PrideFest welcomes our nation’s military


We salute the bravery, valor and courage of our family members in the U.S. Armed Forces.   PrideFest Milwaukee celebrates LGBTQ military inclusion with our Armed Forces Pride promotion.

We welcome all active and veteran military to enjoy free admission to PrideFest for themselves and a guest, for the entire three-day weekend.

Valid military ID is required for free admission for up to two adults for up to three days. (retail value $78.00).  You must present your military ID each day at the Box Office window at the PrideFest Milwaukee Main Gate.  No advance tickets or registration required.  Standard reentry policy applies to all admissions.

Did you know? When PrideFest Milwaukee began in 1987, openly gay and lesbian citizens were not welcome in the Armed Forces.

The Department of Defense stated that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service.” Homosexual behavior was actually considered as dangerous a security risk as psychopathology.  Being gay or lesbian meant being deeply closeted — and very brave.  And the stakes were high: violators could be imprisoned, court-martialed and even dishonorably discharged.  Many lives were ruined forever by a “blue discharge” — and many more were limited by the inability to live proud.

With the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in the past decade,  all American citizens could finally serve the United States — with pride in one’s country and pride in one’s self.    For years, all soldiers could serve equally proud  — until the current presidential administration introduced sweeping measures to purge the Armed Forces of transgender people.

Milwaukee Pride fully rejects these exclusionary actions.  We feel the transgender military ban is as deplorable as it is dehumanizing.  We will continue to fight for transgender inclusion, visibility, voice and equality, now and always, and we will pursue a future where all of America’s citizens can again serve with pride.

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  1. I am so excited about Pride this year. This will be the first time i will go to Pride in Milwaukee.
    I was born and raised in Milwaukee, but by the time i was old enough to go I was in the Military and was never in town.
    This will also be the first time me and my wife will be going together as well.

  2. We want to publicly thank Pridefest, Milwaukee for their donation of $500 in honor and memory of Joe Brehm, USAF. These funds will be used for the support of free healing retreats for any veteran or military service man or women here in the Milwaukee area. We support Healing Warrior Hearts through financial and marketing to ensure every veteran comes all the way home.
    Thank you,
    Ellen Kozel
    Executive Director
    Veterans For Diversity, Inc.
    “An enemy’s bullet does not distinguish between Race, Ethnicity, Color, Gender, Religious Belief, Gay or Straight, it kills American Service Men and Women indiscriminately.”