Playing Romaine:
For all those lucky girls cast as ME, there are two keys to this...
1. Have fun..enjoy the role..and just think about the experience...your heart will guide you to the right place.
2. THIS IS THE BIG ONE...a black leather jacket! Yep, that's trademark since I was 13...if you wear one you can't go wrong!
Romaine Patterson - NOH8 by Adam Bouska
A Wyoming native, Romaine Patterson got started in activism when her close friend Matthew Shepard was killed in a brutal anti-gay hate crime in October of 1998. Immediately following his death, Romaine started speaking at vigils and community events across the country. Due to the massive media coverage Shepard's death garnered, Patterson quickly became a seasoned professional speaker. She has worked with media professionals from around the world and virtually every media format.

Patterson is best known for her work combating the anti-gay antics of the Rev. Fred Phelps, whose followers picketed Shepard's funeral and the murder trials. In April of 1999, she founded the Angel Action, an organization for peaceful demonstration. Angel Action is now used all over the world as a means of combating hate.

Taking her activism to the next level Patterson went to work as the Regional Media Manager for The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) in February of 2000. While there she worked as a spokesperson on several national media campaigns. Her work around the hateful lyrics of Eminem allowed Patterson to fulfill her goal of educating young people. In efforts to work with gay youth, Patterson spent a great deal of time speaking at colleges and high schools around the country on a variety of issues. She has always maintained that educating today's youth is the key to putting a stop to hate and continues to work with the Matthew Shepard Foundation to meet this end.

Patterson returned to school at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences in the fall of 2001 in order to further her knowledge of the media industry. As a top graduate of the Conservatory's Master Recording Program she decided to move to New York City. She took a job at Sirius Satellite Radio in the spring of 2003 as one of the hosts of a daily talk program called “Derek and Romaine”. Over 6 years later Romaine is still working as a radio host on what has now become one of the most popular drive time talk shows on the Sirius/XM radio platform. Her show is on Sirius/ XM’s LGBT station OutQ and airs Monday-Friday from 6-10pm EST with daily rebroadcasts. In April of 2009, Derek and Romaine were honored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation with a Special Recognition GLAAD Award for their special “The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later” which aired on the 10 year anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard.

In 2005 Advocate Books published what Romaine hopes will be just the first of many books, “The Whole World Was Watching; Living in the Light of Matthew Shepard” her autobiography.

In July of 2007, Romaine gave birth to her and her partner’s first child Romie Patterson. Two years later Romaine and her long time partner Iris got a civil union in their home state of New Jersey where they currently reside.

In addition, to hosting “Derek and Romaine” you will find Romaine going around the country speaking to young people about LBGT issues and how to overcome adversity. In the hopes of one day creating a world that is safer and more inclusive of all people.

The following is a list of projects Patterson has worked on and awards she has received:


  • Anatomy of a Hate Crime (MTV)
  • The Matthew Shepard Story (NBC)*
  • Journey to a Hate Free Millennium (New Light Media)
  • The Laramie Project film and off-Broadway play (HBO)*
  • The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later Epilogue
  • "Flipped" Episode (MTV)
    *Emmy nominated


  • Losing Matt Shepard, Beth Loffreda
  • A Making of a Gay History, Eric Marcus
  • A Face in the Crowd, John Petterson and Martin Bedogne
  • The Whole World Was Watching - Living in the Light of Matthew Shepard, co-authored with Patrick Hinds [ Buy The Book ]
  • The Meaning Of Matthew- A world Transformed, Judy Shepard

Awards and Affiliations

  • Concert of Hope Honoree,1999 Anti-Defamation League, Washington, DC.
  • Keynote Speaker and Honoree, 1999 Youth Pride, Washington, DC.
  • Named one of "1999's Best and Brightest Activists" by The Advocate.
  • Awarded 2001 PR Week award for Non-Profit Team of the Year.
  • Co-Chair of Communications, 2001 Capital Pride, Washington, DC.
  • Community Advisory Board, WRC-TV, NBC, Washington, DC.
  • Co-Chair of Communications, 2001 Youth Pride, Washington, DC.
  • Profile featured in The New York Times Magazine, December 2000.
  • Guest Speaker, Fight For Your Rights, MTV 2000.
  • Special Recognition GLAAD Award, “The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later” Special 2009

Colleges/ Schools that Patterson has spoken at:

  • Harvard
  • University of Wyoming
  • Clark University
  • Georgetown
  • University of Maryland
  • Penn State
  • Colorado State University
  • George Washington University
  • Northern University
  • Friends Academy
  • Latin School of Chicago
  • and many others