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Diane Elze, Civil Rights, LGBT Community, 1980's, 1990's, Maine Civil Rights Bill, National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Act Now, Act Up, Hysterical Angry Girls Sorority, MLGPA, Maine Lesbian Gay Political Alliance



A 1978 graduate of the University of Maine, Orono, Diane Elze began her volunteer career working for the YWCA Fair Harbor Shelter in Portland, Maine. She was an activist in the LGBT community in the Portland area in the 1980s and 1990s. Among other activities, she was a founding member of the Maine Lesbian Gay Political Alliance, worked on the AIDS Project, and founded the LGBT youth group, Outright. She also edited the newsletter Moving, The Newspaper of the Maine Association of Handicapped Persons and founded the statewide gay and lesbian newspaper, Our Paper. Elze earned a Master’s Degree from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western University, followed by a PhD from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University. During her graduate career, Elze’s primary focus of study remained LGBT youth, specifically their mental health and behavioral functioning. Since completing her PhD in 1999, Dr. Elze has held positions as a professor with both Washington University and the University at Buffalo, continuing her research into assisting LGBT youth communities across the Northeast. She remains a prolific writer of articles, editorials and research on LGBT issues including educational resources for teachers and students on how to approach comfortable assimilation of LGBT-friendly initiatives in the school district. The Papers contain publications & newsletters, materials from events such as the Maine Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, newspaper clippings and materials from various Maine LGBT organizations: National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Act Now, Act Up, Hysterical Angry Girls Sorority and MLGPA, files on gay topics and organizations in Maine, and personal documents of Dr. Elze, such as correspondence, research, awards, and notes.

Date Range:

1971- 2008

Size of Collection:

17.5 ft.



Materials in this collection were donated by Diane Elze, in installments between 2004 and 2013.

Ownership and Literary Rights:

The Diane Elze Papers are the physical property of the University of Southern Maine Libraries. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the creator or her/his legal heirs and assigns.

For further information, consult the Head of Special Collections,



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