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

Marc Haupert


Primary Involvements:

AIDS organizational activist
The Arts



  Marc in 2004


Marc Haupert came to be a central figure in Milwaukee's LGBT life in the mid-late 1980's. Moving here in 1972 to work in the arts, he was active in various areas, working as bartender (in the River Queen among other places), and participating in various organizations, especially the CCBA (Cream City Business Association). As President of the CCBA in 1984, Marc worked with three other community leaders to found the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin (which was formed around the core of a previous BESTD offshoot, the Milwaukee AIDS Project), and became the ARCW's first President.

Marc's partner in the early-mid 1980's was Bobb Schendel, who bought and owned for a time the popular neighborhood gay bar The Finale on Center Street. In 1985, Marc met Kurt Swanson.

Beginning in February 1988, Marc began writing a regular article in the local LGBT newspaper, the "Wisconsin Light". The article, titled "Perspective", written in his role as President of the ARCW, was intended to "give readers my perspective on issues facing our communities under siege by this syndrome".

In 1990, Marc moved to Chicago to become Executive Director of the Chicago House. He was last contacted in 2005, when he was living in Los Angeles, California with his partner Kurt Swanson (in 2005, they celebrated 20 years together; they were married in Feb. 2004 in San Francisco, California). Read a full Biography of Marc.

Early history: According to Marc's farewell to Milwaukee (and informal "auto-biography") published in vol. 3 issue 11 of Wisconsin Light:

    Marc moved to Milwaukee in 1973, encouraged by his friend, Pat Wagner; and opened a nonprofit book center in the Sydney HiH building. After circulating with leaders of the art community, including the Wisconsin Theatre Association, Marc saw a need to support of smaller arts groups; he first helped found the Water Street Arts Center, and in 1977, the Arts Services Associates. During this time, through past connections as a cable TV lobbyist, Marc met Karen Lamb; and then Ralph Navarro, who introduced him the the CCBA. Marc recalls this as his point of entry to gay political activism, and credits the CCBA with helping him get to know "probably 100 outstanding individuals" over the years.

    Marc especially recalled convening the largest CCBA annual meeting ever, with Governor Tony Earl as speaker and over 150 gay, lesbian, and LGBT supportive people in attendance.

    (Marc's complete "farewell" to Milwaukee can be read/viewed here:)
        Part 1     Part 2


with partner Bobb and M+M employees, early 1984
In Step vol 1 issue 1

with partner Bobb, May 1985
In Step vol 2 issue 8

Governor Tony Earl accepts Torchbearer Award
April 1985- In Step vol 2 issue 9

Chairing a CCBA meeting, Nov. 1986
In Step vol 3 issue 21

"Perspectives" article, Jan. 1988
Wisconsin Light vol 1 issue 3,

"Haup-son Estate" farewell party invitation
May 1990

with partner Kurt, 2005

Credits: information from Marc Haupert, Don Schwamb,
and various articles in In Step and Wisconsin Light;
Last updated: 10-Sept-2005.