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

Tammy Baldwin


February 11, 1962
Primary Involvements:

Openly Lesbian Politician



  Official Senate photo 2015


Tammy Baldwin is a prominent Wisconsin politician who has been openly lesbian virtually her entire career. Her public career began in Madison as a Dane County Supervisor. She then ran for and won a seat as U.S. Congresswoman. In November 2012 she was elected as U.S. Senator for the state of Wisconsin- the first openly lesbian U.S. Senator.

Tammy's page on Wikipedia starts as follows: "Tammy Suzanne Green Baldwin (born February 11, 1962) is the junior United States Senator from Wisconsin and a member of the Democratic Party. She previously served as the U.S. Representative from Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district from 1999 to 2013, as well as serving three terms in the Wisconsin Assembly representing the 78th district. Baldwin defeated her Republican opponent, former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson, in the 2012 U.S. Senate election. She is the first woman elected to represent Wisconsin in the Senate and the first openly gay U.S. Senator in history. As of 2012, Baldwin's voting record makes her one of the most liberal members of Congress."

According to an article in the February 2004 issue of Madison Magazine:

    It was (in 1983) that a bright-eyed young lesbian from Smith College showed up for an internship at the governor's office. It was Tammy Baldwin's first taste of politics.

    "I got a glimpse of what happens behind the scenes and it was just a thrill for me," Baldwin, a native of Madison, recalls now. "It was probably the first time in the nation that [a gay or lesbian] could take a job in a governor's office and feel that supported."

    Traveling in well-worn tracks, Baldwin was elected to the Dane County Board in 1986, then went on to the State Assembly in 1992 and the U.S. House of Representatives in 1998, where she was not only the first known lesbian to serve in Congress, but also the first person -- G, L, B or T -- to have been out before being elected, something unimaginable 30 years earlier.

    (See the full article for much more about Tammy Baldwin.)

    (Written for Madison Magazine by Frank Bures, a freelance writer living in Madison.)


1988 Dane Co. Board of Supervisors

at a Rally

Dance party at Dish in Milwaukee

Feb. 1993 rally at Capitol supporting the right of gays to serve in the military

Credits: initial page creation by Don Schwamb;
Last updated: July-2015.