10 Quotes Celebrating Lesbian Love, Life, and Visibility

lesbian visibility day
Lesbian Visibility Day

People who don’t think Lesbian Visibility Day is important forget that, for hundreds of years, lesbian lives and loves have been erased – often violently. Diaries and letters were destroyed, removing countless lesbian accounts from history. Books like Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness were banned. Women were forced into marriages and mental institutions. Lesbians around the world continue to be victims of ‘corrective’ rape. And in twelve countries homosexuality is still legally punishable by death.

It is true that more and more countries are recognizing same-sex marriage. But – while attitudes towards same-sex relationships are shifting – that progress is not linear. It is in this context that Lesbian Visibility Day emerged. (April 26)

Given all the ways women are rewarded for staying within the parameters of heterosexuality, and all the ways women are punished for stepping across its bounds, every lesbian’s coming out is a victory worth celebrating. With all the barriers society puts in front of us, it is well worth celebrating that women can write openly about lesbian life and love.

So, here are ten beautiful quotes about being a lesbian:

“Every woman I have ever loved has left her print upon me, where I loved some invaluable piece of myself apart from me-so different that I had to stretch and grow in order to recognize her. And in that growing, we came to separation, that place where work begins.”
Audre Lorde, Zami: A New Spelling of My Name

“Was it love or wasn’t it that she felt for Carol? And how absurd it was that she didn’t even know. She had heard about girls falling in love, and she knew what kind of people they were and what they looked like. Neither she nor Carol looked like that. Yet the way she felt about Carol passed all the tests for love and fitted all the descriptions.”
― Patricia Highsmith, The Price of Salt

“Since I had no words to bring the woman I loved so much, I gave her all my tenderness.”
Leslie Feinberg, Stone Butch Blues

“My first female lover was a Jewish woman. She was butch, but not in a swaggering macho way- she could pass as a yeshiva boy, pale and intense. Small, almost fragile, she exuded a powerful sense of herself. She had not been to a synagogue in years, but kept the law of kashrut, and taught me my first prayers in Hebrew. She cooked, she read, she ironed her dress shirts and polished her boots meticulously, and admired femme women enormously. She was also the first person ever- including myself- to bring me to multiple orgasms. She taught me to ask for what I wanted in bed, then encouraged me to expect it from her and future lovers. She taught me to get her off with fingers, tongue, lips, sex toys, and my voice.”
― Karen Taylor, Daughters of Zelophehad (in First Person Queer: Who We Are)

“Cut the ending. Revise the script. The man of her dreams is a girl.”
Julie Anne Peters, Keeping You a Secret

“When I was fifteen I left Jamaica. I knew that I was a lesbian then and, because of what I looked like, I was an out lesbian. It was hard for me. It was hard for the thirteen years I was in England, for various reasons, and it’s going to be difficult here as well. I don’t anticipate anything being easy. But I’d rather suffer the chance of someone accosting me for being a dyke than suffer the emotional violence I’d do to myself if I wasn’t honest about who I am.”
– Fiona Zedde, Bliss

“No one has imagined us. We want to live like trees,
sycamores blazing through the sulfuric air,
dappled with scars, still exuberantly budding,
our animal passion rooted in the city.”
Adrienne Rich, The Dream of a Common Language

“I want to love like my grandmother, who loved a woman like Joseph loved Mary. Someone so imperfect, so human, brave enough to love someone who already knows God.”
― R.Y.S Perez, I Hope You Fall in Love: Poetry Collection

“Kaede told herself that what she felt was only a little seed; she would simply not water it. It wouldn’t grow any larger than this tiny prickle of attraction. She wouldn’t let it.
But that night after everyone had left, and they had all spread their blankets on the floor of the hall, Kaede lay awake for some time, trying to make out the sound of Taisin’s breathing in the dark.”
Malinda Lo, Huntress

“Look here Vita — throw over your man, and we’ll go to Hampton Court and dine on the river together and walk in the garden in the moonlight and come home late and have a bottle of wine and get tipsy, and I’ll tell you all the things I have in my head, millions, myriads — They won’t stir by day, only by dark on the river. Think of that. Throw over your man, I say, and come.” – Virginia Woolf