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Thomas Smallwood moved to Portland, Maine in 2002 from Maryland and made the city his home. He has been a nanny for 14 of those years to two boys and watched them grow up under his care and treats them as family. He now nannies for two little girls, volunteers as an Outreach Counselor for the Frannie Peabody Center because he feels it is his duty to his community to educate and spread awareness. Thomas acts, sings and dances in theater, Maine Gay Men’s Chorus and performs as a drag queen, Miss Lajoy, at Blackstones during his free time.

His love for performing, music and dance started from a very young age and he went to Point Park University for Music and Dance for 2 years before dropping out to pursue theater. Ever since he can remember, he always knew that he was gay. At 16, he came out to his mother. He publically came out at 21. Religion played a huge part in his life and he still goes to the First Parish Church in Portland. He spoke about BLM, #takeaknee, and what the First Amendment rights meant to him. He also discussed the intersection of being a Black man in a predominantly white city. Thomas is also a strong advocate of the right to bodily autonomy with trans people, women’s rights to birth control and abortions.


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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Publication Date

Fall 11-15-2017


Portland, ME


Maine Gay Men's Chorus. Sexuality. Trans rights. Gay rights. Family. Love. Drag. Education. Occupation. Music. Blackstones. Sisters. Equality Maine. Pride. Portland. Coming out. Black Lives Matter. Bodily Autonomy.


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

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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.

Smallwood, Thomas



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