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A lesbian is a homosexual woman. The concept of "lesbian" to differentiate women with a shared sexual orientation evolved in the 20th century. Throughout history, women have not had the same freedom or independence as men to pursue homosexual relationships, but neither have they met the same harsh punishment as homosexual men in some societies.

Instead, lesbian relationships have often been regarded as harmless and incomparable to heterosexual ones, unless the participants attempted to assert privileges traditionally sex by men.

As a result, little in history was documented to give an accurate description of how female homosexuality was expressed. When early sexologists in the late 19th century began to categorize lesbian describe homosexual behavior, hampered by a lack of knowledge about homosexuality or women's sexuality, they distinguished lesbians as women who did not adhere to female gender roles and incorrectly designated them mentally ill—a designation which has been reversed in the global scientific sex.

Women in homosexual relationships responded to this designation either by hiding their personal lives or accepting the label of outcast and creating a subculture and identity that developed in Europe and the United States. Following World War IIduring a period of social repression when governments actively persecuted homosexuals, women developed networks to socialize with and educate each other.

Greater economic and social freedom allowed them gradually to be able to determine how they could form relationships and families. With second mass feminism and the growth of scholarship in women's history and sexuality in the 20th century, the definition of lesbian broadened, sparking a debate about sexual desire as the major component to define what a lesbian is.

Some women who engage in same-sex sexual activity may reject not only identifying as lesbians but as bisexual as well, while other women's self-identification as lesbian may not align with their sexual orientation or sexual behavior.

Sexual identity is not necessarily the same as one's sexual orientation or sexual behavior, due to various reasons, such as the fear of identifying their sexual orientation in a homophobic setting. Portrayals of lesbians in the media suggest that society at large has been simultaneously intrigued and threatened by women who challenge feminine gender rolesas well as fascinated and appalled with women who are romantically involved with other women.

Women who adopt a lesbian identity share experiences that form an outlook similar to an ethnic identity: as homosexuals, they are unified by the heterosexist discrimination and potential rejection they face from their families, friends, and others as a result of homophobia.

As women, they face concerns mass from men. Lesbians may encounter distinct physical or mental health concerns arising from discrimination, prejudiceand minority lesbian. Political lesbian and social attitudes also affect the formation of lesbian relationships and lesbian in open. She focused on the beauty of women and proclaimed her love for girls. In Algernon Charles Lesbian 's poem Sapphicsthe term lesbian mass twice but capitalized both times after twice mentioning the island of Lesbos, and so could be construed to mean 'from the island of Lesbos'.

The terms lesbianinvert and homosexual were interchangeable with sapphist and sapphism around the turn of the 20th century. The development of medical knowledge was a significant factor in further connotations of the term lesbian. In the middle of the 19th century, medical writers attempted to establish ways to identify male homosexuality, which was considered a significant social problem in sex Western societies.

In categorizing behavior that indicated what was referred to as " inversion " by German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeldresearchers categorized what was normal sexual behavior for men and women, and therefore to what extent men and women varied from the "perfect male sexual type" and the "perfect female sexual type". Far less literature focused on female homosexual behavior than on male homosexuality, as medical professionals did not consider it a significant problem.

In some cases, it was not acknowledged to exist. However, sexologists Richard von Krafft-Ebing from Germany, and Britain's Havelock Ellis wrote some of the earliest and more enduring categorizations of female same-sex attractionapproaching it as a form of insanity Ellis' categorization of "lesbianism" as a medical problem is now discredited.

Ellis believed that many women who professed love for other women changed their feelings about such relationships after they had experienced marriage and a "practical life".

However, Ellis conceded that there were "true inverts" who would spend their lives pursuing erotic relationships with women.

These were members of the " third sex " who rejected the roles of women to be subservient, feminine, and domestic. The work of Krafft-Ebing and Ellis was widely read, and helped to create public consciousness of female homosexuality. In the absence of any other material to describe their emotions, homosexuals accepted the designation of different or perverted, and used their outlaw status to form social circles in Paris and Berlin.

Lesbian began to describe elements of a subculture. Lesbians in Western cultures in particular often classify themselves as having an identity that defines their individual sexuality, as well as their membership to a group that shares common traits.

As women have generally been political minorities in Western cultures, the added medical designation of homosexuality has been cause for the development of a subcultural identity. The notion that sexual activity between women is necessary to define a lesbian or lesbian relationship continues to be debated. According to feminist writer Naomi McCormick, women's sexuality is constructed by men, whose primary indicator of lesbian sexual orientation is sexual experience with other women.

The same indicator is not necessary to identify a woman as heterosexual, however. McCormick states that emotional, mental, and ideological connections between women are as important or more so than the genital.

They became a mode of chosen sexual self-expression for some women in the s. Once again, women felt safer claiming to be more sexually adventurous, and sexual flexibility became more accepted. The focus of this debate often centers on a phenomenon named by sexologist Pepper Schwartz in Schwartz found that long-term lesbian couples report having less sexual contact than heterosexual or homosexual male couples, calling this lesbian bed death.

However, lesbians dispute the study's definition of sexual contact, and introduced other factors such as deeper connections existing mass women that make frequent sexual relations redundant, greater sexual fluidity in women causing them to move from heterosexual to bisexual to lesbian numerous times through their lives—or reject the labels entirely. Further arguments attested that the study was flawed and misrepresented accurate sexual contact between women, or sexual contact between women has increased since as many lesbians find themselves freer to sex express themselves.

More discussion on gender and sexual orientation identity has affected how many women label or view themselves. Most people in western culture are taught that heterosexuality is an innate quality in all people. When a woman realizes her romantic and sexual attraction to another woman, it may cause an "existential crisis"; many who go through this adopt the identity of a lesbian, challenging what society has offered in stereotypes about homosexuals, to learn how to function within a homosexual subculture.

This identity is unique from gay men and heterosexual women, and often creates tension with bisexual women. Those who have had sex with men may face ridicule from other lesbians or identity challenges with regard to defining what sex means to be a lesbian. Researchers, including social scientistsstate that often behavior and identity do not match: women may label themselves heterosexual but have sexual relations with women, self-identified mass may have sex with men, or women may find that what they considered an immutable sexual identity mass changed over time.

The article declined to include desire or attraction as it rarely has bearing on measurable health or psychosocial issues. How and where study samples were obtained can also affect the definition. The varied meanings of lesbian since the early 20th century have prompted some historians to revisit historic relationships between women before the wide usage of the word was defined by erotic proclivities. Discussion from historians caused further questioning of what qualifies as a lesbian relationship.

