Benn is a 37-year-old trans man living in Maine. He identifies as being pansexual because he feels that he falls in love with personalities regardless of the person’s gender. He grew up with his family in rural southern Maine. He describes feeling that he was different than others from a young age and that, as he describes it, God made a mistake and he was supposed to be a boy. Yet he pushed those feeling under the rug for a long time. He first came out as gay, and much later he came out as trans in his mid-20s, and started his medical transition in 2013. He describes how coming out as trans was a lot more difficult for him and daunting but it was so worth it in the end.
He originally wanted to be a photographer in the wakeboarding industry and moved out to Florida to pursue his passion. He ended up becoming aware of the sexist nature of that industry, and how it affected him and others, and he decided that he wanted nothing to do with it anymore. He went on to go to school at Goddard University for political science, and then later finished his degree at the university of southern Maine. He did a lot of work in the world of Political activism. His first form of activism was working in the phone banks on the marriage equality campaigns in Maine. He also worked on door-to-door canvasing for the nondiscrimination ordinance out in Idaho. He dives into what it was like to participate in these organizations and to do that type of work, the challenges, tribulations, and rewards of doing it.
University of Southern Maine Special Collections
Pansexual, transgender, wakeboarding industry, coming out, labels, homophobia, misogyny, sexism, transitioning, testosterone, bathrooms, bathroom bills, Catholicism, passing, nondiscrimination ordinance, Marriage equality, activism, National LGBTQ Task Force, Arlene Stein, Topsurgery, Sarah Holmes, Phone bank, Canvasing, organizing, legislative campaign.
History of Gender | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies | Oral History | Women's Studies
Carpenter, Andrea, "Marine, Benn" (2022). Querying the Past: LGBTQ Maine Oral History Project Collection. 93.
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