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Elizabeth Coffey-Williams was born in 1948 in Brooklyn, New York, and at the age of 5, moved with her parents to Philadelphia. Her dad was a teamster, and Elizabeth was the oldest of five kids. Assigned male at birth, Elizabeth knew she was a girl from an early age, and despite attending a parochial school, she presented as female, wearing her hair long and going on dates with boys. 

In 1970 Elizabeth decided to leave Philadelphia and hitched a ride to Baltimore. As she puts it, “I got out of the car and I was Elizabeth and I never looked back.” Shortly after arriving, she met rising film director John Waters at the premiere of his second feature length film, Multiple Maniacs, and she quickly became one of Waters’ Dreamlanders. Elizabeth would go on to have brief but memorable roles in Pink Flamingos and Female Trouble, where she worked alongside legendary drag queen Divine. 

Living comfortably as a woman in Baltimore, Elizabeth thought it time to take care of some “incongruous” aspects of her anatomy. After hearing about Johns Hopkins’ groundbreaking work as the first American academic institution to offer what at the time was referred to as sex reassignment surgery, she applied for the procedure. After a rather long and arduous vetting process, she underwent surgery in 1972, becoming one of the first women to participate in the Johns Hopkins program.

Elizabeth later moved to Rockford, Illinois, where she married, raised a son, and spent her time quilting and advocating on behalf of the transgender community. She became a board member of the Rockford AIDS Care Network and a facilitator of the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt, a national collection of quilt squares commemorating those who died from HIV/AIDS. Elizabeth’s quilting work has been shown in the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Elizabeth and her inspiring story as an early, out trans woman have been featured in countless publications and several books over the years. She currently lives in Philadelphia in the John C. Anderson Apartments, an LGBTQ friendly senior living community, where she co-facilitates TransWay, a trans and gender non-conforming support group. 

When we arrived to record Elizabeth’s OUTWORDS interview in August 2016, she said, “Put your camera wherever you want” – and then proceeded to tell us exactly where to put it. That’s Elizabeth: funny, sarcastic, courageous, and completely clear on what she wants. These qualities enabled Elizabeth to live life on her own terms – and today, she fights to make sure that other people who don’t fit society’s pre-determined roles and realities get the same chance.
Mason Funk: [00:00:00] Do me a favor, because this is the first question I ask every single person. It's so fascinating, but tell me your name and spell it. Please.
Elizabeth Williams: My name is Elizabeth Coffey Williams. E-L-I-Z-A-B-E-T-H C-O-F-F-E-Y W-I-L-L-I-A-M-S. Is this a test?
Mason Funk: [00:00:30] That's awesome. Do you want to talk a little bit about working with John Waters?
Elizabeth Williams: If you want to.
Mason Funk: I'd love to.
Elizabeth Williams: Sure.
Mason Funk: When did you first meet John Waters?
Elizabeth Williams: I first met John Waters peripherally in the basement of a church
Elizabeth Williams: [00:01:00] at the premiere of one of his earlier films, which was called Multiple Maniacs. And it was in a church ... Yes, it was in a church basement in Baltimore.
Mason Funk: What were you doing there and how did you guys connect?
Elizabeth Williams: I was going to see a movie and everyone else in the room knew him,
Elizabeth Williams: [00:01:30] because he was just some person who was making a movie and I go, "Cool. I got a creepy, dirty home movie. What could be better?" Then it turned out to be amazing in a very interesting way. I had friends that knew him, but I didn't know him yet and they introduced me to him, and that's how I met him.
Mason Funk: Did you guys immediately strike up some kind of a conversation or just start having fun together, you and John?
Elizabeth Williams: [00:02:00] No more or less than everyone else in the room. He didn't single me out as someone new, but there were a lot of heavy hitters in that room, with Divine and Cookie Mueller and Mink Stole. They're a tough crowd. Pat Moran, who has always intimidated the hell out of me, and at the same time she's been a role model of mine forever. She's John's casting director.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:02:30] She's this little, tiny red-headed spitfire with so much energy and I just so remember thinking, Man I want to be like that. I want to kick that much ass, because she was little, she was tiny, she was beautiful. I thought it was cool. Okay, so I'll be a 5'10" version. I didn't want to be her. There was just so much
Elizabeth Williams: [00:03:00] about her that was embodying things that I wasn't seeing quite as much back then. She was very much her own and she was strong, and if I can use an invented adjective, she was sort of unfuckwithable. If it was okay for me to say that. Since you're not editing, I guess I can say anything I want.
Mason Funk: Say whatever you want. Yeah. Then did you and she eventually strike up a friendship?
Elizabeth Williams: [00:03:30] Yeah. Sure. Certainly.
Mason Funk: Tell me about that.
Elizabeth Williams: I'm still in contact with Pat today, mostly on social media, and she is still with her husband and she has a son and daughter. She has become a very successful casting director in Baltimore.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:04:00] Several TV shows. She's done many things.
Mason Funk: Then how did it come about that you came to appear in John's films?
Elizabeth Williams: Okay, so probably you're talking about the first one, Pink Flamingos. John came to me and said, "I have an idea,"
Elizabeth Williams: [00:04:30] and he told me about the scene. I don't know whether you're familiar with it or not, but in telling me about the scene and that there was a flasher and that I would ultimately be a flasher, it occurred to me that at a time when ... Because we're going back far enough
Elizabeth Williams: [00:05:00] that even the word transgender, I'm not even sure if it existed. Even though as a form of armor, my looking good and acceptable helped, one could still be the brunt of some jokes.What occurred to me with what John was doing was that instead of
Elizabeth Williams: [00:05:30] being the joke, I got to make the joke. I got to win, and that appealed to me. When people see the film, they're a little bit more shocked by what they're seeing, but I think that if someone stops and looks at the content rather than the form ... If they look at the context, they understand that
Elizabeth Williams: [00:06:00] in that particular scene, I'm the strong one, and that appealed to me.Quite simply, the other thing that appealed to me was that it was really funny and John's really funny, and he thought it up. All I got to do was do it
Elizabeth Williams: [00:06:30] but I did and I didn't think much more of it at the time, other than the fact that I was happy that I did it and I was lucky enough to be surrounded by these amazing, smart people who were rather unlike the films of course. Everyone thinks that people who do something in a film are like that off-camera, which they're not.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:07:00] They were just a pack of delightfully crazy bohemian-type hippies living down on the docks in Baltimore, so I had all these friends.
