Encyclopedia > Lesbian

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A lesbian (lowercase l) is a homosexual woman, that is, a woman who prefers romantic and sexual relationships with other women.

Lesbianism is also extensively practised by the pygmy chimpanzee (bonobo), one of the human's closest ape relatives.

The word "lesbian" originally referred to an inhabitant of the island of Lesbos, in ancient Greece. The term has come to have its current meaning due to the ancient Greek lyric poet Sappho, who lived on the island; some of her poems concerned love between women. Whether Sappho was herself a lesbian, in the modern meaning of the term, or simply a poet who described lesbians, is open to question; whilst she did indeed write poems about love between women, there is some dispute as to just how far to interpret her writings in this fashion.

See also: feminism, gay, homosexuality, Famous gay lesbian or bisexual people, black triangle

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The term Lesbian (capital L) describes things pertaining to the island of Lesbos or Lesvos in Greece or to inhabitants of that island. A more modern term is Lesvonian.

See Lesbos.

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