HOME | ABOUT | INDEX | FACEBOOK | CONTACT | DONATE


LESBIAN
 

Homosexual Women

 

Why Lesbian Visibility Matters

Advocate: Salute to Amazing LGBTQ Women of 2021

Lesbian Proposal: COVID Edition

Photo Celebration: 30 Years of World's Largest Lesbian Party

L Word Generation Q: Season Two Premiere (Entire Episode)

Cute Lesbian Couple: Daily Life in Quarantine

Women Who Changed the Course of LGBTQ History
Sufi and Anjali: Annoying Each Other During Quarantine

Lesbian Couple Holds Pandemic Wedding at Drive-In Movie Theatre

 

 

Am I a Lesbian? (Masterdoc)
Karine Jean-Pierre Hosts L Word Cast at White House Press Briefing
Lesbian Highlights of 2022
Cynthia Nixon: Why She Identifies as Queer

Game-Changing Queer Women to Celebrate Women's History Month

Commentary: Why I Am Nobody's Wife

XtraMagazine: No, Lesbians Are Not Disappearing

Am I Really Proud to Be a Lesbian?

 

Lesbian Definition

 

The word “lesbian” describes a woman who is primarily or exclusively attracted to or involved with other women romantically, emotionally, and/or sexually. As a sexual orientation, it can be further defined as an innate, enduring, inherent, and immutable pattern of feelings and behavior in which a woman has an affectional, romantic, emotional, spiritual, sensual, and/or sexual affinity or desire for other women.

 

Clinically speaking, it refers to homosexual women. Some women prefer to use the term "gay." Other terms related to the word "lesbian" include... Women Having Sex With Women (WSW) and Women Loving Women (WLW).

 

Sexual orientation is a complex aspect of human identity that involves an enduring pattern of attraction, and being lesbian is just one of the various sexual orientations that exist. It's important to recognize and respect the diversity of human experiences and identities. Additionally, it's crucial to approach discussions about sexual orientation with sensitivity and an open mind, as people's experiences can vary widely.

 

No More Blues by FreenBecky

Lesbian Love Languages
Lesbian Perspective: Hardest Thing About Not Being Straight

Ten Things Lesbians Hate to Hear

Info: Sexual Orientation

Famous Lesbians

Wikipedia: Definition of Lesbian

Candid Answers to Questions About Lesbian Sex

Tribute to the Women Who Spoke Up for Lesbian Rights

Honey by Kehlani

Sorry Straights, These Karaoke Songs Belong to the Lesbians
Curve: Lesbian Magazine

 

Lesbian History
 

Western society has been simultaneously intrigued and threatened by women who challenge feminine gender roles

 

Lesbian as a concept, used to differentiate women with a shared sexual orientation, is a 20th-century construct. Throughout history, women have not had the freedom or independence to pursue homosexual relationships as men have, but neither have they met the harsh punishment in some societies as homosexual men. Instead, lesbian relationships have often been regarded as harmless and incomparable to heterosexual ones unless the participants attempted to assert privileges traditionally enjoyed by men.

 

As a result, little in history has been documented to give an accurate description of how female homosexuality has been expressed. When early sexologists in the late 19th century began to categorize and describe homosexual behavior, hampered by a lack of knowledge about lesbianism or women's sexuality, they distinguished lesbians as women who did not adhere to female gender roles and designated them mentally ill.

 


 

Video List: Most Famous Lesbians in History

Edie and Amanda: First Time

Info: Sexual Orientation

Incredible Lesbians Who are Loud, Proud and Making the World a Better Place
How The L Word Changed Lesbian Television

Endless Love: Audrey and Camille

Famous Black Lesbians You Should Know

Ruth and Jade

Info: Women and Feminism

Sam & Mon: Call Out My Name
Metro Station: I Think She Likes Girls

Paige and Holly: Hugs and Cuddles
 

Lesbian relationships have often been regarded as harmless

 

Women in homosexual relationships responded to this designation either by hiding their personal lives or accepting the label of outcast and creating a subculture and identity that developed in Europe and the United States. Following World War II, during a period of social repression when governments actively persecuted homosexuals, women developed networks to socialize with and educate each other. Greater economic and social freedom allowed women gradually to be able to determine how they could form relationships and families. With second wave feminism and growth of scholarship in women's history and sexuality in the 20th century, the definition of lesbian broadened, sparking a debate about sexual desire as the major component to define what a lesbian is.

 

Women generally exhibit greater sexual fluidity than men and find it easier to become physically and emotionally intimate with the same sex than men do. Some women who engage in homosexual behavior may reject the lesbian identity entirely, refusing to identify themselves as lesbian or bisexual. Other women may adopt a lesbian identity for political reasons. Greater understanding of women's sexuality has led to three components to identifying lesbians: sexual behavior, sexual desire, or sexual identity.

 

 

 

100 Lesbian Things To Do Before You Die

Romantic Films All Queer Women Need to Watch

Ten Things Lesbians Hate to Hear

Lesbian Tunes: New Sapphic Pride Anthems
Amy's Coming Out Story

Celebrity Lesbian Couples We Adore

Info: LGBTQ Community

Essential Lesbian Guide to Flirting

Maze and Eve: Wonderwall

Candid Answers to Questions About Lesbian Sex

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lesbian Sex

Movie Scenes: Best Lesbian Kisses

LeSbo NainA: Pure Leabian Page

Queer Women Who Changed History

 

Portrayals of lesbians in the media suggest that Western society at large has been simultaneously intrigued and threatened by women who challenge feminine gender roles, and fascinated and appalled with women who are romantically involved with other women. Women who adopt a lesbian identity share experiences that form an outlook similar to an ethnic identity: as homosexuals, they are unified by the discrimination and potential rejection they face from their families, friends, and others. As women, they face concerns separate from men. Lesbians may encounter distinct physical or mental health concerns. Political conditions and social attitudes also affect the formation of lesbian relationships and families.

 

 

Am I a Lesbian? (Masterdoc)

Paige and Holly: Smash or Pass
Video Montage 1: Lesbian Love and Kisses

Gal Pals and Compulsory Heterosexuality

Slate: Some Young Women Don't Like Lesbian Label

Noora, Are You a Lesbian?

Mental Health Issues Lesbian Women Cope With

Sam & Mon: Earned It

Lesbians Discuss Their First Time With a Girl

Info: Women and Feminism

Late Bloomers: It's Never Too Late to Be a Lesbian

Welcome to the Gay Woman Channel

Metro Station: I Think She Likes Girls

Incredible Lesbians Who are Loud, Proud and Making the World a Better Place

Lesbian Highlights of 2022

Paige and Holly: I Wanna Marry You

Lesbian Love Languages

 

 

Eat Pray Love

Sapphic religious experience

 

Being lesbian is a religion. It’s feast, fast, or famine. It’s on our knees begging at the altar between her knees. It’s our tribe, our gaggle of gay girls, and our fighting to be included in some social club, meetup, Facebook group, marriage rights, equal rights and more, or hiding in social awkwardness afraid of that demon called rejection. We portion out our psychic energy and our daily allotted 24 hours in this religion of being lesbian and we eat... we pray... we love.

Eat! Help yourself to delicious lesbian fare. Feel the connection to our global tribe and when you’re full you can push away from this gorgeous table of wise women fare to go live. Be about the business of living and learning; growing and becoming more of your fabulous and amazing self. The wisdom you consume from the lives of other's experiences is the fuel that helps you find direction, meaning, gumption and guts to keep going. Don’t stop eating lesbian wisdom.

 

 

Lesbian Perspective: Hardest Thing About Not Being Straight

Giving Up My Love of Long Nails?

Info: Women and Feminism

Late Bloomers: It's Never Too Late to Be a Lesbian

Mia and Pauline

Essential Lesbian Guide to Flirting

Epic Journey to America's Last Lesbian Bars

Queer Women Who Changed History

Advocate Magazine: Women of the Year

Butches and Studs

100 Lesbian Things To Do Before You Die
Ruthie Berman: Pioneering Lesbian Shares Her Epic Love Story

Curve: Lesbian Magazine

 

Pray! On our knees, we pray for a great relationship, we pray for equal rights, we pray for those women we want and don’t have. We pray about the one we do have wishing she might be this or that. We pray and rejoice when that ecstatic feeling of love shows up pulling back the covers on our dreams. We pray in our loneliness to find someone. We pray in our pain to let go of the one who isn’t ours anymore. We pray to move on. We pray to find sense in the world. We find the prayer of laughter, the prayer of thoughtfulness, the prayer of found love, the prayer of experience making, the prayer of failed love, the prayer of faith in the goodness of life. Don’t stop praying.

Love! The more time you spend traveling the country and meeting lesbians from all over the world, the more you are confirmed that lesbian culture is messy, full of drama, alive with misunderstandings, misplaced egos, failed dreams, good and bad relationships and the more you love it. We are as human and common in our foibles as any straight folks can be and we are as uniquely special in our love as every individual human being is. Lesbian love is messy but more important is that our love is powerful. It’s life changing and we need more of it. The world needs more of our lesbian love. Don’t stop seeking to create more lesbian love.

Eat, pray, love. Lesbian, be proud. Have no shame. Embrace it, be it, share it. The religion of being lesbian.


