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Donna Ekart is a 53-year-old queer, femme woman living in Portland, Maine. Ekart grew up in Manhattan, Kansas surrounded by both her immediate and extended family. Ekart moved to Portland, Maine with her wife when she was in her mid-forties. Ekart came out as queer to her friends and family when she was 40-years-old. She has been involved in LGBTQ+ organizations including Equality Maine, which is Maine’s biggest queer organization whose aim is to secure full equality for the LGBTQ+ community in Maine through political action, community organizing, education, and collaboration. Ekart’s religious identity and relationship with the Catholic Church played a big role in shaping who she is today. Although Ekart has faced challenges both within and outside the queer community with feeling invisible as a queer femme woman, the acceptance and support she received when she came out as queer to her Midwestern family is a heart-warming and rare story for someone born in the late 1960’s.
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.
Family of Origin, Manhattan, Kansas, Queer Femme Invisibility, Sexuality, Queerness, Bisexual, Coming out late in life, Process of coming out, Queer acceptance, Religion, Catholic Church, Dating, Community, Equality Maine, Marriage equality, Relationships, Losing friends, Social media, Volunteering, Activism, Weightlifting, Fitness, Body image, Romance, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Military spouse, Prejudice, Queer spaces, Queers of Greater Portland.
History of Gender | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Oral History | Women's Studies
Muehle, Gretchen and Hall, Brooke, "Ekart, Donna" (2021). Querying the Past: LGBTQ Maine Oral History Project Collection. 77.
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