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Lesbian is a sexual orientation[1][2] or romantic orientation[2] most often defined as a woman who is attracted to other women, with many variations in definitions.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] Although lesbians are frequently defined as women who are attracted to women exclusively/solely,[3][4][7] they are also defined as women attracted to women primarily/mainly.[1][4][7] Some prefer to use or additionally use "gay" or "gay woman" as an identifier.[11]

Lesbians have debated who shares their identity and is part of the lesbian community for over a century.[12] They have variously been defined based on sexual attractions, romantic attractions,[1][3][4][5][11] sexual behaviors,[1] or self-identifying with the label.[13] For instance, women who self-identify as both bisexual and lesbian[note 2] would not be included in a definition that specifies lesbians are only oriented toward women, but would be in a broader definition that encompasses other labels.[3][7][13] Definitions also vary in whether or not they use expanded language regarding gender with phrasing that explicitly includes people who do not identify only as women, such as non-binary people[11][15] who are woman-aligned[11] or feel a connection to womanhood, or genderqueer people who feel a connection to womanhood.[15]

Lesbians may be cisgender or transgender;[3][16][17] since gender is a separate concept from sexual orientation, someone may be both trans and lesbian.[note 3][3][16] Based upon their assigned gender at birth and attraction to women, and prior to realizing their gender identity and transitioning, some trans women (assigned male at birth) formerly identify as straight and some trans men (assigned female at birth) as lesbian. Trans women attracted to women may subsequently understand themselves as lesbian women. As lesbian communities tend to be more accepting of masculine and gender non-conforming people who were assigned female at birth than straight communities, trans men often initially identify as lesbians before transitioning; however, this does not mean that all butch or otherwise masculine lesbians are transgender. Depending on individual circumstances, some trans men maintain their lesbian identities and community involvement as men.[18]

Certain lesbians have used the label to describe their gender in addition to their attractions.[19] In the Gender Census, an annual online international survey of people who do not strictly identify with the gender binary, participants indicated their personal identifiers; the item "lesbian (partially or completely in relation to gender)" was selected by 12.9% of the participants in 2021[20] and 13.8% in 2022.[21]

Etymology

SapphoKalpis

Painted vase depicting Sappho (c. 510 BC)

The term "Lesbian" originally referred to people or things from the Greek island of Lesbos. It is associated with famous poet Sappho, a community leader from the island of Lesbos who wrote multiple love poems to other women circa 600 BCE.[5] The adjective "sapphic" is also derived from Sappho.[22] Sappho also wrote erotic and romantic verses that included men, but in English language texts, her particular association with the erotic love between women has been dated to 1732 or before. By 1870, "lesbianism" had become a noun for a woman's erotic interest in other women or homosexual relations between them,[23] while the phrase "lesbian love" was in use by 1883, originally circulating in U.S. medical journals that framed sexual intimacy between women as pathological.[24] Previously used as an adjective related to the isle of Lesbos or to amatory poetry, "lesbian" has been in continuous use since 1890[23] to describe romantic and/or sexual behavior between women regardless of their specific sexualities, such as "lesbian couple", "lesbian sex", or "lesbian kiss".[5] By 1904, lesbian was in use as a noun.[25]

Community

Lesbian Visibility Day is celebrated on April 26 and began in 2018 in the United Kingdom. Since its organization by the DIVA Media Group in 2021,[26] Lesbian Visibility Week takes place April 22 to 28.[27]

History

During the Weimar Republic (1919–1933)

Sie Representiert

Sie repräsentiert! ("She represents!") by Jeanne Mammen, c. 1928, depicts a party in a lesbian bar.

In Germany, the word "homosexual" was widely used, but not universally loved, by gay men and lesbians by the 1920s. Other language used by homosexual women included lesbianer (lesbian), freundin (female form of "friend"), and tribade (from the French usage, but rare by the 1920s), along with references to Sappho. Words implying certain roles also emerged. Although less language specified feminine lesbians, Mädi or Dame were sometimes used. Lesbian magazines sometimes described "Don Juans" and the "Ben Hur type", while two words that suggested a masculine appearance, and might be loosely translated as "butch" today, were Bubi (lad, also a reference to the popular bobbed haircut) and garçonne.[12] Garçonne was derived from the French word garçon ("boy") with a feminine suffix added. Its closest English translation would be "tomboy". Victor Margueritte's 1922 novel La Garçonne, translated for English readers as "The Bachelor Girl", led to popular use of garçonne as a description for flappers, women who wore masculine clothing, and lesbians. A lesbian magazine originally published as Frauenliebe ("Woman Love") was retitled Garçonne from 1930 to 1932, and a lesbian club of that name was opened in 1931 by Susi Wannowsky.[28]

The most common Weimar era alternative to "homosexual" was "friend", placing an emphasis on emotional relationships while also obscuring the sexual element for those not in the know. Men's and women's "friendship" magazines demonstrated that a sense of shared identity was developing between gay men and lesbians, along with discussions of how solidarity would be needed for a political movement. Compared to gay men, women seemed more tolerant of androgyny and crossing gender lines, but some publications debated the traits of masculine lesbians versus feminine lesbians.[12]

After World War I, the number of lesbian cafés and clubs in Berlin increased dramatically, reaching more than fifty by the mid-1920s. Some establishments were class-segregated; for instance, the Club Monbijou West required an invitation, and the Pyramid was for celebrities and artists. The Chez Ma Belle Sœur was regarded by locals as a showplace for tourists. Other parts of the Weimar lesbian scene brought together women of various social classes that had been isolated from each other prior to the war.[12]

During the Nazi regime (1933–1945)

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This section is about historic persecution, abuse, and death. Reader discretion is advised or skip to the next section.

The history of lesbians during the Nazi regime is still being researched and compiled decades later. The experiences of lesbians and women accused of being lesbians are difficult to trace and cross-reference across scattered documents. Few women were identified as lesbians in official records kept during the Nazi era. Victims were not necessarily lesbians despite being documented as such by the Nazis; it is unclear how many of the allegations were false.[29]

List-MargareteRosenberg

A copied transport list for Ravensbrück concentration camp. Entry #28 on Holocaust survivor Margarete Rosenberg categorizes her as a political detainee with the note "lesbisch" (lesbian).

Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime used a strengthened version of Paragraph 175, which criminalized male homosexuality, to engage in extensive, systematic persecution of gay men.[29] Sexual intimacy between women was not criminalized, with the exception of Austria, but the Nazis disrupted informal gay and lesbian social networks, raided and closed their public meeting places, and put locations under surveillance. While some fled the country, others attempted to outwardly conform by entering marriages of convenience, sometimes between a gay man and a lesbian. The Third Reich saw marriage and motherhood as the ultimate purpose of women, specifically to increase the "desirable" Aryan population. To the Nazis, lesbians could be "cured"[30] to bear Aryan children by persuasion or by force.[29][30]

Lesbians did not experience the same systematic persecution as gay men, but they could be investigated, arrested, and sent to prisons or concentration camps for other "offenses", such as being Jewish or engaging in subversive political behavior; their sexuality was not the official reason listed. While gay men were forced to wear a downward-pointing pink triangle in camps that used coded badges, lesbians were instead marked with whichever badge corresponded to their official reason for arrest and internment.[29] Some lesbians wore a downward-pointing black triangle because they were marked as "asocials"[30][31] or "work-shy".[31]

Legal challenges to lesbian literature

Dottie is pretty and stout, with long, fluffy black hair, black eyes. She always wears sleeveless gowns, while Sammie 'struts' her tightly fitting tailored suit, and the inevitable attached collar and tie, which means so much in the life of a Lesbian. The two often get publicity in current periodicals and are generally called 'husband and wife.'

Sammie smiles when she reads these articles, while Dottie silently blushes.

This 'Flowery Tea Pot' has become a very popular and interesting rendezvous for loving couples of the same sex, mostly the fair sex . . . where over a cup of tea lovers meet and wistfully look into each other's eyes . . . where new ones and lonely ones get acquainted and embrace each other, swaying to the melody of a dreamy waltz.

Eve Adams (as "Evelyn Addams"), Lesbian Love (1925)

Chawa Zloczewer was a Polish Jewish lesbian. She is best known as Eve Adams, the name she eventually adopted in the United States. The U.S. government first began surveillance of her based on "radical activities", primarily selling subscriptions to leftist magazines. In February 1925, she wrote a short book called Lesbian Love as "Evelyn Addams". It included fictionalized versions of Adams and other lesbians she knew, as well as drawings of pairs of clothed and nude women, loving each other. It reflected beliefs at the time about lesbians as born "sexually inverted", or having a masculine nature, and pairing off with feminine women. Only 150 copies were made for private distribution. Nevertheless, after an undercover policewoman entrapped Adams, she was found guilty of publishing an "indecent book" and sentenced to the maximum one-year imprisonment. Adams asserted that her book was "not in any way immoral, indecent, or vulgar." Some contemporary reports sensationalized her arrest and trials. The U.S. deported her to Poland and she moved to Paris. She was arrested in Nazi-occupied France and died sometime after deportation to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.[24]

Book - Women's Barracks

The original cover of Women's Barracks.