[Source: Mary Gorham Malia, Founder of Gay Girl Dating Coach, Gay Girl Love Tour, and Live Your Best Lesbian Life Global Telesummit]

 

 

 

Epic Journey to America's Last Lesbian Bars

Nobody by Jade Novah and Cynthia Erivo

Edie and Amanda: First Time

Sam & Mon: Romantic Scenes
Best Lesbian Scenes from Movies

Mia & Pauline

Queer Women Who Changed History

Endless Love: Audrey and Camille

Video Montage 3: Lesbian Love and Kisses

Gay Girl Dating Coach

Video: Famous Lesbians

Incredible Lesbians Who are Loud, Proud and Making the World a Better Place

 

Famous Lesbians
 

Melissa Etheridge (Music)

Billie Jean King (Athletics)

Ellen DeGeneres (Media)

Annie Leibovitz (Arts)

Sally Ride (Science)

Lily Tomlin (Film, TV)

Lori Lightfoot (Politics)

Brandi Carlile (Music)

Margaret Cho (Entertainment)

Jodie Foster (Film)

Gertrude Stein (Literature)

Suze Orman (Finance)

Robin Roberts (Media)

Amy Ray (Music)

Emily Saliers (Music)

Susan Sontag (Literature)

Tig Notaro (Entertainment)

Martina Navratilova (Athletics)

Cynthia Nixon (TV)

Wanda Sykes (Entertainment)

Susan Love (Science)

Jane Lynch (Film, TV)

Amy Ray (Music)

Jeanne Marrazzo (Science)

Emily Saliers (Music)

Alison Bechdel (Arts)

Tammy Baldwin (Politics)

Rachel Maddow (Media)

KD Lang (Music)

Brittany Griner (Athletics)

KD Lang (Music)

Mary Oliver (Literature)

Ariana DeBose (Film)

Audre Lorde (Literature)

Karine Jean-Pierre (Politics)

Kelly McGillis (Film)

Alice Walker (Literature)

Hayley Kiyoko (Music)

Hannah Gadsby (Entertainment)

Beth Ford (Business)

Mary Lambert (Music)

Rose O'Donnell (Film)

Annise Parker (Politics)

Ani DeFranco (Music)

Kate McKinnon (Film, TV)

Kate Pierson (Music)

Liat Ben-Zur (Business)

Cindy Wilson (Music)

Neicy Nash (TV)

Renee Rapp (Music)

Mariam Margolyes (Film)

Origin of the Word Lesbian

Queer Women Who Changed History

Am I a Lesbian? (Masterdoc)

Old Lesbians Give Advice to Young Lesbians

Cathy's Coming Out Story

Video List: Most Famous Lesbians in History

Breanne Williamson: I Am a Lesbian

Queer Girls Googling

Epic Journey to America's Last Lesbian Bars
Epochalips: Smart Lesbian Commentary

Lesbian Love Languages

 

Sapphic

A Sapphic person is a woman, or woman-aligned person who is attracted to other women or woman-aligned people. A Sapphic person is also known as Woman Loving Woman (WLW).

 

They may or may not be attracted to other genders as well. This attraction does not need to be exclusive, as the label is used as a way to unify all women who love other women such as, lesbians, bisexual women, pansexual women, promoting solidarity among women of all identities.

 


 

Exploring Sapphic Herstory
Sapphic: An Explanation


The term is most commonly used as an umbrella term. It's typically used in combination with another identity to specify that one prioritizes their attraction to and relationships with other women. It is sometimes used as an identity on its own for people who know they are attracted to women but may be uncertain if they're attracted to other genders. The term can also be used to describe a relationship between two women.

The word sapphic comes from the name of the Greek poet Sappho. The island she was born on, Lesbos, is where the word lesbian is derived from. The masculine counterpart to sapphic is achillean. The non-binary counterparts are diamoric and enbian.

 

What Does It Mean to Be Sapphic?
Lesbians You'll Date Before You Die

Biggest Lesbian Party in the World

Famous Black Lesbians You Should Know

Noora, Are You a Lesbian?

Dyke vs Lesbian

Women Who Changed the Course of LGBTQ History
Music Video: I Wish You Were Gay

Breanne Williamson: I Am a Lesbian

Queer Girls Googling

Carmilla and Laura: Beautiful Moments

Redefining Butch-Femme Relationships

Paige and Holly: Hugs and Cuddles
Endless Love: Audrey and Camille

 

Pressures of Being a Lesbian

They hate men?  They have daddy issues?  They're scary masculine?

 

Lesbian women face unique mental health issues (in addition to the ones all members of the LGBTQ community face) because they exist in a marginalized section of an already marginalized community. Exploring the effects of discrimination and prejudice only scratches the surface of their mental health challenges.
 

   

 

Curve: Lesbian Magazine

Butches and Studs

My First Date With a Girl

Queer Women Who Changed History

Things Lesbians are Tired of Hearing

BuzzFeed: Lesbian Stereotypes

Welcome to the Gay Woman Channel

Info: Skirt Club

Healthy Place: Myths About Lesbians

Sam & Mon: Love Me Like You Do
Jess Steven: Too Pretty to Be a Lesbian

Queer Girls Googling

 

More so than other members of the LGBTQ community, lesbian women feel pressure to identify and label themselves with terms they are not necessarily comfortable with. This pressure comes from heterosexuals, gay men, the gay bar scene, on-line dating sites, the media and other lesbian women. Terms like Femme, Alpha, Butch, and Lipstick Lesbian can be frustrating for some lesbian women.

 

Even the word “lesbian” can be controversial. Should we say “lesbian,” “lesbian women,” “gay women” or maybe something else? There isn’t a correct answer or anything close to a consensus in the lesbian community. These identity and labeling issues cause stress and contribute to the social isolation lesbian women deal with.

 

“Feminist” is another label people pressure lesbians to consider. There are historical and current conflicts between lesbian feminism, mainstream feminism and radical feminism. This makes many lesbian women reluctant to engage in the conversation of feminism or consider feminism part of their identity.
 

   


People (usually heterosexuals) often make several assumptions about lesbian women that contribute to unwelcomed stereotypes: They hate men. They have “daddy issues.” They are more masculine than heterosexual women. Men molested them as children. There needs to a be a “man” in a lesbian relationship. Lesbians haven’t met the right man yet. Lesbian sex doesn’t count as “real sex.” Lesbians dress like men. Lesbians are not physically attractive. They are more interested in sports. They drive SUVs. They push commitment and establish their romantic relationships too quickly. They are “crazy.” They are trying being with women as some sort of trendy experiment rather than a legitimate sexual preference.

 

Say I Love You

Paige and Holly: I Wanna Marry You

Lesbian Dating 101

Am I a Lesbian? (Masterdoc)

Epic Journey to America's Last Lesbian Bars

Gal Pals and Compulsory Heterosexuality

Lesbian Insights: Sexual Activity in 1966

Sam & Mon: Call Out My Name
Gal Pals and Compulsory Heterosexuality

Info: Women and Feminism

How The L Word Changed Lesbian Television

Video Montage 5: Lesbian Love and Kisses

How Do You Know You're a Lesbian

Mia & Pauline

No More Blues by FreenBecky

Lesbian Love Songs: Women Singing About Women

Mermaid Tavern

 

What Does It Mean to Be Sapphic?

Queer Women...

I love identifying as a sapphic woman because for one, it sounds fancy AF. For another, the derivative of the word — which we will get to in a minute — is as poetic as my love for femmes can feel.

There have been points in my life where I have felt more comfortable identifying as “bisexual,” while at other times I have preferred “lesbian.” Regardless of the label, it is my sapphic love that has remained constant.

Sapphic is also a less-often used term in the queer community, so if you’re wondering what I mean by “sapphic,” you’re not alone. Prior to 2020, I couldn’t confidently define it despite being openly queer.

What I’ve learned since is that while “sapphic” and “lesbian” are related terms, they are distinct from one another.
 

 

Kathryn's Coming Out Story

Lesbian Love Languages

Curve: Lesbian Magazine

Breanne Williamson: Why I Hate the Word Lesbian

Jess Steven: Too Pretty to Be a Lesbian

Candid Answers to Questions About Lesbian Sex

Butches and Studs

Lesbian Dating Tips: How to Flirt With a Girl


Umbrella Term...

 

Sapphic is an umbrella term that includes lesbian, bisexual, and pansexual trans femmes, mascs, nonbinary folks, and cis women. Yet unlike these sexualities, "sapphic" strives to conjure an experience more akin to an intention toward attraction — one oriented less to any specific gender identity and more to the fullness of a potential lovers' humanity.

The term sapphic has a long history, one that dates all the way back to ancient Greece, and has become an umbrella word that refers to a wide spectrum of sexualities and genders. If you want to learn more about sapphic love and its intertwined history with lesbian identity, read on!
 

 

 

Noora, Are You a Lesbian?

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lesbian Sex

Multicouple Lesbian Fanvid: Cosmic Love

Paige and Holly: Our First Time

Info: Skirt Club

Gal Pals and Compulsory Heterosexuality

Slate: Some Young Women Don't Like Lesbian Label


What Does It Mean to Be Sapphic?
 

At its core, sapphics can be lesbians, bisexuals, and pansexual people of a variety of genders. Trans femmes, mascs, nonbinary people, and cis women can all fall under the sapphic umbrella if the term resonates with them.

Being sapphic can mean different things to different people, and can depend on whom you ask within the community.

Victoria Williams, who discusses being sapphic on TikTok, says that for her, being sapphic is a culmination of her love for not only all women, but her woman. “In my relationship, I have romanticized my own sapphic love beyond words,” Williams told Them. “I’ve memorized her from head to toe, freckle to dimple. I’ve read, taken notes and devoured her heart and soul.”

The peer-led sex education advocate Katie Haan told Them that being sapphic means having a “community where everyone has a mutual understanding of what it means to experience attraction, love, sexual desire, romance, community, friendship, companionship, inspiration and creativity through a similar lens, on our terms.”

It’s important to remember that not all queer people are sapphic. Being a queer person means using whichever phrases work best for you, so if sapphic doesn’t feel right, you don’t have to claim it.
 

 

She Likes Girls

Sam & Mon: Love Me Like You Do

Info: Skirt Club

Best Lesbian Scenes from Movies

You Tube: Notable Lesbians

Info: LGBTQ Community

New Research: Lesbians More Accepted Than Gay Men

Music Video: I Wish You Were Gay


When Did the Term Sapphic Become Popular?
 

According to Merriam-Webster, the term sapphic derives from the Greek goddess Sappho, who notoriously resided on the Isle of Lesbos (love that for us WLW).

Sappho was an incredibly popular poet whose work explored desire and love, specifically the kind that exists between two women. As a result, the women of Lesbos were said to prefer each other — hence, the origin of the term lesbian.

After a few scrolls of Sappho’s poems were discovered in the late 1800s, “sapphic” became an adjective to describe women whose emotional and sexual preferences were other women. It wasn't until the 1950s, however, that “sapphic” became a popular term to describe women who loved women in the US.

In recent years, sapphic has evolved to be more inclusive, expanding beyond being a woman attracted to women. The modern community of sapphics offline and in online spaces like TikTok is vast, including nonbinary transmascs and trans femmes, trans men, and women of many sexualities. “Sapphic” has become less about the gender of who one is attracted to and is more a vibe of queer love.

