I am well aware that I had an unusual childhood, I did spend a lot of time doing ‘kid’ things, riding my bike and playing with friends and imagining things. I did, however, watch a lot of TV shows that I’m pretty sure my friends weren’t watching, like The Golden Girls and Designing Women.

I dedicate a lot of my personality and my understanding of the world to the women on those shows. I’ve already mentioned that part of my education in sexuality comes from Golden Girls, which is something I appreciate, but I also know that I would love to be as strong a woman as Dorothy Zbornak and I was very sad to hear the Bea Arthur had died.

And this morning I woke up to here that Dixie Carter passed away.

I will always associate Dixie Carter with the beauty, poise, strength of character, sisterhood and passion for issues that Julia Sugarbaker demonstrated. I will always remember her anger whenever anyone crossed her or someone she love. Julia Sugarbaker was an excellent example of what womanhood should be to me as a young girl. She was well put together, she owned her own business, she was surrounded by close friends, and she was not to be trifled with.

The particular episode of Designing Women that I will never forget – an episode that opened new worlds to me – was the episode in which a friend of the ladies at Sugarbaker’s, a gay man, came to tell them that he was dying of AIDS. I don’t know whether I was aware of what it meant to be gay at that age, but I certainly didn’t know anything about AIDS.

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