Mason Funk: Is that where you were from? Were you a Baltimore person right from the get-go?
Elizabeth Williams: No, I was born in New York and then I was raised in Philadelphia. Then
Elizabeth Williams: [00:07:30] I went to Baltimore to go to Johns Hopkins for their gender program.
Mason Funk: Hold that thought. Can we turn that phone off?
Elizabeth Williams: We can.
Mason Funk: Should I grab your bag for you?
Elizabeth Williams: Am I getting up?
Mason Funk: What do you think? Or should I go in there? We should turn it off.
Kate Kunath: You can get it.
Mason Funk: Yeah. Can I go in there and turn it off or do you want to do that?
Elizabeth Williams: [00:08:00] Yeah, if you can find it. If you can find it and bring it to me, I'll turn it off.
Mason Funk: Oh, okay. All right.
Elizabeth Williams: I think it's in the bathroom, and the bathroom's a wreck. Wait a minute. My whole apartment is a wreck. Did it look like this when you came here? You're a terrible press agent. Where's my lounge wear?
Kate Kunath: We didn't read your rider before we got here.
Elizabeth Williams: What, babe?
Kate Kunath: We didn't read your rider before we got here.
Elizabeth Williams: That's your problem. How long have you been on the road?
Kate Kunath: Just a few days.
Elizabeth Williams: Oh, that's not too bad, then. You're still fresh. You don't smell like a goat yet.
Kate Kunath: [00:08:30] No, but I did skip my shower this morning, because there was no hot water in our Airbnb.
Elizabeth Williams: That's okay, because ...
Mason Funk: I don't see it in the bathroom
Elizabeth Williams: You don't see the phone.
Mason Funk: Look here. You got your ...
Elizabeth Williams: That's because it's in my pocket.
Mason Funk: Oh, is it really? Okay.
Elizabeth Williams: I shouldn't admit that, should I?
Mason Funk: All righty.
Kate Kunath: Can I take it over here, because it will interfere with the signal too. Thank you.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:09:00] How'd I know you could catch?
Mason Funk: All right. Whenever you're ready.
Elizabeth Williams: I was born ready.
Mason Funk: So was I.
Elizabeth Williams: I can tell.
Mason Funk: Tell me about this. You went to Baltimore.
Mason Funk: [00:09:30] Just basically start by saying, "I was born in New York, moved to Philadelphia, then went to Baltimore." Just kind of retrace that for me, just as you did.
Elizabeth Williams: Yeah, I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and when I was five years old, my parents moved to Philadelphia. I was raised in Philly and went to school in Philly. Actually, I went to Baltimore twice.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:10:00] The first time, I believe it was in 1969, and then I moved there in 1970. In between there, I lived in a few other places. I lived in New Orleans. I lived in San Francisco. I lived in LA for a little while. I preferred San Francisco.
Mason Funk: Then you went to Baltimore to participate in the Hopkins gender program?
Elizabeth Williams: Yeah.
Mason Funk: Tell us what that was, as if basically ...
Elizabeth Williams: [00:10:30] What, because you don't know?
Mason Funk: We have no idea.
Elizabeth Williams: Yeah, you have no clue, right?
Mason Funk: Yeah, tell us what that program was, the gender program.
Elizabeth Williams: Seriously you don't know?
Mason Funk: I might know, but the person watching this might not know.
Elizabeth Williams: Okay. Johns Hopkins University was ... I don't know if it was the first place in the country to be doing gender reassignment, but
Elizabeth Williams: [00:11:00] I heard about it and figured well, cool. I'm already good so I may as well just take care of that, and I went to Hopkins. No, first I went to Woodstock, then I went to Hopkins and being relatively
Elizabeth Williams: [00:11:30] casual at the time, as I am now ... I wasn't what I would call political. I was a member of the arts community and I guess what you'd call a hippie at the time, and now, and whatever.I just marched through those big doors at Hopkins in a little blue jean miniskirt and tank top and my flip flops and my hair up in pigtails and a big old pair
Elizabeth Williams: [00:12:00] of sunglasses and said, "Hi! I'm here. I'm here for you ... This is where, like, you do that, right?" They said, "What?" I said, "Well, you know, like fix up somebody's, like, genitalia." I figured I'd use a proper word. They said, "Oh, well it's actually this
Elizabeth Williams: [00:12:30] whole big process," which really kind of surprised me, because I had no clue.I've said this before, but it really kind of caught them off-guard because I was surprised and in my surprise I said, "Well, you know, I'm not sure what you're all about, but I'm not here for a shrink. I just want a plumber. Can you help me?"
Elizabeth Williams: [00:13:00] They said, "No." This was in a boardroom with all of these doctors, I suppose they were all doctors, who were scrutinizing me, and they were also just noticing a blue jean miniskirt and flip flops at a time when the appropriate shortness of your skirt was determined by if when you sat down, if you sat on your skirt, it was too long.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:13:30] They were kind of shocked by me, but they weren't realizing that I was kind of shocked by them, because they were running this groundbreaking program and they were so tight-ass that you couldn't pull a pin out of their ass with a tractor. They told me that I was inappropriate.I guess in some ways I understood what they meant, but I really wasn't.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:14:00] I was already female. I was already comfy, but A) I was a little too counter-cultural for them and what they were really looking for were people with double-processed blond flips who wanted to be Stepford wives and had enormous aspirations to be
Elizabeth Williams: [00:14:30] a dental hygienist. Not that keeping your teeth in good order is not a good idea. It just wasn't something that particularly appealed to me, because there were a lot of really cool places in Baltimore and I already had enough fun and I already had enough to do.
Elizabeth Williams: I just wanted them to do what they said they were going to do. Who knew that that was going to be an audition? Doing the stuff with John was easier than them.
Mason Funk: [00:15:00] In what context did they tell you you were inappropriate? How did that even come out of their mouths?
Elizabeth Williams: Just like that. Just exactly like that. "No, no, no dear. You are not what we may consider to be a suitable candidate, because you are most likely unstable and you are not part of mainstream society.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:15:30] Anyone who would choose to be a woman ...," at which point of course I said, "I didn't choose to be a woman. It just turned out that way. It's just who I am and I'm already a girl. I came here for you to help me."Then, there was one doctor,
Elizabeth Williams: [00:16:00] and interestingly enough, he was one of the doctors from the table. Because it was Baltimore and it was then, we all lived in the thrift stores. There I was one afternoon in the thrift store of Johns Hopkins, which was interestingly enough called The Carry On Thrift Shop, and I thought, "What a good name."
