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Dan's Gay Guide to Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Dan's Gay Guide to Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Guides to great cities by the locals who know them best!


Originally published on

Name: Dan
Age: 23
Profession: Full-time student
City: Oshkos, WI
Relationship Status: Single
Sexuality: Gay

What was the last vacation you took?
Road trip out east!


Where did you go?
Pittsburgh; Washington, D.C.; New York City

Where do you most want to go?

Are any famous people from your town?
Apparently, but nobody that I know!

What are some of the things you love most about your town?
For a city of only about 65,000 people, Oshkosh has surprisingly a lot to do.

If someone came to your town for just four hours, what is the one thing he should do?
I think they should check out the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Airventure Museum. Oshkosh is the home of the EAA itself, which is probably one of the most unique things about it.

What are some great restaurants for a night out with gay friends?
Oshkosh is a college town, so there are lots of unique places around town, or about 15 minutes away in Appleton.

What are some great restaurants for a romantic gay date?
Fratello's Waterfront Restaurant would probably be my top choice.

What about these restaurants appeals to you?
It's a great atmosphere. Right on the Fox River front. Great during a beautiful sunset. Also has a microbrewery on site!

What are your favorite gay bars and/or dance clubs?
We only have one small gay bar and one small lesbian bar in Oshkosh, but local favorites include Ravens in Appleton and XS in Green Bay, about 45 minutes away.

What are your favorite gay parties or events in your town, if any?
A lot of the gay scene in Oshkosh revolves around the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh campus. We do a lot of events that are in conjunction with National Coming Out Day in the fall, and what we have called BGLAD (Bisexual Gay Lesbian Awareness Days) Month in April. My favorite event is our drag show, which typically brings in a few hundred students, many who have never seen one before!


What is the crowd or scene like at those places?
Fun! It?s great; since our big events are on campus, we get a lot of students, so it?s a very mixed crowd.

Where is the best public place for a gay person to make out there (or isn't there one)?
Menominee Park -- it?s the largest park in the city, with a large lakefront area on Lake Winnebago, the largest lake in Wisconsin. Of course, one should still use common sense; this is not Milwaukee or Chicago.

What is the gay community like there?
Again, a lot of the community revolves around the campus. There is a pretty substantial LGBT population in the surrounding Fox Valley area as well, but since Oshkosh and Appleton aren't really large cities, its common for a lot of people you meet to know each other.

Do you consider yourself to be part of any particular "scene?"
I guess I'm part of the "scene" on campus. I am pretty involved in our University LGBTQ student organization, so I get to be involved with a lot of the activities that go on there, and know a lot about what goes on in the city as well.

Where do you shop for clothes?
Fox River Mall in Appleton -- best place to shop in northeast Wisconsin. If you prefer to be a little more frugal, then head for the Outlet Shoppes at Oshkosh. Or if you don't mind the drive, it?s 90 minutes to Milwaukee, the largest city in Wisconsin.

Where do you go for other forms of entertainment -- live theater, concerts, movies, art exhibits?
For live theater, head to the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton. Concerts, movies, art exhibits, and the like can be found throughout Oshkosh, Appleton and the surrounding Fox Valley area. If you want more, Madison and Milwaukee are each about 90 minutes away.

Are there any local gay performance groups, bands, or artists that you're a fan of?
You'll easily find gay arts at the MKE Gay Arts Center in Milwaukee.

If you had gay friends visiting from out of town for the first time, what are some "must-dos" you'd recommend?
Probably see the EAA museum, the Paine Art Center, perhaps the Oshkosh Public Museum, dinner at Fratello's, and perhaps drinks at either Ravens or XS. If they are also visiting Wisconsin for the first time, either Madison or Milwaukee would be a fun side trip.

Is there a local cocktail that's popular in your town?
Good question!

Where do the hot boys in your town tend to hang out?
On campus, there are tons! Shame that they aren't gay...

If you had to describe the "average gay boy" style of your town in two words, what would they be?
Since we're a college town and draw people from all around, there isn't really an average style.

Do gay men and lesbians hang out together in your town or is that just unheard of?

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