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Jean Vermette, born in 1954, is a transgender woman from Skowhegan, Maine. At the age of three, Jean knew that her biological sex did not match her gender identity. When Jean came out as transgender to her wife in the 1980s, her marriage soon dissolved. After Jean filed for divorce, she spent five years transitioning. In addition to working as a self-employed electrician, Jean has dedicated her adult life to advocating for Maine’s transgender community. She created the Maine Gender Resource and Support Service and spent over fifteen years speaking publicly to Maine college students and medical professionals about the transgender community. Jean recognized the need for more support from doctors and therapists, so she took it upon herself to educate members of Maine’s medical community. In 2000, Jean received the Pioneer Award from the Maine Lesbian Gay Political Alliance – an organization known today as Equality Maine. More recently, Jean has taken a step back from public speaking and is glad to see a younger generation of trans people making a difference in Maine’s LGBTQ community.


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.


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Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine

Publication Date

Fall 11-19-2016


University of Southern Maine


Portland, Maine


LGBTQ, Jean Vermette, Oral History, Portland Maine, Transgender, Rural Maine, Vietnam, Sexual Revolution, Lakewood Theater, Colby College, Acadia Repertory, Transition, Divorce


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.

Vermette, Jean



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