Glamour Magazine names transgender Orono student as one of its 50 Inspiring Women for 2014

From left: Nicole Maines, 14, her mother Kelly Maines and her twin brother Jonas listen to Wayne Maines, right, as he delivers a stirring speech about their experience in helping Nicole seek justice and acceptance as a transgender youth. The family appeared at at the 2011 ACLU of Maine's Annual Meeting and Celebration at the University of Maine in Orono Thursday evening, Oct. 27, 2011. The entire Maines family received the Maine ACLU's 2011 Roger Baldwin Ward for their courage and perseverance in helping to defeat the recent anti-transgender legislation in the Maine State House.

From left: Nicole Maines, 14, her mother Kelly Maines and her twin brother Jonas listen to Wayne Maines, right, as he delivers a stirring speech about their experience in helping Nicole seek justice and acceptance as a transgender youth. The family appeared at at the 2011 ACLU of Maine’s Annual Meeting and Celebration at the University of Maine in Orono Thursday evening, Oct. 27, 2011. The entire Maines family received the Maine ACLU’s 2011 Roger Baldwin Ward for their courage and perseverance in helping to defeat the recent anti-transgender legislation in the Maine State House.

Each year Glamour Magazine names 50 “hometown heroes” — one woman from each state that they believe are making a difference in America. The magazine’s choice for Maine this year is 17-year-old Nicole Maines, who has made headlines over the past few years after a drawn-out lawsuit against the Orono school district, fighting for her rights as an openly transgender student at the school. Maines fought to be allowed to use the girl’s bathroom, instead of a staff bathroom, which school administrations had required her to do initially. In January of this year, the Maine Supreme Court sided with Maines and her family. It was the first court decision in U.S. history to allow a transgender student to use the bathroom of their gender they with which he or she identifies.

In the brief about Maines on Glamour’s website, Maines said she hopes to be an advocate for other transgender youth, and hopes her story can be an inspiration to them and to young people in general.

“They can look at what happened in Maine and see…our state leaders validated that everyone gets to be whom they need to be,” said Maine. “There’s still work to be done and stories that need to be told…. I think [advocacy] will always be a part of my life.”

Maines’ father, Wayne, released a statement Tuesday morning on behalf of his daughter and her family, including her mother, Kelly, and her twin brother, Jonas.

“Nicole is honored to be recognized as one of the nation’s 50 Phenomenal Women in Glamour magazine. Representing the State of Maine in this way is a memory she will always treasure, and keeps her moving forward in her quest for equality,” said Maines. “She hopes that this recognition will convince other young women in Maine and across the nation to advocate for change. As her parents we are very proud of her strength, commitment and courage.”

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Maines sued Orono High School. She sued the Orono school district.

Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, UMaine graduate, proud Bangorian and a writer and editor for Bangor Metro Magazine, the Weekly and the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food to all the cool things going on in the Greater Bangor area. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra. She's interested in everything that happens in Maine. Albums for review are accepted digitally only; please no CDs.