Committed to Home

Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement

Committed to Home

Edited by Sheila Morris

Foreword by Harlan Greene

These are the intimate stories of twenty-one ordinary citizens in South Carolina who became committed to making their state a better place to live and work and raise their families in the period from the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s to marriage equality in 2014. They are people with similarities and differences, but many of them grew up believing they were the only gay people in the universe. How and why they, and their straight allies,  became the organizers of the queer movement in a rural conservative southern state “will add a crucial piece to the complex puzzle of postwar queer activism in the United States.” (preface)

Contributors: Jim Blanton, Candace Chellew-Hodge, Matt Chisling, Michael Haigler, Harriet Hancock, Deborah Hawkins, Dick Hubbard, Linda Ketner, Alvin McEwen, Ed Madden and Bert Easter, Sheila Morris, Pat Patterson, Jim and Warren Redman-Gress, Nekki Shutt, Tony Snell, Carole Stoneking, Tom Summers, Matt Tischler and Teresa Williams

The University of South Carolina Press released the book in December, 2017.

Early Reviews for the book:

“I’ve got a sign up on my wall, a quote from Lillian Smith that says “The winner names the age” and I know that is mostly true. But I know too that we can defy ignorance and prejudice and fear with our own matter of fact stories of how all of us dangerous provocative people account for our lives. Thirty years of history retold from the inside is in this anthology. The people who stood up and risked their homes, their families and their very lives to make the world safer and more just for all of us tell us how they did it, day by day, year by year. So put up another notice, one that defies denial as this wonderful anthology does. We can claim our history one story at a time, and the stories rename the age.”―Dorothy Allison, author of Bastard out of Carolina and Cavedweller

 “In Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement, Sheila Morris has curated a gallery of queer activists’ stories. If the SC Historical Commission ever casts around for some new figures for all the surplus bronze, this book has a hero for every platform.”–Kate Clinton, feminist humorist, contributor to the Progressive and the Huffington Post

“Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement is special. Really special. It’s rare to find a collection of personal essays so rich and compelling, its contributors sharing the journeys that frequently took them into regions unknown but eventually lead them back home―to themselves, their loved ones, and their communities. What a wonderful book! Read it and celebrate!”–Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr., Institute for Southern Studies, University of South Carolina

“Sheila Morris has edited a volume of essays that recover and expand on the southern contribution to the struggle for our people to find an identity in the South, where our adaptations to the culture landscape were many, varied, and sometimes dangerous. This is a vital book for anyone who wants to understand the shape of the gender movements of the last decades.”–Jim Grimsley, author of Dream Boy and How I Shed My Skin