Mattie. 46. Alpine, TX. June 2014.

Mattie at the Hotel Ritchey, Alpine, TX

Mattie in front of the Hotel Ritchey in Alpine, TX

“My mom met my – who I refer to as my other mother – when I was about 16, and then I moved out.  And Shirley moved in.  And my mom and Shirley have been together, were together for 30 years.  Shirley passed away last summer, which was really really hard because she really was my other parent.  In that odd sort of way that we make our families now.

 I also had a step brother who passed away, Shirley’s son, he passed away from AIDS in 89, in LA.  I was in San Francisco at the time he was in LA.  So Mom and Shirley have been my family for many many years.  They’re also…we never used the term bi-racial…but…Shirley was Black, my Mom was White.  Shirley was from Birmingham, Alabama.  My mother was from Delta City, Mississippi.  So, old Southern, everything is just as Southern as it gets in my family.  So that’s pretty much how I grew up in a really matriarchaly dominated society.”

–Mattie, 46 – Apline, TX – June 24, 2014

Mattie was raised in Texas, but lived for years in queer “meccas” such as the Bay Area and Western Massachusetts before moving back to rural West Texas.  She owns the historic Hotel Ritchey in Alpine, TX which she is renovating in her free time.  She talked about being raised by her mother who later had a lesbian partner, and about why she loves living in a small town in West Texas.

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