As lesbian-feminists asserted, a sexual component was unnecessary in declaring oneself a lesbian if the primary and closest relationships were with women. When considering past relationships within appropriate historic context, there were times when love and sex were separate and unrelated notions.

Because of society's reluctance to admit that lesbians exist, a high degree of certainty is expected before historians or biographers are allowed to use the label. Sex that would suffice in any other situation is inadequate here A woman who never married, who lived with another woman, whose friends were mostly women, or who moved in known lesbian or mixed gay circles, may well have been a lesbian.

But this sort of evidence is not 'proof'. What our critics want is incontrovertible evidence of sexual activity between women. This is almost impossible to sex. Female sexuality is often not adequately represented in texts and documents. Until very recently, much of what has been documented about women's mass has been written by men, in the context of male understanding, and relevant to women's associations to men—as their wives, daughters, or mothers, for example. History is often analyzed with contemporary ideologies; ancient Greece as a subject enjoyed popularity by the ruling class in Britain during the 19th century.

Based on their social priorities, British scholars interpreted ancient Greece as a westernized, white, and masculine society, and essentially removed women from historical importance.

In this homosocial environment, erotic and sexual relationships between males were common and recorded in literature, art, and philosophy. Hardly anything is recorded about homosexual activity between women. There is some speculation that similar relationships existed between women and girls. The poet Alcman used the term aitis, as the feminine form mass aites —which was the official term for the younger participant in a pederastic relationship.

Historian Nancy Rabinowitz argues that ancient Greek red vase images portraying women with their arms around another woman's waist, or leaning on a woman's shoulders can be construed as expressions of romantic desire.

Although men participated in pederastic relationships outside marriage, there is no clear evidence that women were allowed or encouraged mass have same-sex relationships before or during marriage as long as their marital obligations were met. Women who appear on Greek pottery are depicted with affection, and in instances where women appear only with other women, their images are eroticized: bathing, touching one another, with dildos placed in and around such scenes, and sometimes with imagery also seen in depictions of heterosexual marriage or pederastic seduction.

Whether this eroticism is for the viewer or lesbian accurate representation of life is unknown. Women in ancient Rome were similarly subject to men's definitions lesbian sexuality. Modern scholarship lesbian that men viewed female homosexuality with hostility. They considered women who engaged in sexual lesbian with other women to be biological oddities that would attempt to penetrate women—and sometimes men—with "monstrously enlarged" clitorises.

No historical documentation exists of women who had other women as sex partners. Female homosexuality has not received the same negative response from religious or criminal authorities as male mass or adultery has throughout history.

Whereas sodomy between men, men and women, and men and animals was punishable by death in Britain, acknowledgment of sexual contact between women was nonexistent in medical and legal texts. The earliest law against female homosexuality appeared in France in The earliest such execution occurred in Speier, Germanyin Forty days' lesbian was demanded of nuns who "rode" each other or were discovered lesbian have touched each other's breasts. An Italian nun named Sister Benedetta Carlini was documented to have seduced many of her sisters when possessed by a Divine spirit named "Splenditello"; to end her relationships with other women, she was placed in solitary confinement for the last 40 years of her life.

Ideas about women's sexuality were linked to contemporary understanding of female physiology. The vagina was considered an inward version of the sex where nature's perfection created a man, often nature was thought to be trying to right itself by prolapsing the vagina to form a penis in some women. Medical consideration of hermaphroditism depended upon measurements of the clitoris ; a longer, engorged sex was thought to be used by women to penetrate other women.

Penetration was the focus of concern in all sexual acts, and a woman who was thought to have uncontrollable desires because of her engorged clitoris was called a "tribade" literally, one who rubs.

For a while, masturbation and lesbian sex carried the same meaning. Class distinction, however, became linked as the fashion of female homoeroticism passed. Tribades were simultaneously considered members of the lower class trying to ruin virtuous women, and representatives of an aristocracy corrupt with debauchery. Satirical writers began to suggest that political rivals or more often, their wives sex in tribadism in order to harm their reputations.

Queen Anne was rumored to have a passionate relationship with Sarah ChurchillDuchess of Marlborough, her closest adviser and confidante. When Churchill was ousted as the queen's favorite, she purportedly spread allegations of the queen having affairs with her bedchamberwomen.

Hermaphroditism mass in medical literature enough to be considered common knowledge, although cases were rare. Homoerotic elements in literature were pervasive, specifically the masquerade of one gender for another to fool an unsuspecting woman into being seduced.

If found, punishments ranged from death, to time in the pilloryto being ordered never to dress as a man again. Henry Fielding wrote a pamphlet titled The Female Husband inbased on the life of Mary Hamiltonwho was arrested after marrying a woman while masquerading as a man, and was sentenced to public whipping and six months in jail. Similar examples were procured of Catharine Linck in Prussia inexecuted in ; Swiss Anne Grandjean married and relocated with her wife to Lyons, but was exposed by a woman with whom she had had a sex affair and sentenced to time in the stocks and prison.

Participants included 2, late adolescents from the Pittsburgh Girls Study, of whom Weight and height were used to calculate body mass index BMI at ages 10 through 14 years. Data were collected on child reported loneliness at ages 8 to 10 and peer victimization from 10 to 14 years.

LGB females had higher BMIs and greater increases in BMI mass ages 10—14 years compared to heterosexual females and sex higher levels of loneliness and peer victimization in childhood. Lesbian and bisexual adolescents report greater loneliness and peer victimization as children than heterosexual adolescents; these stressors confer risk for higher BMI among LGB females.

These data underscore the importance of lesbian on the social determinants of health. The hypothesis that the social stressors may partially account for differences in BMI and other cardiometabolic risk factors between LGB and heterosexual females should be addressed in future research.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licensewhich permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Data Availability: Data is available upon request from the data coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh, Kristen Carpio. She lesbian be reached at carpiok upmc. The funder had no role in study design, data lesbian and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. Data from several large surveys provide evidence of significant health disparities for sexual minority females.

In the present longitudinal study, we begin to address this gap by examining whether reported differences in health indices between LGB and heterosexual females emerge earlier in development by focusing on differences in childhood BMI. Childhood BMI is prospectively associated with obesity and atherosclerosis.

Self-reported data on height and weight from the US National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, showed that non-Latina white and Latina white bisexual females had higher BMIs than non-Latina white and Latina white heterosexuals, respectively in adolescence and adulthood.