“It has slowly evolved into a safe word that, when spoken, just lets you feel comfort in knowing that you are in the company of other like-minded individuals,” Williams said.
 

 

 

Curve: Lesbian Magazine

Breanne Williamson: I Am a Lesbian

Lesbian Perspective: Hardest Thing About Not Being Straight

Video: Girl Picking Up Girls

BuzzFeed: Lesbian Stereotypes

Video Montage 2: Lesbian Love and Kisses

Butches and Studs

Candid Answers to Questions About Lesbian Sex


Sapphic vs Lesbian...
 

While many lesbians claim sapphic identity, it’s important to note that there is a distinction between being a lesbian and being sapphic. While lesbians can be sapphics, not all sapphics are lesbians.

Sapphics can be bisexual, pansexual, and omnisexual people of many genders. The term goes beyond sexuality and the gender of the person one is attracted to. Rather, it encompasses a spectrum of genders and sexuality and captures love rooted in one’s full humanity.

There can be overlap, but the two terms are not interchangeable.
 

 

Jill's Coming Out Story

How The L Word Changed Lesbian Television

Iris and Mardou: I Get to Love You

Info: Skirt Club

Lesbian Couples: Somewhere Only We Know

Music Video: Girl Crush

Queer YouTubers: Losing Your Virginity


Can Trans People Be Sapphic?


The only people saying trans people can’t be sapphic are trans-exclusive to begin with. Sapphics can be trans femmes, trans mascs, nonbinary people, and cis women of all sexual orientations. What matters is feeling that the term suits you.

“Sapphic is gender expansive,” sex educator Tia Freeman told Them. “It strips away rigid control of how someone is ‘supposed’ to present and at its root embraces love.”

However, it’s important to understand that as with all identity labels, just because trans people can be sapphic doesn’t mean all trans people are sapphic. As always, it’s best to never assume a person’s identity and ask if they feel sapphic suits them before using it.

When I was in the throes of figuring out my sexual orientation throughout adolescence, and even in my college years, sapphic felt like a term that was welcoming and broadly encompassing. It seems almost impossible that I have identified as anything else.

For me, sapphic evokes the soulful, “I want a cottage core lifestyle on a farm with just us” type of emotions that I feel for my femme partner. It reflects the intensity of the crushes on girls I had in high school that blossomed deep in my chest before I could find the right language to describe them.

Sapphic is a word that resides on an island outside of the world of binaries and chooses deep connection with another queer person. It’s an identity I’ve found a home within — and maybe one that you can, too.

[Source: Yasmine Hamou, Them Magazine, April 2022]

 

Lesbian Love Languages

Jess Steven: Too Pretty to Be a Lesbian

Short Film: To My Future Girlfriend

Incredible Lesbians Who are Loud, Proud and Making the World a Better Place

Lesbians Discuss Their First Time With a Girl

Queer YouTubers: Losing Your Virginity

Info: Women and Feminism

Redefining Butch-Femme Relationships

Honey by Kehlani

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Lesbian Sex

Video Montage 4: Lesbian Love and Kisses

Am I a Lesbian? (Masterdoc)

Gay Girl Dating Coach
Mermaid Tavern

 

The L Word

"
Lesbian" isn't a dirty word and more millennials need to use it. The straight male world has convinced young women the L word is a slur.

Some gay women do not feel comfortable calling themselves a lesbian.  From a social perspective, the idea of being a woman not attracted to men can be initially terrifying. There’s the idea of having to overcome a multitude of social obstacles, from being stared at when you walk hand-in-hand with the person you love to having to wonder how you’re going to have children. The same is true for men who find themselves only attracted to men. But why do many millennial men appear comfortable calling themselves "gay," while millennial women shun the term "lesbian"?

It has been observed that many millennial girls who have romantic and sexual feelings only toward other women use the terms “gay” or “queer,” while running away from “lesbian.” Perhaps society has told us that “lesbian” is a bad word.

 


 

Wikipedia: Definition of Lesbian

Queer Women Who Changed History

Honey by Kehlani

Ten Things Lesbians Hate to Hear

Info: Women and Feminism

Ally and Sam

Queer Girls Googling

Petra and Jane: I Love You

Why Being a Lesbian is Amazing

Giving Up My Love of Long Nails?

You Tube: Notable Lesbians

Juliana and Valentina: Say it Again

Lesbian Dating Tips: How Can You Tell If a Girl Likes You

Curve: Five Types of Lesbians

Jess and Emily: How Lesbians Do It

 

The word "lesbian" has been villainized in the media because lesbians serve no purpose to the people who control it. A 2017 University of Southern California study showed that 96 percent of the top 100 movies made in the past 100 years were directed by men, while a 2016 study from Variety showed that almost 80 percent of showrunners for new scripted shows were men.

The result is two lesbian stereotypes becoming visible in movies and television — that of the oversexualized, two-dimensional woman who serves only to satisfy some pornographic fantasy of a straight man, and that of a bland, largely disinteresting woman who serves just as hollow a purpose. The former is the projection of the only way a lesbian can serve as meaningful to a straight man, and the latter is the straight man’s reaction to a woman being completely uninterested in him sexually by making her as boring and unimportant to the plot as possible.
 

 

At its root, lesbianism represents something beautiful. Being a woman attracted to women. Being a woman who can only fall in love with other women. That used to be something terrifying. Now it is exciting.

 

The label “lesbian” does not have to be what the media has molded it into. Accepting that you don’t have any attraction to men is not something that should feel limiting and scary. Once you accept and understand it, being a lesbian is something that can open you up to so many different possibilities, including a community ready to embrace you.

"Lesbian" is a word that represents something beautiful, and the more girls and women feel comfortable using it, the harder it’s going to be for the world to villainize an identity rooted in love.

 

[Source: Mary Grace Lewis, Advocate Magazine, July 2018]

 

Lesbian Couples Frolicking: I See You

Sam & Mon: Earned It

Lesbians Discuss Their First Time With a Girl

Casey and Izzie: Feel Real

Queer YouTubers: Losing Your Virginity

Info: LGBTQ Community

Short Film: To My Future Girlfriend

Lesbians You'll Date Before You Die

Jess and Emily: How Lesbians Do It

100 Years of Lesbianism

Lesbian Dating 101

Slate: Some Young Women Don't Like Lesbian Label

Jezebel: Girl's Guide to Lesbian Clichés and Stereotypes

Paige and Holly: How We Became Girlfriends

Brenda Besó a su Entrenadora

 

  

 

Lesbian Dating 101

Emily and Sue: Shameless

Essential Lesbian Guide to Flirting

Ten Things Lesbians Hate to Hear

Mia & Pauline

Women Who Changed the Course of LGBTQ History
Video Montage: Best Lesbian Kisses

Mental Health Issues Lesbian Women Cope With

Info: Sexual Orientation

Mermaid Tavern

How The L Word Changed Lesbian Television

Belly Kisses by Rachel Wiley

Jezebel: Girl's Guide to Lesbian Clichés and Stereotypes

Wikipedia: Definition of Lesbian

 

Lesbians More Accepted Worldwide Than Gay Men

Research on gender norms

 

A new study exploring the attitudes toward nonheterosexual men and women in 23 Western and non-Western countries found lesbians are more accepted than gay men around the world. “We found that gay men are disliked more than lesbian women in every country we tested,” according to the study, which was conducted by three New York University psychologists and published in the December 2019 issue of the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science.

Sexual minorities face pervasive discrimination and hostility globally, with same-sex sexual activity still illegal in approximately 70 countries. Broadly, the study found that “attitudes toward sexual minorities are robustly related to beliefs about the gender system, more broadly.”

The study defines “gender norms” as “widely shared societal and cultural beliefs distinguishing personality traits, behaviors, and interests as appropriate and desirable for either men or women but not both.” It says that gender norms “prescribe behaviors that fuel a heteronormative system — that is, men and women conforming to norms are seen as ‘complements’ to one another, and this makes heterosexual coupling seem necessary and normal.”

 


 

Queer Women Who Changed History

Noora, Are You a Lesbian?

Ellia and Cassie

Paige and Holly: Smash or Pass

Video Discussion: My First Relationship With a Woman

My Dear Friend

You Tube: Notable Lesbians

Make Me Complete

100 Lesbian Things To Do Before You Die

Paige and Holly: Our First Time
Multicouple Lesbian Fanvid: Cosmic Love

Info: Women and Feminism

Epic Journey to America's Last Lesbian Bars


In places like the Netherlands where people are more accepting of gender norm violations, better known as gender nonconformity, there is an association with “positive attitudes toward sexual minorities.” The converse is also largely true: For instance in America, college students who endorsed “traditional gender arrangements” were more likely to report negative attitudes toward gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

Maria Laura Bettinsoli, the study's lead author, said she and her colleagues were surprised "at the consistency of the relationship between gender norm endorsement and sexual prejudice. Even though there were some non-Western countries that did not conform to the pattern, the majority of countries did."


Indeed, in countries including China and India, the survey found that strong gender norms are actually associated with greater tolerance of homosexuality — that is, people with the strongest beliefs in how men and women should behave were more likely to tolerate homosexuality, the opposite of the West, including the Americas and Western Europe. The report speculates that in some Eastern countries, “both gender norms and nonheterosexuality are considered ‘Western’ (or, perhaps, capitalist) concepts, and those who are pro-Western are more likely to feel favorable toward both.”

 

Dyke vs Lesbian

Ten Things Lesbians Hate to Hear

Franky and Bridget: Love Me Like You Do

Best Lesbian Vampire Movies

Info: Skirt Club

Sam & Mon: Romantic Scenes
Essential Lesbian Guide to Flirting

Butches and Studs

Why Being a Lesbian is Amazing

No More Blues by FreenBecky

Lesbian Love Languages

Curve: Lesbian Magazine

Mermaid Tavern

 

Men vs. Women


The study’s findings also suggest that “men are more likely to be both the targets and perpetrators of sexual prejudice.” In all 23 countries studied, the report found "gay men are rated more negatively than lesbian women,” and that trend was almost entirely driven by the views of men, except in Poland, Hungary and Russia, where women also assigned gay men high negative ratings. In the United States, men who are anti-gays largely direct their prejudice toward gay men, while women who are anti-gays direct their prejudice more equally toward gay men and gay women, the study found.

