What is lesbian?
1. What is lesbians?
Lesbianism starts with feelings. A woman can feel love and affection for another woman, and also feel sexually attracted to her. She can fall in love with women and want to express these feelings in a sexual way. If she has these feelings mainly or only for women, she may call herself a lesbian (or gay woman or female homosexual).
2. Can any woman be a lesbian?
Not every woman is a lesbian, but many women do have lesbian feelings. Most women are involved with men or married. Some of these women are lesbians. If a woman chooses to be a lesbian, she is one. Many women do not have a free choice about the way they want to live and love, but they may be lesbians also. Any woman can be a lesbian: your neighbour, your doctor, your sister, your teacher, your daughter.
3. How many lesbians are there?
According to surveys done at different times and in different countries, one to two out of every 20 women are lesbians. Some research has found that 50 percent of the women interviewed had lesbian experiences and feelings. There would be many more lesbians if women had a free choice. But currently it is considered 'normal' in most societies to be heterosexual (women loving men) and 'abnormal' to be homosexual (women loving women).
4. Where in the world does lesbianism occur?
Everywhere, in every country, culture and society. But in some societies women are free to choose, while in others women have little choice about how they will live. It may seem that in western countries, where it is often easier to be a lesbian, that there are more lesbians, but this is probably not correct. Society may influence how visible lesbians may be, and society may suppress lesbians, but the feeling cannot be killed. As international lesbian networks grow, we learn about more hidden groups and individuals in more and more countries
5. What causes lesbianism? Can it be cured?
Some lesbians believe they are born lesbian, others feel that they have chosen to be lesbian. There may be many causes, just as there are many causes that make someone heterosexual. But why try to find the cause or causes? For a long time homosexuality was considered a disease. 'Cures' such as injecting lesbians with female hormones or placing lesbians in rehabilitation camps were tried. Homosexuality is not an illness and 'cures' such as those above amount to physical and mental torture
6.How do lesbians live and love together?
Lesbian relationships take many forms. There are single lesbians, celibate lesbians, monogamous lesbian couples, lesbians who live together but are not monogamous, lesbians who also have relationships with men. The important thing is that everyone has a free choice about creating her own way of life. Many lesbians do not want to imitate heterosexual ways of living, where one partner is feminine, the other is masculine, dividing the roles according to the sex. The same is true for sexual loving: you find out, by yourself and/or with other women, what you like and what you don't like. There are no rules except the ones you make for yourself.