Stonewall Stage

The Stonewall Stage area hosts intimate performances and discussions on topics important to the LGBTQ community.  You will find it located in the southeast area of the grounds.

The Stonewall Stage is named for the June 1969 Stonewall riots, a rebellion against police raids in New York City and ultimately the watershed moment in the gay rights movement. The first gay pride marches were held in June to commemorate the anniversary of the riots.




Saturday, June 9

2:00 PM Meditation: Friending Yourself

Meditation practice is the “friend request” we may seek as we realize we are living a life of self- directed aggression, disrespect and self-criticism. Please join Shastri Debbie Zarate and Dan Kaemmerer, senior meditation Instructors from the Shambhala Meditation Center of Milwaukee, for this workshop on mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness practice emphasizes gentleness and friendliness toward oneself. The session will include guided meditation instruction and discussion.
The Shambhala Center has been teaching mindfulness meditation to the Milwaukee community for over 40 years. The teachings and meditation techniques of Shambhala allow anyone who applies them to grow into more mindful and compassionate human beings. Shambhala Buddhism is based on the profound, simple but incredibly relevant view that when we foster a more awake and compassionate relationship with ourselves, we are creating a more awake and compassionate world.The Shambhala Meditation Center of Milwaukee is located at 2344 North Oakland Avenue, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 53211.   website 


3:00 PM Advances in HIV Testing and Treatment

Have you heard about rising rates of HIV and syphilis in Milwaukee and want to learn more? Is your idea of HIV stuck in 1991? Come to this panel and hear about how HIV affects different communities in Wisconsin and Milwaukee, and learn about some of the most cutting-edge advances in the science of HIV prevention. We will discuss some of the work being done in Milwaukee to address HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). There will be plenty of opportunity for discussion, so bring your questions along!


4:oo PM An Afternoon with State Senator Tim Carpenter

Wisconsin State Senator Tim Carpenter will be at PrideFest to answer your questions and discuss our State, our communities, the issues we’re facing together, and how you can contribute and get involved, too!


5:00PM Ask the Sexpert! ( with Lucky Tomaszek)

When it comes to sex, it seems like the more you learn, the more there is to learn. Do you have a question or three about sexual health or pleasure? Wanna get an honest answer and a couple of good laughs? Spend an hour with Tool Shed education coordinator Lucky Tomaszek and anonymously ask your secret questions. Using humor, honesty and accurate, up-to-date information, you’ll get the answers you’re looking for. Please join us!

6:00 PM Ask a Doctor Panel featuring Aurora Health Care

 When you’re not feeling well do you Google your symptoms or head straight to WebMD? Skip the internet and instead join Aurora Health Care for an in-depth panel discussion featuring physicians from obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN), family practice, behavioral health and more. Aurora’s expert physicians will answer some of your most common questions about maintaining a healthy life. Co-presented by Aurora Health Care and the Cream City Foundation.


7:00 PM Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival @ PrideFest

Reclaiming History / Inventing History: Cheryl Dunye’s Watermelon Woman & Charles Lofton’s O Happy Day. Join the Milwaukee LGBT Film/Video Festival at PrideFest as we revisit two Black and queer films that exuberantly intervene into narratives of representation to reclaim a place in (and a lens on) history.


The Watermelon Woman (90min., 1996)– directed by and starring Cheryl Dunye – is a buoyant, romantic comedy about a young Black woman who meets the girl of her dreams (who happens to be white) while making a film that unveils the career of an obscure Black actress from the 1930’s.

Also: Charles Lofton’s short O Happy Day (6min., 1996), which, per Jim Hubbard, then of MIX: New York Lesbian and Gay Experimental Film/Video Festival, “…utilizes found footage (yet another type of history) to eroticize the Black Power movement and to invent a revolutionary moment in gay history.”


Sunday, June 10

3:00 PM Get PreP’d!

