Lesbians in Greece have gone to court to establish that they are not lesbians. Natives of the island of Lesbos are asking a court in Athens to establish that homosexual women are not lesbians — unless presumably they live on the island of Lesbos.
The reputation for the islanders began with the poet Sappho who praised love between women. Her poems made the island a symbol of female intimacy as in her famous poem on Aphrodite:
Aphrodite on your intricate throne, immortal, daughter of Zeus, weaver of plots, I beg you, do not tame me with pain or my heart with anguish
but come here, as once before when I asked you, you heard my words from afar and listened, and left your father’s golden house and came
you yoked your chariot, and lovely swift sparrows brought you, fast whirling over the dark earth from heaven through the midst of the bright air
and soon they arrived. And you, O blessed goddess, smiled with your immortal face and asked what was wrong with me, and why did I call now,
and what did I most want in my maddened heart to have for myself. `Who now am I to persuade to your love, who, Sappho, has done you wrong? For if she flees, soon she’ll pursue you, and if she won’t take gifts, soon she’ll give them, and if she won’t love, soon she will love you, even if she doesn’t want to.’
Come to me now again, release me from my cruel anxiety, accomplish all that my heart wants accomplished. You yourself join my battle.
Now, the islanders would like a more geographical than homosexual meaning.
Dimitris Lambrou objects that “My sister can’t say she is a Lesbian. Our geographical designation has been usurped by certain ladies who have no connection whatsoever with Lesbos.”
Under the lawsuit, the lesbians are seeking to enjoin a gay and lesbian group in Greece from using the name “lesbian” or presumably, “women from a certain island where Sappho once wrote.”
My greatest concern is that this will trigger a slew of lawsuit by the Isle of Man, the Sandwich Islands, Monkey Island, or Cook Island. If you think saying “I’m a Lesbian” is tough for some, think about “I’m a Sandwich.”
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