In 1928, British author Radclyffe Hall published The Well of Loneliness, a semi-autobiographical novel about "sexual inversion" like hers. Its depiction of a lesbian relationship led to attacks in the press and withdrawing it from publication in Britain. Her publisher was charged under the Obscene Publications Act of 1857. Finding the book obscene and capable of corrupting readers, the court ordered it removed from circulation and destroyed. The labeling of the book as "obscene" drew attention of publishers in the U.S., and the firm that bought the U.S. rights hired a lawyer who successfully defended it in 1929.[32]

Women's Barracks, by Tereska Torrès, was published in 1950 by Gold Medal Books and is regarded as the first lesbian pulp novel.[33] The semi-autobiographical novel was based upon the diaries she kept as a member of the Free French Forces during World War II, novelized and published at the urging of her husband. Multiple lesbian women are described and identified as such in the story, while other women engage in occasional liaisons and are not regarded as "real Lesbians".[34] Torrès did not regard it as a "lesbian" novel, merely one that included sexuality in a way that Americans were not accustomed to, and she was not a lesbian herself. Women's Barracks became the first bestselling paperback original novel, selling two million copies in just its first five years. It was also subjected to a United States congressional committee on "current pornographic materials" that eventually allowed it to remain uncensored because it had "moral lessons" about the so-called "problem" of lesbianism; however, a Canadian court review ruled it obscene.[35]

Mid-20th century, United States

BoLSoG-ApartmentCouple

A butch/femme couple photographed in front of their apartment in the 1950s

In the 1940s, lesbian group solidarity began to grow in the United States, and the 1950s built on that through night life at lesbian bars and house parties. In the U.S., participation in lesbian communities was largely predicated on adopting butch/femme culture and its associated roles as they were understood in that time period. The butch/femme code of personal behavior became a social imperative to increase the visibility of lesbians to the public and to each other, particularly with the expression of butch identities, whether or not a femme partner was present.[36]

Locations where lesbians congregated became sites of resistance and defiance of the societal repression of women's sexuality. Growing lesbian pride and solidarity developed into the political consciousness of gay liberation that spread with the Stonewall riots of 1969 and the subsequent decades. Bar culture in particular evolved into politics focused on the right to congregate rather than the homophile movement that focused on the right to equal protection.[36]

Stonewall riots

It was a rebellion, it was an uprising, it was a civil rights disobedience—it wasn't no damn riot.

In the late 1960s, it was illegal in the state of New York for people considered "of the same sex" to publicly hold hands, kiss, or dance with each other.[37] Police also harassed and arrested people who were not wearing attire that matched binary genders imposed by the police, such as those the police viewed as "female" who was not wearing enough "feminine" attire. Lesbians and trans men were targeted on the streets and in bars for harassment, assaults, and examinations of their anatomy; for instance, the drag king Rusty Brown was repeatedly arrested for wearing a shirt and pants.[38]

The Stonewall riots, also called the Stonewall uprising,[39] started on June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, a gay club located in Greenwich Village in New York City. Initially a confrontation between patrons and police officers, it was strengthened by other members of the LGBTQIA+ community and neighborhood street people.[38] Despite several drawbacks, the Stonewall Inn was an important institution for the local community. The Genovese crime family, a Mafia organization, found it profitable to control most of the gay bars in Greenwich Village, including Stonewall Inn. Police officers were bribed to ignore the bar or tip it off prior to the frequent police raids,[37] which usually resulted in people who were inside the bar fleeing and those outside dispersing.[39]

Stormé DeLarverie standing

Stormé DeLarverie, sometime between 1955 and 1969

In the early morning hours on June 28, 1969, Stonewall Inn was not tipped off before police officers arrived with a warrant. The officers were physically aggressive with the patrons and began arresting employees for liquor license violations and patrons for "cross-dressing".[37] Stormé DeLarverie, who worked as a drag king, and several fellow butch lesbians attempted to defend their friends, but were beaten by police.[40] Although there is some debate about whether or not DeLarverie was the party in certain events, along with the sequence of those events,[40][41] she has been attributed with throwing the first punch and initiating the riot. At some point, DeLarverie stated an officer told her to move along, called her a slur referring to a gay man, and hit her; she punched back.[41] When a lesbian was forced into the police van and struck over the head, she shouted at the onlookers to act; the crowd began throwing objects at the police.[37] Some accounts are that DeLarverie complained about her handcuffs and was struck with a baton. She was dragged into the police wagon and attempted to flee toward Stonewall Inn. When she was pulled back and further beaten by the officers, she reportedly yelled to the crowd, "Why don't you do something?"[40]

Over the following six days, the community engaged in protests and violent clashes with law enforcement on Christopher Street, in neighboring streets, and in nearby Christopher Park.[37] Although the uncoordinated actions are often called a riot, DeLarverie described it as a rebellion, uprising, and civil rights disobedience.[40] The event is widely regarded as a catalyst for the civil rights movement for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in the United States.[42]

Lesbian-feminism and the lesbian sex wars

Lesbian-feminism[note 4] and the lesbian separatist movement emerged from within the larger Second Wave of feminism, which had largely ignored and excluded lesbians.[43] Many radical feminists believed the sexual revolution of the 1960s was more exploitative than liberating and saw sexual liberation and women's liberation as mutually exclusive. They wanted feminists to stop focusing on sex, and some viewed lesbians as "hypersexual".[44] In 1969, the president of the National Organization of Women (NOW), Betty Friedan, said that lesbians were the "lavender menace" to the reputation of the women's liberation movement (Susan Brownmiller further dismissed lesbians as only an inconsequential "lavender herring" in a March 1970 article in The New York Times).[45] Author and lesbian Rita Mae Brown was relieved of her duties as editor of New York-NOW's newsletter; in response, she and two other lesbians resigned from other NOW offices and issued a statement about homophobia within NOW. In late 1969, Brown joined others in organizing a lesbian-feminist movement.[44] At the Second Congress to Unite Women on May 1, 1970, the Lavender Menace—a group of lesbian activists from Radicalesbians, the Gay Liberation Front, and other feminist groups—coordinated a demonstration to successfully demand recognition of lesbianism and the oppression of lesbians as legitimate feminist concerns.[45] Those planning the action included Brown, Ellen Bedoz, Cynthia Funk, Lois Hart, and March Hoffman.[44]

Lavender-Menace-shirt

One of the original t-shirts worn by a Lavender Menace activist

The Radicalesbians additionally distributed their article "The Woman Identified Woman", which framed "homosexuality" and "heterosexuality" as categories created and used by a male-dominated society to separate women from each other and dominate them. The article argued that since lesbianism involved women relating to women, it was essential to women's liberation. They called for complete separatism from men.[43] According to "Lavender Menace" member Jennifer Woodul, the term "woman-identified" may have been proposed by Cynthia Funk, and it was meant to be less threatening to heterosexual women than "lesbian". The group criticized characterizing lesbians based on sexuality as "divisive and sexist", and redefined lesbianism as a primarily political choice that showed solidarity between women.[44]

Expressions of lesbian sexuality were often treated as problematic by the lesbian-feminist movement,[36] and the acceptance of lesbians in the feminist movement was contingent upon de-emphasizing sexuality. Many heterosexual feminists did not welcome discussions of any sexuality whatsoever and thought feminism should move away from the topic; thus, lesbian-feminists further reframed lesbianism as a matter of sensuality rather than sexuality. They also portrayed men's sexuality as always aggressive and seeking to conquer while women were portrayed as nurturing and seeking to communicate. In this ideology, lesbianism became the ultimate expression of feminism by not involving men, while sex with men was oppressive and corrupt. With men, maleness, masculine roles, and the patriarchy all seen as linked together, lesbian-feminists viewed feminists who continued to associate with men, especially by having sex with them, as inferior and consorting with "the enemy". All-"lesbian" retreats were held, and houses and communes were formed, for those seeking to practice lesbian separatism. Since any desire for men was seen as "male identified" rather than "woman identified", straight feminists were seen as unwilling or unable to commit to other women, making them lesser feminists than political lesbians who chose women.[44]

Two key texts to the lesbian-feminist movement were Adrienne Rich's[note 5] 1980 article "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence" and Lillian Faderman's 1981 book Surpassing the Love of Men. The texts emphasized loving and passionate relationships between women that were not necessarily sexual; however, they also treated sexuality as unimportant. Faderman's book claimed that the medical establishment's view of love between women as pathological led to the patriarchy treating any close relationships as suspicious and sexual; therefore, women's relationships should defy that view by no longer emphasizing sexuality. Rich continued the framing of lesbians as a political identity, a resistance to patriarchy, and commonality between all women-identified "passionate friends", warriors, and activists. She furthered the argument that being a lesbian was a choice, and that all feminists should make that choice as they removed themselves from male influences. Faderman and Rich's texts also split lesbian history from the history of gay men.[36]

The "sex wars" shifted near the end of the 1970s to encompass additional sexual expressions beyond lesbianism. Anti-pornography feminism developed in part from lesbian-feminist thoughts about straight men as inherently aggressive toward women and heterosexual sex as equivalent to violence. Butch/femme culture was seen by lesbian-feminists and anti-pornography feminists alike[46] as only an imitation of heterosexuality that reproduced the patriarchy, rather than its own rich culture. Since butch lesbians were associated with masculine traits, lesbian-feminists saw them as inherently suspicious. The free expressions of sexual desire between femmes and butches were regarded as incompatible with the lesbian-feminists' desexualized version of who could be a lesbian. Further, the importance of butches, femmes, and their culture was dismissed. When mentioned at all, lesbian-feminists treated them as if they were only a footnote, rather than presenting butches and femmes as essential to lesbian history.[36] As "pro-sex" feminists discussed sexuality, Esther Newton was one of the proponents of butch/femme dynamics. Many lesbians pointed out that the roles had transgressive potential for subverting heterosexual gender norms, rather than imitating them.[46]

Second Wave feminism's focus primarily on the concerns of white, middle-class women pushed out working-class and black women. The lesbian-feminist disapproval of butches and femmes may have derived from this classism and racism, as black lesbian culture and white working-class lesbian culture were often organized around butch/femme roles. Many black lesbian-feminists broke away to form their own groups. They had been condemned by white lesbian-feminists for fighting alongside black men for freedom, yet faced sexism within black freedom movements. Formed in 1975, the Combahee River Collective is now one of the best-known black lesbian-feminist groups.[43]

