waupun prison before World War II. One of Gillin's observations included, "The negative attitudes towards homosexuality was a social construct, not an eternal truth."

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