Elizabeth Williams: [00:16:30] I found myself tugging on something with this guy. I looked up and it was one of the doctors. He said, "Hey, it's you." I said, "Yeah. It is me, and I'm coming back. I don't know how long this audition thing you have, it might be."
Elizabeth Williams: [00:17:00] I was getting a little defensive. He said, "Ooh, bup, bup, bup ... Slow down. Why don't you slow down just a little bit? I didn't have the opportunity at the time, but I need to tell you. I'm on your side." Of course being skeptical by then I said, "Oh, really?" He said, "Yeah, I am." I said, "Oh,
Elizabeth Williams: [00:17:30] well then you get that I'm already female and I just need to be in a position where I can take care of an inconvenient technicality." He said, "I get it. I get it. They don't, but come back. Maybe don't be quite as sassy
Elizabeth Williams: [00:18:00] and let me see what I can do." Little did I know that he was from the psychiatric end, the head of the program.I went back and they quote/unquote let me in again. I guess he had the fix in.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:18:30] They were still pretty much as skeptical and that was when he stepped in. That was when he just looked across the table and said, "Hey, guys. Could you take a different look at this? You are actually judging
Elizabeth Williams: [00:19:00] someone on their lifestyle." Forgive me for paraphrasing, but he said, "You're judging someone on their lifestyle rather than their gender." One of the doctors, I remember they said, "Well, she's claiming she's already female." At which point I said, "But I am," and they said, "But you're not,"
Elizabeth Williams: [00:19:30] and I said, "But I am," and they said, "But you're not." That went back and forth until we all got bored.Then Doc John said, "How about you look at the fact that she's exactly what we might be hoping for? She's already comfortable
Elizabeth Williams: [00:20:00] in the world and she came in here and said, 'Help me.'" Not that I made it sound like that, but I did have to go and ask, so I did.He ultimately introduced me to the doctor who was a gynecological surgeon, who actually did the surgery. I got to meet him
Elizabeth Williams: [00:20:30] and after much going back and forth and back and forth ... It's really weird to keep going back and forth between a prestigious institution and dancing all night on the bars down on the waterfront in Fells Point in Baltimore, which was heaven. It was more fun than anybody should have. Then walking up the street because it was on the same street. It's called Broadway,
Elizabeth Williams: [00:21:00] believe it or not.It took about a year and a half, because they still made me go through this whole tedious, tedious audition, where I met a lot of people who didn't have a clue, but it was their program. It was the only game in town, and I did it.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:21:30] Are there any holes in that story?
Mason Funk: Mm-mm (negative). It's a great story. Infuriating at the same time, but it gives us a great snapshot.
Elizabeth Williams: Oh, it is and it was, because from what I understand, I don't have the good numbers, but I think they interviewed a couple of thousand people, and I think
Elizabeth Williams: [00:22:00] they actually did ... I want to say like twenty-seven or thirty, or maybe a few more. That was it. They had very strict criteria, which was really kind of weird. When I look at it and when I look back on it, I think it's understandable
Elizabeth Williams: [00:22:30] to have an issue or have a concern about someone's quote/unquote stability. What I mean by that is that it's very reasonable to rule out any other type of physical or emotional pathology that might get in the way of a successful transition,
Elizabeth Williams: [00:23:00] but judging a woman on her social ... I'm just going up right now. I'm sorry.
Mason Funk: No worries.
Elizabeth Williams: Being judgmental about a person's lifestyle just seemed like really in left field to me.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:23:30] It was like, what do you care if I wear blue jeans or J. Crew? What's it to you? It doesn't make me any more or less female.
Mason Funk: Right.
Elizabeth Williams: They hated that word, because I kept saying, "Female," and they kept saying, "No, you're not." I was like, "No, but I am." They're like, "No, you think you are."
Mason Funk: That's so bizarre coming from this particular set. They may have been stuffy white guys,
Mason Funk: [00:24:00] but it's still shocking coming from them, because this was their field. They should have been able to recognize.
Elizabeth Williams: Yeah, this was their field, but then when I had to go to these endless auditions, which were exasperating ... Because it's not like I was getting to make a movie. I just wanted a pussy. I would have to sit there and then somebody would come into this room
Elizabeth Williams: [00:24:30] and they always kept me waiting, and I have very little tolerance for that. We all do.Then, some bohunk would come in who really thought he knew his shit and sit down with his clipboard, and eventually end up asking me shit like, "Well, www-," and he'd start real slow like that, and there'd be like really long vowels,
Elizabeth Williams: [00:25:00] because he was choking this stuff out of his head, because he'd never done this before. He didn't have a clue, so he was, "Wwwell, do you get excited when you put on your underwear?" I was like, "Well, no. Do you? What are you talking about? I get excited if I have clean underwear, but no. My underwear doesn't excite me. Are you asking me
Elizabeth Williams: [00:25:30] am I a fetishist? Okay, let's be really clear, 'Doc,' or whatever you may be. I think people who are into fetish stuff are fine. I just don't happen to be one, so no. My underpants don't give me a tickle. Sorry." Then I'd be traipsing back to Fells Point
Elizabeth Williams: [00:26:00] thinking I walked all the way up there to get asked these incredibly stupid, stupid questions.Then there was a counterpoint. Then there were doctors who were genuinely interesting and interested. Once they got past the fact that I wasn't going to put on a
Elizabeth Williams: [00:26:30] Mary Hartman outfit, and I was going to be me, and they opened the dialog with me, we began to have meaningful conversation. Some of them were interesting and they wanted to know and they cared.The only issue is they kept wanting to know how tragic it was and for me, it wasn't particularly tragic.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:27:00] They would ask me things like, "Well, why do you want to have this surgery?" I'd say, "Well, because it makes sense." They'd say, "Well, that answer doesn't make sense. Again, why do you want to have that surgery?" I'd say, "Fine, because I want my pants to fit better." That wasn't a good answer.
Mason Funk: They were looking for like some deep, psychological reason?