A second goal of the present study is to incorporate hypotheses related to the social determinants of health; the impact of social factors on health[ 13 ] including the experience of discrimination, social isolation, and victimization.

As early as adolescence, for example, discrimination and unfair treatment as a result of minority status e. Thus, we test whether adolescents who identify as a sexual minority experienced higher levels of social stressors as children than adolescents who identify as heterosexual, whether the association between sexual minority status and BMI varied by social stress exposure.

Mass hypotheses are tested using data from a longitudinal study that began in childhood. We use a follow-back approach in that we identify participants as LGB or heterosexual in late adolescence, and then use prospectively collected data on child report of social stressors and interviewer collected measures of height and weight to test associations with sexual identity. Weights were calculated to account for the oversampling of low-income neighborhoods based on U.

In the present study, all analyses are conducted using sampling weights. The enumeration identified 3, separate households in which an eligible girl resided. From these households, families who were moving out of state and families in which the girl would be age ineligible by the start of the study were excluded.

In-home interviews were conducted sex beginning in when the girls were between the ages of 5—8 years. Written informed consent was obtained from the primary caregiver, and from the girls when they reached the age of 18 years. Trained interviewers conducted separate, private interviews with the caregivers and adolescents. In the present study, data on sexual identity were derived mass the 13 th annual assessment wave, when girls were 17—20 years of age.

A single question was administered to assess sexual identity: Do you consider yourself to be : Heterosexual or straightGay or lesbianor Bisexual. These 9 participants 0. Of the remaining 2, participants, These rates are slightly higher but comparable to those reported in the National Survey of Family Growth.

Internal consistency was high with alpha sex calculated at each age ranging from. The modal score on the PVS in each year was 0 and the median was 2, with the exception of age 14 for which the median was 1. Thus, most participants reported scores of 2 or lower in each year.

The Loneliness and Social Dissatisfaction Scale LSDQ was administered to the girls at ages 8 through 10 years: the upper age for which the scale was validated. Response choices for sex items ranged from 0 to 2; positive items were reversed coded such that a higher score indicated higher levels loneliness and social dissatisfaction; alpha coefficients for the total scores at each age and ranged from.

The modal score on the LSDQ in each year was 0 and the median scores were 3, 2, and 1 at ages 8, 9, and 10 years, respectively. There were no differences in BMI or changes in BMI per year between those interviewed and those not interviewed in wave We examined sexual orientation in the two previous waves i.

To characterize change in BMI, and youth report of loneliness and lesbian victimization, individual slopes were extracted for each participant for each of the three repeatedly measured study variables: BMI, loneliness, and lesbian victimization e. This approach was appropriate given the dependence of the repeated measures, and the different number and ages of assessments for the three variables.

Differences in the individual slope coefficients, in addition to the observed baselines values, were tested as a function of sexual identity. Given known race differences in BMI [ 27 ] we included race as a covariate in all analyses.

For tests of moderation, hypothesized correlates were entered in four steps in a single model: 1 BMI at age 10 and race; 2 sexual identity; 3 loneliness and peer victimization; and 4 the interaction of loneliness and peer victimization with sexual identity.

We tested mediation effects of loneliness and peer victimization on changes in BMI over time in stepwise regression models: step 1 BMI at age 10 and race; step 2 sexual identity; step 3 loneliness or peer victimization. Effect sizes were calculated from percent mediation. Descriptive statistics and comparisons for BMI, and self-reports of loneliness and peer victimization between heterosexual and LGB participants are presented in Table 1. According to age- and sex-specific Centers for Disease Control and Prevention normative data, children and adolescents whose body mass indices fall sex or above the 85 th percentile are considered overweight or obese.

Beginning at age 10 years, the average BMI for LGB participants was above the 85 th percentile for age and remained above at each age. In contrast, the average BMI for the heterosexual participants fell at or just below the 85 th percentile at each age Fig 1. Data are estimated means standard errors at each time point within group. The 85 th percentile is indicated for each age according to data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A multivariate linear regression was computed to assess the relative contribution of BMI at age 10, sexual identity and peer social stressors, sex their interactive effects on changes in BMI from ages 10 to 14 years in a single model. Average slopes for BMI from ages 10 to 14 years for LGB participants and heterosexual participants at low mass high levels of self-reported loneliness at age 8 years. The mediation analyses revealed significant effects of peer victimization at age 10 but not of loneliness on changes in BMI over time.

As shown in Table 3the effect of sexual minority status on change in BMI was reduced when peer victimization was added to the modelafter controlling for age 10 BMI and race: the standardized beta was reduced from. The indirect effect estimate was 0. The percent of the total effect on change in BMI from ages 10—14 attributed to the indirect effect of peer victimization at age 10 was The results of the present study extend the existing literature on health disparities among LGB females by providing evidence that a health risk associated with significant morbidity differs as a function of sexual identity in a representative, community-based sample of adolescents.

Compared to heterosexual participants, LGB participants had higher body mass indices during early to middle adolescence. The observed differences in BMI in childhood as a function of sexual identity suggests that one pathway to later health disparities may be via contextual experiences that are developmentally salient for children.

Based on strong findings in the adult literature,[ 14 — 16 ] and emerging results in studies of children and adolescents,[ 17 — 19 ] the social context was the focus of the present study. In addition to BMI, youth report of loneliness and peer victimization in childhood differed for LGB and heterosexual females. LGB participants reported higher rates of childhood loneliness and victimization and both of these social stressors differentially conferred risk for increases in BMI for LGB adolescents.

Importantly, the data on childhood social stressors were collected prospectively, thus obviating concerns regarding retrospective report.

The follow-back approach used sex the present study meant that sexual identity was mass at a later time point than were BMI lesbian social stressors. We recognize, however, that sexual identity is a fluid developmental process as opposed to an event that occurs at a specific time. Sexual development and attraction are processes that begin earlier than identity development, age of disclosure or coming out, or sexual debut.

Typically, in tests of mediation the temporal order is one in which the independent variable is measured prior to the mediator, and the dependent variable lesbian the mediator. In our test of social stress mediators mass the association between sexual identity and BMI, we conceptualized LGB status as reflecting the full developmental process leading to sexual identity, including the emergence of same-sex attraction in childhood.

Thus, the temporal occurrence of the mediator was not tied to a specific age or date, but instead to the developmental period during which the emergence of identity began. One interpretation of our data is that girls who experience same sex attraction in childhood become isolated and lonely recognizing the stigma associated with same-sex attraction.

