History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Wisconsin - Organizations - Activist & Political


Based in:

Green Bay & Appleton


(active 2009)



View the Positive Voice web site at this link (will open in a separate browser window).

According to their web site, Positive Voice develops strong links within the community and helps to foster programs to develop community support for the local GLBT community.

According to the Mission Statement adopted by the board in 2007, Positive Voice’s mission is to support all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning individuals, their families and allies through community outreach and education, as well as, collaborative and social activities.

Positive Voice has two addresses, one in Green Bay and one in Appleton. The Appleton office is housed in the Fox Valley Rotary Multicultural Center. Appleton holds some meetings at the Multicultural Center and the Friday Night Potluck is held at Harmony Cafe which is right next door.

Most of the monthly programs are open to the general public, some programs are specifically developed for the general public. Committee meetings are open to any one interested in participating and helping to develop Positive Voice. As Positive Voice grows some programs may be limited to membership or members of a specific community subgroup.

In the summer of 1992, a group of progressive-thinking individuals met at a private home on Adams Street in Green Bay to discuss the formation of a new GLBT organization in Northeast Wisconsin. The vision gained momentum, the meetings continued and attendance outgrew the confines of private homes. The meetings were moved to the Brown County Library conference room(s). The loosely formatted purpose of the organization was to provide a forum for gay persons to meet in a non-bar setting to support each other, and to provide educational, social and outreach opportunities. POSITIVE VOICE was selected as the organization’s name - to emphasize a new direction of hope and positive energy within the GLBT communities. And a formal mission was established: 1) to empower & support the GLBT community, 2) to treat people with respect, dignity & love, 3) to create a positive atmosphere of sharing , trust & confidence, and 4) to help build strong relationships, explore our many talents, & promote personal growth. Positive Voice (PV) incorporated in 1994, becoming a registered not-for-profit agency. And during the late 1990’s Green Bay based Northern Womyn and Appleton based GLEEDA merged into PV. The diverse strengths and aspirations of this increased membership base allowed PV to grow in every aspect. The small member-hosted holiday parties were replaced with extravagant ‘holiday socials’ held at hotels and conference centers. PV hosted discussion groups, fundraising events and community dialogs with public officials. PV also organized an annual “Day of Discovery” conference which boasted notable guest speakers and impressive attendance. Through the years PV has collaborated with many other area organizations, including; Northern Womyn, GLEEDA, ARCW, Bay City Chorus, ACLU, Angels of Hope MCC, PFLAG, NEWIST, UCC, UUF, GLBT Partnership, Harmony Café, Multicultural Center, Fair Wisconsin, Rainbow Gathering, and the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. PV has also collaborated and/or interfaced with U.S. Representatives Jay Johnson, Steve Kagen and Tammy Baldwin, State Assemblyman Mark Pocan, Senators Tim Carpenter and Dave Hansen, Green Bay Mayors Paul Jadin and Jim Schmitt, and Brown County Executives Nancy Nussbaum and Tom Hinz. PV has hosted more than a dozen GLBT conferences, has held countless educational and social events, has a regular newsletter and maintains an informative and useful website (www.pvinc.org). Positive Voice exemplifies the well-known quote by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”


Photo, circa 2007

Credits: History and description by NE Wisconsin LGBT History Project,
Paul "Cricket" Jacob and Lloyd Schaefer;
Web site design and layout by Don Schwamb.
Last updated: July-2009.