Romaine Patterson

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Romaine Patterson
Born (1978-03-31) March 31, 1978 (age 42)
OccupationRadio Host, Writer, & Comedian, Entrepreneur, Co- Owner of DNR Events Inc., Co-Owner of Resurgence Fitness & Performance
Known forThe Angel Action, Sirius XM Radio Host, The Laramie Project, & LGBT Rights Activist
Spouse(s)Iris (m. 2009 – present)

Romaine Patterson (born March 31, 1978) is an American LGBT rights activist, radio personality, and author. She first received national attention for her activism at the funeral of murdered gay student Matthew Shepard; the two became friends when Matthew Shepard moved to Casper, WY to attend college. For twelve years up until June 2015, she and Derek Hartley co-hosted the Derek and Romaine show on SiriusXM's OutQ.[1]

Patterson and Hartley launched their own independent online streaming network and returned to the air on January 4, 2016 via the show's website.[2]

Childhood and family[edit]

Born in Wyoming, Patterson is the youngest of eight children. Three of her brothers are gay, and one of them, Michael, died from AIDS. She spent several summers during high school in Denver, Colorado, living with her brothers and working at Diedrich's Coffee Shop.

Openly lesbian, Patterson lives in New Jersey with her wife Iris and her first child, a daughter born July 2007, also named Romaine.[3]


Patterson's best-known activist work was her response to the anti-gay protests by Fred Phelps of the Westboro Baptist Church during the trials of Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney for the murder of Matthew Shepard. Patterson organized counter protests known as "Angel Action", in which groups of people dressed as angels with extremely large wings that shielded the families from Phelps and his group. Patterson was later depicted in The Laramie Project, a play about the event based on interviews with the participants. In the film version of the play, she was portrayed by actress Christina Ricci. She was portrayed by Canadian actress Kristen Thomson in the TV movie The Matthew Shepard Story.[4]

Patterson later worked at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation as a Regional Media Manager. She has written a book about her experiences as an activist since Shepard's death, called The Whole World Was Watching.


  • Patterson, Romaine; Hinds, Patrick (2005). The Whole World Was Watching: Living in the Light of Matthew Shepard. Advocate Books. ISBN 1-55583-901-0.


  1. ^ McGuire, Bobby (2015-06-08). "RIP 'Derek and Romaine': SiriusXM Cancels Popular Radio Show". Edge Boston. Retrieved 2015-12-17.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Najafi, Yusef (2007-11-08). "Avenging Angel". Metro Weekly. Retrieved 2014-08-12.
  4. ^ Patterson, Romaine (2011-03-06). "Let Westboro Baptist have their hate speech. We'll smother it with peace". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2014-08-12.

External links[edit]