Have you ever heard the word ‘LESBIAN’? What does it mean? Do you know what power the word has in the current society? Let’s check this out.
A lesbian is a homosexual woman who basically is attracted to a member of the same sex or gender either romantically or sexually. Homosexuality even refers to a person’s understanding of identity, based on those interests, related demeanors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions regardless of their social orientation.
Myths And Misconceptions About Lesbians
The idea of using the term ‘lesbian’ to distinguish women who share sexual orientation came up in the twentieth century. Unlike men in history, women never had the freedom to seek homosexual relationships.
And at the same time, they never had to face the brutal punishments men received for being homosexual. In the past, lesbian relationships are not considered unhealthy or toxic until one among them tries to claim power over the other like those enjoyed by men.
Due to the lack of knowledge on homosexuality, not much was discussed in history about female homosexual relationships. In the late 19th century, people misunderstood the idea of homosexuality, and lesbians were categorized as women who never stick on to their gender roles and were also considered or classified as mentally ill. And this idea was changed by the global scientific community in the late 20th century.
The term ‘Lesbian’ originated from the name Lesbos, a Greek Island where Sappho was born. She is an ancient Greek poet who wrote on homosexual themes. The term literally meant an inhabitant of the Isle of Lesbos. And people started using the word to represent women who love someone of the same gender after Sappho wrote her poems.
She is believed to live in around 600 B.C and was believed to be philosophic and penned a multitude of poems at that time. But most of those were believed to be destroyed by religious fundamentalists as most of them clearly portrayed her love and crush toward women.
Sappho is considered to be the first woman to write or open up about her love for the same gender and this has resulted in hatred and great criticism both while living and after death. Even though much of her works were destroyed or edited by moralists, literary scholars tried to recreate her works but most of them are still undiscovered.
Sappho was referred to as the 10th muse by Plato and in 2014, two new poems by this great writer were discovered and glorified by the literary world. It was because of this great woman, we still use the term ‘lesbian’ to describe a woman who is in love with other women.
Lesbians often refer to them as gay women or just gay. While studying lesbian history, often begins with Sappho, the first lesbian who has recorded proof of being so. Even before her, there are chances for other lesbians in every culture and time but there exists no evidence in history. The term was believed to be used in the 1800s and became popular in the 1960s-1970s known as the lesbian feminist era.
Even though the term gained huge popularity, lesbians were often called ‘sapphic’ and they themselves love mentioning them as ‘sapphistry.’ This particular word was quite very popular in the 20th century which was before the word ‘lesbian’ become more popular to refer to gay women.
Nowadays, other than the term ‘lesbian’ people use several other terms to describe gay women. And one among them that gained popularity in the past few years was ‘QUEER.’ In the initial days, the term was considered a degrading one used against gay men, lesbians, and others belonging to the LGBTQ community. But later on, the youngsters belonging to the community reclaimed the term. Now, it is used to classify those who are not straight.
Even though the LGBTQ community is accepted by society, several fallacies are rumored about them. According to some, they believe that every gay woman falls in love with the women they come across in their life. Also, in the case of some others, they believe that lesbians have some kind of issues with men or boys. But literally, even though lesbians are not interested sexually or romantically with men, they never hate them but rather could be a good friend or better companion or colleague than straight ones.
Another kind of myth is that, in a lesbian relationship, one of them takes up the masculine side while the other remains feminine. This is a complete misconception and just like any normal relationship, this one also goes forward depending on what you take from it.
Society always separates the queer community from them and always considers them different. Also, they create an image for themselves about the queers and try to enforce it in others. According to their belief, until or unless lesbians didn’t date or be in a relationship, they are not aware of their sexuality.
In spite of the fact that lesbians and other LGBTQ communities share a label, they are not much different from straight. And sometimes they are far better than the ones who believe they are blessed to be straight. But the fact is that most straight women are also attracted to other women.
Straight, not straight, all these depend on oneself and this has nothing to do with others. It is always important to please yourself and feel proud and comfortable with who you are today and not to worry about what others are gonna think about you.
While planning to make the big announcement that reveals you are a lesbian, make sure to take your time. And while opening up, just have an idea of what the person in front of you thinks about lesbians and make sure that you are comfortable with them. Always be prepared to face questions that could come after the big reveal, because the person listening to you will have a lot to ask.
In this day and age, people are much more open to queers and are ready to accept them as they are. It’s not a fault or curse. Believe in yourself and enjoy the life ahead with an identity that you are proud of and not what others are ashamed of.