Barb will add LGBTQ representation to the Maine State House
Barb Wood’s passionate and steadfast battle for equality began in the 1980s when she and fellow activists founded the Maine Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance (MLGPA), now Equality Maine (EQME). In 1988, Barb was elected to the Portland City Council as Maine’s first open LGBTQ+ official and received MLGPA’s first Great Pioneer Award for this achievement. In 1992, Barb became a key spokesperson in support of Portland’s anti-discrimination ordinance, which helped to build momentum toward enacting statewide legislation.
With other MLGPA members, Barb fought to pass pioneering anti-discrimination legislation. She championed this cause for years until the bill finally passed in 2005. After this stunning achievement came the legalization of same-sex marriage, which was realized in Maine in 2012.
Professionally, Barb enjoyed a 30-year career with LL Bean, retiring as Senior Operations Manager of Distribution, and was named one of Bean’s Best for her outstanding leadership skills. During these years, she bought and restored a condemned Victorian, where she has lived for 25 years.
Currently, Barb serves as the Equality Community Center Board President, cPort Credit Union Board Director, West End Neighborhood Association member and EQME Foundation Board VP. She also volunteers as a driver with ITN, providing rides for seniors and people with disabilities, and enjoys working with LGBTQ+ youth through EQME’s New Leaders Project.