By Kylie Condon
Lez Explore: Milwaukee
Not many people think “gay capital of the world” when they hear Milwaukee, Wisconsin. But I’d be remiss if I didn’t discuss their thriving LGBTQ+ community. Some people might be surprised to learn that Milwaukee is actually a very liberal and open city. In fact, their new NBA Arena will be the first in the league to offer gender-neutral bathrooms. Milwaukee also recently opened a clinic that will focus exclusively on primary and preventive LGBTQ+ care. Additionally, the city is also chock-full of fun LGBTQ+ bars. The majority of these bars are located in the Walker’s Point neighborhood aka Milwaukee’s “gayborhood.” I was excited for the opportunity to explore this Midwest staple I’d heard so much about. After I got my fill of Wisconsin cheese and brats (what every lady loves to start her night with), I headed out to the gayborhood.
Walker’s Pint, cleverly named for its location in Walker’s Point, has been around for seventeen years now. With a slogan that reads “hide your daughters,” this is unmistakably a girl bar. However, supportive allies are also welcome. The place has cheap drinks, a friendly atmosphere, and a divey sports bar vibe. Walls are clad with TVs playing sports and there are also pool table and dartboard situations. In case those aren’t enough sports for you, Walker’s Pint also has its own softball team. Sports aren’t your thing? No worries, you can always chill on their outdoor back patio or listen to the sounds of their resident weekend DJ or maybe even a live band. Regardless of your style, this is definitely a great watering hole for ladies who like ladies.
D.I.X. is one of the newer bars on the LGBTQ+ Milwaukee scene. It opened about eight years ago in the Walker’s Point area, but still has a new and exciting feel. Despite being lesbian owned, D.I.X. definitely draws a male demographic, but still welcomes all. D.I.X. also feels a bit different from your other Milwaukee bars, with it’s dance club vibe. Boasting two separate rooms and an outdoor patio, there’s plenty of space to move about. But be warned- this bar fills up on weekends! You can always count on D.I.X. putting on events, whether it’s a Drag Show or Wine Mixer, there’s always something going on at D.I.X.
This is It!
This is It!, known locally as “Tits,” is Wisconsin’s oldest gay bar. Located on the east side of town, it’s a little off the beaten path from other gay bars but definitely worth the trip. Plus, Milwaukee’s a pretty easy city to get around in general so you have no excuse! This is It! isn’t very clearly marked, but you’ll know you’re in the right place when you see rainbow tiling on the wall. The bar is small, divey, and worn down- everything an old gay bar should be. The crowd can be a little older skewing, but there is definitely an assortment. Weekends are the highlight, but weeknights shouldn’t be overlooked... Especially Monday nights when they host Moonlight Karaoke. Don’t be fooled, despite being a Monday, it still gets pretty wild. This is It! will be celebrating it’s 50th anniversary this August and hosting a weekend full of celebrations. Be sure to check them out!
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