The best part of writing this profile of Lory Masters was the road trips. Sometimes she drove, sometimes I drove, but after only speaking to her a couple of times, it was like we were old friends cruising Dallas and reminiscing about the good old days.
During one of our first visits, she drove me around Loryland, the neighborhood in Northwest Dallas that was informally named for her. We visited her friends, saw beautifully remodeled homes, and visited the quaint pool clubs that dot the neighborhoods and provide respite for local families trying to beat the heat.
Later, I would drive us both up Interstate 35 to the University of North Texas to visit a special collection at the university library, most of which is made up of her personal belongings. It documents the history of the LGBTQ community in Dallas.
While it was amazing to look through old photos and see her motorcycle club jacket, the chat during the drive was what made the trip special. She told me stories about entertaining political leaders in her home and raising millions of dollars for causes too numerous to mention in the story, how she battled bigots and once feared that her way of life could get her arrested at any moment. But she also spoke of her daughter and granddaughter, who she described with just as much pride as when speaking about Judge Sarah T. Hughes or Barney Frank.
This, I learned, was what made Lory so special. When you were with her, you were family. No one else mattered when you were on a drive with her. She made you the center of the world no matter who you were, and it was impossible not to feel like you had been friends for decades. On our road trips, I shared the feeling. As I interviewed those who knew her, friends and family told me they all felt the same way.
Somehow it made sense that she would be at the center of so much North Texas history, from a fiery speech at the Texas Republican Convention and starting on the defensive line for Dallas’ women’s professional football team to starting her own realty business and founding a lesbian motorcycle club.
I hope you enjoy reading the story as much as I did reporting it. It’s a wild ride, and the story from the July issue of D is online today.