Mike McKenzie was born in 1971 and grew up in Scarborough Maine raised by his single mother. Mike knew he was gay in 1988 while still in high school where he witnessed and faced homophobia. This resulted in dropping out of school at the age of 16. At 17, Mike joined the Coast Guard and served from 1990 to 1991. As a very masculine gay man, he was generally well accepted by those he served with who knew he was gay but faced homophobia from a newcomer who outed Mike; this resulted in a discharge from the Coast Guard. Back in Portland, Mike McKenzie did security at a gay night club known as Chaos until he was offered a position in 1993 to be a security contractor for Portland public schools. During that time, he volunteered to be the director of security for the Southern Maine Gay Pride committee. The interview also discussed dating in 2017, the effect of the Trump era on him, and how the AIDS epidemic affected his life.
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.
Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine
University of Southern Maine
LGBTQ, Oral History, Maine, Coast Guard, Coming Out
History of Gender | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Oral History | Women's Studies
Chapkis, Wendy, "McKenzie, Mike" (2017). Querying the Past: LGBTQ Maine Oral History Project Collection. 13.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.