Elizabeth Williams: [00:27:30] I think so. Then, they would say again, "Why do you want to have this surgery?" I'd say, "Well, because I'm a girl and because I'm a girl, it would be really normal to have a vagina. Okay?" They were like, "Oh." I almost always got the sense that they were a little disappointed that I wasn't
Elizabeth Williams: [00:28:00] tragic enough, that I didn't have any body shaming. They kept asking me if I hated my body and I was like, "No. I don't hate my body at all. It's just a little incongruous, so it needs a little tweaking. Can't we just do that? How are you for next week?" They would always get pissed when I would say that, because I kept pushing. I wanted this over.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:28:30] It was boring, but it finally went along and it finally happened. I finally found myself going in.That's when I found out that I got to be on the maternity floor, because ... Well, the doctor was a gynecological surgeon, but I was on
Elizabeth Williams: [00:29:00] the floor with all the woman who had had babies. It was a semi-private room, but they took the other bed out of the room, because of course I had to be the only person in the room, being the resident pariah.I'd be laying there, out of my head on morphine or Demerol or whatever they were giving me, and I'd see these women with that
Elizabeth Williams: [00:29:30] typical post-birth ... It really has to hurt to have something that big come out of something that small. They were doing their little Shuffle Off to Buffalo down the hallway and whenever they'd reach my door, which I always insisted on keeping open, I'd more then once heard one say to the other, "Shh. Be quiet.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:30:00] I think her baby died." I was laying in there going, "No, it's okay. It's a girl," but they didn't come in, because they weren't allowed in my room. Except for my immediate caregivers, I wasn't allowed to tell any of the ancillary staff exactly what I was doing.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:30:30] It was a little weird.
Mason Funk: Wow.
Kate Kunath: How did they take care of you, then?
Elizabeth Williams: How did they take care of me?
Kate Kunath: Yeah, like the nursing staff, if they weren't ...
Elizabeth Williams: Extraordinarily well. The nurses knew, the doctors knew, but the lady who emptied the trash ... I couldn't say, "Hey, there's a few extra milk cartons in there. By the way, I have a pussy." They were not okay with that.
Mason Funk: [00:31:00] Because this was just essentially the hospital. This was no longer a specialized unit. You were in the maternity ward, so this was just ...
Elizabeth Williams: Exactly, and they were dedicated enough to the program that I think as I look back on it, they didn't want a ton of negative press or sensationalistic press. It wasn't a secret, but they kept a low profile.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:31:30] That was okay by me because I got what I wanted.
Mason Funk: Back to one thing you said when you were telling your story, which was that you were comfortable with who you were. You had gotten comfortable with yourself.
Elizabeth Williams: Yeah.
Mason Funk: How did you get comfortable with yourself? You were talking about how they wanted you to have this tragic profile, but you ... It
Mason Funk: [00:32:00] doesn't sound like that narrative fits you. How did you get comfortable with yourself?
Elizabeth Williams: The same way we all do. Well, maybe not exactly the same way we all do, but a version of the same way we all do. Except for the fact that my hair is a little long and I have a little
Elizabeth Williams: [00:32:30] makeup on, and except for the fact that I'm older, I was born looking like this. I was going out with boys when I was in high school and if I tell people that they weren't gay boys, they don't get that, but it was true.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:33:00] I don't know. I was just okay. When we speak of quote/unquote transition ... It was the late sixties. Everything was very unisex, if you will. Even today, I could comfortably trade my clothes with
Elizabeth Williams: [00:33:30] any number of women that I know who walk around in jeans and t-shirts and sneakers or kicky little shoes and do that most of the time. That's how they look. That's how I looked. It's not how I always looked. Sometimes I wore a scarf and a sneeze and that was okay too.I was in Philly,
Elizabeth Williams: [00:34:00] I was moving to Baltimore and a friend of mine happened to be driving to Baltimore to conduct a clandestine business transaction that was actually very popular in the late sixties, early seventies. I hitched a ride with him
Elizabeth Williams: [00:34:30] and while we were in his van, I took my jeans off and put my cutoffs on and I think I put my hair up. I don't quite remember. It was longer than it is now. I got out of the car in
Elizabeth Williams: [00:35:00] Baltimore and I was Elizabeth, and I never looked back.Every minute wasn't easy. I mean, we all have trials in our lives, but like I said, we all do. We all have puberty. Maybe I had two, but the first one, I really sucked at it.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:35:30] I was so not good at being a boy, and I tried really hard for a little while. It was half-hearted, but I kind of tried. I wasn't great at it. They called me that kid that looks like a girl, which was fine with me, because I was a girl. I was either a girl or crazy, depending on who you talked to.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:36:00] That's what it was like.
Mason Funk: Not fitting the mold, so to speak, of a typical boy. You mentioned kids referred to you as the guy who looks like a girl. Did that ever have negative repercussions? Did you get teased? Bullied? Did your parents have difficulty with you?
Elizabeth Williams: Sometimes I got teased. I got bullied in school because
Elizabeth Williams: [00:36:30] I had twelve years of parochial education. Sometimes I got teased and bullied in school, but not to an extraordinary degree. Doesn't mean I liked it. I think many people do, for many different reasons, and I think
Elizabeth Williams: [00:37:00] that people of transgender experience, especially today ... I want to be really clear about this. I don't really know if it is always easier, even though more surgery is available and better treatment is available, but there are also
Elizabeth Williams: [00:37:30] people being killed in epidemic proportions. Trans women of color are just very, very specifically at the greatest risk. It's the young ones, it's the babies, that are at great risk.At the same time, there is great headway being made, because
Elizabeth Williams: [00:38:00] as we both know, as we speak, it's the time for the Olympics and they're happening right now. We can't turn the TV on and if we could there might be some people on there with really great bodies, but we can't turn the TV on. I don't know if you know this, but ... I'm sure you know the Olympics are being held in Brazil, and the person who was
Elizabeth Williams: [00:38:30] leading the Brazilian contention ... Is that what you call it? No, delegation. Isn't it? Where the group ... I'm not an athlete. They're cool, but I think it's cool. The delegation. Is actually a beautiful, young trans woman from Brazil, and I believe her name is Lea T.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:39:00] She is one of the first publicized trans models to get a contract with a major cosmetics or beauty corporation that's worldwide. As I say she's the first person who was publicly publicized, I've known people of
Elizabeth Williams: [00:39:30] transgender experience who were modeling even back in the early seventies.Yeah, it's better today, but I think with exposure comes sometimes unwanted visibility and with that unwanted visibility can come danger,
Elizabeth Williams: [00:40:00] so I'm kind of protective of the kids in my own small way, as much as I can be. I facilitate a group for ... Actually, I co-facilitate a group with an amazing young trans woman of color, and we make a great team. We're really fun and I love those kids, and they're all different.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:40:30] I think that's what makes me feel good, because some of them are college students and some of them are black lipstick and combat boots, and it's all good. They're all different and I try to embrace that, because I remember a time when that was not embraced, because the model was Donna Reed.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:41:00] Even though I kind of sucked at being a boy, I really also didn't do the Donna Reed thing very well. At least not then. Ultimately, I did go on to marry and raise a boy.
