Willow Williams – Discrimination

“A total surprise for me.”

[When the commune didn’t want Bonnie and I to be married in the garden, as other people were,] it definitely floored me. I didn’t have a clue how to deal with it. It wasn’t like they didn’t know. They’d been throwing us together for three years. It wasn’t like I hadn’t been hugging my girlfriend—my first girlfriend—on the steps between the kitchen and the outdoors, where everybody had to go by. That’s the part that just kind of just floored me. It was like, “This is not a surprise.”

I guess, from my point of view, it was like this couldn’t have been a surprise for them. Their reaction was a total surprise for me. Actually that’s the only time I’ve encountered [blatant] homophobia.

[Instead, we did our] commitment ceremony with each other, the morning after [we learned the commune didn’t want us to have a wedding there]. We left pretty soon after that. [And my mom left the commune over that.] She’d been there for about ten years. She didn’t have what it took to stand up to those people at the time. That was one of her big heartbreaks. If they weren’t family enough to let that happen there, she didn’t want to continue to be there.


Source: Interview with Maureen Nickerson, 15 August 2007; transcribed by J. Zander; edited by Laura S. Hodgman. Audio file held in the Museum of Arts and Culture.