Office of Public Affairs

Celebrate Pride 2018: March with USM, Maine LGBTQ Oral History Project, and "Gay Side Story"

Image from Pride 2017

The University of Southern Maine Center for Sexualities and Gender Diversity invites you to join them to march in the Portland Pride parade on Saturday, June 16th. All current and former USM students, alumni, staff, faculty, and supporters are welcome to join! Line up will be at 11:00 a.m. and the parade begins in Monument Square at 12:00 noon, ending at Deering Oaks Park where festivities will continue until  5:00 pm. 

Comment on their Facebook event with ideas for banners or signs, or how to decorate truck! 

Kick off Portland Pride week at “Bar Stories” on June 9th, 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m., at One Longfellow Square. This free event features a 45-minute film created by the LGBTQ Maine Oral History Project (filmmaker Betsy Carson). The LGBTQ+ Collection, at The Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine, includes important papers, photographs, and other artifacts representing four decades of LGBTQ activism, culture, and commerce in the Southern Maine region. Wendy ChapkisThe "Querying the Past: LGBTQ Maine Oral History Project" is intended to add an additional dimension to the Collection by collecting and preserving the voices and stories of members of the Southern Maine LGBTQ community. The oral histories are available to the public in an effort to enrich understanding of the community and will serve as an important resource for scholars working on LGBTQ history. 

This event will also includeEulogy for the Dyke Bar” (filmmaker Isabel Farrington), a 10-minute film about the installation piece by artist Macon Reed coming this Fall to the USM AREA Gallery, on the Portland Campus.

Gay Side StoryOn Saturday, June 16th, after the Pride Parade, catch a combination re-enactment of the 1983 musical “Gay Side Story” and community discussion, 4:30 p.m. to  6:00 p.m., at Talbot Lecture Hall, Luther Bonney Hall (86 Bedford St.). The event is free and open to the public, but donations are encouraged. Funds raised will support USM’s LGBTQ+ Collection, the most extensive collection of primary material documenting the history of the Maine community.

The event will feature material from the original production, part of the Maine Gay Symposium X, and revisit why this performance was important then and how it provides lessons in facing today’s challenges. It was a pivotal moment bringing together a core of activists, including Dale McCormick, Bob Carr, and Diane Elze, who would go one to confront the AIDS crisis and organize in response to the tragic murder of Charlie Howard the subsequent year, sparking the founding of the Maine Lesbian Gay Political Alliance, now known as Equality Maine.