Various lesbian-feminists refused to accept transgender women as women and based their definition of "women" on genitals present at birth. When Beth Elliott, a transsexual lesbian folk singer, had her membership revoked from the Daughters of Bilitis organization in December 1972, several members resigned in protest. She was on the organizing committee for the West Coast Lesbian Feminist Conference held in 1973 and was scheduled to perform her music. When a group leafleted the conference to protest and misgender Elliott, keynote speaker Robin Morgan rewrote her speech to address the controversy, but only included transphobic rhetoric and attacks on Elliott. Over two-thirds of the attendees voted to allow Elliott to remain, but the hateful ideas in Morgan's speech spread throughout the mid-1970s.[47] Mary Daly, Sheila Jeffreys, and Janice G. Raymond also became prominent anti-trans voices. Raymond cited Adrienne Rich in a chapter called "Sappho by Surgery" in a book[48] that was published in 1979. Other lesbian-feminists broke ties with the anti-trans elements and supported trans inclusion; these included Candy Coleman, Jeanne Córdova, Deborah Feinbloom, and the Reverend Freda Smith.[47]

Symbol

Violet

The violet flower has long been associated with queer women. Sappho often referred to violets and other purple flowers in her poems,[49][50] with imagery such as a girl with "wreaths of violets" around her "slender neck". In early 20th century Paris, lesbians inspired by Sappho used violets as an adornment. For instance, Renée Vivien incorporated them into her wardrobe and as a motif in her poetry, in part because of the name of her first love: Violet Shillito. In the 1920s, women would give "sprigs of violets" to another woman to signal their love.[49] Violets' popularity increased when they were used as a symbol of two women's love for each other in the 1926 play The Captive by Édouard Bourdet.[49][50] Lesbians and other sapphics continue to use violets symbolically.[49]

Labrys

The labrys, a double-headed axe, has mythological associations with the Amazons and goddesses like Artemis, Demeter, and Laphria.[50] It was adopted as a symbol of lesbian-feminism[note 4] in the 1970s.[50][51]

Black triangle

The downward-pointing black triangle was previously used to mark "asocial" or "work-shy" prisoners in Nazi concentration camps, but some lesbians reclaimed the symbol in the 1970s.[31][51] Some lesbians wore a downward-pointing black triangle because they were marked as "asocials"[30][31] or "work-shy". Reappropriated by lesbians in the 1970s, the black triangle became a symbol for queer feminism[31] and lesbian pride,[31][51] similar to the way gay men reclaimed the pink triangle used to mark them in Nazi concentration camps.[51]

Double Venus symbol and flags

Lesbian Pride Double Venus1

An example of a double Venus lesbian pride flag

The Venus symbol (♀) originated as an ancient Roman astrological symbol for the female (sometimes called "the mirror of Venus"). It has since become an astronomical symbol of the planet Venus and a botanical and zoological symbol of femaleness. Two interlocking Venus symbols (such as ⚢) often represent lesbianism.[52] For instance, multiple Pride flags combine the double Venus symbol with Gilbert Baker's rainbow designs. Multiple examples can be seen the image category Double Venus symbols on Wikimedia Commons.[53]

Flag

Labrys lesbian flag

Labrys Lesbian Flag

The labrys lesbian flag

In 1999, graphic designer Sean Campbell created the labrys lesbian flag for the June 2000 Pride issue of Gay and Lesbian Times magazine. His flag design superimposed a white labrys over the downward-pointed black triangle on a violet-hued background.[51]

The flag has several sources of controversy, according to the Tumblr blog Lesbian Flag History:[54]

  • The black triangle's origination in Nazi Germany,[54]
  • The adoption of the labrys by some fascist organizations,[54]
  • The flag's use by transmisogynists,[54]
  • Although the creator is gay, he is a man, not a lesbian[54]

Lipstick lesbian flag and stripes

Cougar-Lipstick-Pink

Design progression from the "Cougar Pride Flag" by Fausto Fernós, to the plagiarized "The Official Lipstick Lesbian Flag" by Natalie McCray, to the stripes-only "pink flag"

In 2008, a "Cougar Pride Flag" was designed by Fausto Fernós,[55] a drag queen who created it to be tongue-in-cheek; the intention was "to draw attention to the ongoing issue of ageism and sexism in women's sexuality".[56] It includes a semi-transparent, dark red lipstick kiss mark in the top left corner and seven stripes in shades of red and pink.[55] In 2010, the blogger Natalie McCray from This Lesbian Life[57] plagiarized Fernós' design[54][56] and presented it as her own creation that she called the "official" lipstick lesbian flag. The lipstick graphic was flattened into a solid bright pink with white highlights, and the stripes were lightened and color-shifted with a central white stripe.[57]

While McCray's image has not been widely adopted in the manner she presented it, a revision[51] using her stripe colors and omitting the kiss mark gained more popularity. One version of this was posted in 2013 on a Tumblr blog as @trans-wife; however, it was captioned as a lesbian flag rather than specific to lipstick lesbians.[58] A larger version of the pink stripe flag was posted in 2015 by the Pride-Flags account on DeviantArt.[59]

McCray's flag and its derivatives have been criticized when represented as a flag for all lesbians since it was created to be specific to one subculture.[54] McCray has been accused of making hateful remarks regarding butches, bisexual women, Asian women,[54][60] and trans people. After Lydia—creator of the Sappho-inspired flag—made such accusations in a since-deleted post,[60] McCray responded to Lydia and denied the accusations of racism, biphobia, and transphobia.[61] Since the "pink" flag originated as McCray's lipstick lesbian flag, it is similarly seen as not inclusive of butches and other gender non-conforming lesbians.[54]

Sappho-inspired flag

Lydia sapphic flag

Sappho-inspired flag designed by Lydia, with Maya Kern's color order

Lydia, a biracial (Mi'kmaw and white) genderqueer lesbian from Mi'kma'ki (Atlantic Canada),[62] was one of the people who raised concerns about the lipstick lesbian flag due to[60] racist posts made by its creator;[63] additional problems Lydia noted were how some people attempted to use a femme-only flag or its feminine pink-stripe derivative for all lesbians, along with using a design that was difficult to reproduce physically, did not have web-friendly colors, and had colors chosen for aesthetics rather than meaning. They decided to design a flag "for all lesbians. All lesbians are welcome to it." The colors came from "seeking some sapphic inspiration" in a poem by Sappho, which she addressed to a female lover:[60]

all the violet tiaras,
braided rosebuds, dill and
crocus twined around your young neck

Sappho, "I have not had one word from her"

Lydia thus used violets, pink rosebuds, yellow crocuses, and green dill, with the following meanings:[60]

  • Violet (#663399): Sapphic love[60]
  • Pink (#FF6699): Fragility[60]
  • Yellow (#FFCC33): Strength[60]
  • Green (#66CC33): Healing[60]

The color order was originally different, but Maya Kern suggested the current order for improved harmony. Lydia has since observed that the flag has been referred to online as "the sapphic flag" and has been used as an umbrella pride flag "for all sapphic lesbian identities". They have clarified that "all lesbians" is inclusive of ace lesbians, trans lesbians, and those who have not yet pinned down an exact identity.[64]

Seven-stripe pink/orange flags

Lesbian Flags 7 stripes

From top to bottom: @shapeshifter-of-constellation's primary design in 2017, Nillia's design from April 2018, and Emily Gwen @sadlesbeandisaster's first flag post in June 2018

At the end of June 2017, Mod Q of the Tumblr blog butch positivity (@butchspace) posted a seven-striped orange and yellow butch flag design[65] and color meanings.[66] On July 3, 2017, @shapeshifter-of-constellation[note 6] posted several images as a proposal for a flag that could be used by the general lesbian community.[67] She disagreed with the lesbian community on Tumblr using the lipstick lesbian flag as the default flag for all lesbians. To her, a flag representing femininity did not work as a general community flag for all lesbians, specifically for butches and gender non-conforming lesbians.[67][68] For her designs, she was inspired to splice the lipstick lesbian flag together with the new orange butch flag. The topmost image has seven stripes, three pink/lipstick colors above and three orange beneath a central white stripe, which Mod T from @butchspace had suggested could symbolize lesbians who did not identify as butch or femme. No meanings were assigned to the other stripes.[note 7][67] In a thread with Mod Q of @butchspace and @gayramens, both misinterpreted the reuse of colors and thought @shapeshifter-of-constellation had made a combined butch/femme flag. They also suggested the design would be good for butch/femme couples. Replying in the thread, @shapeshifter-of-constellation clarified that it was meant to be a flag for anyone in the lesbian community in general, not one only or specifically for femmes and butches.[67]

The Tumblr user Nillia made a post on April 30, 2018 about the history of butchphobia and criticized using lipstick lesbian stripes for all lesbians; the orange butch flag was reposted as an example of "some very obscure butch designs of unknown date. Most use warm colors." Nillia's seven-striped flag design for all lesbians used the top two pink and bottom two red color codes of the lipstick lesbian flag, and a white center stripe between stripes in a new light pink and a new light orange.[69]

In June 2018, Emily Gwen posted about her ideal lesbian pride flag, which she said would use the top half of the pink and the bottom half of the orange flags but orient the orange on top; she included an image matching that description.[70] The image in this post appears to be @shapeshifter-of-constellation's rotated and resized.[note 8] Emily Gwen has since said she did not steal and invert @shapeshifter-of-constellation's flag but rather got the idea to combine the butch and pink flags while talking with a friend and is not surprised other people had that same idea.[71] Her friend made the image for her original post, and she has maintained that it is "[her] lesbian flag design".[72] Commentary that Emily Gwen was not the original designer was reblogged by @shapeshifter-of-constellation in 2021.[73]