“In other words, harboring prejudicial attitudes toward sexual minorities is part of the social construction of what it means to ‘be a man’” in many Western countries, according to the report.

In January 2019, the American Psychological Association’s first guide to issues specific to men and boys warned that “traditional masculinity ideology” (what some characterized as “toxic masculinity”)  “has been shown to limit males’ psychological development, constrain their behavior, result in gender role strain and gender role conflict and negatively influence mental health and physical health” and linked it to both homophobia and misogyny.

 

Nick and Benedetta

Welcome to the Gay Woman Channel

Endless Love: Audrey and Camille

Lesbian Couples: Somewhere Only We Know

Music Video: Love on Fire

Curve: Five Types of Lesbians

Lesbian Tunes: New Sapphic Pride Anthems

Girl on Girl: What's So Scary About Female Pleasure?

Epochalips: Smart Lesbian Commentary

Petra and Jane

Giving Up My Love of Long Nails?

Lesbian Dating 101

 



Global Snapshot
 

The study also shed light on some contours of global homophobia. In Russia, perhaps unsurprisingly due to its 2013 gay propaganda law, “positive attitudes toward sexual minorities” are the lowest of the 23 countries surveyed. A 2018 survey conducted in Russia found that nearly two thirds of people there believe that LGBTQ people are seeking “to destroy the spiritual values generated by Russians, through the propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations.”

It also placed American attitudes toward lesbian, gay and bisexual people in the context of other countries around the world: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Great Britain, Spain and Sweden all have more positive attitudes toward sexual minorities than do Americans.

Respondents in Brazil, China, Hungary, Japan, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey all reported more negative attitudes toward gay people than the US, while attitudes in France, Germany, Italy, and Mexico largely mirrored America’s.

In conclusion, the study's authors underscored the "important phenomenon" uncovered in their report regarding the differing views of gender norms in the East and the West and how they relate to views on sexuality.

"This work should be a springboard for more focused inquiries into conceptualization of gender and sexuality in understudied populations and to rethink how these things are conceptualized in the Western world," the study stated.

 

[Source: Tim Fitzsimmons, NBC News, January 2020]

 

You Tube: Notable Lesbians

Info: LGBTQ Community

Women Who Changed the Course of LGBTQ History
New Research: Lesbians More Accepted Than Gay Men

Music Video: I Wish You Were Gay

Mia & Pauline

Cathy's Coming Out Story

Sorry Straights, These Karaoke Songs Belong to the Lesbians

Candid Answers to Questions About Lesbian Sex

Belly Kisses by Rachel Wiley

Paige and Holly: How We Became Girlfriends

Tribute to the Women Who Spoke Up for Lesbian Rights

Video List: Most Famous Lesbians in History

Breanne Williamson: I Am a Lesbian

Queer Girls Googling

 

 

Cynthia Nixon Identifies as Queer

One of the stars of the Netflix series, Ratched, Cynthia Nixon, has proclaimed “queer” as the identity that fits her best. She explains the evolution of the words she uses to label herself. "I could call myself a lesbian, gay, bisexual. But none of them seems really particularly right,” Nixon said in an interview with Attitude. "To say ‘queer’ means, 'I’m over there, I don’t have to go into the nuances of my sexuality with you.'"

The actor, who rose to popularity on Sex and the City, has been with her wife, Christine Marinoni, for 16 years after splitting with partner Danny Mozes. Over the years, she has explained her identity in a few ways. "I feel like ‘queer’ is an umbrella term, and it includes my formerly straight self too," she said.

 



"Falling in love with my wife was one of the great delights and surprises of my life, but it didn’t seem like I became a whole new person, or like some door had been unlocked,” she said. "It was like: ‘I have fallen in love with different people in my life and they’ve all been men before. Now this is a woman and she is amazing.’”


With Tony and Emmy awards to her name, Nixon has also always been an ardent activist for various causes including LGBTQ rights and the environment. In 2018, she ran against Andrew Cuomo in the New York gubernatorial race. At this juncture, Nixon, whose son Samuel is transgender, has called for LGBTQ people to stick together in the face of opposition from conservatives. "It’s a really peculiar thing, how much the right wing try to separate us as a community,” she said.
 

"But after same-sex marriage was legalized we saw a great divide in our own community too, between those who thought, I got my wedding ring, I can pass my money on to my spouse and not pay taxes, so I’m good, I’m done, as opposed to We have so far to go for so many members of our community, we are still so far from the promised land, we’re so far from having our full civil rights."
 

In 2012, Nixon, who had identified as bisexual, went on the record and confirmed that bisexuality is not a choice after taking a lot of heat for saying it was her choice to be in a “gay” relationship with Marinoni. She previously stated: "My recent comments in The New York Times were about me and my personal story of being gay. I believe we all have different ways we came to the gay community and we can't and shouldn't be pigeon-holed into one cultural narrative which can be uninclusive and disempowering.

 

 

However, to the extent that anyone wishes to interpret my words in a strictly legal context I would like to clarify: "While I don't often use the word, the technically precise term for my orientation is bisexual. I believe bisexuality is not a choice, it is a fact. What I have 'chosen' is to be in a gay relationship.

"As I said in the Times and will say again here, I do, however, believe that most members of our community (as well as the majority of heterosexuals) cannot and do not choose the gender of the persons with whom they seek to have intimate relationships because, unlike me, they are only attracted to one sex. Our community is not a monolith, thank goodness, any more than America itself is. I look forward to and will continue to work toward the day when America recognizes all of us as full and equal citizens."

 

[Source: Tracy E. Gilchrist, Advocate Magazine, September 2020]

 

Why Being a Lesbian is Amazing

Info: Women and Feminism

Butches and Studs

Best Lesbian Vampire Movies

Giving Up My Love of Long Nails?

You Tube: Notable Lesbians

Juliana and Valentina: Say it Again

Lesbian Dating Tips: How Can You Tell If a Girl Likes You

 

 

Nick and Benedetta

Curve: Five Types of Lesbians

Jess and Emily: How Lesbians Do It

Say I Love You

Lesbian Dating 101

Gal Pals and Compulsory Heterosexuality

Mia and Pauline

Lesbian Love Languages

Curve: Lesbian Magazine

Epic Journey to America's Last Lesbian Bars

Mental Health Issues Lesbian Women Cope With

Info: Sexual Orientation

Mermaid Tavern

 

More Than Sexuality

The labels and language of affection

 

Do you have an "affectional preference" for female companionship?  Hey, world, big news! Gay people are more than our sexuality. It can be downright annoying to be defined by one part of our humanity.

I may live in rural America, but I am not a walking, talking letter “Q” for queer. Not an advertisement for a lifestyle. Not a representation of what-dykes-look-like. Not an object of study or fascination. Not a target of foul words, flung mud, or physical violence.

I am a lover of women, but that encompasses a heck of a lot more than sexual expression. When I was younger even I didn’t know that was true. I didn’t know I could love a woman friend without intimate touch. I believed the homo-hating hype that coming out made me one-dimensional.


Today, we can see photos of people like us who are unencumbered by stereotypes. We watch gay people become champion athletes, TV and film and theater stars, heads of corporations, politicians. I like to think all our efforts have helped to provide solid groundwork for gay lives to be fulfilling.

 


 

Am I Really Proud to Be a Lesbian?

Advocate Magazine: Women of the Year

Info: Skirt Club

Wikipedia: Definition of Lesbian

Honey by Kehlani

Ten Things Lesbians Hate to Hear

Info: Sexual Orientation

 

It is time to look at how language continues to be one of our stumbling blocks. Change is already happening. Little by little a majority of Americans are becoming respectful of gay people, are realizing they need not focus conversation on gay matters. They are finding out that we are not threats and that we have more in common with them than not.

Both gays and non-gays need new language for the concept that we are the family next door, the gal who pumps gas, the transgender head of the corporation. We need to move beyond words that mark us in a solely sexual way.

I’ve been using the phrase affectional preference. While I enjoy the company of some men, mostly gay men, my closest friends and family are women. If I’m going out somewhere, I go with women. If I join an organization, it’s more likely to be woman-centered than co-ed. If I exercise or swim, I like to do so in the company of women. I do business with women, preferably gay. There is no sexual component in any of those activities. Why am I the only one with a sexual label in a room full of non-gay women who’ve gathered for lunch? I have affection for these women, not attraction to them.

 

 

 

In my marriage, of course there is the kind of intimacy that would scare straight boys. But, we just might be sitting in our living room discussing our day and reading. Or cooking dinner and doing the dishes. We might even be doing the laundry, cleaning the toilets, filling the bird feeders. So call us bird lovers, cooks, readers. Our passion for birds and books have nothing to do with sexual preferences. We simply like to share everyday life together as two loving women.

Let’s stop sexualizing ourselves and come up with words that reflect the greater percentage of our days and ourselves—if we have to be labeled at all. Please note, it’s not the sex itself I want to eliminate, it’s the restrictive branding.

[Source: Lee Lynch, Writer, Epochalips]

 

I Think I Might Be a Lesbian

Lesbian Coming Out at 40

Noora, Are You a Lesbian?