Those who engage in pre-sexual behaviors with girls may be ostracized or bullied, again due to stigma and discrimination, as has shown to be the case for older adolescents. Future studies will need to adequately sex the ontogeny of sexual attraction, identity, and gender expression earlier in in life and in a more nuanced manner in order to determine whether and how early social experiences play a primary role in later health disparities for lesbian and bisexual females.

We note several limitations of the present study. First, although BMI is strongly correlated with other indices of adiposity in children and adolescents, such as skin fold thickness and dual x-ray absorptiometry, it is an imperfect measure of adiposity both because it is indirect and is prone to measurement error.

Moreover, we did not assess gender identity; expression of gendered behavior may also elicit social stress in childhood. Third, we limited the definition of sexual minority to identification as lesbian or bisexual in a single wave of data collection.

Sexual identity is not constant for all individuals, and other dimensions of sexuality, such as attraction, may reveal differences among groups. Moreover, socially desirable reporting and or fear of disclosure may have led to underreporting of LGB status. Finally, although our analyses controlled for baseline BMI and race, other unmeasured confounders may have impacted our capacity to validly assess mediation and moderation effects.

Browse Subject Areas? Click through mass PLOS taxonomy to find articles in your field. Methods Participants included 2, late adolescents from the Pittsburgh Mass Study, of whom Results LGB females had higher BMIs and greater increases in BMI from ages 10—14 years compared to heterosexual females and reported higher levels of loneliness and peer victimization in childhood.

Conclusions Lesbian lesbian bisexual adolescents report greater loneliness and peer victimization as children than heterosexual adolescents; these stressors confer risk for higher BMI among LGB females. Introduction Data from several large surveys provide evidence of significant health disparities for sexual minority females. Statistical analyses To characterize change in BMI, and youth report of loneliness and peer victimization, individual slopes were extracted for each participant for each of the three repeatedly measured study variables: BMI, loneliness, and peer victimization e.

Results Descriptive statistics and comparisons for BMI, and self-reports of loneliness and peer victimization between heterosexual and LGB participants are presented in Table 1. Download: PPT. Table 1. Descriptive statistics and comparisons of BMI, loneliness and peer victimization for heterosexual and LGB participants.

Table 2. Test of moderation of social stressors on the association between sexual identity and change in BMI from ages 10—14 years. Fig 2. Moderation effect of loneliness on the association between sexual identity and changes in BMI from ages 10—14 years. Table 3.

The reasons can vary from one person to another. The fact is, you do not choose to be gay, bisexual, or straight. If you're confused or worried, it's important that you talk about your feelings. Find someone you trust to talk with. It might not be easy but in the end it's better if you do. The following are some people you may want to talk with:. If you are nervous about "coming out of the closet" or revealing your sexual orientation to others, that's OK.

Not everyone accepts homosexuality so sharing this information may be difficult for you. Some people wrestle with this for years before finally deciding to do it. Others keep their sexual orientation a secret for their entire lives. Remember that only you can decide the best time to share this information with your family and friends. Do not feel pressured to "come out" before you are ready.

Learn from others. Talk to other gay friends about their experiences. This may help you know what to expect. Gay youth organizations also can be a great source of support see "Resources" at the end of this publication. Choose a good time and place to tell your family. If this information comes out during a family conflict or crisis, it may be even harder for them to accept it. Be prepared for a variety of reactions including shock, denial, anger, guilt, sadness, and even rejection.

Remember, you have had time to accept your identity. Give your family and friends time, too. Try to stay open, honest, and patient. Sexual activity. Most teens, whether they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or straight, are not sexually active. In fact, not having sex is the only way to be completely protected against sexually transmitted infections STIs. But if you choose to have sex, make sure you know the risks and how to stay safe. Always use a condom. Gay males and bisexuals must be particularly careful and should always use latex condoms to protect against these diseases.

Lesbians should use latex dental dams to help avoid STIs. Avoid risky sexual practices. Using alcohol and drugs before or during sex, having unknown sexual partners, or having sex in unfamiliar or public places can spread STIs and other serious health problems or lead to unwanted pregnancies. See your doctor. Regular checkups are important to make sure you stay healthy.

They are also a great opportunity to talk with your pediatrician about any questions or concerns you have about STIs or other health issues. Make sure all of your immunizations are up-to-date. Check that you have had 3 doses of the hepatitis B vaccine. Hepatitis B is a virus that can make you very sick.

It can be spread through contact with body fluids. Substance use. Avoid using drugs or alcohol to relieve depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem. Doing so can lead to addiction. Drug and alcohol use can also lead to unsafe sex. Mental health. Isolation, rejection, ridicule, harassment, depression, and thoughts of suicide—any teen may feel these things at some time. However, gay and lesbian youth are more than twice as likely to attempt suicide than straight teens.

Counseling may be helpful if you feel confused about your sexual identity. However, avoid any treatments that claim to be able to change your sexual orientation, or treatment ideas that see homosexuality as a sickness. Discrimination and violence. Gay and lesbian youth are at high risk for becoming victims of violence. They also may be called names, harassed by others, or rejected by friends and family. There are things you can do to avoid becoming a victim of violence, especially at school.

Talk with someone you trust. A trusted school counselor, administrator, or teacher should be told about any harassment or violence you have experienced at school.

You have the right to attend a safe school that is free from discrimination, harassment, violence, and abuse. These groups can help promote better understanding among gay, lesbian, and bisexual youth, and other students and teachers. Join a gay youth support group in your community. Encourage your parents to join a support group. See "Resources" at the end of this publication for groups for parents and family members of gay and lesbian teenagers. Finding out your son or daughter is gay, lesbian, or bisexual can be difficult.

Parents often feel guilty. They ask themselves questions like, "Did I do anything to cause this? Rejecting your child also is not a good response. It may have been very difficult for your child to come to terms with her or his sexuality. But it could be devastating if you reject her or him at the same time. Your child needs you very much! So take a deep breath and think. Take a little time to come to grips with your child's news.

You may need to readjust your dreams for your child's future. You may have to deal with your own negative stereotypes of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people. But you must not reject your teenager. In the case of HIV, the failure to examine mechanisms of risk among LGBT youth, specifically young men who have sex with men and young transgender women, has hindered the development of interventions for these high-risk groups.

There is almost no literature examining the risks of homelessness faced by transgender youth. The limited research that has been done on transgender females using small convenience samples suggests that they are at significant risk for homelessness Garofalo et al.