Following the first post, Emily Gwen made an initial proposal of color meanings[74] before posting a version with the following meanings, from top to bottom:[75]

  • Red-orange: gender non-conformity[75]
  • Orange: independence[75]
  • Light orange: community[75]
  • White: unique relationships to womanhood[75]
  • Light pink: serenity and peace[75]
  • Medium pink: love and sex[75]
  • Dark pink: femininity[75]

Community lesbian pride flag

Lesbian Flag 5 stripe

The five-striped lesbian pride flag, also called the community lesbian pride flag and the sunset lesbian flag

The community lesbian pride flag originated in a poll called the "Official Lesbian Flag Poll", which was posted on Tumblr[76] and Twitter on June 30, 2018.[77] By July 25, Catherine Becker (then @taqwomen, now @purrfectbycath) had suggested a five-striped and three-striped modification of the design attributed to Emily Gwen.[78] Catherine's five-striped suggestion was announced on August 28 as the poll winner.[79]

Meanings were later given to the five colors by the Tumblr user @birdblinder. They are, from top to bottom:[80]

  • Dark orange: transgressive womanhood[80]
  • Light orange: community[80]
  • White: gender non-conformity [80]
  • Light pink: freedom[80]
  • Dark pink: love[80]

In addition to the poll that produced the community lesbian pride flag, other polls regarding lesbian flag designs were circulated on Tumblr in 2018. The Tumblr user @chiaroscura (as @allukazaoldyeck) ran two polls that concluded by June 6, 2018, with the design credited to Emily Gwen winning.[81] The @which-lesbian-flag blog moderated by Cas and Niv ran a two-round survey beginning in July 2018.[82] Prior to the conclusion of the first round, they announced the removal of the pink flag derived from Natalie McCray's lipstick lesbian flag, citing the creator[83] calling an Asian woman an "anorexic freak"[63] as the primary reason.[83] After the removal, the top pick of the first round was[84] a flag design by @apersnicketylemon,[85] which also emerged as the winner of the second round.[86][87]

The "Commercial Lesbian Flag Poll", which began in mid-December 2018, aimed to select a flag that could be mass-produced by Pride merchandise companies. The poll author said that the companies they reached out to required a consensus on the design, hence the poll to determine what would go into production. There were several options:[88] Gilbert's six-stripe rainbow flag, Lydia's Sappho lesbian flag, @apersnicketylemon's lesbian flag, and Catherine Becker's five-striped modification. It originally did not include the seven-striped flag because the poll creator contacted @sadlesbeandisaster (Emily Gwen), who was considered the creator and rights-holder, and she did not give permission because the winning flag design would be used for profit. The poll was updated December 21 after she changed her mind.[89]

After Catherine's five-striped option won, it was intentionally not called an "official" flag. The poll creator called it the "Community Lesbian Flag" to reflect the community process that led to its selection for production.[90]

The community lesbian flag has achieved mainstream recognition. By 2020, it was being produced on merchandise released by Spencer's online gift shop[91] and by Gay Pride Apparel.[92] For the Rainbow Disney Collection in June 2021, the Walt Disney Company released an enameled Mickey Mouse head pin with the community lesbian flag stripes.[93] In 2022, they rebranded it as the Disney Pride Collection and sold it year-round. Disney donated profits to LGBTQIA+ nonprofits in 2022 but reportedly did not do so in 2023. Emily Gwen criticized Disney's decisions. She stated that she was living in poverty while Disney profited from a flag that she designed for the community, that was free for personal or commercial use, and that she recommended large businesses and corporations only use if they donated to LGBTQIA+ charities.[94]

Distinction

Sapphic

The distinction between "sapphic" and "lesbian" depends upon which definitions are used for each word. They are often confused for each other or thought to mean the same thing, as both refer to women who are attracted to other women.[95] In contemporary usage, sapphic has become an umbrella term specifically inclusive of women with multisexual orientations (such as bisexual, pansexual, and other queer women) who may or may not be attracted to men,[95] while "lesbian" is often (but not always) defined as a woman only attracted to other women;[4][1][16] both terms are inclusive of non-binary[15] and transgender identities.[16] "Sapphic" is thus generally understood as the broader term when lesbians are defined as women who exclusively love women and when sapphics are defined as all women loving women. Different definitions of the words change that distinction.

Controversy

Defining "lesbian"

For over a century, lesbians have been debating the terms used to refer to themselves. Along with definitions created or endorsed by lesbians, others were created by non-lesbians, such as male psychiatrists and sexologists. Debates have often centered on whether a lesbian must be a woman who is exclusively attracted to and only has sex with other women. During the COVID-19 pandemic, debates continued in online communities and on social media. These remain daily occurrences. Despite the importance of having a clear definition, there is still no singular definition of "lesbian", and many definitions are incompatible with each other.

20th century definitions

In Germany, during the Weimar Republic (1919–1933), lesbian magazines published debates from contributors and letters to the editors regarding lesbian identity. Some argued that a woman who was married to a man or had ever had sex with a man should be excluded from the lesbian community. Others defended women who had relationships with both women and men, whether because they were self-identified bisexual women or out of pragmatic reasons related to economic needs and the contemporary social setting.[12]

Twentieth century psychoanalysts approached lesbianism as a psychological disorder that must be "cured" and turned into heterosexuality. In 1954, Frank S. Caprio published Female Homosexuality: A Psychodynamic Study of Lesbianism, which provides an overview of that perspective. While some lesbian women were described as exclusively intimate with other women and not men, he wrote, "Many lesbians are bisexual, oscillating between heterosexual and homosexual activities, and are capable of gratifying their sexual desires with either sex. Their homosexual cravings may be transitory in character." In addition, he claimed, "Many bisexual lesbians indulge in what might be called pseudo-heterosexual relations insofar as intercourse with a man tends to counterbalance their homosexual guilt. They wish to be seen with men to camouflage their homosexuality. Actually they prefer the love of their own sex." Like many other psychoanalysts, he believed lesbians were repressing their heterosexuality and only seemed "frigid" with men due to unresolved conflict, which resulted in unconscious defense mechanisms to avoid sex with men.[96]

Caprio disagreed with another author, Antonio Gandin, that lesbians could be classified as either "sapphists or tribades", instead supporting an anonymous writer's division into "predominantly mannish" and "predominantly feminine". Caprio's glossary defined lesbianism based on sexual acts, [note 9] and the only kind of love mentioned was erotic.[96]

Marijane Meaker's We Walk Alone, released in 1955 under the pseudonym Ann Aldrich, is a non-fiction book presented as an insider's look into lesbians by a lesbian. She reported what psychoanalysts of the time claimed about lesbianism as a "psychological orientation that is different from the accepted social pattern", a disorder of immature and abnormal women, and she accepted Havelock Ellis' "sexual inversion" theory. However, she also asserted that society should neither condemn nor pity lesbians, simply understand them. She described several "types" of lesbians: the butch, the fem, the latent lesbian, the "one-time" lesbian, the repressed lesbian, and the bisexual lesbian (divided into the flirt and the one-night-stand adventuress).[97] Contrary to her treatment of bisexual and lesbian women as separate in her 1952 novel Spring Fire,[98] she presented bisexual women as a type of lesbian who is consistently involved with men and women rather than having a single or occasional experience with either. Her overall description of lesbians was the following:[97]

The fact of the matter is that lesbianism cannot be accurately defined, nor can the lesbian's personality traits be lumped into any category that will include all of her characteristics, and yet exclude those of the remainder of the female population. Who is the lesbian? She is many women. […] There is no stereotype in the over-all picture of the lesbian. This is the first discovery I ever made about the group of which I am a member. […] There is no definition, no formula, no pattern that will accurately characterize the female homosexual. She is any woman.

Marijane Meaker (as "Ann Aldrich"), We Walk Alone (1955)

Lorraine Hansberry, whose play A Raisin in the Sun was the first by an African American woman to open on Broadway, privately wrote of her identification as a lesbian; she was married to a man and was not "out". By 1957, she was member of the lesbian organization Daughters of Bilitis and subscriber to its magazine, The Ladder. She sent an anonymized reader letter[99] in response to prior writings in the magazine about lesbians who had husbands despite an "interest" in women. Objecting to the language, she wrote:[100]

I mean really, unless I am afflicted with the worst kind of misunderstanding, the homosexual impulse does transcend 'interest' in other women. Isn't the problem of the married lesbian woman that of an individual who finds that, despite her conscious will oft. times, she is inclined to have her most intense emotional and physical reactions directed toward other women, quite beyond any comparative thing she might have ever felt for her husband—whatever her sincere affection for him?

Lorraine Hansberry (as "L.N."), The Ladder, vol. 1, no. 11 (August 1957)

Edward Sagarin (as "Donald Webster Cory"), a gay man who spent time observing and interviewing members of the Daughters of Bilitis, wrote The Lesbian in America in 1964. He described some lesbians as exclusive lesbians who fell into the number 6 rating on the Kinsey Scale (exclusive homosexuality), rather than the ratings 4 or 5 (predominantly homosexual); other non-heterosexual women were bisexual in their inclinations, activities, or both. Sagarin offered a lesbian definition that included attraction and self-identification:[101]

A lesbian is a woman who feels a strong and urgent need, usually a chronic or continuing or recurring need, to have close, intimate carnal contact with another woman, and whose drive for sexual contact with men, if it is not entirely absent or replaced by fear, disgust, horror, and repulsion, is at least very weak. A lesbian, in short, is a girl who feels that she is a lesbian, and who, whether she is happy or sad, accepting or rebelling against her condition, identifies herself as being part of that group.

