LGBTQ+ Life in Maine: Past, Present & Future

Jun 26, 2019
Maine Public

June 27 is the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York, the "birthdate" of the modern gay rights movement. July 7 is the 35th anniversary of the death of Charlie Howard in Bangor, the event which led to the founding of MLGPA, predecessor of Equality Maine. This year also marks the 45 anniversary of the founding of the Wilde-Stein Club at UMaine in Orono, Maine's first LGBTQ organization.  Our panel discusses LGBTQ life in Maine, past, present and future.



The Maine Department of Health and Human Services announced an emergency ruling Tuesday removing transgender-specific health services from the list of non-covered procedures under MaineCare.

Charles Sykes / Invision

PORTLAND, Maine - A transgender former middle school student who fought to use the bathroom of her choice in Maine is preparing for her big screen debut.
Nicole Maines is starring in the indie horror film "Bit'' as a transgender teen trying to co-exist with and understand a group of feminist vampires in Los Angeles.  

Susan Sharon / Maine Public

Portland has become the latest and the largest school district in Maine to adopt an inclusive transgender and gender-expansive student policy. It follows half a dozen other school districts across the state that have taken steps to prevent bullying, provide equity and clarify best practices.

A student claims the private, Christian school he’s attended since kindergarten has told him he’s no longer welcome because of his gender identity.

Seacoast Media Group reports that Stiles Zuschlag transferred to a Maine public high school for his senior year after he was told he was no longer welcome at New Hampshire’s Tri-City Christian Academy. Zuschlag, a transgender teen, said he was told he should consider homeschooling or counseling.

Tri-City Christian Academy administrator Paul Edgar declined to speak about Zuschlag’s case citing privacy issues.

Maine Public, file

An outside consultant hired by the Maine Department of Corrections to review suicide prevention practices at the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland has found several deficiencies in the wake of a trangender teen resident’s suicide last year.

Transgender Life

Apr 10, 2017

Transgender rights are very much in the news right now, but the challenges facing transgender people include much more than bathroom access.  We’ll talk with transgender adults about navigating life in Maine in 2017 – what has changed for them, and what has not.  One of our guests hosts a transgender issues program on Community Television and has just written a book about being a transgender man and a Christian, and another is a Maine business owner who identifies as neither a man or woman.

PORTLAND, Maine - A law firm and two support groups are teaming up to help transgender individuals obtain ID's that reflect their gender.  

Jennifer Levy, of the advocacy group GLAD, says the law firm, Ropes and Gray, will provide free legal assistance in making needed changes.

"There can be challenges revising identity documents," Levy says. "People can have inconsistent documents.  It can be a difficult process for some people to negotiate, and so it's really important to be able to have government-issued ID that reflects a person's life."

Michelle Knowles and Maze Knowles
Contributed photo

The mother of a transgender teen who took his own life at the Long Creek Youth Development Center says her son’s mental health needs were going unmet and he was languishing in the facility.

Maine Governor Paul LePage (R)

Governor Paul LePage has signed onto a lawsuit against the Obama administration’s guidance around bathroom rights for trangender students.

Author Amy Ellis Nutt and the father of Nicole Maines joins us to talk about raising a transgender child, Nicole Maines.  Her story - which including a landmark Maine lawsuit regarding the use of the girl's bathroom - set precedent for transgender students across the country.

Guests:  Wayne Maines, father of Nicole Maines
  Amy Ellis Nutt, Pulitzer Prize–winning science reporter for The Washington Post

MILLINOCKET, Maine - Millinocket's school board is set to consider that district's first policy on transgender students when it meets tomorrow.

Superintendent Frank Boynton says his is one of several Maine districts to consider such policies in the wake of a Penobscot County Superior Court order that prohibits discrimination against transgender students.

Patty Wight / MPBN

PORTLAND, Maine - As of this year, the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center officially has a gender clinic.

A transgender teen who made headlines in Maine when she won a battle with the Orono school district over use of the girls' bathroom, has been named one of Glamour Magazine's "hometown heroes." 

Nicole Maines, 17, is among 50 women the magazine chose from each state for inspiring other women and making a difference. 

Transgender in Maine

Mar 19, 2014

  A conversation about gender identity. Hear from people who are transgender or help those coming to terms with gender dysphoria, the feeling of intense disconnect between the gender assigned at birth and the gender one believes they actually are.

Host Keith Shortall speaks with:

Dorn W. Mcmahon, from the Transcare Collaborative at MMC

Lisa Bunker, program director of wmpg community radio

Susan Maasch, founding director of Trans Youth Equality Foundation & producer of the Transwaves podcast