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Delevingne has been a queer heartthrob pretty much since she openly snogged Michelle Rodriguez at a basketball game. She is now monogamously married to a man, but corrects those who call her straight or "formerly" bi. The Portlandia star and member of riot grrrl band Sleater-Kinney is clear about claiming the identifier "queer".

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Of course, as she told The Advocate , it's far from the only adjective she wants used to describe her acting, writing, and music career. In , the daughter of Johnny Depp was featured in the Self-Evident Truths Project , a "photographic document" of people who identify as other than straight. This rising star has spoken openly about her bisexuality and has challenged society's biphobia and bi-erasure.

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When BuzzFeed News analyzed her sexuality in a judgmental way, she responded with a series of since-deleted tweets, beginning with "Well buzzfeed sorry I'm not gay enough for you. The American Horror Story actress, who has dated both men and women , told Pride Source she refuses to label herself to satisfy the masses.

Whether she was canoodling with Cara Delevingne or featured on the cover of lesbian magazine Curve without her consent , Rodriguez has often experienced scrutiny focused on her sexuality. I do as I please. I am too fucking curious to sit here and not try when I can. Men are intriguing. So are chicks.

She has since told HuffPost that coming out actually strengthened her relationship with her fans. Scottish-American actor and activist Alan Cumming has been vocal about his bisexuality for many years.

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The Fifth Harmony singer came out as bisexual during the most recent election, in an open letter on Billboard addressed to Trump supporters. Between and over 2, books were published using lesbianism as a topic, and they were sold in corner drugstores, train stations, bus stops, and newsstands all over the U. Most were written by, and almost all were marketed to heterosexual men. Coded words and images were used on the covers. Instead of "lesbian", terms such as "strange", "twilight", "queer", and "third sex", were used in the titles, and cover art was invariably salacious.

Bannon, who also purchased lesbian pulp fiction, later stated that women identified the material iconically by the cover art. As a result, pulp fiction helped to proliferate a lesbian identity simultaneously to lesbians and heterosexual readers. The social rigidity of the s and early s encountered a backlash as social movements to improve the standing of African Americans, the poor, women, and gays all became prominent. Of the latter two, the gay rights movement and the feminist movement connected after a violent confrontation occurred in New York City in the Stonewall riots.

The sexual revolution in the s introduced the differentiation between identity and sexual behavior for women. Many women took advantage of their new social freedom to try new experiences. Women who previously identified as heterosexual tried sex with women, though many maintained their heterosexual identity. A militant feminist organization named Radicalesbians published a manifesto in entitled " The Woman-Identified Woman " that declared "A lesbian is the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion".

Militant feminists expressed their disdain with an inherently sexist and patriarchal society, and concluded the most effective way to overcome sexism and attain the equality of women would be to deny men any power or pleasure from women. For women who subscribed to this philosophy—dubbing themselves lesbian-feminists —lesbian was a term chosen by women to describe any woman who dedicated her approach to social interaction and political motivation to the welfare of women. Sexual desire was not the defining characteristic of a lesbian-feminist, but rather her focus on politics.

Independence from men as oppressors was a central tenet of lesbian-feminism, and many believers strove to separate themselves physically and economically from traditional male-centered culture. In the ideal society, named Lesbian Nation, "woman" and "lesbian" were interchangeable.

Although lesbian-feminism was a significant shift, not all lesbians agreed with it. Lesbian-feminism was a youth-oriented movement: The Daughters of Bilitis folded in over which direction to focus on: As equality was a priority for lesbian-feminists, disparity of roles between men and women or butch and femme were viewed as patriarchal. Lesbian-feminists eschewed gender role play that had been pervasive in bars, as well as the perceived chauvinism of gay men; many lesbian-feminists refused to work with gay men, or take up their causes.

In , poet and essayist Adrienne Rich expanded upon the political meaning of lesbian by proposing a continuum of lesbian existence based on "woman-identified experience" in her essay " Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence ". Such a perception of women relating to each other connects them through time and across cultures, and Rich considered heterosexuality a condition forced upon women by men. Female homosexual behavior may be present in every culture, although the concept of a lesbian as a woman who pairs exclusively with other women is not.

Attitudes about female homosexual behavior are dependent upon women's roles in each society, and each culture's definition of sex. Women in the Middle East have been historically segregated from men. In the 7th and 8th centuries, some extraordinary women dressed in male attire when gender roles were less strict, but the sexual roles that accompanied European women were not associated with Islamic women.

The Caliphal court in Baghdad featured women who dressed as men, including false facial hair, but they competed with other women for the attentions of men. Highly intelligent women, according to the 12th century writings of Sharif al-Idrisi , were more likely to be lesbians; their intellectual prowess put them on a more even par with men. Women, however, were mostly silent and men likewise rarely wrote about lesbian relationships. It is unclear to historians if the rare instances of lesbianism mentioned in literature are an accurate historical record or intended to serve as fantasies for men.

A treatise about repression in Iran asserted that women were completely silenced: To attest to lesbian desires would be an unforgivable crime. Although the authors of Islamic Homosexualities argued this did not mean women could not engage in lesbian relationships, a lesbian anthropologist in visited Yemen and reported that women in the town she visited were unable to comprehend her romantic relationship to another woman. Women in Pakistan are expected to marry men; those who do not are ostracized. Women, however, may have intimate relations with other women as long as their wifely duties are met, their private matters are kept quiet, and the woman with whom they are involved is somehow related by family or logical interest to her lover.

