History of Gay and Lesbian Life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin - Organizations - Social


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March 1987



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The Metro Milwaukee Friendship Group (MMFG) was organized in March 1987 by a group of gay men interested in forming a social club outside the usual bar scene and not sports-related. Key players included Greg Schatzle, Bill Shaw, and Larry Merkl. The group functioned for a couple of months somewhat loosely and then organized a large “kick off” event at 7 PM July 30, 1987 at the Blue Door Café on Brady Street.

Quite unexpectedly, an enormous group of gay men and lesbians appeared, a lot more than anticipated. In fact the bar/restaurant could barely accommodate the crowd. Organizers quickly realized there was interest in an a non-bar LGBT social group in the Milwaukee Area. (And as we would learn later, many LGBT individuals “came out” via MMFG. Most decided to join specifically because the “other” LGBT group in the area was almost entirely focused on sports).

Soon after the Blue Door Café event, the group began hosting monthly activities and publishing a monthly newsletter. Jon Tschachler volunteered to head up the social calendar the first year, Dave Glenn the second year, and Robin Richards the third year. MMFG mounted a monthly party, monthly dining-out and monthly movies. Seasonally, the group hosted summer camping trips. In addition, individual members would host special events throughout the year. Hosted events included visits to Old World Wisconsin, House on the Rock and the Schlitz Audubon Center, and Mardi Gras parties.

From 1988 to 1991, MMFG continued to host myriad monthly social events and activities. The group successfully replaced its key volunteer coordinators each year. By mid-1991, however, the group was not able to find as many volunteers. About that time Bob Moore, president of Milwaukee Gamma, approached the group and suggested the groups join forces. Initially the board rejected the idea because they didn’t want MMFG to lose its identity. But eventually as the reality of fewer volunteer coordinators became obvious, the board succumbed.

In mid-1992 the board agreed to turn over MMFG’s membership to Milwaukee Gamma. Members of MMFG would automatically be considered paid Gamma members through the next membership cycle. Names and contact information was transferred, and MMFG discontinued existing.

Footnote: One of the reasons MMFG had formed was to offer social activities that Gamma did not. After MMFG merged into Milwaukee Gamma, Gamma began to offer more and more social activities for its members.

(This history of MMFG, and photos, were provided by former MMFG member Dave Glenn, with contributions by other MMFG members coordinated by Dave.)


Summer Barbeque at Estabrook Park, August 1987

Outing at Audubon Center, April 1988

Mardi Gras Party, February 1989

Camping Trip to Mauthe Lake, May 1990

Credits: Bulk of contents contributed by Dave Glenn.
Last updated: January-2011.