PrEP, which is short for Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, is an HIV prevention strategy for people who are HIV negative and want added protection. People using PrEP take an anti-retroviral medication every day to help prevent infection. PrEP should always be used as part of your overall HIV prevention strategy such as condoms. It empowers individuals to take charge of their health and sex life. A medical provider will describe who is best served by this program, how it works and the benefits of it.
A PrEP coordinator will discuss insurance considerations and how our staff can support patients and clients. Additionally, ARCW will discuss what an initial appointment looks like, expectations for future appointments and other clinical considerations. A specialty pharmacist will explain how the medication needs to be taken in order to be effective, how our pharmacy staff supports PrEP patients and clients, and other related information. All three panelist will discuss the importance of PrEP and how the community supports access.


4:10 PM Spirituality in a Millennial World

Join in on the discussion as faith leaders from our community come together and share their thoughts and views relating to Spirituality in a Millennial World. Be a part of the conversation as we discuss how our Millennials relate and engage and explore where their spirituality connects in today’s world.


5:00 PM Intersex Issues: A Primer for LGBTQ+ Folks

All of us are taught in school that physical sex is binary: babies are born either male or female. But we were taught a lie. In fact, physical sex is not a binary–it is a spectrum. Throughout nature, animals and people have always been born with a variety of sex characteristics. In the U.S. today, about 1 in 150 children is diagnosed by doctors as having a “difference of sex development”–that is, being intersex–at birth. Many more people find out later in life that they are intersex. But since the 1950s, doctors have been treating intersex status as a birth defect they must “correct.” Parents have been told to keep their children’s intersex status a secret–an official policy telling parents intersex people must be in the closet or have their lives ruined. That’s something LGBTQ+ people can empathize with–and oppose.
This talk will outline intersex issues for an LGBTQ+ audience. It will look at issues physically sex-variant people have in common with gender and sexual minorities. And it will also explain the differences in experiences and advocacy goals. This will help an LGBTQ+ audience be better allies to intersex folks (including intersex people who are LGBTQ+ themselves). There will be time for Q&A at the end of the talk.


6 p.m. Kink It Up!  

What is kink? Who does it? And why? Bring your questions to this 101-level discussion about BDSM and kink.  We’ll talk about: Tops, bottoms and switches, Paddling, spanking and flogging, sensation play, rope play and role play-And (most importantly) communication, consent and aftercare!


Stonewall presenters:


Shastri Debbie Zarate: Meditation: Friending Yourself, and  Spirituality in a Millennial World


Shastri Debbie Zarate has been practicing meditation for 42 years. She was appointed Shastri (senior Shambhala Buddhist teacher) by the Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche in 2015. She is a Meditation for Health and Wellness lecturer at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Debbie loves connecting people to the benefits of meditation and mindfulness because she believes that the ability to interact skillfully with the world depends on a developed sense of inner well-being. She is a mother of three married sons and enjoys the frequent company of her three grandchildren.


Dan Kaemmerer: Meditation: Friending Yourself

Dan has been a member of the Shambhala community since the late 70’s and has been a teacher and meditation instructor in the Shambhala Buddhist tradition for over 20 years. A lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Dan is retired from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. He lives in Riverwest with his wife Pat and has a grown son and daughter.Meditation and mindful living are priorities in Dan's life and he presents workshops and classes on meditation as well as individual meditation instruction at the Milwaukee Shambhala Center.


Jacob Dougherty : Advances in HIV Testing and Treatment

Jacob is the HIV Prevention Coordinator with the Wisconsin AIDS/HIV Program at the Department of Health Services based in Madison. In this role, he provides training, technical assistance, and grant monitoring to staff at agencies funded by the state program and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide HIV prevention services. Some of the program areas he works on include HIV testing, Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), community planning, and social marketing/media campaigns. He has been with the state program since 2014, and prior to that he worked at Diverse & Resilient in Milwaukee as Data and Compliance Manager for their HIV prevention program.

