Bench honors Charlie Howard, killed for being gay

ABOVE: A bench honoring Charlie Howard. Photo via the Seacoast NH LGBT History Project’s Facebook page.

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AP) | A new bench was unveiled in New Hampshire to honor the late Charlie Howard, a 23-year-old gay man and Portsmouth native killed by three teenage boys because of his sexuality in Bangor, Maine, in 1984.

The stone bench was installed recently in Portsmouth’s Commercial Allery with an inscription of Howard’s favorite song “I Am What I Am,” from the musical “La Cage aux Folles,” The Portsmouth Herald reported.

Over the last few years, Seacoast LGBT History Project raised funds for two benches in Howard’s name. In the summer, the first bench was placed at Portsmouth High School. The group also placed a headstone at Orchard Grove Cemetery in Kittery, Maine, where Howard is buried.

The organization also reflected on the bench via social media Nov. 15.

The dedication ceremonies for the benches in recognition of Howard are scheduled for spring and summer of 2022.

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