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

Bill Wardlow



September 12, 1963
Primary Involvements:

Bartender and Bar Owner
Advisory Panel, Wis. LGBTQ History Project

Primary Location:

Milwaukee, WI



Born and raised in Iowa, William 'Bill' Wardlow moved to Milwaukee in the mid-1980s. He was immediately drawn to the sports leagues, namely softball. He and a close friend co-founded the Milwaukee Gay Tennis League which is still going strong.

Bill has witnessed-- and considers himself as a survivor of-- many historical chapters that have faced our community. His evolution from bartender (including at Triangle bar) to bar owner has allowed him to advocate on behalf of the gay community for gay marriage, before it was legalized, as well as fundraise for countless causes important to him.

Bill even created a drag persona, 'Wilma Fingerdoo', who makes rare and always appreciated appearances at events and on special occasions in his bar.

Bill is the owner and operator of Fluid Bar in Milwaukee, opened in 1998, which is modeled after the 'Dutch Mill', a bar he frequented in Iowa where everyone was welcome. He continues to advocate for inclusivity at Fluid and for local causes that affect our community.

Bill joined the Advisory Panel of the Wisconsin LGBTQ History Project in November 2023. He was featured in a BLOG on the website early in 2024.


Credits: Web site concept, design and arrangement by Don Schwamb;
Last updated: April-2024.

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