History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - People - Bios

William Attewell


June 1961
Primary Involvements:

News website
Community Activist





William Attewell was born in Madison, Wisconsin in June of 1961.

Attewell began his writing career with Wisconsin IN Step. His irreverent humor column, “Juicy Bits by W.W. Wells” debuted in the paper’s second issue in 1984 and ran until 1997. The column eventually was syndicated in over 20 gay and lesbian newspapers across the country and abroad.

Attewell was also a featured contributor on the gay Milwaukee Public Access progam, “Tri-Cable Tonight.” He contributed humor segments and interviews including Armistead Maupin. Along with Cabal, Bryce Clark and Mark Behar, Attewell his life partner Jorge Cabal went on to produce, write and star in Wisconsin’s first gay comedy cable program, “Yellow on Thursday.” The program featured short skits, comedy segments and parodies. The program went on to win MATA’s Philo Award for programming excellence.

In the early ‘90s, Attewell also launched an advertising agency, Wells Ink. The agency has a special focus on the gay and lesbian market in Wisconsin and nationwide. Wells Ink developed a number of successful marketing campaigns targeting gays and lesbians in Wisconsin including: placing the first ad for a gay business on Milwaukee County buses (Alternative Connections, a Milwaukee-based gay dating service), the first statewide AIDS prevention campaign (Man4Man) for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin and an HIV prevention advertising campaign for the Brady East STD Clinic.

In October of 1995, Attewell and Cabal began publishing a monthly gay magazine in Wisconsin called “Q•Voice.” Cabal, a noted photographer contributed cover photographs and a monthly photo-spread called “Out of the Closet.” Attewell served as editor. Q•Voice featured in-depth interviews with many noted celebrities and community leaders including Bette Midler, Francesco Scavullo, Doug Nelson, Dan Fons and many others. In 1996, the Cream City Foundation acknowledged Q•Voice as the “Best New LGBT Business.”

In April of 1996, William Attewell and Jorge Cabal purchased In Step from Ron Geiman. Upon taking the reins at In Step, Attewell and Cabal redesigned the magazine to make it more reader-friendly, but promised to retain its most popular features to insure continuity. They thanked advertisers, subscribers and readers for keeping faith, and added: “We’d like to express our commitment to Wisconsin’s LesBiGay Community. In Step Magazine will remain your comprehensive news, information and entertainment resource.”

In May of 1997, the annual Pride issue was published in a new format - a tabloid-size newsprint edition with a banner reading: “In Step Newsmagazine.” Then, in August of 1998, Q•Voice was merged into In Step, with the letter “Q” retained to mark the paper’s arts and entertainment section. In November of 1998, In Step began bearing the subtitle “Wisconsin’s LGBT Community Newspaper.” A final transformation took place in January of 2000, with a bold new logo that reaffirmed the paper’s geographic market while honoring its roots: “Wisconsin IN Step.” In November of 2003, Attewell abruptly folded the paper due to financial difficulties.

In, November of 2004, Attewell launched a gay news web site, www.wisconsingaynews.com and wrote a number of cover stories for Queer Life News.


(photos pending)

Credits: bulk of information from the principal, William Attewell.
Last updated: 18-May-2005.