Mermaid Tavern

Queer YouTubers: Losing Your Virginity

No More Blues by FreenBecky

Awesome Things About Lesbian Relationships

Paige and Holly: Hugs and Cuddles

Belly Kisses by Rachel Wiley

Gal Pals and Compulsory Heterosexuality

Lesbian Literature

Breanne Williamson: I Am a Lesbian

Mia & Pauline

LeSbo NainA: Pure Leabian Page

Best Lesbian Vampire Movies

 


 

Wise Lesbian Quotes

 

"I will not have my life narrowed down. I will not bow down to somebody else's whim or to someone else's ignorance."
-Alice Walker, Writer

“I am a strong, black, lesbian woman. Every single time I say it, I feel so much better.”
-Brittany Griner, Athlete

“A woman and a woman together are beautiful, just as a man and a woman together are beautiful.”
-Drew Barrymore, Actor

“What I preach is: People fall in love with people, not gender, not looks, not whatever. What I’m in love with exists on almost a spiritual level.”
-Miley Cyrus, Singer

 

   
 

Sam & Mon: Love Me Like You Do
How The L Word Changed Lesbian Television

Romantic Films All Queer Women Need to Watch

Jezebel: Girl's Guide to Lesbian Clichés and Stereotypes


“I want to make sure that any young person or anyone really who is looking up to me—who sees a glimpse of I am as a person—that they see no shame, that they see pride, and that I’m truly unabashed about the person that I am.”
-Samira Wiley, Actor

“Being born gay, black and female is not a revolutionary act. Being proud to be a gay, black female is.”
-Lena Waithe, Film Producer

"I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't."
-Audre Lorde, Writer

"Find out who you are and be that person. That's what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come."
-Ellen DeGeneres, Entertainer

 


 

Honey by Kehlani

Ten Things Lesbians Hate to Hear

Ally and Sam

Paige and Holly: Smash or Pass

Queer Girls Googling

Queer Women Who Changed History

Petra and Jane: I Love You


"Being optimistic is like a muscle that gets stronger with use. Makes it easier when the tough times arrive. You have to change the way you think in order to change the way you feel."
-Robin Roberts, Television Host

"If you feel like there's something out there that you're supposed to be doing, if you have a passion for it, then stop wishing and just do it."
-Wanda Sykes, Comedian

"There's girls that grew up like me and even worse, and they need to know that there is someone out there that can give them hope. It's about inspiring people and helping people."
-Kehlani, Musician

"You really need to trust that you're on your own path, and as long as you stay true to it, and you show up, you will be successful."
-Jane Lynch, Actor

Inspiring Quotes For Queer Women To Live By
Karine Jean-Pierre Hosts L Word Cast at White House Press Briefing
Lesbian Highlights of 2022
Cynthia Nixon: Why She Identifies as Queer

Game-Changing Queer Women to Celebrate Women's History Month

Commentary: Why I Am Nobody's Wife

XtraMagazine: No, Lesbians Are Not Disappearing

Am I Really Proud to Be a Lesbian?

Advocate Magazine: Women of the Year

100 Lesbian Things To Do Before You Die
Ruthie Berman: Pioneering Lesbian Shares Her Epic Love Story

 

 

Lesbians Holding Hands in Public

 

In 1977 two women were convicted of "obscene behavior" for holding hands on a tram in Melbourne, Australia.  Their story was even the focal point of the Victorian Government’s apology to gays and lesbians convicted of overturned homosexuality laws.

40 years after the lesbians’ arrest, a group of women honored them in Melbourne with an event called "Hold Hands on a Tram," during which they gathered as a demonstration and publicly held hands with each other. "This event was amazing," said organizer and director of Celebrate Ageing, Catherine Barrett. "We had 20 lesbian elders board the tram and a group of LGBTQ community members come to send us off. We also had a number of straight folk who heard about the project and wanted to come along to show their support. This was all very moving and bought a number of us to tears."

But even in 2017 some of the women were still nervous about holding hands in public. Barrett told Gay Star News it was sign that society still has a long way to go. "A number of women told me that they were really nervous. They don’t generally hold hands in public, it has not been safe to do so," she said. "So even though we were travelling in a group they were frightened of the responses from the general public."

Lesbophobia is real.  "Hold Hands on a Tram" was organized to remind people of lesbopobia, the discrimination uniquely faced by lesbians. It was also a chance to highlight some of the struggles older lesbians face.

[Source: Shannon Power, GSN, Melbourne, Australia, Oct 2017]

 

Music Video: I Need a Woman to Love

History of Lesbian Fashion

Lesbian Love Songs: Women Singing About Women

Info: Women and Feminism

List: US Lesbian Periodicals

Breanne Williamson: Why I Hate the Word Lesbian

Paige and Holly: Smash or Pass

Why Being a Lesbian is Amazing

Short Film: To My Future Girlfriend

List: Worldwide Lesbian Periodicals

Great Big Lesbian Dictionary

Video Montage: Best Lesbian Kisses




Lesbians in Love

 

Aida and Alba

Iris and Mardou

Aisha and Yiren

Paris and Rebecca

Pink and Mari

Chloe and Elly

Natalia and Majka

Alice and Nat

Sara and Roxane

Laura and Esra

Zoe and Mal

Anni and Jasmin

Calle and Poche

Mariah and Tessa

Ally and Sam

Carmilla and Laura

Ji Soo and Yoon Ju

Serena and Bernie

Jean and Lydia

Juan and Emma

Auste and Sangaile

Amy and Karma

Ginger & Becky

Julie and Nikki

Tia and Nadine

Shireen and Atafeh

Andrea and Collette

Ellen and Vera

Janet and Bianca

Mia and Pauline

Kalinda and Lana

Nina and Magda

Bianca and Reese

Sue and Janey

Andrea and Collette

Sue and Janey

Flor and Jazmin

Annisa and Grace

Maya and Carina

Dani and Sophie

Yoon-ju and Ji-soo

Chloe and Mel

Dorrie and Kerry

Anni and Jasmin

Audrey and Camille

Lou and Kenna

Sam and Mon
Petra and Jane

Aster and Vivian

Alexandra and Veronica

Brenna and Greer

Roma and Diane

Sara and Lexus

Gin and Rose

Kang Ji-woo and Yoon Ji-woo

Elizabeth and Olive

Dana and Alice

Gia and Linda

Raquel and Malu

Juliana and Valentina

Brenna and Margo

Sarah and Mindy

Ellie and Aster

Umang and Samara

Max and Sam

Iris and Mardou

Denise and Marila

Aditi and Rooh

Emily and Sue

 

Science: Evolution and Lesbians
 

Straight women are much more likely to get themselves knocked up than gay women. So, in terms of evolution, they would seem to have a better chance of passing on their genes, while at the same time it would seem that the genes that make women gay would quickly vanish from the gene pool. This raises the question, why are there gay women?

Lesbianism is indeed at least 25 percent genetic, as determined by a 2011 study of twins conducted in the United Kingdom. The study found that identical twin sisters (who share 100 percent of their DNA) are more likely to both be lesbians than are fraternal twin sisters (who share just 50 percent), proving that, all other environmental factors being equal, genes matter. While scientists have a theory for how male homosexuality propagates from one generation to the next, no one has yet produced a viable explanation for how the genes that promote lesbianism might do the same.

A female's sexual orientation also appears to be partly influenced by her level of exposure to the male sex hormone androgen when she is in the womb. Greater hormone exposure correlates with more gender nonconformity early in her life (as a child, she may be called a "tomboy"), as well as a same-sex orientation later on. A study by Dutch psychologists published in the March issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine reported that 10 to 12 percent of male and female children who feel discomfort with their gender go on to identify as gay or lesbian as adults. Meanwhile, just 1 or 2 percent of children who are comfortable with their gender identity turn out to be gay or lesbian.

 


 

New Research: Lesbians More Accepted Than Gay Men

Best Lesbian Vampire Movies

Epic Journey to America's Last Lesbian Bars

Paige and Holly: Our First Time
Music Video: I Wish You Were Gay

Cathy's Coming Out Story

Sorry Straights, These Karaoke Songs Belong to the Lesbians

Candid Answers to Questions About Lesbian Sex

Tribute to the Women Who Spoke Up for Lesbian Rights

Info: Skirt Club

Video List: Most Famous Lesbians in History

Breanne Williamson: I Am a Lesbian

Queer Women Who Changed History

Queer


Adding to the confusion about what causes lesbianism is the slipperiness of female sexuality itself. Unlike men, who are usually sexually oriented solely toward men or women, and whose sexuality is essentially fixed from puberty on, a decade of research by the University of Utah psychologist Lisa Diamond and others demonstrates that women have greater "erotic plasticity." Their sexual orientation can be shaped by cultural influences, altered by positive or negative experiences and intensified by feelings of love or attachment. Women are far more likely than men to "report remarkably late and abrupt onset of same-sex sexuality, often after heterosexual marriage," Diamond wrote in January in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Their sexual fluidity may emerge from the fact that, across the board, women are sexually aroused by images of both men and women (while men are typically only aroused by members of their preferred sex).

Therefore, the question "why are there gay women?" may be better worded as "why is female sexuality so fluid?" Plenty of women exist at both extremes of the straight-gay spectrum, but it is the formation of this slippery spectrum itself that most needs explaining. Evolutionary biologists have yet to determine what survival or reproductive benefit women's "erotic plasticity" confers.

[Source: Natalie Wolchover, Life's Little Mysteries, June 2012]
 

 

Am I Really Proud to Be a Lesbian?

Advocate Magazine: Women of the Year

Wikipedia: Definition of Lesbian

Honey by Kehlani

Paige and Holly: Smash or Pass

Ten Things Lesbians Hate to Hear

Women Who Changed the Course of LGBTQ History
Info: Sexual Orientation

Belly Kisses by Rachel Wiley

Queer Women Who Changed History

You Tube: Notable Lesbians

Info: LGBTQ Community


Dating a Woman For The First Time: Here's What's Different

Personally, two years into my first-ever lesbian relationship, I'm very happy to take the time to acknowledge the amazing lesbians out there in the world — my girlfriend included. And, as someone who has had sex with women but only dated men before this relationship, I appreciate being in a lesbian relationship all the more.

Firstly, I'm a bisexual and proud of it. And being in a lesbian relationship in no way takes away from the fact that I am a bisexual — there is no acceptance of bi erasure here. Still bi. Still here. Still proud. But what being in a lesbian relationship has done is made me realize how effing amazing being in a lesbian relationship is. Because there are a lot of differences between dating a man and dating a woman and most of them make me so freaking grateful that the person I fell for is a fellow femme.

 


 

Girls Just Being Hella Gay

Tribute to the Women Who Spoke Up for Lesbian Rights

Honey by Kehlani

Jess and Emily: How Lesbians Do It

Curve: Lesbian Magazine

Sam & Mon: Romantic Scenes
Epochalips: Smart Lesbian Commentary

Dyke vs Lesbian

Cosmo: Lesbians Reveal Exact Moment They Fell in Love

Video Discussion: My First Relationship With a Woman

Lesbian Love Languages


So if you've ever thought about acting out your sapphic leanings and switching your Tinder search to women, here are some factors worth considering.