Ronnie Grace : Advances in HIV Testing and Treatment

Ronnie is an HIV and STI Prevention Program Coordinator II. In his current position, Ronnie coordinates both Diverse and Resilient’s HIV and STI testing program as well as SHEBA (Sisters Helping Each Other Battle AIDS), a leadership-building and support program for African-American transgender women. Ronnie has an extensive background in community engagement around HIV prevention. He also serves as Co-Chair to the Wisconsin HIV Statewide Action Planning Group (SAPG). Ronnie will be featured in a statewide social marketing campaign called “HIV in Real Life” launching in July of this year. Most recently, Ronnie was included in a museum exhibit “Urban Hero’s Urban Wood” for his work in the HIV community. Ronnie has received numerous for his community activism and outreach on HIV prevention in Milwaukee (Milwaukee Community Journal Award -2015, National Association of Black Journalist Award – 2015, LGBT Legends Award – 2014, Adult Leadership Award in 2011 and Community Program Award – 2010). Ronnie is also the founder and facilitator of the “GrownUps” Empowerment and Support Group for men living with HIV. Ronnie is a constant presence in the HIV prevention community and continues to collaborate with other community agencies to foster relationships in order to better serve the community he so passionately cares about.

In addition to Ronnie’s Certifications in (CTR) Counseling, Testing and Referral and STI testing, Ronnie has also received certifications in Venipuncture, Trauma Informed Care, Personalized Cognitive Counseling, Social Networking, Many Men Many Voices, Using Social Media for Community Engagement, QPR, Motivational Interviewing Community Mapping, Targeted Testing and Media Messaging.


Senator Tim Carpenter: An Afternoon with State Senator Tim Carpenter

Senator Carpenter has lived in Milwaukee his entire life and is a long-time homeowner in Milwaukee’s 3rd Senate District, which he has represented since 2003. Carpenter was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1984 after winning a six-way primary at the age of 24. He served nine terms representing the 9th Assembly District until 2002. Tim received a bachelor’s degree from UW-Milwaukee and a master’s degree from UW-Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs.

Tim is currently a member of four Senate Standing Committees: Health and Human Services; Transportation, Public Safety, and Veterans and Military Affairs; State and Federal Relations; Joint Committee on Information Policy and Technology. He is also a member of the Transportation Projects Commission and serves on the Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse.



Lucky Tomaszek: Ask the Sexpert, Kink it up!

Lucky is a sexuality educator living with her three kids in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In addition to her current role as education coordinator at The Tool Shed, Cream City’s education-based, mission-driven sex toy store, she has a long background as a birth worker and parenting columnist. She is the author of the semi-monthly column “MKE SEX”, published by Milwaukee Record, and is a contributor to The Ultimate Guide to Sex Through Pregnancy and Motherhood by Madison Young. Most mornings you can find her balancing her cat and her keyboard in her lap, doggedly trying to make the world a smarter, safer place for people of all genders, orientations and relationship groupings.


Jacqueline M. Akert, NP : Ask a Doctor Panel featuring Aurora Health Care

Jacqueline Akert is a Nurse Practitioner Specialist in Summit, WI, who provides care for women’s health, including midlife transitions and menopause management, osteoporosis prevention and management, women and heart disease, and all methods of contraception. She also has a special interest in adolescent health and sexual health for both men and women. Skilled in women’s health procedures, Jacqueline works closely with physicians to ensure patients get the best care possible. With a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Columbia Union College in Takoma Park, MD, she went on to earn a Family Practice Nurse Practitioner master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh.


Marie M. Forgie, DOAsk a Doctor Panel featuring Aurora Health Care

Marie is a practicing OB-GYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist) in Milwaukee, WI. Dr. Forgie graduated from Midwestern University Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2010 and has been in practice for 7 years. She completed a residency at Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Forgie accepts multiple insurance plans including Aetna, Common Ground, and Medicare. Dr. Forgie also practices at Aurora Health Center Downtown in Milwaukee, WI.





Ryan P Larkey, LCSWAsk a Doctor Panel featuring Aurora Health Care

Ryan is a Clinical Social Worker Specialist in Franklin, WI. As a psychotherapist, Ryan provides treatment to children, adolescents and adults using a strength-based, solution-focused approach in treating a diverse range of individuals. Ryan provides substance abuse and behavioral health counseling and is experienced in working with clients from a variety of backgrounds dealing with a wide range of disorders, like mood disorders, post-traumatic disorder, ADHD, bipolar disorder, relationship issues and LGBT-related issues. Committed to providing professional, patient-centered treatment, Ryan guides patients through their individual recovery. Ryan earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, and is currently pursuing certification as a substance abuse counselor.