Edward Sagarin (as "Donald Webster Cory"), The Lesbian in America (1964)

Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, a lesbian couple who founded the Daughters of Bilitis, published Lesbian/Woman in 1972. Their introduction began with this definition:[102]

A Lesbian is a woman whose primary erotic, psychological, emotional and social interest is in a member of her own sex, even though that interest may not be overtly expressed.

Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon, Lesbian/Woman (1972)

In Lilian Faderman's book Surpassing the Love of Men, she said that lesbianism had previously been defined by men as just a sexual preference or a sexual act between women. She criticized German lesbians in the early 20th century who had identified as having an inborn trait in common with male homosexuals, such as those who related to the "third sex" concept, and who considered themselves born different from heterosexual women. Faderman repeatedly claimed that being lesbian was a choice that any woman could make if she was truly committed to women's liberation, and said lesbian-feminists[note 4] had created their own definition in the 1970s:[103]

Women are lesbians when they are women-identified, they asserted. Never having had the slightest erotic exchange with another woman, one might still be a political lesbian. A lesbian is a woman who makes women prime in her life, who gives her energies and her commitment to other women rather than to men. Some even proclaimed, 'All women are lesbians,' by which they meant that potentially all women have the capacity to love themselves and to love other females, first through their mothers and then through adult relationships.

Lilian Faderman, Surpassing the Love of Men (1981)

A definition in a satirical lesbian guide book from 1996 returned to the language of personal traits instead of political choices, and incorporated the phrase "romantic orientation":[104]

Lesbian: Named for the Isle of Lesbos, where Sappho, the mother of us all, wrote poetry for cute young Greek girljocks and vied for their affections. Denotes a woman whose sexual and romantic orientation is directed toward women. Some women prefer lesbian to gay because the latter has become so synonymous with men.

Liz Tracey and Sydney Pokorny, So You Want to be a Lesbian? (1996)
COVID-19 pandemic debates

Other definitions of lesbian have been created in online communities and discussed via social media during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Definitions of lesbian based on the term "non-men", such as the phrase "non-men loving non-men", may have emerged between April and June 2020.[note 10] The concept of non-men (meaning "anyone who is not a man") has a problematic history. The term is regarded by its proponents as more inclusive of non-binary and trans people who are not men; however, it positions them as the "other" in relation to men as the norm. The term maintains that norm by defining other people as a negation of being a man and recentering men, particularly straight, white, cisgender men.[107] Historically, lesbian women have been regarded as not "real women" ("nonwomen") and gay men as not "real men" ("nonmen") compared to heterosexuals.[108] The nonmen/nonwomen concepts also have a history in antiblack racism, which views black people as if they are nonhuman compared to white people.[109]

On July 4, 2021, the LGBTA Wiki introduced its own definition of lesbianism as "queer attraction to women" and framed common lesbian definitions as being exclusionist, invalidating, and harmful.[110] A blog post further explained the reasoning behind the administrators' new definition and alleged that terms used by its critics and in other definitions (such as lesbians being women, gay women, women only attracted to women, women not attracted to men, woman-aligned, feminine-aligned, or femspec) were TERF rhetoric.[111] Multiple administrators were sent threatening and abusive messages; as a result, the article was locked against further edits and the comments feature was disabled.[112]

The phrase "queer attraction" has a mixed history of use. On February 21, 1929, The Well of Loneliness was disparaged as an obscene book with a tendency to debauch public morals; City Magistrate Judge Hyman Bushel's judicial opinion condemned "the queer attraction of the child to the maid in the household".[113] In a more neutral sense, the phrase has described things that the local gay community is attracted to, such as an establishment in a gay neighborhood having a queer attraction for the community,[114] and possible same-sex attractions in queer readings of films.[115][116] Other uses have included a strange or unusual attraction that draws some types of people together (such as rogues and vagabonds),[117] incestuous attraction (such as a nephew to his aunt),[118] the sexual interest that men stationed at military bases may take in local girls,[119] and the way a person and an object are drawn to each other (such as a joke from a student periodical in which "a boy and a pie, left alone together, are found to have a queer attraction for each other").[120]

The term homosexual

In modern usage, the term "homosexual" is controversial due to being an outdated clinical term that can be derogatory and offensive. GLAAD recommends that people avoid its usage in reference to others, although individual lesbians may self-identify.[121]

Perceptions and discrimination

Health care

In the United States, lesbians face significant disparities in health care. Providers often lack adequate education about specific needs of LGBTQIA+ populations and may hold homophobic beliefs or make heteronormative assumptions. Compared to straight women, lesbians are less likely to seek gynecological care for prenatal care or family planning; however, gynecological care includes screenings for cervical and breast cancer and testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Lower rates of accessing gynecological care may be related to cancers and STDs remaining undetected and untreated. Financial barriers such as lack of health insurance also impact health care access.[122]

Stereotyping

Gender expression is a separate concept from sexual orientation, so various traits that are considered feminine, masculine, or otherwise are not indicative of a lesbian identity. Lesbians are often stereotyped as having "masculine" appearances and interests. Lesbians are not automatically masculine,[123] but some choose to express themselves in such a way. Butch lesbians, for example, are a popular subgroup of masculine presenting lesbians.[36]

