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Belfast Pride

Saturday, June 10th, 2023

Adam Flanders at Belfast Pride 2023, holding pride flag and pomeranian

Pride was extra special this year because it was hosted by Belfast Area High School. Attending BAHS as a teen was a very challenging time in my life. I was bullied every day for being gay. I started the school’s first Gay-Straight Alliance, but school leadership shut it down. I was later suspended for wearing homemade pride t-shirts. Due to these experiences I became committed to LGBT rights activism, which you can read more about here.

Times have changed. 20 years later, BAHS’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance is hosting Belfast Pride. I flew in from California to be here. I recreated the t-shirt that got me suspended in high school. My family, friends, and 300 people marched with us. The whole downtown turned out to cheer us on. Teenage me never would have dreamed we’d come this far and I’m so grateful I was here to see it. It was an incredibly healing experience for me.

There was a time when I didn’t believe it would ever get better. Conditions for LGBT people only get better by fighting for our rights and building communities, laying the foundation for future generations. Thank you BAHS GSA, COOP, and everyone else who helped put this year’s pride together.

“The true meaning of life is to plant trees under whose shade you do not expect to sit.” -Nelson Henderson

@adamsunnyflanders Belfast Pride 2023 ????️‍???? #belfast #maine #pride #lgbt #bahs #gay #gaypride #pride2023 #highschool ♬ original sound – Adam Flanders

Belfast, Maine Pride Parade Media Coverage:

Village Soup – Belfast Pride celebration continues to grow

Fox 22 Bangor / ABC 7 – Belfast holds Pride parade

PenBay Pilot – Pride Parade continues celebration at Belfast’s Heritage Park

PenBay Pilot – Rainbows abound downtown for Belfast Has Pride Parade


Monday, June 15th, 2020

Supreme Court / Pride Flag

Today the U.S. Supreme Court made the most significant ruling in favor of LGBT people arguably since Lawrence v. Texas (2003). More important even than marriage equality U.S. v. Windsor (2013) and Obergefell v. Hodges (2015), the Court ruled in a 6-3 decision that the 1964 Civil Rights Act extends to sexual orientation and gender identity. Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia will go down in the history books as perhaps the largest leap forward in securing civil rights for LGBT Americans.

Prior to this decision, LGBT people could still be fired in most states for no other reason than how they were born. Now we are all protected in every state and within the federal government. This ruling sets the stage for extending protections far beyond employment discrimination. In 2005 I helped pass Maine’s non-discrimination bill which added sexual orientation and gender identity to the Maine Human Rights Act. When we wrote that law, it went a step further than Bostock by including protections in education, public accommodation, housing, and credit. We must ensure the Court’s ruling is expanded to these areas of life and beyond. Hate crime and hate speech laws still need more work. We must pass the Equality Act and finalize the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We must reject right-to-discriminate laws disguised as “religious freedom.”

Our country is at a watershed moment like no other in its history. Black Lives Matter #blacklivesmatter has formed a second civil rights movement for blacks and racial minorities, one that could have long-lasting power to implement change at the fundamental levels of our society. In the middle of a global pandemic and the worst unemployment rates since the Great Depression, Americans are desperately looking for true leadership and a new path forward. I don’t know what the second half of 2020 holds, but we have a vision, albeit one with a rocky start, of racial justice, expansive non-discrimination policies, universal healthcare, and a changing of the guard both at the highest levels of government and within our local communities.

Earth Day 2020

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020

Pale Blue Dot

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

“The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

“Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

“The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

“It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

-Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

Hillary Clinton 2016

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Hillary Clinton 2016

Grammy Flanders

Monday, August 5th, 2013

My Grammy Flanders passed away last week. Her funeral was today. I made a video slideshow and I spoke at the funeral. My speech is below. She meant a lot to me. If you would like to leave condolences, you may visit her page on the Riposta Funeral Home website.

I want to thank you all for coming today. I’m sure Grammy Flanders would be happy to know she is loved, though I suspect she might say everyone’s making too much of a fuss about everything. I can’t imagine what she would say about all these flowers and how dolled up she looks right now. Those who knew her knew she always told it like it is. Along with her stubbornness, I think it rubbed some people the wrong way, but for many of us it was refreshing to be in the company of someone so genuine.

Grammy Flanders’ humility was one of her strongest virtues. I think it’s fair to say she even took pride in going without and having less than the average person. I have never known someone to be so comfortable with themselves and so content with the simple things in life. I always felt that she never wanted anyone to trouble themselves over her, almost as if she imagined she was invisible. Yet so many of us know just the opposite was true. Wherever she was, it seemed people were drawn to her, often because of her warmth and selflessness, or perhaps out of curiosity. She was a unique individual. She worked very hard her whole life and asked for little or nothing in return. I think people admire that, though I doubt Grammy Flanders would care one way or another if people admired her or not. She was like that. She didn’t care what other people thought about her. I know some thought she was a bit odd, and that’s probably one of the few compliments she would accept.