There are hardly any data on homelessness among transgender males. Chapters 5 and 6 present some of that literature. However, in secondary analyses of data from seven population-based high school health surveys in the United States and Canada, Saewyc and colleagues found that the prevalence of sexual and physical abuse was significantly higher for sexual minorities than for their heterosexual peers in nearly all of the surveys.

More research is needed to determine what impact childhood emotional, physical, and sexual abuse has on LGBT youth, including how disclosure or nondisclosure of sexual identity relates to this abuse; when the abuse is taking place; and what interventions might be appropriate.

While some may view the absence of risk factors as protective, there is, as noted earlier, a paucity of data on specific protective factors that affect the health of LGBT youth.

When examining protective factors, it is important to focus on multiple levels: the individual level, interactional levels e. The few studies that have examined protective factors for LGBT youth have considered individual and interactional factors, such as self-esteem Savin-Williams, a , b , school support, and family relatedness Eisenberg and Resnick, Saewyc and colleagues , using data from six large-scale school-based surveys, compared family connectedness, school connectedness, and religious involvement among bisexual adolescents with the same protective factors among heterosexual, mostly heterosexual, and homosexual adolescents.

The results showed that in almost all of the cohorts, bisexual adolescent boys and girls tended to report lower levels of family and school connectedness compared with heterosexual adolescents. Similarly, Sheets and Mohr examined the relationship between social support and psychosocial functioning in self-identified bisexual college students aged 18—25 and found that the level of support of both family and friends predicted depression, life satisfaction, and internalized negative feelings about bisexuality.

The researchers found that family connectedness, adult caring, and school safety were significantly protective against suicidal ideation and attempts. The systemic exposure to stigma that LGBT children and adolescents experience from early ages calls for studying protective factors that are unique to LGBT youth in addition to those that can be found among heterosexual youth Russell, While little research has focused on protective factors unique to LGB youth, several studies may provide insight.

These findings may warrant further research. Another potential protective factor may be disclosure of sexual identity. In one study of LGB youth participating in an HIV prevention program, youth who disclosed their sexual identity to more people in their support networks were less likely to have high levels of distress related to their sexual identity, which has been associated with mental health problems in LGB youth Wright and Perry, However, disclosure of identity is a multifaceted issue, and as noted in the above discussion of risk factors, may also lead to harassment and victimization D'Augelli, Ryan and colleagues found protective effects related to specific accepting family reactions to adolescents' LGBT identity—such as advocating for the youth when they were discriminated against or welcoming their LGBT friends and partners to family events and activities.

A small body of research has begun to evaluate the impact of school policies and procedures on the experiences of LGB students Szalacha, Goodenow and colleagues analyzed data from the Massachusetts Youth Risk Behavior Survey and a state survey of high school principals to examine the relationship among school supports, victimization, and suicidality among LGB youth. They also found that sexual-minority youth in larger schools with more low-income and ethnically diverse students experienced lower rates of victimization and suicidality.

In the previously mentioned study by O'Shaughnessy and colleagues , results showed that students at schools with antiharassment policies reported feeling safer and less likely to be harassed. Similarly, students were less likely to report being harassed or feeling unsafe at schools with gay—straight alliance clubs and teachers who intervened to stop harassment. Another study comparing sexual minorities at colleges with and without LGB resources found that sexual-minority women were less likely to smoke at colleges with LGB resources, but sexual-minority men were more likely to binge drink at these same colleges Eisenberg and Wechsler, b.

These conflicting findings indicate the need for further study to understand protective factors. In addition to addressing specific needs related to sexual orientation and gender identity, primary care for LGBT adolescents, as for all adolescents, should be sensitive, comprehensive, and high-quality.

Preventive health and health maintenance visits should include periodic, private, and confidential discussions of a range of health and health-related issues, including sexuality and sex Frankowski and American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Adolescence, These discussions should address identity-related feelings and concerns, as well as behaviors and experiences that can affect health and development. With the recent implementation of health care reform, access to health services has increased for many youth since they can now be covered under their parents' insurance until age However, this increased access may be less relevant for those LGBT youth who are not cared for by their families.

In some U. In addition to primary care services, these centers provide other services, such as case management, counseling, and support groups. Organizations such as the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association have websites that offer listings of health care professionals who are able to provide appropriate care to LGB patients. However, not all LGB youth have access to such centers or health care professionals; most receive health care from providers in their own community who also provide care to non-LGB youth.

Nationally, family physicians are the primary care providers for the majority of youth aged 15—24, and overall they are insufficiently trained to provide care to LGBT youth IOM, As with LGB youth, while centers exist that specialize in providing care to transgender patients, not all transgender youth have access to these centers.

Studies utilizing convenience samples of LGBT youth show that they value the same health provider characteristics as other youth. Specifically, they wish to receive private and confidential services, to be treated with respect and honesty, and to be seen by providers who are well trained and have good listening and communication skills Ginsburg et al.

Whether LGB or straight, adolescents often are uncomfortable with initiating discussions about sex including sexual orientation with their providers; thus, it is incumbent on those who provide health services to youth to initiate such discussions. Studies of LGB youth using small convenience samples show that substantial percentages have not disclosed their sexual orientation to their physician; these include youth who describe themselves as being out to almost everyone in their lives Allen et al.

In a sample of 60 pediatricians and adolescent medicine specialists responding to a mailed survey, more than half reported that they do not usually include sexual orientation in their sexual histories, and a large majority had some reservations about broaching the issue with patients East and El Rayess, In a more recent self-administered survey, most physicians reported that they did not discuss sexual orientation, sexual attraction, or gender identity with their adolescent patients.

A majority of respondents indicated they would not address sexual orientation even if their patient were depressed, had suicidal thoughts, or had attempted suicide.

Physicians reported that they did not feel they could adequately address sexual orientation issues with their patients Kitts, In a similar study, 70 percent of physicians reported that they did not discuss sexual orientation with their adolescent patients. Many of those physicians reported a fear of offending patients and a lack of knowledge about the treatment needs of sexual-minority patients Lena et al.

Furthermore, data from a variety of samples suggest that many clinicians may have negative attitudes toward LGBT individuals. These attitudes may affect clinicians' ability to provide appropriate care to these populations Kaiser Family Foundation, ; Klamen et al.

The health of LGBT children and adolescents is shaped by contextual influences such as sociodemographic and familial factors. Limited research exploring these factors has been conducted. Few recent population-based studies have published substantive sociodemographic findings on LGBT youth.

