We were seniors in high school. Our dance class had been together for several years and we were about to graduate. It was a sad time, leaving each other, and Teach. Teach decided to throw a party for the class at her home. We gathered in the gym and prepared for the trip in the van. “Are we going to meet your husband?” asked one of the girls. “Ah, well,” said Teach. “I don’t have a husband. I do have a roommate, a woman like me, actually a little bit older .. .I just didn’t want you to be too surprised or anything …. she’s been my roommate for many years.” We were mildly puzzled. We had never heard of an older person having a roommate.
At Teach’s house the elderly-looking lady roommate sat silent and uncomfortable on the couch the whole time. The next day at school the rumors began to fly. Was Teach a lesbian? The girls didn’t care and hoped the rumor wouldn’t reach parents, but it did, and angry inquires ensued. The school administration answered in a rather blase manner – “that Miss Richardson lived with a woman roommate didn’t constitute proof of anything and was not grounds for dismissal.” The dance class sighed with relief, since our beloved Teach was the founder and leader of the Modem Dance course, and hopefully the younger girls could continue to benefit from her. I suspect the school administration had known about the roommate for a long time.