Theresa Leeanne (Terry) Downe is a punk rock guitarist from Huerta (Hoppers), California. Together with Hopey Glass, Maggie Chascarillo, Izzy Ortiz Reubens, Penny Century, and Daphne Matsumoto, Terry is one of the original six LOCAS in Love and Rockets. She plays an important role in the early years of LOCAS.
Terry is a tall, attractive, dark-haired woman of English and German descent. As an adult, Terry has a daydream/vision of herself as a saint, most likely Saint Theresa. This suggests that she may have been raised as a Catholic, but this is not certain.
When young, Terry wears typical punk costume or 1940's-style retro dresses and heels. Her hair is usually long, though she also experiments with Mohawks and flattop cuts. In her 30's and 40's, Terry cuts her hair in a short, mannish style, and is usually seen in button-down shirt, vest, and jeans.
Terry has two sisters who are even taller than she is. One of these sisters is named Fallon, but little else is known for certain about Terry's background. Her family life is very unhappy. Terry was molested when she was only four years old, though the identity of the culprit is not yet known. Her stepfather hates her.
When she is about fourteen, Terry runs away from home in pursuit of an older punk boy, Stevie TV. Stevie is about to be married, however, and he does not want Terry tagging after him. He gets rid of Terry by dumping her on Del Chimney (Porfirio Diaz Rubinski), a drug dealer and sexual pervert who serves as a mad godfather to the young punks of Hoppers. Del abuses Terry, but she hardens under his treatment and is soon able to defy him.
Terry returns to high school, where she meets the slightly younger Hopey Glass. Hopey is intimidated by Terry, but she is also sexually attracted to her and awed by her punk rebelliousness and defiance of authority. Hopey soon runs away from home to join Terry at Del's, where she becomes Terry's lesbian lover. Del attempts to abuse Hopey as he once abused Terry, but Terry prevents this.
In the early stages of her affair with Hopey, Terry is very much the sexual aggressor and the dominant partner, but Hopey quickly learns how to exploit her sexuality in order to manipulate Terry. Terry and Hopey remain together for about two years, but their relationship becomes tempestuous and argumentative as each tries to dominate and use the other. Hopey is the only person in Hoppers who can talk back to Terry and get away with it, but she is also the only one in town who really likes Terry and will stick up for her. Terry serves as Hopey's tutor in punk and in life, and Hopey owes much of her own edginess to Terry's example. Terry and Hopey make a formidable pair of bullies in high school, and Hopey uses Terry as a weapon in her feuds with others: the two combine to beat up Julie Wree, Hopey's former friend turned enemy.
Hopey finally tires of Terry's ill temper, and she hooks up with the more pliable and easy-going Maggie Chascarillo instead. Terry is furious, but she focuses her jealous rage on Maggie and remains friends with Hopey. Over the next few years, the two play together in a bad punk band and sometimes have sex when Maggie is out of town.
Unlike Hopey, Terry has a consistent work history. Terry works briefly as a stripper at Bumpers, Hoppers' leading men's club, though she hates the male customers. She also works for Monty's, the local department store, in the sporting goods and cosmetics departments.
Terry may be the most lesbian of the Locas. Men find Terry attractive, and for a while she has a live-in boyfriend named Paul. His real importance to her may be judged from the fact that he never really appears in the story. Even when she is on a date with a handsome and wealthy older man, Terry still daydreams of Hopey.
Even at the beginning, Terry is a serious, hard-working musician and a very good one. Terry becomes increasingly angered by the incompetence of her fellow band members, including Hopey, who is a bad bass player. The band (known at the time as La Llorona) eventually goes on tour, but Hopey and Terry quarrel constantly and Terry finally leaves in disgust after a last fistfight with Hopey. Terry more or less disappears from the Hoppers scene as well, pursuing her musical career elsewhere before settling in Los Angeles sometime in the early 90's.
Terry makes only very brief appearances in the later years of LOCAS. She is very successful as a musician, passing from punk through folk to punkabilly. By the early 2000's Terry is leading a band called Bootcut Jean and she has become a star. For a while in the 90's Terry seemed to be in fitful contact with Hopey, but by the 2000's this has ceased; when Hopey tries to sneak into one of Terry's shows in LA, her former lover does not even recognize her.
Terry is a strong, intelligent woman with a complex, hard-edged personality. She is a skilled liar and manipulator ("one sly bitch", in Hopey's words), and is known for her cold sarcasm and calculated rudeness. Terry is also deeply private and withdrawn, holds most people in contempt, and has no real friends except Hopey. Terry is a grudge-holder with a long memory, and she delights in revenge against Maggie, Stevie TV, and others who have wronged her. She is also capable of violence, and knows how to use a knife as well as her fists.
Terry seems to have changed somewhat since she has become a star. She smiles more often and is even kind to a distraught fan--though the fan is, of course, an attractive young woman.