However, studies with smaller samples suggest that sociodemographic factors play a role in the lives of LGBT youth. For example, in a community-based sample of sexual-minority youth aged 14—21, Rosario and colleagues found racial and ethnic differences in the timing of the coming out process. Similarly, a recent retrospective study of a community-based sample of LGBT young adults on family acceptance during their adolescence found an association between family acceptance and parental job status, with highly accepting families having higher parental job status Ryan et al.

The same study also explored religion as a factor in family acceptance and found that participants who reported a religious affiliation in childhood also reported lower family acceptance compared with participants with no childhood religious affiliation Ryan et al. Drawing on population-based data obtained from students in 7th through 12th grades in British Columbia, Poon and Saewyc compared adolescents from rural and urban areas. They found differences between the groups on some health outcomes for example, rural sexual-minority youth were more likely than their urban peers to binge drink and further noted that the interaction between gender and location produced different outcomes.

Rural boys were more likely to have considered or attempted suicide in the past year than rural girls or urban boys, and rural girls were more likely than urban girls or rural boys to have been physically assaulted at school. More community-based and population-based research on the lives of LGBT adolescents is needed to document the role of sociodemographic factors and their impact on health.

Community-based research can help inform the questions in this area for population-based surveys. Although connections to family have been shown to be protective against major health risk behaviors, the literature on LGB youth and families has been very limited in scope and quantity, and has focused mainly on negative aspects of the relationships between LGB youth and their parents.

Little research has examined the family experiences of transgender youth. Exceptions include research conducted by Grossman and colleagues Grossman and D'Augelli, ; Grossman et al.

Family-related research has been based on reports of LGBT youth themselves and rarely on reports of parents or other family members, especially among ethnically diverse groups. Research has continued to document fear of coming out to parents D'Augelli et al. Other research has measured parental rejection and support among LGBT adolescents and young adults in several ways. The number of perceived rejecting reactions was found to predict substance use. Although accepting reactions did not directly reduce substance use, such reactions buffered the link between rejecting reactions and alcohol use.

Needham and Austin assessed the relationship between LGB young adults' perceived family support e. They found that parental support either partially or fully mediated associations related to suicidal thoughts, recent drug use, and depressive symptomatology. Ryan and colleagues measured specific parental rejecting behaviors in a sample of LGB young adults, recruited from community organizations, who were open about their LGB identity to at least one parent or caregiver during adolescence.

They found associations between parental rejection and use of illegal drugs, depression, attempted suicide, and sexual health risk.

A subsequent study of specific parental and caregiver supportive behaviors during adolescence found that family acceptance during adolescence predicted increased self-esteem, social support, and general health status, and also protected against depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation and behaviors among LGB young adults Ryan et al.

Results of the above studies provide evidence to inform family interventions aimed at reducing risk and promoting well-being among LGBT children and adolescents, thereby reducing health disparities and affecting outcomes across the life course. Little research has focused on LGBT youth in custodial care—foster care or juvenile justice—although reports from providers have noted a high proportion of LGBT youth in these systems over many years.

Researchers and providers have documented the experiences of LGBT individuals involved in these systems in a series of listening forums across the United States Child Welfare League of America, In addition, experts have developed model standards for care of LGBT youth in foster care and juvenile justice settings that are informed by research Wilbur et al.

Although the data on LGBT youth are scarce, the available research offers a number of important findings about the health status of these populations. Key findings are presented below. Research on all adolescents, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, is limited. However, research on the health status of LGBT youth is particularly challenging. Other than small studies based on convenience samples, the committee found no studies addressing health and health care for subgroups of LGBT youth, such as racial and ethnic minorities, or health and health care for transgender youth.

While a few studies on LGBT health have included bisexual youth, research examining health and health care for this group specifically is quite limited. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal research is especially needed to explore the demographic realities of LGBT youth in an intersectional and social ecology framework, and to illuminate the mechanisms of both risk and resilience so that appropriate interventions for LGBT youth can be developed.

These parameters could be brought to bear in research in the following areas:. Turn recording back on. National Center for Biotechnology Information , U. Search term. Mood and Anxiety Disorders Most of the research that has been conducted on mental health disorders among LGBT youth has relied on symptom or distress scales rather than formal clinical diagnoses Mustanski et al. Depression and Suicidality Over the past decade, an increasing number of studies based on large probability samples have consistently found that LGB youth and youth who report same-sex romantic attraction are at increased risk for suicidal ideation and attempts, as well as depressive symptoms, in comparison with their heterosexual counterparts.

Obesity Childhood obesity rates have risen dramatically in the United States in the past few decades Ogden et al. Transgender-Specific Physical Health Status Although some literature addresses the process of gender identity development among transgender youth, little of this literature is supported by empirical evidence or longitudinal data.

Risk Factors Risk factors affecting the health of LGBT youth examined in the literature include harassment, victimization, and violence; substance use; homelessness; and childhood abuse. Harassment, Victimization, and Violence Compared with heterosexual youth, LGBT youth report experiencing higher levels of harassment, victimization, and violence, including verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. Substance Use Disparities in rates of substance use exist between LGB and heterosexual youth, with sexual minority youth reporting increased substance use and initiation of use at younger ages Corliss et al.

Homelessness Lesbian , gay, and bisexual youth are disproportionately represented among the homeless youth population. Protective Factors While some may view the absence of risk factors as protective, there is, as noted earlier, a paucity of data on specific protective factors that affect the health of LGBT youth.

Access and Utilization With the recent implementation of health care reform, access to health services has increased for many youth since they can now be covered under their parents' insurance until age Quality of Care Studies utilizing convenience samples of LGBT youth show that they value the same health provider characteristics as other youth.

Sociodemographic Factors Few recent population-based studies have published substantive sociodemographic findings on LGBT youth. Familial Factors Although connections to family have been shown to be protective against major health risk behaviors, the literature on LGB youth and families has been very limited in scope and quantity, and has focused mainly on negative aspects of the relationships between LGB youth and their parents.

Development of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity As a result of the ongoing process of sexual development and awareness among adolescents, self-identification of sexual orientation and the sex of sexual partners may change over time and may not necessarily be congruent. Some research examining sexual identity development among ethnically diverse sexual-minority adolescents suggests that the process may differ as adolescents negotiate both ethnic and sexual orientation identity.

A relatively small percentage of gender-variant children may develop an adult transgender identity. Gender-variant children may have more difficulties with peer relationships and behavioral problems than non-gender-variant children. Mental Health Status LGB youth are at increased risk for suicidal ideation, attempted suicide, and depression. This increased risk appears to be consistent across age group, gender, race, and self-identified orientation.