Mason Funk: Can you tell us that story?
Elizabeth Williams: Some. Yeah, I moved to Illinois and
Elizabeth Williams: [00:41:30] I lived there for over twenty years. Now I'm hesitating. I had a husband. I raised a child. Of course, you want to say, "Well, where'd you get him?" Suffice to say that's
Elizabeth Williams: [00:42:00] a little complicated, but I didn't steal him. It was not artificial insemination or adoption, or whatever. He was actually my husband's biological son and that was fine. He was my husband's biological son by another woman and I had a great hand in raising him, and I love him to this day.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:42:30] Three and a half years ago, due to reasons that are very personal, my marriage ended and I came back to Philadelphia.
Mason Funk: How was that coming back to Philadelphia for you?
Elizabeth Williams: Oh, man. It was culture shock. I was living in the Midwest.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:43:00] I was living seventy miles northwest of Chicago in a town of a hundred thousand people. There were cornfields in town. When I went to school here, I studied fabric design, so when I went there I thought. Cool, I'm in the Midwest. I'll become a quilter. And I did.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:43:30] Then I became involved in some LGBT stuff out there. There was an LGBT center and a friend started it and then I began to help and facilitate a gender group in that town.I also belonged to a quilt guild
Elizabeth Williams: [00:44:00] and I became a commercial quilter and an art quilter and I did that for ... I did it for a long time. I did it for about twenty years, and because I was a quilter, just serendipitously, I became a member of The Names Project. You know, the AIDS memorial quilt. I facilitated making
Elizabeth Williams: [00:44:30] quite a few panels for various people and families who had lost people to HIV.
Elizabeth Williams: I was still always doing little things in my own way, and I think if I can be succinct about that, I've always kind of been the person that sometimes ... I frequently just go where I'm lead.
Mason Funk: [00:45:00] Kate, what questions do you have? Kate has questions.
Elizabeth Williams: Cool.
Mason Funk: When you answer her questions, just keep talking to me. Looking at me. Because Kate doesn't exist.
Kate Kunath: You've covered so much territory.
Elizabeth Williams: Trust me. Kate really exists.
Kate Kunath: What was your childhood like? When did you start feeling like a girl? When did you think I'm a girl? Did you ever think that you weren't a girl?
Elizabeth Williams: [00:45:30] I don't know. I don't actually recall. Because I was the oldest of five, and an only child until I was eight ...
Kate Kunath: Look at Mason.
Elizabeth Williams: I don't think ... Bossy, in a kind of hot way.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:46:00] I don't really think that I had a really strong grasp on personal gender at all in the beginning. I don't think that I really ... This was a long time ago, because I'm a
Elizabeth Williams: [00:46:30] few minutes over eighteen. I don't really know, and then I suppose around puberty, I realized that I was attracted to boys then. Then,
Elizabeth Williams: [00:47:00] I realized that maybe that meant I was gay, and then I remember realizing that I wasn't gay. Then I thought well, what the hell am I? They would call me a sissy and stuff like that. Who cares? They called everybody something. If you weren't a sissy, you were fat or skinny or big or black or stupid or worse.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:47:30] I feel like I'm not giving you a good answer and I'm trying really hard.
Kate Kunath: What do you attribute your ... Like the psychiatrists were disappointed with how well-adjusted you were. What do you attribute that to? What made it easy for you to be you?
Elizabeth Williams: Let me clarify that.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:48:00] In my weed-induced haze at the time, I can't be completely sure that I was as well-adjusted as I thought I was, but I know that I was okay. I was socially functional. I mean, I was a hippie. We didn't need no stinking badges.
Elizabeth Williams: I just went up. What did you want to know?
Kate Kunath: [00:48:30] Why did you feel ... You're a self-possessed girl. What made you feel ...? Was it your family acceptance? Was it your confidence? Was it your job that you had? What was it that just made you feel happy [crosstalk 00:48:53]?
Elizabeth Williams: I know that this is tragically shallow ...
Mason Funk: [inaudible].
Elizabeth Williams: [00:49:00 But we live in an admittedly looksist society, and at the time, I was looking pretty hot. I have to say that I kind of wore that like armor. Being cute kept me safe and I may have been long and lean and liked to wear either blue jeans
Elizabeth Williams: [00:49:30] or something really soft and diaphanous and was kind of perceived as maybe a cross between Janis Joplin and fragile. The truth is I wasn't a bit fragile.It's very difficult to explain why I knew I was a girl. That's like saying to someone, "When did you know you were straight?"
Elizabeth Williams: [00:50:00] Duh. Or, "When did you know you were a man?" I mean, yes. It might be different. The construct that some women are actually born with penises is something that people have a hard time accepting,
Elizabeth Williams: [00:50:30] but whether they accept it or not, it was real for me and I was okay with it.I don't know if I have a better answer. I'm not being defensive. I'm being as honest as I can. It would be very inauthentic to say that it didn't at all make me less female,
Elizabeth Williams: [00:51:00] because of course there was what I used to call my little deal-breaker. But hey, it was straight boys. It wasn't a deal-breaker for them. Straight boys are easy.I don't know if you'll get this answer from anyone else or not, but the reality is I just
Elizabeth Williams: [00:51:30] knew that I was female. I didn't know that I was trying to ... I think that's where we were hitting the wall at Hopkins, is they wanted me to quote/unquote ... They wanted to help me become female. I'm going back to. We don't need no stinking badges. I don't need you to help me become who I am.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:52:00] I'm already who I am. As I said before, I just needed a plumber and an electrician. Plumbing is one thing, but you definitely want the electricity to be on. Was it without a little gnashing of teeth? No. Sure, it blew my family's mind. My parents thought I was from Jupiter. It was bad enough that I was a hippie, but then I was a girl?
Elizabeth Williams: [00:52:30] They were like, "What do you mean?" Like, what? You raised me. How could you not know? Did you just pretend all this time that you really didn't have a clue?
Mason Funk: It must have been one thing for them to have awareness that you were, say, not a typical boy, but it was pretty far out of peoples' awareness, the idea that you might be a girl with a penis, in those days.
Elizabeth Williams: Yeah, exactly.
Mason Funk: [00:53:00] There wasn't a lot of conversation going on about that.
Elizabeth Williams: True.
