Johnna Ossie



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Betty Robinson was raised in Maryland and attended Colby College, the University of Maryland, and Boston University for her Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degree, respectively. She worked for many years in workers rights, for the Massachusetts Nurses Association and for the Maine State Employees Union. She worked briefly for the Massachusetts Battered Women Coalition before laying herself off from the position because the program's federal funding was cut. During this time she became involved in the Boston women's movement. After being involved in union work for many years, she decided she needed a change and applied for a teaching position at the newly formed Lewiston/Auburn campus of the University of Southern Maine, which she was accepted for. While working at the L/A campus she fell in love with her friend and neighbor, Francis, and came out to the community at the same time that she was applying for a Dean position at the university. Her partner was a member of the military during the Don't Ask, Don't Tell era. When Betty came out to her mother they didn't speak for 5 weeks because her mother was so upset, but she eventually accepted Betty's relationship. Betty is now involved in immigrant rights activism and became especially inspired to do so when people from Somalia started immigrating to Lewiston and attending the L/A campus. She now is involved with Tree Street Youth, a youth program based in Lewiston that provides programming for youth, kindergarten through 24.


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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Portland, Maine


Labor unions; workers rights; Boston University; Clark University; Sociology; Academia; Coming Out; Lewison, ME; Brunswick, ME; University of Southern Maine, Lewiston Auburn; Relationships; Immigrant Rights; Tree Street Youth; Boston Women's Movement; Mass Battered Women's Group Coalition; Feminism; LGBT Activism


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.

Robinson, Betty



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