It wouldn’t be fair to talk about my grandmother without telling you about another side of her. You see, Grammy Flanders was also a bit of a trickster. She liked games and she liked thinking she knew a little more than most people. Someone so content and simple in such a malcontent and complex world – perhaps she did know something more than most of us. Growing up, I always knew that if either of my parents said “no,” I could call Grammy Flanders and she’d be there in a flash and most of the time she’d say “yes.” My parents say she spoiled me, but I think we had a special friendship and an understanding that was more than just a grandson and grandmother. We baked together, she taught me how to sew and brought me to craft fairs – I always felt like we were two mischief makers and could find an adventure anywhere. I know she felt the same way. She’d say, “Adam, we’re not like those old fuddy duddies. We have fun, don’t we?”

Grammy Flanders was an expert at finding joy in little things and even things others would consider an inconvenience or discouragement. She never took life too seriously. She had a genuine sense of humor and had no problem laughing at herself. When I was younger we got a pair of chickens and one day she was holding both of them in her arms. The chickens did not want to be held and they made their displeasure known by leaving some gifts on Grammy Flanders’ shoes. But she didn’t get upset, she just laughed like it was all a big joke. I don’t recall anything ever keeping her down for long. I think that’s what made her so strong – she knew how to see the world, as if every day were her first or her last.

Although she would have been 86 next month, I think she has always been a child at heart. She looked at the world with curiosity. She was stubborn like a child, too. Once she was set in her ways about something, nobody could change her mind. She would insist on wearing out clothing, especially shoes, until they were practically ripping at the seams. She wouldn’t let us get her anything new and she insisted on living a life that most of us was call old-fashioned. Again, she was a very simple and humble person in that respect. It seems a paradox that someone who got through each day trying to leave the smallest footprint behind, would leave such a huge memory in our hearts.

My grandmother has been ill for some years now. At some point it became difficult for her to remember who we were or what our relationship with her was. It was disturbing to feel like I was losing her before I had actually lost her. My family and I saw recognition light up in her face when we visited her, even if she couldn’t express her feelings in words. Grammy Flanders and I had spent so many years doing things with little or no words – sewing, kite flying, snowmobiling, crafts, cooking, sledding, gardening – that we didn’t need words to just be there for one another. When she was no longer able to do those things, it was apparent that just my presence had to be enough.

I was fortunate to see her Wednesday when she was still awake, still able to open her eyes. I debated talking about this, but I wanted all of you to know that in her last days she was happy and content as always. I laid down next to her and just held her hand. She would respond by gripping my hand and watching me. Until that night I had never realized her eyes were blue, like mine. I told her stories about when we were both younger, our adventures together, the spiteful chickens. I fell asleep next to her, stroking her hair, and when I awoke she was still watching me. Although she could barely move, she still managed to smile and keep her eyes wide open. Her expression seemed to ask what the next adventure would be, or to tell me everything would be OK, and as the hours passed by I began to wonder who was comforting whom. I just wanted her to know I was there with her. She seemed so small, like a little child.

From Matthew 18, Jesus is speaking to his disciples and one of them asks, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

“Jesus called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Grammy Flanders had a big heart, so big that even though she’s gone in body, I still feel like she’s here. I don’t know how God managed to place such a tremendous personality and a tremendous heart in such a little person. But there she is, like a small, sleeping child. I think I can see a smile on her face and somewhere she is laughing – laughing at how silly we all are.

I love you Grammy Flanders.


Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Harland Nickerson

On Tuesday, May 15th, one of the most amazing men you’ll ever know – my grandfather, Harland Nickerson – passed away at the age of 81. Those of us close to him knew him as Dar, a name us grandchildren gave him. If I could only use one word to describe Dar, it would be integrity. I have never known anyone to carry so much respect in a community, and yet at the same time remain so humble, so down-to-earth. Dar had strong principles, both in his personal life and in his work. He showed everyone that the good guy can finish first. Over the past few days I’ve heard comments like, “Harland never had a single enemy,” and “Everyone loved him.” I think he loved everyone, too. He loved life and lived every day to the fullest. Even in his last days he was trying to help my mom and I with the horses.

If I had a second word to describe Dar, it would be caregiver. At a very young age, following the loss of his own father, Dar took over as head of household to care for his large family, including several young sisters. He did this not because it was the easy thing to do, but because it was the right thing to do. Dar taught me that being there for the people you love, is the only real task we are given in this short life. He always ensured the people around him had what they needed, whether it was a home for his family or even the shirt off his back for a complete stranger. The only reason I am here today is because 25 years ago, Dar made a promise to my mom. He promised her that if she wanted this baby, he’d be here for her no matter what. So many of us owe Dar so much, and yet I have a feeling he wouldn’t ask any of us for repayment. In the Bible, Corinthians talks about having nothing and yet possessing everything. Dar was never wealthy, but he was always rich with love and people who cared about him, respected him.