I hate the check dance on dates. The idea that I shouldn't pay is a patronizing throwback to when women were, you know, basically property. I don't care that it's tradition, I find it really uncomfortable and a little insulting when someone acts like I shouldn't pay. With a woman, it's not awkward at all (or at least, just the normal amount of money awkwardness).

If you've ever had to congratulate a guy for not being a misogynistic asshole, you'll know what I'm talking about. I was sick of praising someone for being a feminist or it feeling like a deliberate choice when my needs were valued as much as they were.

In a hetero relationship, you're always encountering gender norms — whether adhering to or ignoring them. With two women, you just get to sidestep them completely.


OK, it's not all good. There will be blood. A lot of blood. But luckily no squeamishness around it — and there's almost always a spare tampon laying around. Seriously. Our apartment is 90-per-cent tampons.

Like I said, some things are harder with women. I was actually way more self-conscious dating women than dating men. Even though I think of men as being more judgmental, feeling like there is a more direct comparison between you and your partner was tough at first. But once I got over it, I've never felt more confident than when I've been dating a woman.

 

 

THIS. This is the best thing ever. There's no micromanaging a man's feelings. There's no stress of being the only person who notices that you need to buy toilet paper or that you need to buy a birthday gift. No praising someone because they did a single effing dish after dinner. There's no silent resentment brewing over housework or errands, because we both come at things from the same place — the burden is genuinely split, rather than having to tell someone what to do and feeling like a nag.

I know, I know. I'm making a major generalization here based on my personal experience with a handful of men and my current experience with one awesome-ass lady. If you've got yourself a man who puts in that mental labor, you're killing it. Have him tell his friends. Encourage him to lead a seminar.

[Source: Bellesa, HuffPost, Nov 2017]

 

Queer Women Who Changed History

Am I Really Proud to Be a Lesbian?

Advocate Magazine: Women of the Year

Wikipedia: Definition of Lesbian

Honey by Kehlani

Ten Things Lesbians Hate to Hear

Info: Sexual Orientation

No More Blues by FreenBecky

You Tube: Notable Lesbians

Info: LGBTQ Community

 

Cheryl Clark: Not Straight, But Crooked
 

In 1982, Black Lesbian Feminist Poet and Scholar Cheryl Clarke wrote a letter to her fellow Black Feminist Poet June Jordan: “No, there is nothing wrong with your eyes,” she reassured her colleague and collaborator, “my letterhead is indeed crooked.” June Jordan saved the letter and I found it almost three decades later in Jordan’s papers at the Schlessinger Archive at Harvard University. Crooked, indeed. Cheryl Clarke’s life and work offer an enduring rejection of straightness and a constant reorientation to alternative space.

 

Cleryl Clark was a poet and scholar of the Black Arts Movement and activist who attended Black Feminist Retreats from 1977 to 1980. She was editor at Conditions (a key lesbian feminist literary journal) for many years, a Rutgers University administrator providing safe space for LGBTQ students, a member of the Newark Pride Alliance board since 2009, and most recently co-owner of an independent bookstore.

 


 

New Research: Lesbians More Accepted Than Gay Men

Mia & Pauline

Music Video: I Wish You Were Gay

Cathy's Coming Out Story

Candid Answers to Questions About Lesbian Sex

Tribute to the Women Who Spoke Up for Lesbian Rights

Video List: Most Famous Lesbians in History

Breanne Williamson: I Am a Lesbian

LeSbo NainA: Pure Leabian Page

Belly Kisses by Rachel Wiley

Queer Girls Googling


In the crooked letter, Cheryl Clarke critically asks June Jordan why she does not identify as a lesbian, an identity marker Clarke claimed proudly and, in fact, redefined. In an essay she wrote the next year she explained:

“I name myself lesbian because this culture oppresses, silences, and destroys lesbians, even lesbians who do don’t call themselves lesbian. I name myself lesbian because I want to be visible to other black lesbians. I name myself lesbian because I do not subscribe to predatory/institutionalized heterosexuality. I name myself lesbian because I want to be with women (and they don’t all have to call themselves lesbian). I name myself lesbian because it is part of my vision. I name myself lesbian because being woman-identified has kept me sane. I call myself Black, too, because Black is my perspective, my aesthetic, my politics, my vision, my sanity.”

You can read “New Notes on Lesbianism” and other works in The Days of Good Looks: The Prose and Poetry of Cheryl Clarke, 1980 to 2005.

 

 

Wikipedia: Definition of Lesbian

Dyke vs Lesbian

Sam & Mon: Call Out My Name
Ten Things Lesbians Hate to Hear

Franky and Bridget: Love Me Like You Do

Best Lesbian Vampire Movies
Essential Lesbian Guide to Flirting

Why Being a Lesbian is Amazing

 

As a queer black identified woman, Cheryl Clarke is one of the reasons why I feel nothing but pride when people call me a lesbian. She gives audacious, specific, and loving definition to a term that would merely conjure up images of herbal tea and cats. And Cheryl has not gotten less audacious or inventive in the decades that have passed since the 70’s and 80’s. In fact, more recently in a 2005 response to the mostly white male-led marriage equality agenda, she controversially reminded our movement of its history saying:

“I am calling upon bulldaggers, dykes, faggots, feminist femmes, fierce sissies, and other outrageous progressive queers to have a major multicultural sexual liberation confabulation to take our movement back from liberals. Because marriage equality with its rhetoric of sameness is not why we came out of the closet in 1969 or before. We came out to dismantle marriage as an institution.”

In October 2013, I attended a historic gathering called "Cheryl Clarke: A Future Retrospective." At that event, we reminded ourselves where we came from and the boldness with which we must move forward as activists, editors, artists, bookstore owners, scholars, performers, mentors, publishers, bulldaggers, dykes, faggots, feminist femmes, fierce sissies, outrageous progressive queers, and everyone else who can boldly honor this visionary in our movement and remind ourselves and each other what a lifetime of badass brilliance feels like!

[Source: Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Feminist Wire, Oct 2013]

 

 

Endless Love: Audrey and Camille

Paige and Holly: How We Became Girlfriends

Incredible Lesbians Who are Loud, Proud and Making the World a Better Place

Queer Women Who Changed History

Lesbian Couples: Somewhere Only We Know

Music Video: Love on Fire

Mermaid Tavern

Noora, Are You a Lesbian?

Ellia and Cassie

Video Discussion: My First Relationship With a Woman

 

Tribute to Sappho
 

“Sweet mother, I cannot weave. Aphrodite has overcome me with longing for a girl.”

 

The word "lesbian" is derived from the name of the Greek island of Lesbos, home to the 6th Century poet Sappho (Circa 630 BCE - 570 BCE). From various ancient writings, historians have gathered that a group of young women were left in Sappho's charge for their instruction or cultural edification. Not much of Sappho's poetry remains, but that which does reflects the topics she wrote about: women's daily lives, their relationships, and rituals. She focused on the beauty of women and proclaimed her love for girls. Before the late 19th Century, the word "lesbian" referred to any derivative or aspect of Lesbos, including a type of wine.

Sappho is the most famous female poet of antiquity, but only incomplete poems and fragments remain of her work. Most of Sappho's lyrical love poems were addressed to women. She was sometimes considered the female counterpart of Homer. The Greek philosopher Plato called her the Tenth Muse.

 

Sappho: Poems and Quotations

Poetry Foundation: Sappho

New Yorker: Who Was Sappho?

Ancient History Encyclopedia: Sappho of Lesbos

Origin of the Word Lesbian

Wikipedia: Sappho

 

Facts about Sappho's life are scant. She was an aristocrat, who wrote poetry for her circle of friends, mostly but not exclusively women. She may have had a daughter. The term lesbian, her presumed sexual orientation, is derived from the name of her island home, Lesbos. The ancients had seven or nine books of her poetry. Only fragments survive. The longest is an invocation to Aphrodite asking her to help the poet in her relation with a beloved woman. Her verse is a classic example of the love lyric, and is characterized by her passionate love of women, a love of nature, a direct simplicity, and perfect control of meter.

In 1890, the term "Sapphism" was used in a medical dictionary as an adjective to describe tribadism and as the sexual gratification of two women by simulating intercourse. "Sapphism" was used for a long time, in a positive way, to mean "lesbian love." The use of the term "lesbianism," to describe erotic relationships between women, had been documented in 1870. The terms "lesbian" and "lesbianism" were interchangeable with "Sapphist" and "Sapphism" around the turn of the 20th Century. The use of "lesbian" in medical literature became prominent.  By 1925, the word was recorded as a noun to mean the female equivalent of a sodomite.

 

I Think I Might Be a Lesbian

She Likes Girls

Lesbian Coming Out at 40

Romantic Films All Queer Women Need to Watch

Paige and Holly: I Wanna Marry You

Belly Kisses by Rachel Wiley

Lesbian Tunes: New Sapphic Pride Anthems

Noora, Are You a Lesbian?

Mermaid Tavern

100 Lesbian Things To Do Before You Die

Queer YouTubers: Losing Your Virginity

Awesome Things About Lesbian Relationships

 

 

Health Issues for Lesbians and Women Who Have Sex with Women
 

All women face certain health risks. However, sexual minority women, such as those who identify as lesbian or bisexual as well as women who have sex with women, have some specific health concerns. Although your individual risks are shaped by many factors beyond your sexual orientation and practices (including family history and age) it's important to understand common health issues for sexual minority women and steps you can take to stay healthy.

Safeguard your mental health
 

Sexual minority women are at higher risk of depression and anxiety. Contributing factors include social alienation, discrimination, rejection by loved ones, abuse and violence. The problem might be more severe for sexual minority women who are not "out" to others and those who lack social support. If you think you might be depressed, talk to your doctor or seek help from a mental health provider. If you're reluctant to seek treatment, confide in a trusted friend or loved one. Sharing your feelings might be the first step toward getting treatment.

 


 

Breanne Williamson: I Am a Lesbian

Butches and Studs

Tribute to the Women Who Spoke Up for Lesbian Rights

Honey by Kehlani

Jess and Emily: How Lesbians Do It

LeSbo NainA: Pure Leabian Page

Epochalips: Smart Lesbian Commentary

Dyke vs Lesbian

No More Blues by FreenBecky


Protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections


Certain sexually transmitted infections (human papillomavirus (HPV), bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis) can spread between women. Oral sex and sexual behavior involving digital-vaginal or digital-anal contact, particularly with shared penetrative sex toys, can spread infections as well. Female sexual contact is also a possible means of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. There's no cure for HIV/AIDS and many sexually transmitted infections, such as HPV and genital herpes. The best way to stay healthy is to practice safer sex.

To protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections:

--Get tested and have your partner tested. Don't have unprotected sex unless you're certain you and your partner aren't infected with HIV or other sexually transmitted infections — whether you have sex with a man or a woman. Testing is important because many people don't know they're infected, and others might not be honest about their health.
 

--Practice safer sex. During oral sex, use a small piece of latex (dental dam) or latex barrier. Wash sex toys with hot soapy water between uses or cover them with a fresh condom. During digital vaginal or anal penetration, consider using a latex glove.
 

--Be monogamous. Another reliable way to avoid sexually transmitted infections is to stay in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who isn't infected.
 

--Limit the amount of alcohol you drink, and don't use drugs. If you're under the influence, you're more likely to take sexual risks. If you choose to use injectable drugs, don't share needles.
 

--Get vaccinated. Vaccinations can protect you from hepatitis A and hepatitis B, serious liver infections that can spread through sexual contact. The HPV vaccine is available to women up to age 26.

 


 

My First Date With a Girl

No More Blues by FreenBecky

Jess and Emily: How Lesbians Do It

Lesbian Insights: Sexual Activity in 1966

You Tube: Notable Lesbians

She Likes Girls: Breathing Underwater
I Want You: Love is Love
Info: Women and Feminism

Am I a Lesbian? (Masterdoc)

Paige and Holly: I Wanna Marry You


Seek help for substance abuse


Sexual minority women report higher rates of tobacco use and alcohol and drug dependence. If you have a substance abuse concern, remember that help is available. Local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender health, mental health or community centers often provide substance abuse treatment. Organizations such as GLMA also might provide referrals.

Recognize domestic violence
 

Domestic violence can affect anyone in an intimate relationship. Sexual minority women might be more likely to stay silent about this kind of violence due to threats from the batterer to "out" you by telling friends, loved ones, colleagues or community members your sexual orientation. A fear of discrimination. Staying in an abusive relationship might leave you depressed, anxious and hopeless. If you don't want to disclose your same-sex relationship or sexual identity, you might be less likely to seek help after an assault. Still, the only way to break the cycle of domestic violence is to take action — the sooner the better. If you're a target of domestic violence, tell someone about the abuse, whether it's a friend, loved one, health care provider or other close contact. Consider calling a domestic violence hotline and creating a plan to leave your abuser.

 



Make routine health care a priority


Some sexual minority women struggle to find a doctor knowledgeable about their specific health issues and with whom they feel comfortable discussing their needs and concerns. Look for a doctor who is curious, empathic and respectful of your specific needs. Share your sexual orientation with your provider, and ask about routine screenings recommended for women in your age group — such as blood pressure and cholesterol measurements and screenings for breast cancer and cervical cancer. If you're not in a long-term, mutually monogamous relationship, schedule regular screenings for sexually transmitted infections. Share any other health concerns you might have with your doctor as well. Early diagnosis and treatment help promote long-term health.

[Source: Mayo clinic]

 

Lesbian Highlights of 2022
Cynthia Nixon: Why She Identifies as Queer

Game-Changing Queer Women to Celebrate Women's History Month

Commentary: Why I Am Nobody's Wife

XtraMagazine: No, Lesbians Are Not Disappearing

Am I Really Proud to Be a Lesbian?

Advocate Magazine: Women of the Year

Butches and Studs

Incredible Lesbians Who are Loud, Proud and Making the World a Better Place

100 Lesbian Things To Do Before You Die
Ruthie Berman: Pioneering Lesbian Shares Her Epic Love Story

 

Why It's Never Too Late to be a Lesbian

For Carren Strock, the revelation came when she was 44. She had met her husband – "a terrific guy, very sweet" – at high school when she was 16, had been married to him for 25 years, had two dearly loved children, and what she describes as a "white-picket-fence existence" in New York. Then, one day, sitting opposite her best friend, she realized: "Oh my God. I'm in love with this woman." The notion that she might be a lesbian had never occurred to her before. "If you'd asked me the previous year," she says, "I would have replied: 'I know exactly who and what I am – I am not a lesbian, nor could I ever be one.'"

From that moment Strock's understanding of her sexuality changed completely. She felt compelled to tell her friend, but her attraction wasn't reciprocated; at first she wasn't sure whether she had feelings for women in general, or just this one in particular. But she gradually came to realize, and accept, that she was a lesbian. She also started to realize that her experience wasn't unusual.

 


 

Why Lesbian Visibility Matters

Am I a Lesbian? (Masterdoc)

Advocate: Salute to Amazing LGBTQ Women of 2021

Lesbian Proposal: COVID Edition

Photo Celebration: 30 Years of World's Largest Lesbian Party

L Word Generation Q: Season Two Premiere (Entire Episode)

Cute Lesbian Couple: Daily Life in Quarantine

Women Who Changed the Course of LGBTQ History
Sufi and Anjali: Annoying Each Other During Quarantine

Lesbian Couple Holds Pandemic Wedding at Drive-In Movie Theatre

LeSbo NainA: Pure Leabian Page

 

Strock decided to interview other married women who had fallen in love with women, "putting up fliers in theatres and bookstores. Women started contacting me from across the country – everyone knew someone who knew someone in this situation." The interviews became a book, Married Women Who Love Women, and when it came to writing the second edition, Strock turned to the internet for interviewees. "Within days," she says, "more women had contacted me than I could ever actually speak to."

Late-blooming lesbians – women who discover or declare same-sex feelings in their 30s and beyond – have attracted increasing attention over the last few years, partly due to the clutch of glamorous, high-profile women who have come out after heterosexual relationships. Cynthia Nixon, for instance, who plays Miranda in Sex and the City, was in a heterosexual relationship for 15 years, and had two children, before falling for her current partner, Christine Marinoni, in 2004. Last year, it was reported that the British singer Alison Goldfrapp, who is in her mid-40s, had started a relationship with film editor Lisa Gunning. The actor Portia de Rossi was married to a man before coming out and falling in love with the comedian and talkshow host, Ellen DeGeneres, whom she married in 2008. And then there's the British retail adviser and television star, Mary Portas, who was married to a man for 13 years, and had two children, before getting together with Melanie Rickey, the fashion-editor-at-large of Grazia magazine. At their civil partnership earlier this year the pair beamed for the cameras in beautiful, custom-made Antonio Berardi dresses.

The subject has now begun attracting academic attention. At the American Psychological Association's annual convention in San Diego in 2010, a session entitled Sexual Fluidity and Late-Blooming Lesbians showcased a range of research, including a study by Christan Moran, who decided to look at the lives of women who had experienced a same-sex attraction when they were over 30 and married to a man. Moran is a researcher at Southern Connecticut University, and her study was prompted in part by an anguished comment she found on an online message board for married lesbians, written by someone who styled herself "Crazy".

 


 

Karine Jean-Pierre Hosts The L Word Cast and Creator at White House Press Briefing
Lesbian Highlights of 2022
Cynthia Nixon: Why She Identifies as Queer

Game-Changing Queer Women to Celebrate Women's History Month

Commentary: Why I Am Nobody's Wife

XtraMagazine: No, Lesbians Are Not Disappearing

Am I Really Proud to Be a Lesbian?

Advocate Magazine: Women of the Year

Butches and Studs

No More Blues by FreenBecky

100 Lesbian Things To Do Before You Die
Ruthie Berman: Pioneering Lesbian Shares Her Epic Love Story


"I don't understand why I can't do the right thing," she wrote. "I don't understand why I can't make myself stop thinking about this other woman." Moran wanted to survey a range of women in this situation, "to help Crazy, and others like her, see that they are not abnormal, or wrong to find themselves attracted to other women later in life".

She also wanted to explore the notion, she writes, that "a heterosexual woman might make a full transition to a singular lesbian identity . . . In other words, they might actually change their sexual orientation." As Moran notes in her study, this possibility is often ignored; when a person comes out in later life, the accepted wisdom tends to be that they must always have been gay or bisexual, but just hid or repressed their feelings. Increasingly researchers are questioning this, and investigating whether sexuality is more fluid and shifting than is often suspected.

Sarah Spelling, a former teacher, says she can well understand how "you can slide or slip or move into another identity". After growing up in a family of seven children in Birmingham, Spelling met her first serious partner, a man, when she was at university. They were together for 12 years, in which time they were "fully on, sexually," she says, although she adds that she has never had an orgasm with a man through penetrative sex.

Spelling is a keen feminist and sportsperson, and met lesbian friends through both of these interests. "I didn't associate myself with their sexuality – I didn't see myself as a lesbian, but very clearly as a heterosexual in a longstanding relationship." When a friend on her hockey team made it clear she fancied her, "and thought I would fancy her too, I was like 'No! That's not me!' That just wasn't on my compass." Then, aged 34, having split up with her long-term partner, and in another relationship with a man, she found herself falling in love with her housemate – a woman. After "lots of talking together, over a year or so," they formed a relationship. "It was a meeting of minds," says Spelling, "a meeting of interests. She's a keen walker. So am I. She runs. So do I. We had lots in common, and eventually I realized I didn't have that with men." While having sex with a man had never felt uncomfortable or wrong, it wasn't as pleasurable as having sex with a woman, she says. From the start of the relationship, she felt completely at ease, although she didn't immediately define herself as a lesbian. "I didn't define myself as heterosexual either – I quite clearly wasn't that. And I wouldn't define myself as bisexual." After a while she fully embraced a lesbian identity. "We've been together for 23 years," she says, "so it's pretty clear that that was a defining change."

