(Rockland, ME) - USA Today’s Faces of Pride highlights the LGBT community and their allies from all 50 states. The newspaper selected Rockland-based OUT Maine to represent Maine. This national coverage highlights OUT Maine’s work as the model for rural youth.
USA Today was not looking for each state's biggest organization. "We weren't interested in name recognition," explained Ashley May, USA Today Producer. Instead, USA Today sought advocates who shared authentic stories, who have unique approaches to the issues, who presented effective solutions. They spoke with LGBT advocates from all 50 states and Washington DC including OUT Maine’s executive director Jeanne Dooley. A group of writers then selected the most compelling story from each state to include in the article. When asked why OUT Maine was chosen, May explained, “Dooley’s comments shed light on the challenges of reaching LGBTQ youth in rural areas.”
USA Today uses visual storytelling to reach nearly three million daily readers. OUT Maine’s board of directors are delighted at the opportunity for this national recognition. Board president Lucie Bauer said, “As board president, I continue to be heartened by the collaborative approach Jeanne and the OUT staff use to address the unique needs of LGBTQ youth in rural Maine. They do amazing work!”
The non-profit OUT Maine was founded in 1996 with a mission to support rural LGBTQ youth. In 2014, the organization hired staff and expanded offerings to include changing school climate through education, building a strong provider safety net by training those who work with LGBTQ youth and supporting parents and families of these at-risk youth to keep them safe and in their homes. For more information about OUT Maine, visit www.outmaine.org.