Micaiah Wert



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Mike Blanchard is a 60 year old gay man from Westbrook Maine. He has struggled as an alcoholic due to repressing his queer identity, but has been sober for 33 years (since 1989). Through addiction recovery he was able to come out as gay in 1992. After years of struggling with alcohol and rough relationships, Mike met his husband at Blackstones in Portland, and describes their relationship as, “nothing I ever chased and everything I could have hoped for.” Mike worked for a long time in the field of recreation, but left after feeling as though he could not be gay in said field. He worked briefly in the mental health field, but has returned back to work in aquatics in 2018.

In this interview, Mike discusses his involvement in some of the activist groups and movements in the ‘90s, such as the MLGPA and Ron McClintons impact, ACT UP and his support from afar, and marching through the Western Prom cruising grounds. Additionally, he discusses the betrayal of the Clinton administration and the jealousy he had of former mayor Peter O’Donnell. Mike talks about his mission to continuously educate himself in the queer community, and his thoughts and motivations for current and future movements in collaboration with queer youth.

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


Gay, Queer, Coming out, Westbrook Maine, Sexual assault, Alcohol Abuse, Recovery and sobriety, gay bars, Blackstones, Love and marriage, Cruising grounds, Western Prom, Military and discharge, Charlie Howard, Queer history, Sherry Wolf, Ally Henny, Ron McClinton, AIDS, Matlivich Society, MLGPA, EqualityME, Peter O’Donnell, ACT UP, Clinton Administration, Aquatic/recreation work, Future activism, Queer youth


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.

Blanchard, Mike



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