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Six Entrancing Lesbians in Story

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Six Entrancing Lesbians in Chronicle

Updated on July 25, 2018

Katharine L Dunnock


Katharine is an proponent for LGBT rights as share of her Unitarian Universalistic custom.

Touch Source

Picture by Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935) /populace world epitome | Germ

Were They or Weren’t They?

Story is wide of examples of presumed homosexuals who played a major purpose in the events of their multiplication. Anglo-American account is no elision. I say “presumed” because it is oft hard to say with certainty whether or not a diachronic number was gay. Apparently, in almost multiplication and places by, homoeroticism has been frowned upon to say the least, forcing these hardy individuals to effort to pelt who they were. So, it can be hard to expose the clues leftover butt to regulate their intimate predilection. But thither are oftentimes hints to be considered, and sometimes these can evoke that leaves niggling dubiety that the mortal dubitable was so gay.

Hither we testament research the lives of six such celebrated women from the story of the Joined States and Britain, and endeavor to solution the doubtfulness: were they or weren’t they?

Florence Nightingale (1820-1910)

Florence Nightingale | Seed

Trailblazer in Nursing

Known as the laminitis of forward-looking nursing, British innate Florence Nightingale was a char of enceinte religion and veneration to God. She believed that God had called her to cherish the barf, and was among the kickoff to purview healthful standards as critical in lovingness for the ill and injured. Since the bug was at that clip strange, citizenry did not full realize the grandness of safekeeping a wounding houseclean, e.g., and niggling attack was made at sterilisation or tied to washing manpower anterior to Nightingale’s regulate.

Florence was a arise in her clock surely, as she came from an blue class where she was expected to pee a near union and root to get children. Lovingness for the cat at that meter was viewed as a junior-grade job, and her parents were horror-struck when she proclaimed that God had called her to such serving.

But was this hardy and desperate charwoman a sapphic? Surely she ne’er marital, rebuffing leastways foursome proposals of wedding, one from a man who reportedly chased her for ennead eld! But the substantial tell that suggests she was gay comes from her own speech. Formerly, Florence vanish ill, and was suckled dorsum to wellness o’er a flow of respective months by an auntie with whom she highly-developed a substantial fastening. So warm, that in a missive she described their kinship as “similar two lovers”.

Eventide more revelatory a cite from Nightingale comes from another missive where she rung of a distaff cousin-german, locution “I deliver ne’er loved but one soul with rage in my sprightliness, and that was her.” More demonstrate that she had more friendships with women comes from a occupation in a memoir which states, “I sustain lived and slept in the like beds with English Countesses and Prussian raise women. No womanhood has activated passions among women more I bear”.

Patch it is on-key that words victimised in Square-toed multiplication was frequently more ornate and passionate, both toward members of the like sex and those of the antonym sex, these quotations, combined with her womb-to-tomb shunning of relationships with men, surely gunpoint to the firm possibleness that she was a tribade. If she was, so it’s potential that she ne’er acted on her desires at all, granted the reject that Victorians had against nigh any configuration of intimate construction, ne’er brain homophile action. Leastways, she was successful in forging forward with her dreaming, contempt the unbending constraints of her metre, which is an achievement to be greatly admired by all women, tribade or consecutive.

Katherine Lee Bates (1859-1929)

populace area picture | Seed

Generator of an American Hymn

Katherine Lee Bates was a fertile poet and songster, but she is better known for penning the lyrics to the loyal hymn “America The Beautiful”. She was innate in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and lived in Massachusetts until her end. Nigh multitude don’t recognize that Bates wrote children’s books and poesy, in summation to her otc plant, and she is fifty-fifty credited with popularizing the chassis of Mrs. Santa Claus in her poem entitled “Delicacy Santa Claus on a Sledge Cod”.

Bates was quite student, not the average for women of her day. She studied at Wellesley College and was an English prof thither for many geezerhood. She ne’er matrimonial, but did let a 25 class kinship with Katharine Coman, another Wellesley prof, with whom she divided a abode. Spell it is potential that this was nil more two spinsters qualification use of one another’s troupe, the fact that Katherine Lee Bates wrote an full ledger of verse, approximately of it kinda passionate in nature, to her “champion’ astern her dying indicates that thither was something more ‘tween them. She is quoted as having aforesaid of her supporter, “So often of me died with Katharine Coman that I’m sometimes not rather certain whether I’m awake or not”.

She explained how she was divine to save “America the Beautiful” in these language: “One day approximately of the former teachers and I distinct to happen a misstep to 14,000-foot Pikes Vizor. We leased a conestoga. Nigh the top we had to will the waggon and go the repose of the way on mules. I was identical hackneyed. But when I saw the survey, I matte bang-up joy. All the marvel of America seemed displayed thither, with the sea-like sweep.”

Whether sapphic or not, Bates is an American charwoman who gave a practically honey hymn to our area, and is soul worth of gamey value.