Kristen Grimes Get PreP’d
Director of Prevention Services at the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin. ARCW Prevention services provide education and engagement surrounding PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), HIV and STI testing, educational programming and other harm reduction programs. Ms. Grimes has almost 20 years of public health experience at the local and state level. Kristen will serve as the moderator of this panel.
ARCW booths in the PrideFest Health & Wellness area will be on hand to offer assistance with testing, PrEP enrollment and to answer specific questions.


Ruthie Burich-Weatherly Get PreP’d
Ruthie Burich-Weatherly is a public health consultant specializing in HIV prevention and PrEP education for consumers, medical providers and the general community. Through LetsPrEPWI LLC in Milwaukee, she provides opportunities for all communities to learn about new and developing HIV prevention methods though social media and advocates for increased use of novel approaches for HIV prevention. LetsPrEPWI is an information, resource and referral tool that connects people with PrEP. Helping inform, support and provide PrEP resources for those that want it. A free service for consumers, LetsPrEPWI is here to support all Wisconsin residents to the information they need in order to help them take control of their sexual health and have added protection from HIV.


The Reverend Tory Topjian :  Spirituality in a Millennial World Moderator) is Senior Pastor at Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Church. He is one of the founders of the Queer & Allied Faith Leaders of Milwaukee, has served on various panels related to how our Trans Sisters and Brothers are very much a part of the LGBTQI diversity of the community, and continues to serve on national and Milwaukee-area task forces for the LGBTQI+ community—including the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches HIV/AIDS Advisory Council. He is a charismatic and passionate individual who brings vibrancy to the spiritual experience in which God’s unconditional and all-inclusive love is identified and celebrated for all people. Rev. Tory holds a Master of Divinity Degree from Claremont School of Theology, with an emphasis in Inter-Religious studies as well as various trends in worship within Inter-Faith Communities. He also has a Masters Certification as an Executive Chef from the Culinary Institute of America.


Rachel Young Binter (she/her) – Spirituality in a Millennial World, is ordained in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. She has served as the campus pastor at The Corner House – Lutheran Campus Ministry at UWM for the past 8 years. She is also a proud member of Proclaim, an ELCA organization for openly identified LGBTQ clergy and seminarians. She loves exploring the intersections between queer identity and spiritual identity. She is grateful for the many young adults in her life, including her own children, who keep her honest, informed, and brave in the living of her life.


Pastor Michelle Y. Townsend de López- Spirituality in a Millennial World currently serves as the Lead Pastor of Cross Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Milwaukee. She is committed to the execution of the purpose and vision of the congregation grounded in the Holy Spirit and social justice issues at the intersections of race, class and gender for our community. She was a faithful and dedicated member of Cross for over 30 years where she was shaped and nurtured by this wonderfully diverse congregation and served in many capacities of lay leadership. Rev. Michelle received her Masters of Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago with an emphasis in Hispanic/Latino ministries. Prior to joining the ministry in a professional capacity, Pastor Michelle worked in the legal field as a paralegal and as a Human Resources Director for a financial software and media company.


The Reverend Kate Fields- Spirituality in a Millennial World is a queer, southern, biologist-turned- pastor who now pastors Underwood Memorial Baptist Church in Wauwatosa, a radical, justice-minded congregation that was founded on abolition in 1845. Kate has organized for LGBTQIA+ rights in the south, and continues to do so in Milwaukee; she also cares deeply about eco-justice and is working to address the lead in Milwaukee’s water. She currently serves on the board of the Interfaith Earth Network of Milwaukee and has served on the National Council of the Fellowship of Reconciliation USA.


Dr. Cary Gabriel Costello: Intersex Issues: A Primer for LGBTQ+ Folks

Dr. Castello (ze/zir/zim or he/his/him) is the Director of the LGBT+ Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Dr. Costello is a sociologist who studies the social body, especially with regard to ideologies of sex, race, and disability. As an intersex trans man, ze also advocates for sex and gender minorities.

For this presentation, Dr. Costello will be assisted by zir wife Beta Schaefer, who is an intersex trans woman and will answer audience questions from that perspective.