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Icono Diversidad sexual y de género



Dos mujeres en la vía pública sonríen mientras se miran. Una cruza el brazo sobre el cuello de la otra y sus frentes y narices se están tocando.

The term lesbian is very heterogeneous. On the one hand, it is used to refer to women who are emotionally, sexually, and romantically attracted to other women. On the other hand, it is a personal and political identity. For example, some lesbians place their lesbian identity before their identity as women. The word thus becomes a broader concept beyond a sexual orientation; it implies experiences, life stories, and corporealities.

Originally, the word lesbian was an adjective for people from Lesbos (Greece). In 1870, it became synonymous with the erotic relationship between women but with a negative connotation, as it was similar to the term invert, which was used during the Victorian era to identify women who had romantic and sexual relationships with other women. These women were characterized as having masculine sexual desires and, therefore, described as inverts. It was not until the 1970s that the word was generalized in Latin America and Europe, gaining its current meaning.

The word lesbian carries a negative connotation when used as an insult: ‘fucking lesbian’, ‘look at those lesbians’. There are other negative words used to refer to lesbians, such as dyke, butch, and lesbos.

Before, the word used to refer to women that were emotionally, sexually, and romantically attracted to other women was homosexual. This word is no longer used as it referred to a medical pathology. In fact, in 2006 it was included as an offensive word in the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Guide.

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