Rachel Gilbert



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Jill Barkley Roy is a 42-year-old woman from Sault, Ste. Marie, Michigan who moved to Maine in 2004. A self-described “democrat from birth”, Jill grew up in a small conservative town with her sister older sister Christine. She attended the University of Michigan Ann Arbor as a women’s studies major. Jill found herself surrounded by new and exciting opportunities in college, becoming involved in several LGBT organizations that would eventually bring her to the East Coast. At age 23, Jill began working with Family Crisis Services, now known as Through These Doors, a domestic violence resource center. Upon working as an advocate and lobbyist for several domestic violence organizations, Jill learned she had a knack for policy work and reaching across the aisle to get bills passed.

In this interview, Jill talks about her extensive career as a political activist and lobbyist for LGBTQ+ rights in Maine and how she helped co-found two queer organizations, Maine’s Dyke March and Pride Portland!, the organization behind Maine’s annual Pride festival. Through her policy work, Jill has worked closely with Governor Baldacci and Governor LePage. She is now the Affiliate Director for Emerge America, overseeing the national organization’s work helping female candidates become trained to run for office.

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


South Portland, Maine


Sault (MI), alcoholism, democrat, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, women’s studies, Matthew Shepard, AIDS epidemic, Christian Baptists, Melissa Etheridge, Ellen DeGeneres, Camp Trans, Michigan Women’s Festival, Gay teacher, transgender activism, transgender issues, transphobia, Burlington (VT), Philadelphia (PA), Philly Trans Wellness Conference, Family Crisis Services, Lois Reckitt, Portland (ME), Maine Won’t Discriminate, EqualityMaine, Through These Doors, Caring Unlimited, Legislature, Legislative Campaign, University of Southern Maine, Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, Marriage Equality, Marriage Equality Campaign, Marriage Rights Campaign Maine, Governor Paul LePage, Governor Baldacci, Janet Mills, Peoples Veto, ACLU of Maine, Republicans United For Marriage, Sanford (ME), Emerge Maine, Danica Roem, Fostering, Yes on 1, Pride Portland!, Chris O’Connor, Styx, Blackstones, One Longfellow, Dyke March, Dykes on Bikes, Southern Maine Pride, Sarah Holmes, Melissa Heckman, Jem Hobsen, Helen Ragen, Lobbying, Kristen Cloutier, Maddie Daughtry, LGBTQ Parents, IVF, South Portland (ME), Parental Leave


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.

Barkley Roy, Jill



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