Wendy Davis is the Democratic candidate for governor of Texas and author of a new memoir, Forgetting to Be Afraid.
From her Q & A with Caitlin Moscatello at Glamour:
Glamour: You describe your childhood in so much detail—your mom's depression, your parents twice divorcing, financial hardship. And then of course being a young, single mom. How did toughing it out through these hard times shape you as a politician?--Marshal Zeringue
Wendy Davis: When my parents divorced the second time, we went from being a very stable family that sat down to dinner at the table at 6 o'clock at night to one with a mom who worked nights and weekends and wasn't able to financially support us in the way that she would have liked. My mom had only a ninth-grade education. And we all had to go to work really young to help her out. I started working when I was 14. And when I became a single mom.... I felt like I was stuck, and I was afraid I was going to be stuck in the very same place that I saw my mother be stuck. And it wasn't until one of my coworkers brought in a brochure to our community college that I began to even think about a path forward. It was hard. I worked a full-time job, I worked a part-time job, and I went to college, while I was raising my daughter as a single mom. But I knew if I didn't put my foot forward on that path, we were going to stay stuck, and the fact that I was able to do it, I hope creates for people who are struggling with some of the same situations in their lives, hope that they too can do it.
Glamour: Earlier this year, parts of your personal story were challenged—specifically, how you paid for law school. Were you surprised that the issue was questioned?
WD: I was disappointed that it was. But, you know, my story is my story. And I know how I was able to achieve the things I achieved. I know, and have always recognized and given credit to many people who helped me along the way, most important of which was my ex-husband Jeff Davis. He was my mentor. He was an incredible support to me in many ways. Together, we created two beautiful, wonderful daughters who are happy and successful. He is...[read on]