I don’t know where people like Dar come from, but I’m pretty sure I know where they go. I’m sure Dar is with my grandmother Kay, who he adored so much. He’s probably wondering why we’re all so sad and wish we’d be happy. For Dar, Heaven was already here – for him, it was the stuff we take for granted every day. Heaven was being with family, pumping gas for his customers at the Exxon station, teasing my grandmother in the kitchen, working with the horses. Dar always brought a little light to every day, no matter how hard things seemed. I think he’d want us to know that – to know that we already have Heaven right here, all of us together, all the little things that make life worthwhile. Dar wanted to live a life in honor and in love, and by God he did.

Harland Nickerson and Adam Flanders


Saturday, May 12th, 2012

I’m starting off Summer early with my new garden. I’ve been outside working on it nearly every day when it’s not been raining. I got my greenhouse back out again, too. My plantings are too numerous to list here and I’m always trying new things, but some of the highlights are tea (Camellia sinensis), tricyrtis (a type of lily that looks like a spotted orchid), nicotiana, and my favorite, plumeria. The garden is reserved for vegetables. I completed the fencing today to keep pesky little animals out. I’m not much of a hunter, but if something messes with my garden, it’s done for. A picture of my pre-fence garden is below, along with a shot of my Encyclia orchid, the one I got from Florida that was supposed to smell of chocolate. It had a really nice perfume, but it was sweeter than chocolate. I attempted to pollinate the flowers, but seeing as I only have one plant, I’m not sure if it will work out or not. If it produces seed pods (fruit), I will definitely post pics of them. That said, germinating orchid seeds is a whole other science I’m not sure I’m prepared to undertake.

I just got some new rollerblades with 90mm wheels – the Rollerblade Tempest 90. The large wheel size took some getting used to, but I’m glad I upgraded the size because they’re much smoother and faster. I got my little sister and some of her friends into it, too, and it seems we’re at Great Skates at least once or twice a week, if not skating the streets in the middle of the night (no traffic). Also getting into archery and should have some new PSE Optima bows in the mail very soon. Even with all this, I can’t wait to get back in the water for scuba diving this Summer, maybe a trip or two down to Florida this year. My little sister is getting her scuba certification this Summer so she’ll be able to come along.

I’m helping a local woman sell her fossil collection, too. Please visit my website, Store, to view the collection and maybe find something you’d like to buy 🙂

In between getting outside and occasionally working on iPhone programming (I’m gonna have some awesome apps coming out later this Summer!), I’ve been helping my mom out with her father (my grandfather). He hasn’t much time left due to cancer and my mom is caring for him almost 24/7. Like me, she is opposed to nursing homes. I’m glad I can be home to help with things like groceries and various errands, or just watching my grandfather so my mom can take a break, though we do have hospice assistance and typically a LOT of company during the day. My mom has asked me to prepare a photo/video presentation for when he’s gone, and I may post that here at some point, but for now we’re just trying to enjoy what little time we have left with him. We managed to find some small red celosia the other day, his favorite flower. Because they were small, I also picked out some mature red salvia, which has a similar appearance. Dar (my grandfather) and Punzo…

Other than that, I’ve been trying to exercise regularly – I’m down to 135 pounds with a goal of 125, the minimum healthy weight for someone my height. I’ve built some muscle, too – pics are in my Flickr photostream and other sites.

Also, in case you didn’t hear, President Obama finally announced his full support for marriage equality. As this is an important issue coming up this November in Maine, I hope his words will have some impact on our voters here. I am undecided as to whether I will get involved in this year’s campaign. I have so many other things going on and it’s also my belief that civil rights should not be subject to popular vote, but rather litigated in the high courts. It is the responsibility of the high courts, especially the US Supreme Court, to protect minority rights against mob rule. No civil right in American history has ever been won by popular vote.

UMaine Halloween Dance

Sunday, October 30th, 2011

The UMaine Halloween dance, co-sponsored by Wilde-Stein, was really fun last night. Lots of cool costumes and yummy food. It was a full house. I spent the last couple weeks sewing my Pit costume (Kid Icarus). UMaine CASE will be posting pictures from the event soon on their CASE Facebook page. We were all surprised by the heavy snowfall after the dance – I had to walk through it in flip-flops! Some of my pics are below. I didn’t want to hold my camera all night, so I’m waiting for my friends to send me more pics.


Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

My belladonna plant is still growing well and its fruits just began turning black (ripening). They reportedly have a sweet taste, though I doubt I’ll be trying them since only a small number is enough to kill an adult. But they are beautiful. I got a new lens for my Canon EOS, too – it’s superfast with an f-stop of 1.8! Combined with my macro lenses, I can get some good close-ups. Below: belladonna and close-up of berry, sprouting Chinese lanterns, and close-up of my blue orchid (chemically treated).

Friday, October 14th, 2011

I just launched my new website related to dinosaurs, ancient DNA, bird atavisms, resurrection of extinct species, and the fossil record. Check it out! You can get there by visiting or