My life as a gay woman - a lesbian - started in 1969. I had this attitude about loving myself and doing things for myself - everything needed to be about me and making my life better and loving it because I’m me. In 1969, I came to New York...before I left [home], I kissed my best friend’s sister because she kissed me. I didn’t know anything, I just always knew she was fabulous because of her dress style and the way she walked down the street had a lot of pride in it. I was fascinated...Everyone [back home] grew up Baptist, but I didn’t want a title...anybody that was gay was called ‘those kind of people’ or ‘bull-dagger’ or ‘faggot’ or anything that sounded awful. And to me, those terms were very bad...I had seen Mary Tyler Moore, and because she was a woman, had a job, and something called an apartment where she lived - I’m like ‘Oh my god, she’s a woman and she’s not crying and saying that she needs money or she feels helpless or she’s waiting for THE man or a husband or whoever it will be that will be a male person to come along’ - because this is what I saw as I was growing up - and I vowed to myself that I would never be like that, in need of anything from anybody.
— Barbara Abrams