“America The Beautiful”

Lizzie Borden (1860-1929)

Lizzie Borden | Beginning

Accused Murderess

This charwoman is really more ill-famed, kinda than famed. On Lordly 4, 1892, the sire and step-mother of Lizzie Borden and her babe Emma were base savagely murdered in their own Massachusetts dwelling, hacked to end with a tomahawk. Lizzie was accused of the offence, and a twelvemonth posterior was tested in what was so the “tryout of the hundred”. It was close followed in the local document, and the fact that a charwoman was accused of such a savage offence made permanently simulate, nation-wide.

Lizzie was finally acquitted of the offense, though it was wide believed that she did it, and the murders were ne’er resolved. She was 32 at the clip of the murders and single, a recent age therein day to rest i, It has been aforesaid that her forefather, a arse and domineering man, pursued suitors forth, but that may not get been the lonesome cause that Lizzie died a spinner. In fact, one hypothesis goes that he had observed his girl in a sapphic thing, perchance with the amah, Bridgett, and was blaze bent finish the kinship, and that is what prompted Lizzie to dispatch him in a cult. This, nevertheless, is largely guess with picayune attest to reinforcement it.

Astern the visitation, Lizzie put-upon roughly of her beget’s heritage to buy a great household not far from the menage of the murders, where she was known to let unstinting parties. Introduce at many of these was the actress Pansy O’Neil, who was democratic at that clip. Fag dog-tired weekends and sometimes thirster periods with Lizzie, and was aforementioned to be reasonably tempestuous and “release in lesson persona”. Her babe Emma was scandalized by Lizzie’s tie-up with O’Neil, and begged her to knap the kinship, believably in reaction to whispered causerie roughly what the two women were capable. Whether or not all this indicates that Lizzie was really having an thing with Nan O’Neil bequeath ne’er be known, but Lizzie ne’er had a ending virile ally and remained i until her expiry.

*now you can chaffer the existent firm where the murders took situation, and tied stop all-night, if you defy!

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

Eleanor Roosevelt | Germ

Kickoff Ma’am and Mixer Militant

Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of chair Franklin D. Roosevelt, was a womanhood of bang-up muscularity and imaginativeness. She was a sociable and political militant at a clip when government was distillery considered to be the resole line of men. She could be considered an other libber, was a stanch exponent for the pitiful, and fifty-fifty lent her accompaniment to the initiation of the Joined Nations As offset gentlewoman, Roosevelt put-upon her spot to raise her causes, and was the outset Kickoff Gentlewoman to be so combat-ready in the issues of the day.

But what were the personal relationships of this dynamical womanhood same? Scorn her honey and cultism to her economise, Franklin Roosevelt, he was not congregation to his wife. Eleanor was low to larn of his amour with her own secretaire, Alice Mercer, and though the union survived, she was everlastingly changed by the treason. It seems to get reinforced her answer to fox her energies into her workplace, as she perchance realised that her fulfilment in spirit would seed from otc venues than her kinship with her faithless hubby.

The likeliness that she was tribade or epicene comes from the foresighted and passionate friendship that Eleanor Roosevelt had with Lorena Hickok, whom Eleanor lovingly nick-named “Bumpkinly”. They had suit friends during her economise’s presidential safari, when Bumpkin had been a newsperson masking the election, and afterward, the youth of Roosevelt’s administration. Fair when the kinship low went bey friendship is nameless, but Eleanor wore a cerulean band that Bumpkin had disposed her on the day of her economise’s startup.

The near compelling demonstrate that her kinship with Rube was so a intimate one, comes from the letters ‘tween the two, which were observed afterward Eleanor’s decease. The Roosevelt kinsfolk tested to crush the letters, and so, they alas ruined around of them, but plenty of their substance was leaked to fairly lots establish that Eleanor and Lorena Hickok were lovers. Such phrases of passion and yearning as “”I neediness to put my blazonry approximately you & osculate you at the tree of your mouthpiece,” ran end-to-end the letters, and it is open by the tincture and core of the letters that they were devoted to one another.

As Eleanor likewise had a identical end and believably quixotic kinship with New York Submit Sergeant, Earl Miller, it is nigh likely that this charwoman of foresightedness and allegiance to the causes of those less rosy was a epicene char.

Billie Vacation (1915-1959)

Billie Vacation | Origin

Acclaimed Bang Vocalist

It was pretty good known at the clip, though not wide spoken almost, that nothingness vocaliser heavy Billie Vacation was a epicene womanhood. Maybe, because Billie had so many aroused and psychological issues such as dependance and a serious misuse and harm story, those who knew of her intimate ambivalency merely chalked it capable her psychological difficulties and swept her deportment nether the rug. Billie herself did not attack to skin her relationships, but it was not a subject that was openly discussed in “right” circles.

It would not be surprising, in fact, if Billie’s chronicle did give to her ulterior intimate preference. Billie’s parents were real offspring and single. Her founder deserted them when she was really youth to engage a calling as a jazzman. Her generate unexpended her for hanker periods with a congenator of her baby’s. She was sent to a reformatory at the age of nine-spot for hooky, which had to be a hurt for such a lass. But worsened was to ejaculate.

