Richard Robinson is a sixty-seven-year-old gay man from Bangor, Maine. Rich knew from the moment he was born, he says, that he was gay. However, in order to avoid the consequences of coming out -- discrimination he could encounter from the Catholic church and the homophobic society at large -- Rich hid his sexuality for a large portion of his life. Rich was married to a woman for eighteen years. At the age of forty-one, he finally came out to his wife and to the rest of his family -- including his twin brother, John, who was also gay. After his divorce, Rich moved to Portland, Maine and met his husband, Rob, who he spent twenty-five years of life with. Rich has a passion for helping children and has worked as a teacher all of his adult life. Directly out of college, Rich became a teacher at Fifth Street Middle School in Bangor, where he worked for eighteen years teaching literature. During that time, Charlie Howard was murdered. One of the teenagers who threw Charlie off the bridge was a student of Rich’s. Once Rich moved to Portland, he taught at King Middle School in Portland and then at Freeport High School where, for ten years, he was the advisor of the Gay-Straight Alliance. Rich is currently the manager at the Equality Community Center in Portland. His mission, he says, has always been, and always will be, to help children. He is thrilled at the progress the LGBT community has made over the last several decades and is hopeful for future generations.
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.
LGBTQ, Richard Robinson, Oral History, Equality Community Center, Maine LGBTQ, Charlie Howard murder, Gay Straight Alliance at Freeport High School, In the closet, Gay teacher, coming out
History of Gender | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Oral History | Women's Studies
Toomey, Jessica and Fulli, Billale, "Robinson, Richard" (2019). Querying the Past: LGBTQ Maine Oral History Project Collection. 55.
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