Gretchen Thiele



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Meghan Cadwallader was born in 1976 in a small, rural town in Upstate New York. She grew up with a stable family and surrounded by the Catholic religion. Cadwallader realized she was lesbian around her junior year of high school. However, her sexuality was never a huge deal, more just another part of her. She went to college at Holland’s University, and all-girls school, in which she initially came out to people resulting in mixed responses. Meghan then went to Bucknell University In Pennsylvania. She received a degree in French and English with a concentration in creative writing. She talks about her writing during this time and how it helped her come to terms with a lot in her life. She was never too active in the LGBTQ community, feeling too forced to be something she’s not. Instead, Meghan would live her own life, not hiding her sexuality, but not making it a big deal to those around her. She found satisfaction in helping people realize gay people aren’t bad by showing herself as a gay person. Cadwallader eventually got multiple different jobs in Admissions, leading her to USM in Maine where she now lives in Shapleigh with her wife. While she sometimes wishes she lived closer to Portland, she thinks it’s important that there is a lesbian couple living on the rural road surrounded by Trump supporters. She opens up about feel like an outsider throughout much of her life, saying she is a lesbian in a very straight world. Meghan ends her interview discussing what advice she would have wanted to hear when she was younger.

Please cite as: Querying the Past: LGBTQ Maine Oral History Project Collection, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer+ Collection, Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine, University of Southern Maine Libraries. For more information about the Querying the Past: Maine LGBTQ Oral History Project, please contact Dr. Wendy Chapkis.

Publication Date



USM Special Collections


Portland, Maine


Lesbian, LGBTQ, New York, rural town, Shapleigh Maine, religion, Catholicism, family relations, the Bible, God, religious experiences, coming out, outsider, outcast, college, women’s college, liberal arts, Holland’s University, threats, violence, complicated relationships, family dynamic, mother-daughter connection, friends, found family, high school, college experience, disconnection, children, Bard College, Susquehanna Pennsylvania, Bucknell University, Masters in English, degree in French, creative writing, teenage years, summer school, college search, fitting in, dating, LGBTQ school groups, USM, Boston, Massachusetts, UMaine Orono, ending relationships, wife, admissions, New Jersey, Director, competitive, conservatory, college fairs, academic affairs, Director of Educational Partnerships, coming out in a workplace, acceptance, assumptions, consequences, higher education, Trump, small town, hunting, political signs, guns, perception shift, safe spaces, self-awareness, literature, writing, queer literature, domestic, poetry, Tracy Thorn, Germaine Greer, online dating, Oqunquit Maine, Maine Med, empathy, escapism, strict parents, older queer community, expectations


History of Gender | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Oral History | Women's Studies

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Cadwallader, Megan



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