Geo Neptune, a Passamaquoddy two-spirit artist, has been named one of Out magazine's top 100 influential LGBTQ people of 2021. Credit: Linda Coan O'Kresik / BDN

Geo Neptune, a Passamaquoddy artist, educator and Indian Township school board member, was named this week to the Out 100, a prestigious list released each year by Out magazine of the 100 most influential and inspirational LGBTQ leaders in the country.

Neptune, 33, who is non-binary and two-spirit, is a nationally acclaimed master basket maker, who learned their art from their grandmother, renowned artist Molly Neptune Parker. Last year, they became the first trans person to be elected to public office in Maine, when they were elected to the Indian Township school board.

Neptune said Thursday that they took special meaning from being named to the list, which also includes such luminaries as Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, actor Elliot Page and singer Demi Lovato.

“I remember driving all the way to Bangor to buy my first ever copy of Out Magazine at what was then a Borders bookstore — and then they didn’t even sell it! I had to wait until I could travel to Portland to get one,” Neptune said. “If, back then, someone had told me that my Downeast Queer self would one day be featured in one of the magazines that helped me realize I wasn’t alone in this world — well, I just wouldn’t have believed you.”

The magazine, print copies of which will be available at the end of November, is best known for the Out 100, which each year honors changemakers and influential LGBTQ people nationwide. The full list of this year’s honorees can be read online at out.com.

Other Mainers who have been named to the Out 100 include attorney Mary Bonauto, a Portland resident who argued Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark 2015 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional.

Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.