News & Events

UMPI 100% Society to present Gender Diversity talk

The UMPI 100% Society will host a special guest speaker for a community presentation on LGBTQ+ issues on Wednesday, March 23 at 6 p.m. in Room 118 of the Campus Center. Matthew Francis, a long-time activist on transgender and other social issues, will speak on Gender Diversity during this presentation. All are welcome to attend this free event.

The UMPI 100% Society exists to create a safe space not only for those of the LGTBQ+ community, but to anyone who needs support or wants to provide support for others.

Francis, an alumnus of the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology, has distinguished himself as an activist over the last 25 years on many diverse social issues. He has traveled throughout Maine speaking at university campuses and recently at Maine Medical Center, where he is working to train physicians and psychiatrists on transgender medical issues.

Francis launched his career as a public speaker when he shared his cancer/survivorship story for the Maine Center for Cancer Medicine’s grand expansion in 2013. During this time, Francis was still trying to live as a woman; he transitioned from female to male in August 2013. He now shares his transition testimony in many faith-based forums, and uses his story to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community.

He lives on the principle that everyone deserves to be safe, feel included, and be treated with compassion and respect. He currently works as a group facilitator where he runs workshops for gender diverse individuals to develop and improve resilience skills.

His most recent undertaking is his book My Resurrected Spirit, which is due to be published in May 2016.

“Matthew Francis is very passionate about his work and we thought it would be a good opportunity for the area to hear about the type of activism he does and is working to expand across the state,” Kirsta Willhide, President of the UMPI 100% Society, said.

For more information about this event, contact Willhide at kirstawillhide@gmail.com.