road trip to Francis Marion University!

What a wonderful reception for Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home at Pride Week at Francis Marion University last night! A group of 30 students plus several faculty members gathered in Lowrimore Auditorium to hear four contributors discuss the book and  their individual essays as gay alliance faculty sponsor Dr. Lance Weldy moderated the panel.

Contributor Pat Patterson was the person who originally suggested the panel discussion with Dr. Weldy since Pat is a regular participant at other Pride events. Dr. Weldy took the idea and ran with it – even giving his English Lit students extra credit for attending the event. (No wonder so many students were furiously taking notes! )

Pretty listens intently as Dr. Weldy briefs us prior to program

Pretty, Michael Haigler, Sheila –

Michael entertained Pretty and me on the road trip from Columbia

Pat Patterson makes us all smile with his stories

the old girl in action

Many thanks to Francis Marion student Amanda Montgomery for the pictures since Pretty was pressed into panel service for the evening. Amanda took pictures in between note-taking so maybe Dr. Weldy will give her extra, extra credit?

Following the book talk, delicious refreshments were provided, books sold and signed. In the midst of signing books, a young lesbian couple came to tell Pretty they couldn’t afford a book but didn’t want to miss an opportunity to talk to us. Would we sign a piece of paper they could use as a bookmark when they did buy the book later. Of course we were happy to write something for them and as we did, one of the young women told Pretty she had never talked to any lesbians older than 20…what the night meant to her and her girlfriend to hear us talk so openly about being who we are. They live together now and plan to get married when they graduate. Repeat: they plan to get married when they graduate.

Pat reminded us last night that the students in the auditorium were our hope for the future – no disrespect to us oldies but goodies on the panel but these young people aren’t exhausted from the crusades – they’re just beginning the journey. Some of them will see injustice and become agents of change. Thanks for the reminder, Pat.

Michael, Lance, Pretty, Sheila, Pat

Stay tuned.



About Sheila Morris

Sheila Morris is a personal historian, essayist with humorist tendencies, lesbian activist, truth seeker and speaker in the tradition of other female Texas storytellers including her paternal grandmother. In December, 2017, the University of South Carolina Press published her collection of first-person accounts of a few of the people primarily responsible for the development of LGBTQ organizations in South Carolina. Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home will resonate with everyone interested in LGBTQ history in the South during the tumultuous times from the AIDS pandemic to marriage equality. She has published five nonfiction books including two memoirs, an essay compilation and two collections of her favorite blogs from I'll Call It Like I See It. Her first book, Deep in the Heart: A Memoir of Love and Longing received a Golden Crown Literary Society Award in 2008. Her writings have been included in various anthologies - most recently the 2017 Saints and Sinners Literary Magazine. Her latest book, Four Ticket Ride, was released in January, 2019. She is a displaced Texan living in South Carolina with her wife Teresa Williams and their dogs Spike, Charly and Carl. She is also Naynay to her two granddaughters Ella and Molly James who light up her life for real. Born in rural Grimes County, Texas in 1946 her Texas roots still run wide and deep.
This entry was posted in Lesbian Literary, Life, Personal, photography, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to road trip to Francis Marion University!

  1. Wow, looks like you had a lot of fun judging by those smiles 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wayside Artist says:

    This is all so wonderful, Sheila! I’m delighted to see you in the limelight as a writer. You and Pretty look so happy. And here you both are, role models for the younger generation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. reocochran says:

    An amazing life you both have led so far! You continue to set the bar high with your consistent and constant love and marriage, Sheila and Pretty. 💕
    The panel and turnout sounds quite motivating. Giving out signature bookmarks would be a future good idea for a minimal donation. . . Just saying! 😉 🌈

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a great idea, Robin! I will see if my publisher could do that!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • reocochran says:

        My brother who taught elementary school in urban Cleveland, being a Center teacher for children with learning disabilities “ran” to be on the Congress ticket. We had such adventures, his gay barber gave us a list of bars to pass out flyers, we found a Hispanic Club which told us we could speak at their Festival. I translated his speech into Spanish and read it. He was running against a jerk named Hoague, Hoak or (Houk?)
        I made an eagle drawing which sat on a pile of books, a motto for Rich: “Never underestimate the power of a teacher.” Borrowed from Ladies Home Journal (sub “women” for “teacher.”)
        Also, “Achieve with Oldrieve.” The bookmarks were printed up and I took them to an educational bookstore who only charged $1 a yard for laminating those bookmarks. Rich got on the running ticket for the primary but didn’t make it on the November ballot. Democrat in Cuyahoga County back in the early 80’s. . . 🌈 🕊️

        Liked by 1 person

      • I admire any person of principle that runs for office – it’s so very hard. But you were the best sister to work for him and support his passion! Never underestimate the power of a teacher. Both my parents taught school so education and educators are very special to me. You’re good people.


      • reocochran says:

        Aww, Rich and his wife both have PhD’s. I actually was working from 2004 – 2008 on my Master’s while teaching days and 4 nights a week as a server at Cracker Barrel. OSU didn’t offer the last 3 courses needed before No Child Left Behind Act went into effect. (Dang that Bush administration Education Secretary!)
        I started at the warehouse 20 days after leaving teaching. It was tough for the first months but I am a survivor of my own poor choices.

        Liked by 1 person

      • And for that you deserve a medal!!


      • reocochran says:

        I’m so glad to know about your parents. Maybe that is what Drew us together as friends. Good 🌃 night!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I forgot to say thank you for your kind words about Pretty and me. We have had an amazing life together, and the past four months on our little book tour have been great experiences with the new people we’ve met. We are encouraged for the future!


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