The storefront of Drop Me A Line in Portland, Maine in 1990. By Roger Mayo.

Young gay couple Roger Mayo and Jim Neal opened Drop Me A Line, a tiny gift shop in Portland, Maine, in 1990. Although Portland in those days could be unfriendly for queer people, they chose to carry greeting cards and books that catered to LGBTQ customers. At StoryCorps, the former romantic partners reflected on how the store became so much more.

Bottom Photo: Jim Neal with transgender actress Lady Chablis at a book signing at Drop Me A Line in 1997.

Originally aired March 8, 2024, on NPR’s Morning Edition.