Mason Funk: How would you say to your parents, "How could you not know?"
Elizabeth Williams: Because what I was saying to them is, "How could you not know that there was something going on?" Of course then my parents would use the old [inaudible], "Well, can't you just be gay?" Of course, I'd say, "Well, yeah I'd be happy to, if I were. But even if I was gay,
Elizabeth Williams: [00:53:30] I'd still be a girl."They struggled with it for a while, and then it got okay. Then, it got really okay. My parents carried some shame, because the whole issue, forgive me, came down to
Elizabeth Williams: [00:54:00] something that many of us have dealt with, which is, "But what will the neighbors think?" Being the cocky little thing that I was, I thought great. I'm your kid. I never caused you any trouble. I got really great grades. I didn't drink. I didn't get arrested. I may have been a teenage whore of Babylon, but you didn't know that, so you don't have to be freaked out about it.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:54:30] I was basically a good kid. I'm like, "Why does this have to be so bad? It's okay."It took a while for it to be okay and it was ultimately my siblings, because after a few years, my parents sat my siblings down.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:55:00] I hadn't seen them in a few years, because I don't know if my parents thought it might be contagious or I might be a bad influence, or heaven forbid a good influence. But they never stopped loving me.After a few years, they sat my brothers and my sister down to give them the talk, and they told them.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:55:30] Do I know exactly how they told them? No, I don't know their words, but I do know that my siblings responded ... We're talking kids. My one brother was about seventeen. My other brother was eleven or twelve. The youngest, who were twins, my baby sister and brother were
Elizabeth Williams: [00:56:00] about ten. They all said, "That's it? You kept us apart because of that?"My one brother, the one who was about twelve, found out that I was living in town very quickly.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:56:30] I was living in what they call Society Hill down near the Liberty Bell and all those colonial big brick houses and what have you. Had this great apartment. I worked on South Street. There was a knock on the door and it was my little brother
Elizabeth Williams: [00:57:00] and that was really great. Not long after, the rest of them came down. Then my mom came down. My dad didn't come into town. I went home. Then after that, it was basically fine. I see my brothers and my sister as often as I can.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:57:30] They live here in Philly, except for one who lives up near Scranton. I don't see him as much as I'd like to.Did I answer you?
Kate Kunath: Can you tell us the story, you mentioned it earlier, of you being on a cot, I think. Did you say in jail, for six hours? With Divine.
Mason Funk: With Divine.
Kate Kunath: Can you tell us that story?
Elizabeth Williams: I can. It seemed like six hours.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:58:00] We were filming a little scene in ... The film after Pink Flamingos was called Female Trouble, and Divine, who was an extraordinarily ... Truly. Not only a hoot, but an extraordinarily talented character actor.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:58:30] He was a great actor and a fun person and a riot. You know, he was big.I was living in Philly at the time and he was playing Dawn Davenport. The film is chronicling her tawdry life of crime.
Elizabeth Williams: [00:59:00] At the end, she's in jail with her head shaved because she's going to get the electric chair. I got to play Earnestine, her hillbilly jailhouse lesbian lover. I really kind of jumped at the chance to do that because in Pink Flamingos, I'm like really pretty and sitting on a fence. That's what makes it all the more shocking
Elizabeth Williams: [00:59:30] is that I actually look very innocent. I thought oh cool. I'm going to get to play this creepy-looking hillbilly. That word sounds pejorative and I don't mean it to be. I think I was reaching to be some sort of bottom of the barrel and I may have gotten under the barrel.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:00:00] I was here in Philly and I thought, Hmm, prison girl. The first thing I did was I got a crew cut. I chopped all my hair off. Pink Flamingos was still showing every weekend down on South Street and I had gotten a lot of notoriety about that, some of which my parents actually didn't love. My dad was a teamster
Elizabeth Williams: [01:00:30] and he'd be going to work, so there's Archie Bunker going to work, his friends say, "Is this your kid?" Sooner or later, he was like, "Yeah."I went to Baltimore and there was actually quite the hubbub. The underground paper at the time, The Drummer, sent a reporter with me from Philly and
Elizabeth Williams: [01:01:00] we traveled to Baltimore together. We rehearsed and John was a stickler for that. He's very, very good because he's very specific about what he wants. Even though the things look like that might not be the case. Almost all of it is very specifically exactly what he wants it to be.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:01:30] We rehearsed and I had a reporter, which I thought was really weird, but I kind of liked it.Then we went the next day to film the scene. He couldn't come then and I realized he couldn't come because we were actually going to Baltimore ... I don't know if it was city jail or county jail, but it was jail. It was like the clang door jail. Like open the door, clang behind you.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:02:00] Here I am in a little blue ... Blue was the new black, not orange. Except they were dresses and they were like a tube with two straps. It's like you couldn't get more unattractive, and I had a crew cut. Then there was Divine, who was completely bald by that point and had acid burns all over his face. The character did.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:02:30] It was makeup.Clang! Door after door as we were going in, and it was real jail. Which, I don't know, for some reason just creeped me out. Then a couple of people got into cells to be the other prisoners, one of whom was Pat Moran, John's casting director, who I said
Elizabeth Williams: [01:03:00] I adore. She's wonderful in that film. If I remember, she screeches, "Matron! Matron!" Or something like that, but she's wonderful.In jail ... I don't know if any of the TV audience ever been in jail, or if they'll admit it, but the cots are pretty small.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:03:30] They're smaller than a twin bed and Divine was large, and so it was a little bit challenging maneuvering to get on there comfortably and to get the shot as John wanted it without me sliding off. Not that I did slide off, but I could feel myself
Elizabeth Williams: [01:04:00] really kind of akimbo, if you will. Divine was extraordinarily generous. He was fun when we rehearsed. Not that we didn't know each other, but he was fun when we rehearsed. When we did it, we had a ball.There's a very sneaky little thing in Female Trouble that people don't know. Because I'm the famous flasher
Elizabeth Williams: [01:04:30] from Pink Flamingos, that people frequently call, "Chick with a dick," even though that's not the credit I was given in the film ... I actually don't have a name in the film. My name is just in the credits, but as Earnestine, the prison lesbian, and I was so proud to play a lesbian ... Actually I was really
Elizabeth Williams: [01:05:00] happy to work one-on-one with Divine, because he was just so good. The little surprise was that John said, "Well, as a sneaky little sequel to Pink Flamingos, why don't you like hike your little prison dress up a little bit and
Elizabeth Williams: [01:05:30] give us a little flash?" Yet again I said, "Sure, why not?" They have hot dogs in Pink Flamingos and tacos in Female Trouble.If I recall, we did it in two takes,
Elizabeth Williams: [01:06:00] but between getting there and the jail, I was thinking they've got me now. They're never going to let me out, but of course they did. It seemed like it took forever, but it always seems like it takes forever, especially when you're the one that's talking. I think as I said before, my favorite part. I've had a lot of favorite parts with those Dreamland
Elizabeth Williams: [01:06:30] folks because they're amazing people, but my favorite part for that, for Female Trouble, was that I got to work one-on-one with Divine. Of course, I was inspired by John because he wrote everything, but that was the only time that I actually worked with Divvy, and I'm really glad I did.
