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12 Pages

Barbara Gittings (1932- ): Independent Spirit

WithKay Tobin Lahusen

I have been her life partner since 1961. She’s a hero to me, as she is to many others. How did she get to be one of the pioneers who got the gay tide rolling?

Barbara was born in 1932 in Vienna, Austria, where her father was in the U.S. diplomatic service, so she was automatically a U.S. citizen. Her father was a strict Catholic and his three children attended Catholic schools in Annapolis, Maryland, Montreal, Canada, and Wilmington, Delaware, where the family finally settled for good. Their big old house was filled with books, which fed Barbara’s natural bent for reading.