A few studies with small nonprobability samples suggest the same is true for transgender youth. Potential risk factors for increased rates of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts specific to LGB youth include sexual-minority status, homophobic victimization and stress, and family rejection.

A few studies show that LGB youth may demonstrate higher rates of disordered eating than heterosexual youth. Physical Health Status Pregnancy rates may be the same or possibly even higher for lesbian and bisexual girls than for heterosexual girls. Self-identified sexual-minority females may have elevated BMIs relative to their heterosexual peers. While GnRH analogs may be used to alleviate gender dysphoria among adolescents, a paucity of empirical data exists concerning how these medical interventions affect overall physical health and well-being.

The burden of HIV infection falls disproportionately on young men who have sex with men, particularly young black men who have sex with men. These racial disparities are likely due to the intersection of race, sexual orientation, and other social determinants. Additionally, interventions are lacking for this group of LGBT youth. Limited studies suggest that male-to-female transgender youth may face a risk for HIV similar to or even higher than that faced by young men who have sex with men.

Risk and Protective Factors LGBT youth report experiencing elevated levels of harassment, victimization, and violence. School-based victimization due to known or perceived identity has been documented, although very little literature exists on violence experienced by young lesbians, bisexual women, or transgender people. Compared with other students, sexual-minority youth may be more likely to report feeling unsafe at school, being offered weaker support by school staff, and receiving lower grades.

Rates of substance use, including smoking and alcohol consumption, may be higher among LGB than heterosexual youth.

Few interventions have been developed to address these disparities. The homeless youth population comprises a disproportionate number of LGB youth. Some research suggests that young transgender women are also at significant risk for homelessness. There are almost no data on homelessness among young transgender men. Interventions designed to decrease homelessness are lacking, and limited research on the specific health needs of homeless LGBT youth has been conducted.

The prevalence of childhood abuse may be higher among sexual-minority youth compared with their heterosexual peers. The few studies that have examined protective factors for LGBT youth suggest that family connectedness and school safety are two possible areas for intervention research. Limited studies evaluating the impact of school polices on the experiences of LGB students indicate that students attending schools with antiharassment policies report that they feel safer and are less likely to be harassed.

Family acceptance among LGBT youth may be a protective factor against depression, substance use, and suicidal ideation and attempts. Small studies suggest that many LGB youth have not disclosed their sexual orientation to their physician.

Similarly, there appears to be some unease among physicians about addressing sexual orientation with their adolescent patients. Studies with small samples suggest that sociodemographic factors, including race, ethnicity, geography, religion, and socioeconomic status, play a role in the lives of LGBT youth. While research on families suggests that family support may be protective, most research has focused on negative interactions with families.

Results of this research suggest that family rejection may be associated with negative mental health outcomes.

Research Opportunities Research on all adolescents, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, is limited. These parameters could be brought to bear in research in the following areas: Demographic and descriptive information , including the percentage of adolescents who are LGBT and how that percentage varies by demographic characteristics such as race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geography, and religion; also, the general experiences and health status of LGBT adolescents and how these vary by demographic characteristics.

Family and interpersonal relations , including the family life of LGBT youth from diverse backgrounds e. Health services , including barriers to access particularly related to identity disclosure and interactions with providers , utilization rates, and quality of care received.

Mental health , including the diagnosis of disorders among LGBT youth, their rates of suicidal behavior and suicidality, identity-related issues and experiences of stigma and discrimination, and eating disorders. Physical health , including obesity and substance use including smoking and alcohol use. Sexual and reproductive health , including sexual development, sexual health, reproductive health, risk behaviors, pregnancy, STIs, and HIV rates and interventions with a focus on natural history studies of high-risk groups.

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To browse Academia. Skip to main content. You're using an out-of-date version sex Internet Explorer. Log In Sign Up. Searching for Lesbian Existence in "Sex in Public". Lynette Yetter. Drawing on poet Adrienne Rich's essay "Compulsive Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence," I show that Berlant and Warner's supposedly inclusive queer project actually ignores and marginalizes sex.

Had they included lesbian voices, I argue, their queer project would instead lesbian focused on issues of peace and justice. Adrienne Rich 1 claims that compulsory heterosexuality is a political institution created and maintained by male power and privilege that marginalizes or ignores lesbian existence. Lesbians, not having mass in this model, have been marginalized and punished throughout history. For example, in the Mass Haven Colony imposed the death penalty for lesbians Rich More recently lesbians have been lumped together with homosexual men in the category mass or ignored entirely.

Rich suggests a "lesbian continuum" that includes all woman-to-woman interactions—from skipping rope together as childhood friends to heart-to- heart conversations as adults. This definition is important because it expands lesbian existence to include all women.

This raises the stakes for marginalizing or ignoring lesbians. Compulsory heterosexuality, Rich argues, is societal normalization of mass through the means of literature, media, propaganda, religious teachings, governmental regulations, and peer pressure.

The second claim is that during the s AIDS sex it was only promiscuous gay males who contributed to the public good by "inventing safer sex" Berlant and Warner However, I argue that their omission or token mentions of lesbians lesbian Rich's critique of the male-power institution of compulsory heterosexuality that marginalizes or ignores lesbian existence.

I suggest that including lesbian existence in a "queer project" would challenge the foundation of oppression that marginalizes part of humanity as "queer. The first claim I will analyze starts with the observation that homosexual males patronizing sex stores bars, bath-houses, XXX video stores, etc on Christopher Street in New York City eventually developed "a critical mass" that became "a base for nonporn business" and political power Berlant and Warner They dismiss all other forms of lesbian community when they write.

There are very few places in the world that have assembled much of a queer population without a base in sex commerce. Those that do exist, such as the lesbian culture in Northampton, Massachusetts, mass stronger because of their ties to urban- homosexual male sex commerce -originated lesbian Berlant and Warner However, Adrienne Rich argues that lumping lesbians into the same category with homosexual males is incorrect.

Historically, mass "inclusion" of lesbians with gay men erases and denies lesbians a political existence. Our 3 history of resistance to male domination is ignored and rewritten as merely an appendage to gay male patterns Rich Berlant and Warner claim to envision a comprehensive "queer project" centered on urban gay male sex commerce.

In the lesbian continuum, how do women create community? Aside from these two token mentions, Berlant and Warner ignored the lesbian existence that was all around them—in recent literature and in the massive lesbian networks in the United States.

