on International Women’s Day, I salute Pretty

“I knew I was a lesbian, and I also knew I wouldn’t disguise who I was,

because to do so would send the message to my son Drew

there was something wrong with it.

If I didn’t name it, if I didn’t share it,

if I didn’t acknowledge it, if I didn’t own it,

if I wasn’t proud of it,

he was going to believe there was something wrong with it.

That became my mantra.

If I never in my life denied I was a lesbian,

if I treated it as just a part of my life,

then he would be okay with it.”

Teresa Williams a/k/a Pretty   (1980s)

Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home

Today on International Women’s Day, I celebrate one of the women I most admire for her courage in her journey toward living an authentic life not only for herself but also for her son in the days before Will and Grace and Ellen. With obstacles on every side, without the support of the family who had always been there for her, this warrior mother stood up, came out and never looked back.

What would I do without Pretty…her warrior spirit lives on every day.  I’m glad she’s on my side, too.

Drew, Pretty and me 

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, politics, Reflections, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to on International Women’s Day, I salute Pretty

  1. Wayside Artist says:

    Her story really is one of bravery and living fierce in a time and place where it was safer to hide. Pretty is your Amazing Amazon.
    Hugs to you both!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Susanne says:

    Pretty courageous, I’d say and every word true. But as we know, the truth isn’t always well received. I love this picture, by the way. You all make me smile and give me hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Susanne – and so true about truth. I love the picture, too – it was taken a couple of weeks ago at Drew’s wife’s twin sister’s wedding. Whew. We are so thankful that our rocky road with teenager Drew has turned into this joy with him in his adult years. We love his wife, too. They give us hope.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We all need a Pretty in our lives! Thank you Pretty for being proud of who you are.

    Liked by 1 person


    Liked by 1 person

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