Mason Funk: [01:07:00] That's awesome.
Elizabeth Williams: It was awesome, and I was good.
Mason Funk: You were good. You were very good.
Elizabeth Williams: Oh, no. I meant in the film.
Mason Funk: Okay. I have a few final questions and then we're going to have to wrap up and head down to John's place.
Elizabeth Williams: Good. Then we can put the air conditioner on.
Mason Funk: Yeah.
Elizabeth Williams: Don't you love when I ponder?
Mason Funk: [01:07:30] I love when you take thoughtful sips of water. It's very ...
Elizabeth Williams: Very thoughtful sip.
Mason Funk: Everyone's on the edge of their chairs.
Elizabeth Williams: Right.
Kate Kunath: You have very pregnant pauses.
Mason Funk: Yes.
Elizabeth Williams: They're good. This is sort of like Tina Louise from Gilligan's Island. "Okay. What's your next question?"
Mason Funk: "My next question is ..."
Elizabeth Williams: Don't you Marilyn me, honey.
Mason Funk: Okay. I'd probably do a very poor job anyway. If you are ...
Elizabeth Williams: [01:08:00] I'd bet you ... I don't know. You're kind of pretty.
Mason Funk: I'm trying. I try. It's interesting because you in some ways did not have a prototypical coming-out story. You just didn't, because I think you were sort of born comfortable with yourself.
Elizabeth Williams: That's true. Oh, gosh did I just ... That's true.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:08:30] Suddenly, Bette Davis is appearing. I think if you are open to knowing some transgender folk, and I don't know how many transgender folk you know, just like everyone else. Everybody's different. People seem to need
Elizabeth Williams: [01:09:00] to qualify and quantify so much to the point where if you're gay, every gay person in the world must be your best friend, because after all, you're gay. You go over to the gay place and you be gay, and you do your gay laundry and eat your gay dinner and grow your gay garden.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:09:30] It's the same way with everyone else that we talk to, but I think there has come a time ... Am I giving a speech now?
Mason Funk: Yeah. That was very presidential.
Elizabeth Williams: After all, I did go to the DNC. That's Democratic National Convention. I think there's come a time when we realize that
Elizabeth Williams: [01:10:00] we're really all very different and there is no typical or stereotypical story.It reminds me of the I'm From Driftwood Project. I don't know if you know those guys. I like them a lot. They document stories and they're all very different and I think that's why what you're doing is so important, because if anything
Elizabeth Williams: [01:10:30] it points out the fact that whether we are ... Do I have to start with L ... It's like it's the whole fucking alphabet now. I remember when it was just F. Yeah, I said that. Now there's like this whole alphabet and there's like non-binary and gender queer
Elizabeth Williams: [01:11:00] and I think I know what most of it means, but I think I'm still playing catch-up in some ways. We didn't have that, but then again, I think we did. It just didn't have a name, but now everything sort of has to have a name.Everything doesn't have a name and everyone is different. Because of that, everyone's
Elizabeth Williams: [01:11:30] story is different. There may be similarities. You know, there are places where the bumpers of our boots may touch, but we don't overlap. I'm related to you, but I'm not you. I don't know everything about you, but there are a few things that I probably know, and there are a few things that you probably knew about me before you got here.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:12:00] I think that is something that when we document it, we're not just documenting quote/unquote stories.I would like to think that what people have the opportunity to look at is that genuine diversity is just what it is.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:12:30] It's not contrived. It's not created. It's just an expression of authenticity, and I think at the end of the day, no matter who we are, no matter who we love, no matter what we eat, no matter who we fuck Did I say, "No matter who we love?" Did I forget that one? I think I did say it. If I didn't, that's a really important one, because we can love a lot of people
Elizabeth Williams: [01:13:00 for a lot of different reasons, but all that said, when you put all of those things together, I think what's most important is that we do it authentically and that we unapologetically live our own truth, because that's something that has been a survival mechanism for me
Elizabeth Williams: [01:13:30] and a healthy mechanism for a lot of people I've known, is to just live your own truth.Sometimes it's not judicious to put yourself in danger or anything else that would be unseemly, ungainly. One of those words that means weird. It's rather like if I go to the supermarket
Elizabeth Williams: [01:14:00] and I'm sliding my kale through the beeper, I don't say to the checkout girl, "Well, guess what happened to me a little over thirty-five years ago?" Because she doesn't care.It's not germane, but it is germane that we all just be exactly who we are, rather than some societally-created
Elizabeth Williams: [01:14:30] contrivance of gayness or lesbeterianism or trans-gender sexual binary queer ... I don't know because everybody has a different name. Personally, I don't care what you call me, as long as you call me Elizabeth, as long as you call me
Elizabeth Williams: [01:15:00] she and as long as you're civilized, I'm good.
Mason Funk: I love it. That's fantastic. I love it.
Elizabeth Williams: Good.
Mason Funk: Why is it important to you to tell your story?