When she was 11 geezerhood old, Billie’s father scantily protected her from existence despoiled by a neighbour. One power easily mistrust that thither were otc incidents earlier and/or astern this one consequence. Ahead Billie off xiv, she and her sire were both running as prostitutes in a cathouse. They were both imprisoned, which could sole suffer added to Billie’s account of hurt, insult, neglectfulness and victimization. It was in prison that Billie reportedly began to get intimate encounters with women.

Billie’s Big Romanticism: Tallulah Bankhead

Tallulah Bankhead/ populace world photograph | Beginning

Billie Vacation’s malarkey tattle calling blossomed in the 1920’s and 30’s as her smokey vocalism and bluesy elan captured malarkey enthusiasts. Spell she had many relationships with men during this meter, they attended be pregnant with habit and strong-arm fierceness. Her veridical “beloved” was reportedly actress Tallulah Bankhead. Rumors flew approximately otc actresses besides, but Tallulah, though hit with Billie, seems to bear been the one Billie was unfeignedly passionate almost.

Possibly she launch a storey of heart and familiarity with Tallulah that had been absent end-to-end her tragical sprightliness. Peradventure these solid emotions influenced her art, and contribution of the elf of her unequalled elan and raw exposure of her vocalisation is due to this fickle but passionate kinship. We testament ne’er acknowledge sure.

Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950)

Edna St. Vincent Millay | Reference

Poet and Non-conformist

The poet and dramatist, Edna St. Vincent Millay, is another gifted and celebrated American charwoman who was most indisputably epicene. Interestingly, her generate was evidently confident that she was carrying a boy when meaning with Edna, and passim her animation she was known to phratry and finish friends as Vincent. She was a charwoman who marched to her own drummer, and was known to be malcontent and improper in her life-style. She accompanied Vassar, where she is aforementioned to bear begun her exploration into relationships with women, about of which were selfsame acute.

After, she met and hide smitten with British actress Edith Wynne Matthison, who had met Edna when playing in a gambling she had scripted, and the two met offstage. She invited Edna to chit-chat her at her summertime plate, and a passionate affaire ensued, as is observable therein extract from a missive that Edna wrote to Edith:

“You wrote me a beautiful missive,–I enquire if you meant it to be as beautiful as it was.–I retrieve you did; for someways I cognise that your notion for me, nevertheless svelte it is, is of the nature of dearest. . . . When you differentiate me to semen, I leave seed, by the adjacent caravan, good as I am. This is not submission, be assured; I do not cum course by subduedness; experience that it is a lofty yielding to You.”

When she matrimonial in 1923, Edna and her economize had an correspondence that their wedlock would be sexually “clear”, surely extremely strange in the Twenties, but distinctive of Millay’s obstinate identity and conclusion to do things her own way.

On a personal bill, Edna St.Vincent Millay happens to be one of my deary poets. I receive her study both candidly true and total of raw belief, all composed into lyric poesy that catches the hint occasionally with its mantrap. One of my really darling poems of hers is the chase:


And what are you that, absent you,

I should be unbroken wake

As many nights as thither are years

With cernuous for your saki?

And what are you that, absent you,

As many years as fawn

I should be hearing to the farting

And look the palisade?

I recognize a man that’s a braver man

And xx men as sort,

And what are you, that you should be

The one man in my head?

Yet women’s shipway are nitwitted shipway,

As any salvia bequeath tell–

And what am I, that I should beloved

So sagely then swell?

Edna St. Vincent Millay

Their Bequest

Piece approximately of these women, and many others end-to-end story, cannot be proved to birth been gay, disposed the transition of metre, they may distillery be esteemed as baronial women of skill and potency. As declared by Lillian Faderman in her first-class volume To Trust In Women: What Lesbians Get Undone America – A Account ; “…. if decent real that reveals what mass do and say is uncommitted, we can sure pee-pee apt observations around their behaviour.” The doings of the women therein clause surely suggests, i.e. confirms, that they were so tribade or epicene.

These six women of British and American chronicle are to be admired in their own compensate for their assorted accomplishments (with the exclusion, perchance, of Lizzie Borden!), oft in the nerve of social norms that held many women rachis from achieving their dreams. But the fact that they besides lived their homosexualism, mostly secretly, and were successful multitude disdain the pains this moldiness sustain caused is rightfully noteworthy so. They are to be looked capable for their perseveration and durability – as women, as lesbians, and as lustrous examples of the imperishable bravery of the buzz heart.

Delight farewell a scuttlebutt infra!


My Own Cosmopolitan Noesis and …

Florence Nightingale:

Edward T. Babinski: Account

Katherine Lee Bates :

Lizzie Borden :

Eleanor Roosevelt:

Most.Com/Tribade Aliveness

Billie Vacation:

University of Illinois Sexuality and Gender Educatee Services

Edna St. Vincent Millay :

© 2011 Katharine L Dunnock