Equity and Excellence in Maine Schools

Supporting GLBTQA Youth

Supporting a Diversity of Identities

This page includes:

Supporting LGBTQA+ Youth
Supporting Ethnic and Racial Minority Students
Supporting Gender Equity

Supporting LGBTQA+ Youth

Gender identity and sexual orientation issues are particularly relevant to schools as they serve children transitioning through adolescence to adulthood. Ensuring a safe and supportive community for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities is essential, although complicated at times.

Below are local resources:

The Bridge Alliance
The Bridge Alliance strives to support, educate and promote advocacy of you LGBTA community in Northern and Eastern Maine by hosting social activities.

Downeast Outright
Downeast Outright is a program of the Downeast AIDS Network and a safe social space for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning and Allied Youth.

Equality Maine
EqualityMaine works to secure full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in Maine through political action, community organizing, education, and collaboration.

Frannie Peabody Center
Frannie Peabody Center is the largest community-based HIV / AIDS service organization in Maine, providing prevention services for at-risk groups and direct services for people living with HIV/AIDS.

Through strategic litigation, public policy advocacy, and education, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders works in New England and nationally to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation.

GLSEN Southern Maine
At GLSEN, we want every student, in every school, to be valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. We believe that all students deserve a safe and affirming school environment where they can learn and grow. We accomplish our goals by working in hallways across the country -- from Congress and the Department of Education to schools and district offices in your community -- to improve school climate and champion LGBT issues in K-12 education.

GLSEN - National School Climate Survey

Lewiston Auburn Outright
Outright Lewiston/Auburn creates safe and affirming environments for youth ages 14-21 who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or questioning.

The MaineTransNet mission is to support and empower transgender people to create a world where they can thrive.

Mindfully Queer Collective
We work together to advocate for our rights and for intersectional social justice. We organize transgender, queer, and marginalized people of all ages into closer communities. We host gatherings to build community, network for advocacy, and support each other. We help each other meet basic needs, resist toxic norms, and practice physical and psychological survival skills.

OUT Maine
OUT Maine supports and empowers lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning young people, under the age of 22, and their allies in rural Maine.

PFLAG Portland, Maine
PFLAG Portland, Maine offers compassionate peer support to the parents, families and friends of, and including, LGBTQ individuals through group discussion, education, advocacy and creating connections to community resources.

Portland Lesbian Coffeehouse
PLCH is a social group in Maine for lesbians from all walks of life to share in activities, make new friends, laugh and have a whole lot of fun.

Portland Outright
Outright supports underserved members of the LGBTQ+ youth population through weekly drop-in hours, ongoing mentorship, social events, and trainings, as well as intentional support to youth navigating systems -- such as the juvenile justice system, foster care, homelessness and mental health services. We are a community of people who are invested in each other, building deep connections, sharing both our struggle and joy, while fighting for each other's dignity and survival.

Trans Youth Equality Foundation
The Trans Youth Equality Foundation provides education, advocacy, and support for transgender children, youth, and their families. Our mission is to share information about the unique needs of this community, partnering with families, educators, and service providers to help foster a healthy, caring, and safe environment for all transgender children.


 Supporting Ethnic and Racial Minority Students


Racial Distribution in MaineView the full EEMS infographic on Racial Distribution in Maine Schools here

Research studies demonstrate that racial diversity of students in schools leads to significant educational benefits including:

  • improvements in cognitive abilities, critical thinking, and self-confidence,
  • promoting cross-racial understanding and reduction of prejudice,
  • civic engagement and skills needed for leadership,
  • improved classroom environments.[1]

Maine now has the ability to capitalize on these possibilities with the growth of racial diversity in our schools. Below are local resources:


[1] Brief for American Educational Research Association, et al. as Amici Curiae Supporting Respondents, Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, No. 11-345 (argued October 10, 2012). 

 Supporting Gender Equity


Supporting Gender EquityAchievement differences between boys and girls in math and reading are more culturally based than they are biologically based as we see a decrease in achievement gaps in nations with greater gender equity.   Therefore, a step toward improvement of math scores for girls and reading scores for boys is to create a school and community culture of high achievement for all students.

Below are local resources:

  • Boys to Men - Mission is to reduce interpersonal violence, specifically male violence against women and girls, and support the development of emotionally fluent, civically engaged boys.
  • Hardy Girls Healthy Women - mission is to create opportunities, develop programs, and provide services that empower girls and women to experience equality, independence and safety in their everyday lives. 
  • AAUW of Maine - American Association of University Women advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.  Links to scholarships included.


Proceedings from the National Academy of Sciences Jan 2014 identify that gender bias continues to exist and limits women's access to careers in STEM fields.