Matthew (Mat) Robedee is a 35-year-old gay man who lives in Portland, Maine. For seven years, he was a health and outreach worker and former prevention programs manager for the Frannie Peabody Center, in Portland. He has also worked with organizations such as Portland Pride and Equality Maine and is currently a real estate agent.
Mat grew up in Buxton, Maine. In elementary school, he revealed to a friend that he thought he was gay. His friend reprimanded him, telling him never to tell anyone about his secret. That event set the tone for years to come, and Mat hid his sexuality because he thought it was bad. In addition to believing that gay was bad, Mat was confused because he wrestled, rode dirt bikes, and spent all of his free time in the outdoors. He was not the Hollywood version of a gay man, so he thought that maybe it was a phase. When he was fifteen, he had his first same-sex encounter, and then came out to his mother. His mother, although accepting agreed it might be a phase and chose not to talk about it until years later.
Mat went to college at the University of Maine Orono, then transferring to Colorado Mountain College. He studied environmental education, wanting to be a medic for National Geographic. When he was twenty-three, he and his childhood best friend came out to each other. He then came out to the rest of his family and those in his social network.
Mat’s interests include leading groups in outdoor adventures and encourages people to walk barefoot, swim in frozen water, and even get naked on mountain tops. Connecting with nature has been a passion of Mat’s since his childhood. He speaks briefly about queering the forest, the radical faeries, communal living, and his best friend, Danielle.
Gay, HIV, AIDS, Environmental education, Sex education, Frannie Peabody Center, Pride Portland, Rewilding the human experience, Queering the forest, University of Maine Orono, Colorado Mountain College, Buxton, Portland, Maine, LGBTQ, Closeted, Repression, Coming out, Acceptance, Gay stereotypes, Straight stereotypes, Masculinity, Xenial, Outdoors, Community, Communes, Radical Ferries, Oral History, Queering the Past
History of Gender | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Oral History | Women's Studies
Gorham, Hannah and White, Jason, "Robedee, Matthew" (2019). Querying the Past: LGBTQ Maine Oral History Project Collection. 63.
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