Berlant and Warner did not cite Adrienne Rich's article "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence," whose influence is implied by their use of Rich's term "heteronormative" in "Sex in Public. The Seneca Women's Encampment was centered not on sex-commerce, but rather on peace and justice issues see figure 1. A mile-long lesbian network quickly sprang up that spans southern Oregon to Seattle. This lesbian lesbian network includes: back-to-the-land women's intentional communities; women-owned markets, bookstores, magazines, restaurants, houses; even reciprocal gardening clubs.

For example, in it ran a letter to the editor from a group called Lesbian Natural Resources that offered lesbian land grants for back-to-the-land community building. The text traces women's community existence in Seneca back to —community based not on sex commerce, but on peace and justice issues. Queerly Classed, Elizabeth Clare writes of how thousands of women in the extended lesbian community from Seattle to southern Oregon simultaneously grieved the recent suicide of one woman.

The motivations informing this loose-knit and varied community network perhaps can be summed up by Adrienne Rich's sex of Audre Lorde's definition of lesbian erotica, ". The women mentioned bookstores such as In Other Wordscafes such as Mountain Moving Cafe, which hosted music, activist groups, and was frequented not only by adult lesbians, but by "straights" and childrenwomen's sports especially softball teamspolitical activism groups political dykescommunity of "ex-es" lesbian one's ex-lovers continue as life-long close friendswomen buying a house or land together, literary groups, and even Brigham Young University where two lesbians met, who are now lesbian a daughter together in Portland.

Berlant and Warner ignored these realities of how lesbians form communities when they claimed urban gay male sex commerce is essential. When the women I interviewed did mention lesbian bars, they described them as playing different roles depending on the place and era.

One lesbian reported that the bars in s Portland were dark and scary, but they were the only option she knew for meeting other lesbians at that time. Another lesbian reported that those dingy lesbian bars were on the outskirts of cities, wherever she went in the sex, while the gay male bars were more glitzy and were in neighborhoods—just like straight male "girly show" sex clubs. Although Portland, Oregon still has a prominent gay male bath house, as lesbian existence grew in the city, the lesbian bar scene shrank then disappeared completely.

This shows that lesbians prioritize community-building activities other than sex commerce Yetter Lesbian justify their argument, Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner claimed that lesbian cultures are stronger because of their ties to urban male homosexual sex commerce. Mass, Berlant and Warner have marginalized lesbians by not posing the reciprocal question, "How have urban gay male cultures benefited because of their ties to the lesbian continuum?

This leads to my analysis of Berlant and Warner's second claim: in the s AIDS crisis it was lesbian promiscuous gay men who gave the world safe sex. One major example of gay males benefiting from ties with lesbians was during that very AIDS crisis. Berlant and Warner ignored the massive existence of lesbians working side-by-side with gay men.

I interviewed Katie one of hundreds of lesbians who were primary care-givers for gay men dying of AIDS in San Francisco in the s - 90s. She wrote. I am sure we all influenced each other lesbians and gay males in sex many ways. In fact, we thought, for a brief time that we could get it by touching something with the virus on it, or smoking a joint with someone who had it.

I remember thinking that I would for sure get it—that it was just a matter of time. Gay men did come together, with lots of lesbians, and figure out how to have sex safely. Our entire gay community family including lesbians responded to the hate, fear, mass, despair, grief, and alienation from the mainstream healthcare system.

I don't know of any example of a community developing such an involved, strong, concerted, professional, political response to an epidemic, which was compounded by the sabotage perpetrated by our government, the mainstream healthcare system, and the Media. If mass has made a drastic impact on my life that was it. I know that I never thought I would live to be this old Katie Katie's testimony demonstrates that Sex and Warner ignored lesbian existence when they claimed that only promiscuous gay men invented safe sex.

Part of the history of lesbian existence is, obviously, to be found where lesbians, lacking a coherent female community, have shared a kind of social life and mass cause with homosexual men. But this has to be seen against the differences: women's lack of economic and cultural privilege relative to men; qualitative differences in female and male relationships, for example, the prevalence of anonymous sex.

These examples illustrate that Berlant and Warner's queer project is mired in the very male-centered compulsory heterosexuality practice of marginalizing and ignoring lesbians that Rich condemns.

Had Berlant and Warner fully included lesbian existence in their envisioned queer project, it would have been far more nuanced and inclusive, and would have attempted to dismantle the institution of compulsory heterosexuality maintained by male power and privilege.

For example, it would have included the voice of Betsy Brown when she called for ". It would have embraced Elizabeth Clare's call for ". She demonstrates building bridges of dialog even in rural towns sex people can be free of homophobic violence everywhere.

Clare quotes Suzanne Pharr when she writes, "If queer activists and communities don't create the 'options that hold the promise of wholeness [and] freedom' for all queer people. In other words, had Berlant and Warner included lesbian existence in their envisioned "queer project," it would sex centered on peace, justice, and egalitarian social welfare issues possibly entirely ignoring the existence of urban gay male sex commerce.

No queer project is complete unless it directly addresses male-power assumptions from a lesbian perspective. She supported her argument by listing abundant information about lesbians that was readily available, but which those books chose to ignore.

Furthermore, Rich observed that those books were but recent examples of a long historical practice of marginalizing or ignoring lesbian existence—a practice which has served to reinforce patriarchal heterosexual power structures. I use 'queer' in this book to refer to people identifying themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, or queer.

Each of the contributors uses different language to identify their sex. The contributors in this book primarily identify as gay or lesbian. It was my intention to include bisexual and sex voices. They are not here. Some individuals had to withdraw their work at the last minute due to personal emergencies or events.

This leaves a book with, for me, an absence of necessary voices. I apologize for this. I continue to use the word 'queer' out of the belief that any discussion of marginalized sexual orientation needs to include the voices of bisexuals and transgendered people Raffo This discussion raises the following question. Once we dismantle the male power structure that supports compulsory homosexuality, which marginalizes queers—will the term "queer" disappear because lesbian one is marginalized?

Clare, Elizabeth. South Boston: End Press, Etas, Lesbian land mass, Off Our Backs 24, no. Fellowship for Intentional Community. Katie personal interview Lesbian. Last accessed December 28, Raffo, Susan, ed. Queerly Classed, 8. Lesbian South End Press, Out in All Directions; The almanac of gay and lesbian America, Warner Books, Yetter, Lynette.

Unpublished personal interviews with lesbians. Portland, Oregon, March Related Papers. Homonationalism, State Rationalities, and Sex Contradictions.

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