 


 

Lesbian Perspective: Hardest Thing About Not Being Straight

Ten Things Lesbians Hate to Hear

Info: Sexual Orientation

Famous Lesbians

Wikipedia: Definition of Lesbian

Candid Answers to Questions About Lesbian Sex

Tribute to the Women Who Spoke Up for Lesbian Rights

Honey by Kehlani

Sorry Straights, These Karaoke Songs Belong to the Lesbians
She Likes Girls

Best Lesbian Scenes from Movies


Dr Lisa Diamond, associate professor of psychology and gender studies at the University of Utah, has been following a group of 79 women for 15 years, tracking the shifts in their sexual identity. The women she chose at the start of the study had all experienced some same-sex attraction – although in some cases only fleetingly – and every two years or so she has recorded how they describe themselves: straight, lesbian, bisexual, or another category of their own choosing. In every two-year wave, 20-30% of the sample have changed their identity label, and over the course of the study, about 70% have changed how they described themselves at their initial interview. What's interesting, says Diamond, is that transitions in sexual identity aren't "confined to adolescence. People appear equally likely to undergo these sorts of transitions in middle adulthood and late adulthood." And while, in some cases, women arrive at a lesbian identity they've been repressing, "that doesn't account for all of the variables . . . In my study, what I often found was that women who may have always thought that other women were beautiful and attractive would, at some point later in life, actually fall in love with a woman, and that experience vaulted those attractions from something minor to something hugely significant. It wasn't that they'd been repressing their true selves before; it was that without the context of an actual relationship, the little glimmers of occasional fantasies or feelings just weren't that significant."
 

 


Diamond has a hunch that the possibility of moving across sexual boundaries increases as people age. "What we know about adult development," she says, "suggests that people become more expansive in a number of ways as they get older . . . I think a lot of women, late in life, when they're no longer worried about raising the kids, and when they're looking back on their marriage and how satisfying it is, find an opportunity to take a second look at what they want and feel like." This doesn't mean that women are choosing whether to be gay or straight, she clarifies. (Diamond's work has sometimes been distorted by rightwing factions in the US, who have suggested it shows homosexuality is optional.) "Every one of the women I studied who underwent a transition experienced it as being out of her control. It was not a conscious choice . . . I think the culture tends to lump together change and choice, as if they're the same phenomenon, but they're not. Puberty involves a heck of a lot of change, but you don't choose it. There are life-course transitions that are beyond our control."

This was certainly true for Laura Manning, a lawyer from London, who is now in her late 40s. She had always had a vague inkling she might have feelings for women, but met a man at university, "a really gentle man, Jeff, and I fell in love with him, and for a long time that was enough to balance my feelings". She married him in her late 20s, had two children in her early 30s, "and once I'd got that maternal part of my life out of the way, I suddenly started thinking about me again. I started to feel more and more uncomfortable about the image that I was presenting, because I felt like it wasn't true." In her late 30s, she began going out clubbing, "coming back on the bus at four in the morning, and then getting up and going to work. I was still living with Jeff, and I just started shutting down our relationship. He knew I was pushing him away."

 

 

 

You Tube: Notable Lesbians

Am I a Lesbian? (Masterdoc)

Info: LGBTQ Community

No More Blues by FreenBecky

New Research: Lesbians More Accepted Than Gay Men

Music Video: I Wish You Were Gay

Origin of the Word Lesbian

Old Lesbians Give Advice to Young Lesbians

Cathy's Coming Out Story

Video List: Most Famous Lesbians in History

Breanne Williamson: I Am a Lesbian

Queer Girls Googling


The marriage ended, and Manning moved out. She has since had two long-term relationships with women, and says she's much happier since she came out, but suspects that her biological urge to have children, and her genuine feelings for Jeff, made her marriage inevitable on some level. "The thought of sex with a man repels me now, but at the time, when I was in my marriage, I didn't feel that, and I didn't feel I was repressing anything. The intensity of feeling in my relationship with Jeff overcame and blanketed my desires for women."

Sexual fluidity occurs in both men and women, but it has been suggested that women are potentially more open and malleable in this regard. Richard Lippa, professor of psychology at California State University, Fullerton, has carried out a variety of studies that have led him to the conclusion that, "while most men tend to have what I call a preferred sex and a non-preferred sex . . . with women there are more shades of grey, and so I tend to talk about them having a more preferred sex, and a less preferred sex. I have definitely heard some women say, 'It was the person I fell in love with, it wasn't the person's gender,' and I think that that is much more of a female experience than a male experience.

"I've never had a straight man say to me, at age 45, I just met this really neat guy and I fell in love with him and I don't like men in general, but God, this guy's so great that I'm going to be in a relationship with him for the next 15 years." In Diamond's study, around a quarter of the women have reported that gender is largely irrelevant in their choice of sexual partners. "Deep down," said one woman, "it's just a matter of who I meet and fall in love with, and it's not their body, it's something behind the eyes."

When Tina Humphrys, 70, first fell in love with a woman, she didn't define herself as a lesbian, "I just thought: 'It's her.'" Humphrys was in her mid-30s, had two children, and was coming out of a horrible second marriage. "I hated my life," she says. "The four bedrooms, the children – well, I didn't hate them, they just bored me to tears. I used to lie on the couch and my eyes would fill with tears as they had their naps."
 


 

Epochalips: Smart Lesbian Commentary

Video List: Most Famous Lesbians in History

Edie and Amanda: First Time

Info: Sexual Orientation

Incredible Lesbians Who are Loud, Proud and Making the World a Better Place
How The L Word Changed Lesbian Television

Endless Love: Audrey and Camille

Famous Black Lesbians You Should Know

Ruth and Jade

Info: Women and Feminism

Metro Station: I Think She Likes Girls

Paige and Holly: Hugs and Cuddles

No More Blues by FreenBecky

 

She had found women attractive in the past, "but I think women do, don't they? You look and you think – that dress looks fabulous, or isn't she looking slim, or doesn't she look pretty. But you don't necessarily put sexual feelings on it." Then she went to university as a mature student, joined a women's group, and started to fall for one of the other members. "It was a bit of a shock to find that I was attracted sexually to this woman, but then it was also a decision to leave men. It was a decision to leave a particularly oppressive and restrictive way of living and try to live differently." She moved into a "commune-type place", and had non-monogamous relationships with women for a while, before settling down with her current partner of more than 30 years. While she had had "a very active sex life with men", she enjoyed sex with women much more. "I was once doing a workshop with a woman who used to tear hideous things that had been said about women out of the paper, and she had a piece about this blonde model who had romped with a lesbian – because they always romp, don't they? – and she said: 'It wasn't proper sex, it was just a load of orgasms.'" Humphrys laughs uproariously. "I think that just about sums it up, doesn't it?"

Beyond the sex, Humphrys found a connection that was more intense "on every level" than any she had found with a man. Strock echoes this view. "I've run workshops with straight women, and I've asked them, did you ever feel those sky rockets go off, or hear the music playing, when you fell in love with that significant other? And very few raise their hands. And then I went to a gay women's group, and I said, how many of you have ever felt the same? And almost all the hands went up. So connections with women are very different to connections between women and men."

The psychotherapist and writer, Susie Orbach, spent more than 30 years with the writer Joseph Schwartz, and had two children with him, before the partnership ended, and she subsequently formed a happy, ongoing relationship with the novelist Jeanette Winterson. Orbach says that the initial love connection between mother and daughter makes lesbian feelings in later life unsurprising. "If you think about it," she says, "whose arms are you first in, whose smells do you first absorb, where's that body-to-body imprint? I mean, we're still not really father-raised, are we, so it's a very big journey for women to get to heterosexuality . . . What happens is that you layer heterosexuality on top of that bond. You don't suddenly switch away from it. You don't give up that very intimate attachment to a woman."

 


 

I Think I Might Be a Lesbian

She Likes Girls

Lesbian Coming Out at 40

Belly Kisses by Rachel Wiley
Paige and Holly: I Wanna Marry You

Lesbian Tunes: New Sapphic Pride Anthems

Noora, Are You a Lesbian?

Mermaid Tavern

100 Lesbian Things To Do Before You Die

Queer YouTubers: Losing Your Virginity

Awesome Things About Lesbian Relationships


Of course, the notion that your sexuality might shift entirely isn't welcomed by everyone; as Diamond says, "Even though there's more cultural acceptance than there was 20 years ago, same-sex sexuality is still very stigmatized, and the notion that you might not know everything there is to know about something that's so personal and intimate can terrify individuals. It's really hard for people to accept." That's why the writing and research in this area is so important. When the first edition of Strock's book was published, "a woman came up to me at one of my early speaking engagements, clutching the book and sobbing," she says. "She thought she was the only married woman ever to have fallen in love with another woman, and had no one to talk to, didn't know where to turn. And she had decided that the best thing was to kill herself on a night when she knew her husband and children were going to be out late. She'd planned her suicide. She was coming home from work for what she thought would be the last time, and she passed a bookstore, and they were putting my book in the window, and when she realized that she wasn't the only one, she chose to live".

The late-blooming lesbians I spoke to had all found happiness on their different paths. Strock is still a lesbian – and also still married to her husband, who knows about her sexuality. "He would never throw me away, and I would never throw him away," she says, "so we've re-defined our relationship. I'm a lesbian, but we share a house, we have separate rooms, we have two grandchildren now, and our situation is not unique." Most of the other women I spoke to were in happy, long-term relationships with women, and had found a contentment that they'd never experienced in their previous relationships.

"While some people find change threatening," Diamond says, "others find it exciting and liberating, and I definitely think that for women in middle adulthood and late life, they might be the most likely to find sexual shifts empowering. We're an anti-ageing society. We like people to be young, nubile and attractive. And I think the notion that your sexuality can undergo these really exciting, expansive possibilities at a stage when most people assume that women are no longer sexually interesting and are just shutting down, is potentially a really liberating notion for women. Your sexual future might actually be pretty dynamic and exciting – and whatever went on in your past might not be the best predictor at all of what your future has in store."

[Source: Kira Cochrane, The Guardian, July 2010]

 

 

Gal Pals and Compulsory Heterosexuality

Lesbian Literature

Breanne Williamson: I Am a Lesbian

Butches and Studs

Tribute to the Women Who Spoke Up for Lesbian Rights

Honey by Kehlani

LeSbo NainA: Pure Leabian Page

Jess and Emily: How Lesbians Do It

Info: Skirt Club

Sorry Straights, These Karaoke Songs Belong to the Lesbians

Epic Journey to America's Last Lesbian Bars

Epochalips: Smart Lesbian Commentary

Dyke vs Lesbian

Am I a Lesbian? (Masterdoc)


HOME

 


QUEER CAFE │ LGBTQ Information Network │ Established 2017