The United Nations estimate for the number of honor killings in the world is per year. Many women's groups in the Middle East and Southwest Asia suspect that more than 20, women are victims of honor killings in the world each year. Some Indigenous peoples of the Americas conceptualize a third gender for women who dress as, and fulfill the roles usually filled by, men in their cultures.


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In Latin America , lesbian consciousness and associations appeared in the s, increasing while several countries transitioned to or reformed democratic governments. Harassment and intimidation have been common even in places where homosexuality is legal, and laws against child corruption, morality, or "the good ways" faltas a la moral o las buenas costumbres , have been used to persecute homosexuals. Six mostly secret organizations concentrating on gay or lesbian issues were founded around this time, but persecution and harassment were continuous and grew worse with the dictatorship of Jorge Rafael Videla in , when all groups were dissolved in the Dirty War.

Lesbian rights groups have gradually formed since to build a cohesive community that works to overcome philosophical differences with heterosexual women. The Latin American lesbian movement has been the most active in Mexico , but has encountered similar problems in effectiveness and cohesion. While groups try to promote lesbian issues and concerns, they also face misogynistic attitudes from gay men and homophobic views from heterosexual women. In , Lesbos , the first lesbian organization for Mexicans, was formed. Several incarnations of political groups promoting lesbian issues have evolved; 13 lesbian organizations were active in Mexico City in Ultimately, however, lesbian associations have had little influence both on the homosexual and feminist movements.

The lesbian movement has been closely associated with the feminist movement in Chile, although the relationship has been sometimes strained. Lesbian consciousness became more visible in Nicaragua in , when the Sandinista National Liberation Front expelled gay men and lesbians from its midst. State persecution prevented the formation of associations until AIDS became a concern, when educational efforts forced sexual minorities to band together.

The first lesbian organization was Nosotras , founded in The meetings of feminist lesbians of Latin America and the Caribbean, sometimes shortened to "Lesbian meetings", have been an important forum for the exchange of ideas for Latin American lesbians since the late s. With rotating hosts and biannual gatherings, its main aims are the creation of communication networks, to change the situation of lesbians in Latin America both legally and socially , to increase solidarity between lesbians and to destroy the existing myths about them.

Cross-gender roles and marriage between women has also been recorded in over 30 African societies. The Hausa people of Sudan have a term equivalent to lesbian, kifi , that may also be applied to males to mean "neither party insists on a particular sexual role". Lesbian relationships are also known in matrilineal societies in Ghana among the Akan people. In Lesotho , females engage in what is commonly considered sexual behavior to the Western world: Since the people of Lesotho believe sex requires a penis, however, they do not consider their behavior sexual, nor label themselves lesbians.

In South Africa, lesbians are raped by heterosexual men with a goal of punishment of "abnormal" behavior and reinforcement of societal norms. Corrective rape is reported to be on the rise in South Africa. The South African nonprofit "Luleki Sizwe" estimates that more than 10 lesbians are raped or gang-raped on a weekly basis. China before westernization was another society that segregated men from women. Historical Chinese culture has not recognized a concept of sexual orientation, or a framework to divide people based on their same-sex or opposite-sex attractions.

Outside their duties to bear sons to their husbands, women were perceived as having no sexuality at all. This did not mean that women could not pursue sexual relationships with other women, but that such associations could not impose upon women's relationships to men. Rare references to lesbianism were written by Ying Shao , who identified same-sex relationships between women in imperial courts who behaved as husband and wife as dui shi paired eating.

The liberty of being employed in silk factories starting in allowed some women to style themselves tzu-shu nii never to marry and live in communes with other women. Other Chinese called them sou-hei self-combers for adopting hairstyles of married women. These communes passed because of the Great Depression and were subsequently discouraged by the communist government for being a relic of feudal China. In Japan, the term rezubian , a Japanese pronunciation of "lesbian", was used during the s.

Westernization brought more independence for women and allowed some Japanese women to wear pants.

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In India, a 14th-century Indian text mentioning a lesbian couple who had a child as a result of their lovemaking is an exception to the general silence about female homosexuality. This invisibility disappeared with the release of a film titled Fire in , prompting some theaters in India to be attacked by religious extremists. Terms used to label homosexuals are often rejected by Indian activists for being the result of imperialist influence, but most discourse on homosexuality centers on men.

Women's rights groups in India continue to debate the legitimacy of including lesbian issues in their platforms, as lesbians and material focusing on female homosexuality are frequently suppressed. The most extensive early study of female homosexuality was provided by the Institute for Sex Research , who published an in-depth report of the sexual experiences of American women in More than 8, women were interviewed by Alfred Kinsey and the staff of the Institute for Sex Research in a book titled Sexual Behavior in the Human Female , popularly known as part of the Kinsey Report.

The Kinsey Report's dispassionate discussion of homosexuality as a form of human sexual behavior was revolutionary. Up to this study, only physicians and psychiatrists studied sexual behavior, and almost always the results were interpreted with a moral view. Single women had the highest prevalence of homosexual activity, followed by women who were widowed, divorced, or separated.

The lowest occurrence of sexual activity was among married women; those with previous homosexual experience reported they got married to stop homosexual activity.

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Most of the women who reported homosexual activity had not experienced it more than ten times. Fifty-one percent of women reporting homosexual experience had only one partner. Twenty-three years later, in , sexologist Shere Hite published a report on the sexual encounters of 3, women who had responded to questionnaires, under the title The Hite Report. Hite's questions differed from Kinsey's, focusing more on how women identified, or what they preferred rather than experience.

Hite's conclusions are more based on respondents' comments than quantifiable data.