Media


Resources

Notes

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gender identity is a personal experience, so defining "woman-aligned" may lead to different answers depending on whom you ask, but it generally refers to a non-binary person who is partially aligned or identifies with being female, with femininity, and/or with womanhood. They may or may not individually identify with this term, and their identity may be fluid between others. Its use here attempts to encapsulate multiple identities without listing each possibility.
  2. Examples of labels used to self-identify as both lesbian and bisexual include bisexual lesbian, bi-lesbian, and lesbian-identified bisexual.[14]
  3. While transgender people are generally implied in definitions, trans lesbians are explicitly noted here to make clear that lesbian identity is not limited to cisgender women.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Lesbian-feminist" and "lesbian-feminism" are being hyphenated to help emphasize that they refer to a specific kind of feminism and have a different meaning from lesbians who are also feminists.
  5. Despite Adrienne Rich's controversial politics, including her use of now outdated or offensive terms, she was one of the most influential women in the lesbian space at the time. Her inclusion here reflects her contributions but is not an indicator of support in her controversies.
  6. Olivia / Koda currently blogs with the username @shapeshifter-of-constellation and previously used shapeshifter-fictid. She may be better known by the handles than by any names. Emily Gwen, aka sadlesbeandisaster, instead has a name more widely known than the handle/URL. For the purposes of this article, we'll refer to the first person as @shapeshifter-of-constellation and the second as Emily Gwen.
  7. In @shapeshifter-of-constellation's seven-stripe flag, the bottom three stripes use color codes sampled from the top of Mod Q's butch flag, and the top four colors were derived from those of the lipstick lesbian flag (three of them directly sampled). The stripes are visually equal in size but have pixel variances upon close inspection. Alternate versions with stripes from the More Color More Pride flag were also offered.
  8. The images from the respective flag post by @shapeshifter-of-constellation and the first flag post by Emily Gwen have been carefully compared. While six of the color codes in both images are direct matches for the pink and orange flags, the lighter pink in both images (#d162a6) differs from the corresponding stripe in the pink flag (#d063a6). Their variance in stripe sizing also matches, with neither being a match for those of the pink flag or the orange butch flag; for instance, the orange stripe is the largest and the light orange is the smallest in @shapeshifter-of-constellation's and Emily Gwen's images but not in the butch flag. @shapeshifter-of-constellation used the same height (345px) as the orange butch flag but a narrower width (575px) to have a 5:3 aspect ratio; the image in Emily Gwen's post has a close match to that aspect ratio using smaller dimensions than @shapeshifter-of-constellation's (85.9%). The subsequent posts by Emily Gwen have different color codes, such as a pure white #FFFFFF stripe, with larger dimensions and different stripe size variances; they no longer match @shapeshifter-of-constellation's image.
  9. Frank S. Caprio's Female Homosexuality: A Psychodynamic Study of Lesbianism included the following definitions, some of which give clinical descriptions or names of specific sex acts:[96]
    • "Bisexuality. A sexual interest in both sexes; the capacity for pleasurable relations with either sex."
    • "Homosexuality. Sexual relations between persons of the same sex."
    • "Lesbian. A female homosexual."
    • "Lesbianism, Lesbian Love. Female homosexuality; the erotic love of one woman for another; the relationship may consist of kissing, breast fondling, mutual masturbation, cunnilingus or tribadism."
    • "Sapphism. Homosexual relations between two women."
    • "Sapphist. One who performs cunnilingus on another woman."
    • "Tribade. A woman who practices tribadism."
    • "Tribadism. The act of one woman lying on top of another and simulating coital movements so that the friction against the clitoris brings about an orgasm."
  10. An approximate range has been estimated based on the following: a) increased Google searches worldwide for "lesbian", "lesbian women", and "lesbian men" beginning in April; b) increase in "lesbian"-related additions to Urban Dictionary beginning in May that appear to be responding to online discourse; c) edit warring on the LGBTA Wiki that began on May 26, 2020;[105] and d) the coining of "vixenamoric" specifically in response to the "non-men" definition.[106]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Glossary" by Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health Issues and Research Gaps and Opportunities in The Health of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People: Building a Foundation for Better Understanding. Published 2011 by The National Academies Press. ISBN 9780309210621Lesbian: "As an adjective, used to refer to female same-sex attraction and sexual behavior; as a noun, used as a sexual orientation identity label by women whose sexual attractions and behaviors are exclusively or mainly directed to other women." (web archive)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "List of LGBTQ+ terms" by Stonewall on <stonewall.org.uk>Lesbian: "Refers to a woman who has a romantic and/or sexual orientation towards women. Some non-binary people may also identify with this term." (Archived on 2024-04-19)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 The A-Z of Gender and Sexuality: From Ace to Ze by Morgan Lev Edward Holleb. Published 2019 by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. ISBN 9781784506636Lesbian: "A woman who is sexually or romantically attracted to women. Lesbian can mean women who are attracted exclusively to other women, but it is also a broader term for women and femmes who are attracted to other women and femmes. This includes bisexual and pansexual women, asexual women who are romantically attracted to women, and non-binary people who identify with womanhood."
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 "'LGBTI' people and communities" on LGBTIQ+ Health Australia. Published 2019-06-28. "A lesbian is a person who self-describes as a woman and whose experiences of romantic, sexual, and/or affectional attraction solely or primarily to other people who self-describe as women. Some women use other language to describe their relationships and attractions." (Archived on 2021-04-20)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 "Lesbian" on Merriam-Webster DictionaryLesbian: "(adj.) of, relating to, or characterized by sexual or romantic attraction to other women or between women" […] "(noun) a woman who is sexually or romantically attracted to other women : a gay woman" (Archived on 2021-12-03)
  6. The Queens' English: The LGBTQIA+ Dictionary of Lingo and Colloquial Phrases by Chloe O. Davis. Published 2021 by Clarkson Potter/Publishers. Lesbian: "adjective: As a woman, having a sexual and emotional attraction toward other women." [...] "noun: A lesbian woman." ISBN 9780593135006, ISBN 9780593135013 (Ebook)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 "Chapter 1: LGBTQ 101" by Kelly Huegel Madrone in LGBTQ: The Survival Guide for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens [Revised & Updated Third Edition]. Published 2020 by Free Spirit Publishing. LGBTQ Terminology: "L is for lesbian. Lesbians are women (cis or trans) who are physically and emotionally attracted to other women, often exclusively. The word lesbian has its origins with the Greek poet Sappho, who was born sometime between 630 and 612 BCE. For part of her life, Sappho lived on the island of Lesbos. Many of her poems were about same-sex love between women, and as a result, the island's name became synonymous with homosexual women. That's how the term lesbian was born." [...] "For some, identities such as lesbian or gay are fluid. For example, someone (like me) could identify as mostly lesbian, meaning I'm almost always attracted to women, but not exclusively. [...] How does this differ from bisexual? Some might say it's the same thing, but it's really up to the individual to decide what terminology best fits them." ISBN 9781631983030 (Web PDF), ISBN 9781631983047 (ePub), ISBN 9781631983023 (pbk.)
  8. Lesbian Voices From Latin America by Elena M. Martínez. Published 2017 by Routledge. ISBN 9781351817899. "In this book, the word 'lesbian' is used to refer to the representation of women who have erotic and sexual interest in each other and whose fundamental emotional connections are with other women. My definition coincides with the one proposed by Catherine R. Simpson and Charlotte Bunch, for whom both the erotic and sexual involvement of women is intrinsic to the definition of lesbianism."
  9. "Violence based on perceived or real sexual orientation and gender identity in Africa" by Coalition of African Lesbians on <pulp.up.ac.za> (PDF). Published 2013. "Lesbian: A woman who is emotionally, romantically, sexually and relationally attracted to other women." (Archived on 2022-02-15)
  10. "Our glossary" on ILGA-Europe. "Lesbian: A woman who is sexually and/or emotionally attracted to women." Also available in PDF format (Archived on 2024-04-06)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 "Chapter 1: What Is Queer Adolescence?" by Charlie McNabb in Queer Adolescence: Understanding the Lives of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual Youth. Published 2020 by Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 9781538132814. "Lesbians are women or woman-aligned people who are sexually or romantically attracted to other women or woman-aligned people. Some lesbians prefer to identify as gay or as gay women." [...] Woman-aligned: "nonbinary person who is partially aligned with the female gender."
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Queer Identities and Politics in Germany: A History, 1880–1945 by Clayton J. Whisnant. Published 2016 by Harrington Park Press. ISBN 9781939594105.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Introduction" in Lesbian Health: Current Assessment and Directions for the Future, with Andrea L. Solarz (editor). Published 1999 by The National Academies Press. Defining 'Lesbian': "There is no standard definition of lesbian. The term has been used to describe women who have sex with women, either exclusively or in addition to sex with men (i.e., behavior); women who self-identify as lesbian (i.e., identity); and women whose sexual preference is for women (i.e., desire or attraction)." […] "To the extent that lesbian is defined only by sexual activity with other women, bisexual women may then be included in the category of lesbian. If other definitions of lesbian are used, such as self-identification as lesbian or attraction to women, then a different group is identified that may or may not include women who self-identify as bisexual." (web archive)
  14. Closer to Home: Bisexuality & Feminism by Elizabeth Reba Weise. Published 1992 by Seal Press. (web archive)
