Definitions for the term lesbian range from identifying the people of the Greek island of Lesbos, to female homosexual, to women who are sexually oriented to women. The term has both psychological and social meanings. Contemporary terms for lesbians begin with derivatives of the name of a 16th century B.C.E. poet, Sappho, from Lesbos. Some slang terms include sapphic, lesbo, dykey, butch, and lezzie. These terms are sometimes used to denigrate girls and women who identify themselves as lesbian, and other times are reclaimed by gay women as an act of empowerment. The word lesbian can be used as a noun as in, “she is a lesbian” or as an adjective as in, “lesbian mother.” Lesbians may identify themselves in ...

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