Elizabeth Williams: It's not important for me to tell my story.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:15:30] It's important when I may be asked to be part of ... I'm going to start that over.It's important to me to be part of a tradition. An oral, in this case a video, audio tradition, that will hopefully be passed down.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:16:00] I suppose my answer is twofold. One being it's not particularly important to me that it's my story. It's important to me that I'm getting to be part of a much greater story and hopefully somehow I may cohesively fit in there
Elizabeth Williams: [01:16:30] and make it just a little bit richer, just like every other person who's doing it will do.I lend my voice and my face to a few things, a few projects that are important. Some transgender issues. Right now,
Elizabeth Williams: [01:17:00] LGBT affordable housing. Again, I think we all go where we're lead. Many years ago, when we were children ... There actually is another person in the room and six minutes ago when she was a child,
Elizabeth Williams: [01:17:30] we may have had oral tradition, but I think we were sorely lacking healthy role models, accurate role models. We were sorely lacking people that we could look to and say, "I can do that.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:18:00] Oh, you mean I can be okay? I have permission to be happy?" Even though there are times when I may get called a Pollyanna for this, I think yeah. At the end of the day, if I can say anything
Elizabeth Williams: [01:18:30] that is important to me, that might hopefully be important to someone, and I have no idea where, who may be a little confused in a moment or a little bit lost, is yeah. No matter who you are and no matter how strange other people may think you are, A) be yourself,
Elizabeth Williams: [01:19:00] but B) you have permission to be happy. You were born with it. It's your birthright. You don't have to earn it. You don't have to audition like I did at Hopkins, because they were wrong. I was born with the right to be happy. You were born with the right to be happy. They were all born with the right to be happy, and you're willing to document it, so I'm willing to say it.
Mason Funk: [01:19:30] Awesome.
Elizabeth Williams: Wasn't that good?
Mason Funk: Bam! That was a ... Fireworks. We're going to record a room tone.
Kate Kunath: Wait. You missed one question. One of your final questions.
Mason Funk: Oh, right. I'm sorry. OUTWORDS?
Kate Kunath: No, your hope for the future.
Mason Funk: Oh, yeah. Okay. There's one more.
Elizabeth Williams: Okay.
Mason Funk: This is like a little of my final set of questions. That's why Kate prompted me. What is your hope for the future? What do you hope will happen after you and I, and even Kate, are gone?
Elizabeth Williams: [01:20:00] You mean when we're gone today?
Kate Kunath: [crosstalk 01:20:11].
Mason Funk: We'll all have a good hamburger.
Elizabeth Williams: Right.
Kate Kunath: When we get in the elevator, or when we're in the ground?
Elizabeth Williams: Isn't that the elephant in the room?
Mason Funk: The normal, or the simpler way that I normally ask it is just what is your hope for the future?
Elizabeth Williams: Yeah, I get that. This is just like, very few words
Elizabeth Williams: [01:20:30] can often make a very big question. Again, I use the word Pollyanna, and it is Pollyanna-ish I suppose, but if you want my hope for the future ... Dammit, I really wish it was the fucking immediate future.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:21:00 I want people to stop hurting each other. I want people to understand that it doesn't have to be as complicated as they want it to be or they need it to be. That I'm not as complicated as they may think I am. I'm not the village idiot, but I'm also not as odd as they may think I am.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:21:30] I'm really rather pedestrian.When you have a transgender history, when people find out about that, they kind of stub their toe on it. They sort of don't want to know anything else about you, or they're not interested. They don't particularly care that there's a guitar on the wall that sure I know how to play, and I'm a quilter
Elizabeth Williams: [01:22:00] and I'm really dedicated to young people, especially young people who are somewhere on the gender continuum. I'm a sister and I'm an aunt and I'm a godmother. I'm sort of a pain in the ass at times too, but I'm good. What I hope is that
Elizabeth Williams: [01:22:30] people can get to a place where we can all embrace each other's differences. I know now I sound like Miss America saying, "When I get my crown, I'm going to use it for world peace," but ... Oh, that was a quote from Miss Congeniality. With everything that's going on right now in the world, that question is so poignant,
Elizabeth Williams: [01:23:00] because we are all insane from the media right now. People are being ... I guess the worst one recently was that horror in Uganda, at the Pride Day in Uganda where people were all arrested. Before that, we had Orlando. We have the presidential race and scare tactics and hate tactics.Even in many cities,
Elizabeth Williams: [01:23:30] we don't even have to go that far outside the LGBT community, because in many cities, if you take a really good look, sadly the LGBT community itself is rather fractured. There are gay men who don't like a certain element of lesbian women, and lesbian women who have very little tolerance for some gay men.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:24:00] Everybody who sort of doesn't have much time for transgender people, because they're the novelty act.If we all just get over ourselves and realize that, even though this may sound hackneyed, Gandhi was right. We can be the change that we want to create,
Elizabeth Williams: [01:24:30] and for me that's just relentless positivity. If that makes me a Pollyanna, so be it. That's what I'll be, because when I went down there to Johns Hopkins that's what they did. They turned me into a Pollyanna, because I didn't want to be a Stepford wife, and that was the only other choice.
Mason Funk: You can be this or you can be that.
Elizabeth Williams: Right. A fish or a fowl. Well, they thought I was fowl.
Mason Funk: I wish I could ...
Elizabeth Williams: [01:25:00] It's hard.
Mason Funk: I can picture it. I can picture the room. I can picture you. I can picture them. I might have a few details wrong, but you painted an amazing picture.
Elizabeth Williams: It's really easy. You're in LA. I'm not. I'm not a hundred and two yet. Write a treatment. Drag it around town. Make it really funny, but make it really positive.
Kate Kunath: [01:25:30] It's Ted.
Mason Funk: It's Ted.
Elizabeth Williams: Ted can get over himself.
Kate Kunath: Go to hell, Ted. We're interviewing.
Elizabeth Williams: It's nice that he's vibrating instead of ringing. I'll have to thank him for that.
Mason Funk: Okay, Ted.
Elizabeth Williams: See. Think it's that's good, go home and write a treatment.
Mason Funk: Let's record a room tone.
Elizabeth Williams: Cocky, huh?
Mason Funk: What's that?
Elizabeth Williams: I said, "Cocky, huh?"
Mason Funk: Well, it's a good idea.
Elizabeth Williams: [01:26:00] You see, it's funny. My friend, Vincent ... I always talk about him, but he's great. I don't know who Kate works for. I don't know if you're always looking for work. He's a great guy.
Kate Kunath: Cool. I would love to meet him. Any friend of yours is a friend of mine.
Elizabeth Williams: He grew up here and he is like, kill me fabulous, and I have known him since I was thirteen years old.
Mason Funk: [01:26:30] Wow.
Elizabeth Williams: When I fart, he thinks it's The Star-Spangled Banner. He loves me.
Mason Funk: I love that line.
Elizabeth Williams: He thinks I'm fabulous. Oh, a little Harvey just came out. That was weird.
Mason Funk: Faaabulous.
Elizabeth Williams: I usually never do Harvey unless I really do Harvey. I do that and people say, "Could you please stop doing that? It creeps me out."

Interviewed by: Mason Funk
Camera: Kate Kunath
Date: August 08, 2016
Location: John C Anderson Apartments, Philadephia, PA