Happy Pride! The B-E Collection


I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Dianne Barrett who is a co-founder of the B-E Collection. As a personal historian who identifies as lesbian I am, of course, drawn to projects that celebrate oral histories of lesbians and our lives with a special emphasis on our careers. My video is now one of many – I hope you will go to the B-E website b-ecollection.org to watch – I did tend to go on and on for about 38 minutes, but Dianne does a great job of trying to keep me on task. She used several pictures I sent so they give a lift to my rambling.

This is the Mission Statement of the B-E Collection under “About Us” on their website.

My spouse, Margaret Elfering, and myself, in conjunction with archives such as the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives and the Gerth Archives and Special Collection at California State University Dominguez Hills, will contribute an ongoing series of interviews of lesbians and their careers.  The collection will be known as the B-E Collection: Lesbians and Their Careers.

The “B-E” of the collection is a shorthand for our last names (Barrett – Elfering).  However, there is a second meaning to our collection’s name:   the verb “be” is also defined as “to exist” or “to occur or take place”.  Our collection is a means of bearing witness to the stories of lesbians of different generations, from different walks of life.

The mission of this collection is to dignify the accomplishments, pride, and effort lesbians put forth in their careers on their journey in life.  We make oral histories to document our existence then and now.  Many of us had the “don’t talk – say nothing – you are wrong” experience.  Now we are talking.

We would appreciate a referral of lesbians who might be interested in participating in our project.  We would be more than delighted to speak with anyone who you think would be interested in participating in the B-E Collection.

Your support is always a gift.

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What a wonderful way to celebrate Pride! Thanks to Dianne and Margaret for their vision, to the creative support staff for their expertise and to the Mazer and Gerth Archives at California State University Dominguez Hills who are supporting this collection.

Onward.

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, politics, racism, Reflections, sexism, Slice of Life, The Way Life Is, The Way Life Should Be and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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