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 "The Gay BC's of LGBT+: An Accompaniment to The ABC's of LGBT+" by Ash Hardell on <mango.bz> (e-book). Published 2017-11-09 by Mango Publishing Group. Lesbian: "This term is commonly used to refer to women who are attracted to other women. However, some non-binary and/or genderqueer people who feel a connection to womanhood and who are attracted to women, also identify with this term." (backup link not available)
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 "Lesbian" by The Trans Language Primer on The Trans Language Primer. "Lesbian: Someone, who can be transgender or cisgender, who generally considers themself to be a woman who is attracted to other women. This attraction does not have to be exclusively to women, though many are exclusively attracted to women. Being a lesbian is separate from the concept of gender, and so it is possible for a trans person to be both trans and lesbian. Also, it is generally understood that people who are trans and lesbian are attracted to people of the same broad category of gender, not necessarily of the same trans status." (Archived on 2021-10-22)
  17. "Not in our name" on DIVA. "DIVA, Curve, Autostraddle, LOTL, Tagg, Lez Spread The Word, DapperQ, GO Magazine and LezWatch.TV believe that trans women are women and that trans people belong in our community. We do not think supporting trans women erases our lesbian identities; rather we are enriched by trans friends and lovers, parents, children, colleagues and siblings." (Archived on 2024-03-19)
  18. "Transgender" by James Cromwell in Lesbian Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia, with Zimmerman, Bonnie (editor). Published 2000 by Garland Publishing. ISBN 0815319207(web archive)
  19. "The Gender Closet: Lesbian Disappearance under the Sign 'Women'" by Cheshire Calhoun in Feminist Studies, vol. 21, no. 1. Published Spring 1995. (web archive)
  20. "[GC2021] Worldwide Raw Data - DO NOT EDIT" by Cassian on Gender Census (Google Sheets)(backup link not available)
  21. "[GC2022] Public spreadsheet of results (large - may take a few minutes to load)" by Cassian on Gender Census (Google Sheets)(backup link not available)
  22. "Sapphic | Etymology of Sapphic by etymonline" on Online Etymology Dictionary(Archived on 2023-08-14)
  23. 23.0 23.1 "lesbian | Etymology of lesbian by etymonline" on Online Etymology Dictionary(Archived on 2023-07-16)
  24. 24.0 24.1 The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams by Jonathan Ned Katz. Published 2021 by Chicago Review Press. ISBN 9781641605199.
  25. Crossways of Sex: A Study in Eroto-pathology, vol. 2 by Jacobus X. Published by British Bibliophiles' Society. (web archive)
  26. "Lesbian Visibility Day—How It Started and Why We Need It" by Trudy Ring on Advocate. Published 2023-04-26. (Archived on 2024-04-28)
  27. "Lesbian Visibility Week" on <lesbianvisibilityweek.com>(Archived on 2024-04-26)
  28. We Weren't Modern Enough: Women Artists and the Limits of German Modernism by Marsha Meskimmon. Published 1999 by University of California Press. ISBN 9780520221345(web archive)
  29. 29.0 29.1 29.2 29.3 "Lesbians under the Nazi Regime" by United States Holocaust Memorial Museum on Holocaust Encyclopedia(Archived on 2022-01-12)
  30. 30.0 30.1 30.2 30.3 "Nazism" by Claudia Schoppmann in Lesbian Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia, with Bonnie Zimmerman (editor). Published 2000 by Garland Publishing. ISBN 0815319207(web archive)
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 31.3 31.4 31.5 The Queens' English: The LGBTQIA+ Dictionary of Lingo and Colloquial Phrases by Chloe O. Davis. Published 2021 by Clarkson Potter/Publishers. Black triangle: "A symbol adopted by the lesbian community to show pride in women's liberation and resistance against discrimination." [...] "Think: symbols for queer feminism and lesbian pride." [...] "The black triangle was originally used in Nazi concentration camps to mark prisoners who were considered 'asocial' or 'work-shy.' Lesbians were included in this category. The symbol was reappropriated by the lesbian community in the 1970s as a symbol of pride." ISBN 9780593135006, ISBN 9780593135013 (Ebook)
  32. "The History and Legacy Surrounding 'The Well of Loneliness,' the First Lesbian Novel to Be Published in the United States and Britain" by Melanie Albanesi on Antiques Roadshow. Published 2019-04-01 by PBS. (Archived on 2021-08-21)
  33. Lesbian Pulp Fiction: The Sexually Intrepid World of Lesbian Paperback Novels by Katherine V. Forrest. Published 2005 by Cleis Press Inc.. ISBN 1573442100.
  34. Women's Barracks by Torrès, Tereska. Published 1950 by Gold Medal Books.
  35. "Sapphic soldiers" by Christine Smallwood on Salon. Published 2005-08-09. (Archived on 2021-01-18)
  36. 36.0 36.1 36.2 36.3 36.4 36.5 Boots of Leather, Slippers of Gold: The History of a Lesbian Community [20th anniversary edition] by Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy and Madeline D. Davis. Published 2014 by Routledge (Taylor & Francis Group). ISBN 9781315767611.
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 37.4 "Stonewall Riots" by History.com Editors on HISTORY. Published 2017-05-31 by A&E Television Networks. (Archived on 2022-01-20)
  38. 38.0 38.1 "How Dressing in Drag Was Labeled a Crime in the 20th Century" by Hugh Ryan on <history.com>. Published 2019-06-28 by A&E Television Networks. (Archived on 2022-01-03)
  39. 39.0 39.1 "Stonewall riots, United States history" by The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica on Encyclopaedia Britannica. Published 2009-06-17. (Archived on 2024-03-31)
  40. 40.0 40.1 40.2 40.3 "Stormé DeLarverie: Stonewall Stalwart" by Tara Mae on Three Village Historical Society. Published 2020-06-28. (Archived on 2022-01-17)
  41. 41.0 41.1 "Drag Herstory: A Drag King's Journey From Cabaret Legend to Iconic Activist" by Alyssa Goodman on them.. Published 2018-03-29. (Archived on 2022-01-17)
  42. "Stonewall National Monument" on National Park Service(Archived on 2022-01-08)
  43. 43.0 43.1 43.2 "Lesbian Feminism, 1960s and 1970s" by Yamissette Westerband on <outhistory.org>. Published 2008. (Archived on 2021-12-13)
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 44.3 44.4 "The Eruption of Difference" by Alice Echols in 'Daring to Be Bad': Radical Feminism in America, 1967-1975. Published 1989 by University of Minnesota Press. (web archive)
  45. 45.0 45.1 "Lavender Menace Action at Second Congress to Unite Women" by Emily Kahn on NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project(Archived on 2022-01-21)
  46. 46.0 46.1 "The Sex Wars, 1970s to 1980s" by Andrew McBride on <outhistory.org>. Published 2008. (Archived on 2022-01-22)
  47. 47.0 47.1 Transgender History by Susan Stryker. Published 2008 by Seal Press. ISBN 9780786741366.
  48. "Was Adrienne Rich Anti-Trans?" by Samhita Mukhopadhyay on The American Prospect. Published 2012-04-16. (Archived on 2021-04-10)
  49. 49.0 49.1 49.2 49.3 "From Lavender to Violet: The Lesbian Obsession with Purple" by Eleanor Medhurst on Dressing Dykes. Published 2021-08-20. (Archived on 2024-04-07)
  50. 50.0 50.1 50.2 50.3 "Violets, Bi-Angles, And Double Moons: A Guide To LGBTQ+ Symbols" by Erika W. Smith on Refinery29. Published 2019-06-19 by VICE Media Group. ([​​https://archive.is/IBiKE Archive link)
  51. 51.0 51.1 51.2 51.3 51.4 51.5 "Queer 101" (original link down) by Old Dominion University on Old Dominion University - LGBTQIA+ Initiatives(Archived on 2021-10-25)
  52. "Symbols" by Christy Stevens in Lesbian Histories and Cultures: An Encyclopedia, with Zimmerman, Bonnie (editor). Published 2000 by Garland Publishing. ISBN 0815319207(web archive)
  53. "Double Venus symbols" on Wikimedia Commons (wiki image category)(backup link not available)
  54. 54.0 54.1 54.2 54.3 54.4 54.5 54.6 54.7 54.8 "The Lesbian Flag" on How Did We Get Here?. Published 2019-06-05. (Archived on 2021-12-05)
  55. 55.0 55.1 "Cougar Pride Flag designed by Fausto Fernós" by Fausto Fernós on <flickr.com>. Published 2008-04-15. (Archived on 2019-07-23)
  56. 56.0 56.1 "The Lipstick Lesbian Flag idea was stolen from my design of a Cougar Pride Flag" by Fausto Fernós on <medium.com>. Published 2019-06-12. (Archived on 2021-08-25)
  57. 57.0 57.1 "Lipstick Lesbian Pride!!!" (original link down) by Natalie McCray on This Lesbian Life. Published 2010-07-28. (Archived on 2015-11-19)
  58. "Pride Flags" by @trans-wife on Trans Wife, A positive thing. Published 2013-12-08. (Archived on 2021-06-03)
  59. "Lesbian" by Pride-Flags on <deviantart.com>. Published 2015-10-07. (Archive link)
  60. 60.0 60.1 60.2 60.3 60.4 60.5 60.6 60.7 60.8 "A Lesbian Flag for Everyone" (original link down) by Lydia on <medium.com>. Published 2018-06-26. (Archived on 2019-10-06)
  61. "Lydia is Cancelled" (original link down) by Natalie McCray on This Lesbian Life. Published 2018-11-10. (Archived on 2019-09-08)
  62. "About" (original link down) by Lydia on <kispesan.tumblr.com>. (Archived on 2021-06-02)
  63. 63.0 63.1 "My Worst Date Ever" (original link down) by Natalie McCray on This Lesbian Life. Published 2018-07-18. (Archived on 2010-07-23)
  64. "The Sapphic Flag" (original link down) by Lydia on kispesan.tumblr.com. Published 2018-06-26. (Archived on 2022-01-24)
  65. "A new butch flag" by Mod Q of @butchspace on butch positivity. Published 2017-06-27. (Archived on 2021-11-30)
  66. [Untitled] by Mod Q of @butchspace on butch positivity (Tumblr post). Published 2017-06-30. Regarding color meanings. (Archived on 2021-10-17)
  67. 67.0 67.1 67.2 67.3 [Untitled] by Olivia / Koda on <shapeshifter-of-constellation.tumblr.com> (Tumblr post). Published 2017-07-03. (dashboard view) (Archived on 2021-12-30)
  68. [Untitled] by Olivia / Koda on @shapeshifter-of-constellation (Tumblr thread). Published 2017-07-05. Response to flag feedback (Archived on 2021-12-30)
  69. "Lesbian History: Butchphobia , Flags, and a Suggestion" by Nillia on Button-Up Scribbles.. Published 2018-04-30. (Archived on 2019-07-16)
  70. [Untitled] by Emily Gwen on my url is sad lesbean disaster not sadles bean (Tumblr post). Published 2018-06-03. First posting of her "ideal lesbian pride flag" (Archived on 2019-05-17)
  71. [Untitled] (original link down) by Emily Gwen on <twitter.com> (Twitter thread). Published 2021-07-19. "Uhhhh no? I had the idea to combine the butch and the all-pink lesbian flags while talking to a friend. If other people had the same idea I'm not surprised?" Response to: "Genuine question, did you steal the lesbian flag from @shapeshifter-of-constellation on Tumblr and just x-axis invert it?" (Archived on 2021-07-19)
  72. [Untitled] by Emily Gwen on <twitter.com> (Twitter thread). Published 2021-07-19. "I didn't even make the original image posted. I asked my friend to do it for me because I was crap with stuff like that. We'd made a couple and I said something like 'wait do one for me that's the top of the butch flag and the bottom of the pink one I think that would look cool'" (Archived on 2021-07-19)
  73. [Untitled] by Olivia / Koda on shapeshifter-of-constellation (Tumblr post). Published 2021-01-31. Reblogged commentary by positivityforlesbians on flag creation (Archived on 2021-04-28)
  74. [Untitled] by Emily Gwen on my url is sad lesbean disaster not sadles bean (Tumblr post). Published 2018-06-04. Flag color meanings (Archived on 2019-05-17)
  75. 75.0 75.1 75.2 75.3 75.4 75.5 75.6 75.7 [Untitled] by Emily Gwen on my url is sad lesbean disaster not sadles bean (Tumblr post). Published 2018-06-06. Request to acknowledge different version of flag color meanings (Archived on 2020-12-15)
