I came across an interesting article on the BBC site this morning. Here is an extract:
Campaigners on the Greek island of Lesbos are to go to court in an attempt to stop a gay rights organisation from using the term “lesbian”.
[…]The issue boils down to who has the right to call themselves Lesbians.
Is it gay women, or the 100,000 people living on Greece’s third biggest island – plus another 250,000 expatriates who originate from Lesbos?
350,000 people vs the lesbians of the world… hmmm… Somehow I think the islanders are vastly outnumbered. On the other hand, the island has probably been called Lesbos (and the islanders Lesbians) for much longer than the term “lesbian” had the meaning of “homosexual female”.
For now, the campaigners are only disputing the use of the word “lesbian” on the island of Lesbos itself, but they plan to take their battle to the rest of the world too. While they might possibly get away with it on the island itself, I seriously doubt they’d manage it on an international scale.
It seems an unfortunate coincidence that the island of Lesbos decided to call itself that, but then they had no way of knowing what the future would bring. According to the BBC site, the Greek government actually renamed Lesbos to Mytilini, but I haven’t been able to find any other source to confirm this. If this is the case, however, then the campaigners would seem to be arguing a moot point.
So who do you think should have the right to call themselves Lesbians?