  76. "Official Lesbian Flag Poll" (original link down) by official-lesbian-flag on the search for the official lesbian flag. Published 2018-06-30. (Archive link)
  77. [Untitled] by Official Lesbian Flag (@lesbianflag) on <twitter.com> (Tweet). Published 2018-06-30. (Archived on 2020-12-15)
  78. {Cite_web |url=https://www.tumblr.com/official-lesbian-flag-blog/176284375674/taqwomen-taqwomen-has-someone-done-this-i |title=Untitled |date=2019-07-25 |format=Tumblr thread |detail=Catherine Becker (as @taqwomen)'s 5-stripe and 3-stripe flags |date=2018-07-25 |archivedate=20240427154525 |archiveurl=https://archive.is/Zx7Ht}}
  79. [Untitled] by Official Lesbian Flag (@lesbianflag) on <twitter.com>. Published 2018-08-28. (Archived on 2021-10-27)
  80. 80.0 80.1 80.2 80.3 80.4 80.5 [Untitled] by Official Lesbian Flag on <twitter.com> (Tweet). Published 2018-11-05. (Archived on 2021-06-11)
  81. "Lesbian Flag Poll Data Results" (original link down) by @chiaroscura (as @allukazaoldyeck) on <allukazaoldyeck.tumblr.com>. Published 2018-06-06. (Archived on 2018-06-10)
  82. "The Lesbian Flag Survey" by Cas and Niv on <which-lesbian-flag.tumblr.com>. Published 2018-07-21. (Archived on 2020-12-15)
  83. 83.0 83.1 "About the next survey" by Cas and Niv on <which-lesbian-flag.tumblr.com>. Published 2018-08-13. (Archived on 2022-01-02)
  84. "The Results!!" by Cas and Niv on <which-lesbian-flag.tumblr.com>. Published 2018-08-15. (Archived on 2021-12-31)
  85. [Untitled] by @apersnicketylemon on <apersnicketylemon.tumblr.com> (Tumblr post). Published 2018-05-17. A lesbian flag redesign (Archived on 2021-07-19)
  86. "Lesbian flag survey part two!!" by Cas and Niv on <which-lesbian-flag.tumblr.com>. Published 2018-09-08. (Archived on 2019-12-12)
  87. "Time for the results" by Cas and Niv on <which-lesbian-flag.tumblr.com>. Published 2018-10-13. (Archived on 2021-12-31)
  88. "Commercial Lesbian Flag Poll (please only lesbians vote)" on The Creator Of The Lesbian Flag Is Racist. Published 2018-12-14. (Archived on 2019-04-26)
  89. "Selecting an Alternative Lesbian Flag for Mass Production" on <docs.google.com>(Archived on 2021-06-14)
  90. [Untitled] by @lesflagisracist on new Lesbian flag dropped. see pinned tweet (Twitter thread). Published 2019-03-17. (Archived on 2021-10-11)
  91. "Lesbian Flag" on Spencer's(Archived on 2020-11-29) (Disclaimer: Commercial product linked but not endorsed)
  92. "Lesbian (Collection)" on Gay Pride Apparel(Archived on 2020-09-25) (Disclaimer: Commercial product linked but not endorsed)
  93. "Mickey Mouse Icon Pin – Lesbian Flag – Rainbow Disney Collection" (original link down) on shopDisney(Archived on 2021-06-02) (Disclaimer: Commercial product, not endorsed)
  94. "Disney Pride Merchandise Starts Major Controversy" by Jess Colopy on Inside the Magic. Published 2023-08-23. (Archived on 2024-04-28)
  95. 95.0 95.1 "Why 'Sapphic' Is Back In Style" by Chandra on Autostraddle. Published 2021-08-09. (Archived on 2021-08-13)
  96. 96.0 96.1 96.2 Female Homosexuality: A Psychodynamic Study of Lesbianism by Frank S. Caprio. Published 1954 by The Citadel Press. (web archive)
  97. 97.0 97.1 We Walk Alone by Marijane Meaker (as "Ann Aldrich"). Published 1955 by Gold Medal Books. (web archive)
  98. Spring Fire by Marijane Meaker (as "Vin Packer"). Published 1952 by Gold Medal Books.
  99. "Opening the Restricted Box: Lorraine Hansberry's Lesbian Writing" by Kevin Mumford on OutHistory(Archived on 2022-01-08)
  100. "Readers Respond" by Lorraine Hansberry (as "L.N.") in The Ladder, vol. 1, no. 11. Published August 1957. (web archive)
  101. The Lesbian in America by Edward Sagarin (as Donald Webster Cory). Published 1964 by Macfadden-Bartell. (web archive)
  102. Lesbian/Woman by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon. Published 1972 by Glide Publications.
  103. Surpassing the Love of Men: Romantic Friendship and Love Between Women from the Renaissance to the Present by Lilian Faderman. Published 1981 by William Morrow.
  104. So You Want to be a Lesbian? A Guide for Amateurs and Professionals by Tracey, Liz and Pokorny, Sydney. Published 1996 by St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0312144237.
  105. "Lesbian" (original link down) by Chaoticcylinder on LGBTA Wiki. Published 2020-05-26. Revision as of 16:28, 26 May 2020 (Archived on 2022-01-21)
  106. [Untitled] (original link down) by @ssapphrodite and @sapphickitty on <twitter.com> (Tweet). Published 2020-06-30. (Archived on 2020-06-30)
  107. "Shameless Hags, Tolerance Whores, and the Vibrancy of Language" by Jenny Sundén and Susanna Paasonen in Who's Laughing Now? Feminist Tactics in Social Media. Published 2020-11-24 by The MIT Press. ISBN 9780262044721. "The term nonmen has remained something of a battleground within feminist theory and practice for quite some time as a label built on a negation and hence as always reactive towards what is being negated—which, in turn, remains the norm as what is being resisted. The term also makes explicit the painful friction between woman-centered feminism and trans-inclusive feminism, in relation to which binary gender has never made sense. As a point of departure for a political movement or event, the category aims to include not only cis women but equally trans and nonbinary bodies positioned as other in relation to the white, straight male norm."
  108. "Sex, Gender, and Sexual Orientation" by Edward Stein in The Mismeasure of Desire: The Science, Theory, and Ethics of Sexual Orientation. Published 1999 by Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195099958.
  109. Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism by Lewis R. Gordon. Published 1995 by Humanities Press. ISBN 9781573925150. "Our descriptions of sexuality in an antiblack world pose a gender problem. From the standpoint of an antiblack world, black men are nonmen-nonwomen, and black women are nonwomen-nonmen. This conclusion is based on our premise of whites—white men and white women—being both human, being both Presence, and our premise of blacks, both black men and women, being situated in the condition of the 'whole,' being both Absence."
  110. "Lesbian (Revision as of 23:15, 4 July 2021)" (original link down) by Reign of the breadsticcs on LGBTA Wiki. Published 2021-07-04. (Archived on 2022-01-21)
  111. "Explaining the new definition on the Lesbian page" (original link down) by Clear.Skyes on LGBTA Wiki. Published 2021-07-11. (Archived on 2022-01-21)
  112. "Lesbian ‪(‬Revision as of 11:38, 14 July 2021) ‪" (original link down) on LGBTA Wiki(Archived on 2022-01-21)
  113. Radclyffe Hall: A Case of Obscenity? by Vera Brittain. Published 1968 by A. S. Barnes and Company. Hyman Bushel: "The book here involved is a novel dealing with the childhood and early womanhood of a female invert. In broad outline the story shows how these unnatural tendencies manifested themselves from early childhood;the queer attraction of the child to the maid in the household; her affairs with one Angela Crossby, a normally sexed but unhappily married woman, causing further dissension between the latter and her husband; her jealousy of another man who later debauched this married woman, and her despair, in being supplanted by him in Angela’s affections, are vividly portrayed." (web archive)
  114. Just As I Am: A Practical Guide to Being Out, Proud, and Christian by Robert Williams. Published 1992 by Crown Publishers, Inc.. ISBN 0517585391. "My parish in Dallas, the Church of the Holy Cross, was once referred to in the gay press as being, after the MCC, 'the second-largest gay church in Dallas.'" […] "To some extent, the location of the Church of the Holy Cross explains its queer attraction. It sits in the center of Oak Lawn, Dallas's gay neighborhood." (web archive)
  115. "Behind the masks: Anthony Asquith and Brian Desmond Hurst" by Stephen Bourne in British Queer Cinema, with Robin Griffiths (ed.). Published 2006 by Routledge. ISBN 9780415307796. "With a kind, considerate, and sensitive nature, Asquith's films sometimes included public schoolboys of a similar disposition. These included […] Taplow, whose defence of an unpopular schoolmaster could be read as a queer attraction in The Browning Version (1951). At Oxford, Asquith belonged to a literary group, known to attract homosexuals, who called themselves the 'Aesthetes'." (web archive)
  116. "'I'm not the sort of person men marry': Monsters, Queers, and Hitchcock's Rebecca" by Rhonda J. Berenstein in Out In Culture: Gay, Lesbian, And Queer Essays On Popular Culture, with Corey K. Creekmur and Alexander Doty (eds.). Published 1996 by Duke University Press. "Hitchcock's Gothic romance sets the terms for a queer attraction and displaces that attraction onto the levels of metaphor and the supernatural." […] "The flashback portion of the film thus functions, among other things, to establish Fontaine and Rebecca's alignment, to set the terms for a queer attraction." (web archive)
  117. "From the Land of the 'Nineties" by John Palmer in The Saturday Review, vol. 140, #3659. Published 1925-12-12. "He came to welcome me, as I must suppose, by virtue of that queer attraction that somehow draws together the rogues and vagabond of every land, whether in space or time."
  118. "A Master Workman" by Golemba, Henry L. in Frank R. Stockton. Published 1981 by G. K. Hall & Co.. "Although the nephew, when nearly grown, foils two of his aunt's romances so that 'then my Aunt Amanda had no lover but me,' he, of course, is not permitted an incestuous relationship, and his mother and aunt laugh off his queer attraction."
  119. Chewing Gum, Candy Bars, and Beer: The Army PX in World War II by James J. Cooke. Published 2009 by University of Missouri Press. ISBN 9780826218674. "This was very wise advice, because there were problems with the influx of so many GIs. One British housewife whose son was serving in the British army recorded her feelings while a member of the Women's Voluntary Service serving in a canteen near American bases. When asked if she noticed large numbers of local Lancashire girls congregating near the canteen, she wrote, 'No, but we have not had Scotties or Australians before. We were warned of the queer attraction they—and the Americans too— have for young girls.'" (web archive)
  120. "The Tale of a Pie" in The Tiger, vol. VI, #IV. Published 1909 by California School of Mechanical Arts. "And the moral, worthy readers, is this: You can never depend on a cooking-school pie, for it's not 'like those mother used to make'; and secondly, this but serves to illustrate the fact, that a boy and a pie, left alone together, are found to have a queer attraction for each other."
  121. "Glossary of Terms - LGBTQ" by GLAAD on GLAAD Media Reference Guide - 11th Edition(Archived on 2024-04-11)
  122. "History of Women's Health in the United States" by Siran M. Koroukian in Encyclopedia of Women's Health, with Sana Loue and Martha Sajatovic (eds.). Published 2004 by Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. ISBN 0306480735.
  123. "Understanding Gay & Lesbian Identities" by The Trevor Project on <thetrevorproject.org>. Published 2021-08-20. "Lesbian is a noun that describes women who are predominantly attracted to other women. It can also be used as an adjective. Some lesbian women prefer to identify as 'gay,' and that's ok." (Archived on 2021-11-21)
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