Isle of Lesbos : Quotations

Lesbian Quotations

A collection of quotations by, about, and of interest to lesbians.

Natalie Clifford Barney, writer
Amanda Bearse, actor and television director
Rita Mae Brown, writer
Colette, writer
Marie Laurencin, artist
Fran Lebowitz, writer
Audre Lorde, poet
Radclyffe Hall, writer
Mary MacLane, writer
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, poet
Florence Nightingale
Adreinne Rich, poet and essayist
Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady
Edward Stein, writer
Two Nice Girls, music artists

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When she lowers her eyes she seems to hold all the beauty in the world between her eyelids; when she raises them I see only myself in her gaze.


When you're in love you never really know whether your elation comes from the qualities of the one you love, or if it attributes them to her; whether the light which surrounds her like a halo comes from you, from her, or from the meeting of your sparks.

~ Natalie Clifford Barney

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You can't type what a lesbian is. We're anything and everything. The one thing in common is that we make love to other women. So give up trying to limit us.

~ Amanda Bearse, actor, television director

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I became a lesbian because of women, because
women are beautiful, strong, and compassionate.

~ Rita Mae Brown

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I was by chance spared the sight of Renée dying, then dead. She carried off with her more than one secret, and beneath her purple veil, Renée Vivien, the poet, led away--her throat encircled with moonstones, beryls, aquamarines, and other anemic gems--the immodest child, the excited little girl who taught me, with unembarrassed competence: "There are fewer ways of making love than they say, and more than one believes."

~ Colette, as quoted by Dolores Klaich in Woman Plus Woman

Natalie, my husband kisses your hands, and I the rest.

~ Colette, in a note to Natalie Barney

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You're neither unnatural, nor abominable, nor mad; you're as much a part of what people call nature as anyone else; only you're unexplained as yet -- you've not got your niche in creation.

~ Radclyffe Hall in The Well of Loneliness, 1928

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Why should I paint dead fish, onions, and beer glasses?
Girls are so much prettier.

~ Marie Laurencin, artist

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Girls who put out are tramps. Girls who don't are ladies. This is, however, a rather archaic usage of the word. Should one of you boys happen upon a girl who doesn't put out, do not jump to the conclusion that you have found a lady. What you have probably found is a Lesbian.

~ Fran Lebowitz

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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

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Are there many things in this cool-hearted world so utterly exquisite
as the pure love of one woman for another?

~ Mary MacLane, The Story of Mary MacLane by Herself

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But the fruit that can fall without shaking
Indeed is too mellow for me

~ Lady Mary Wortley Montagu in The Answer

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I have lived and slept in the same bed with English countesses and Prussian farm women...no woman has excited passions among women more than I have.

~ Florence Nightingale

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Heterosexuality has been forcibly and subliminally imposed on women.
Yet everywhere women have resisted it, often at the cost of physical torture, imprisonment, psychosurgery, social ostracism, and extreme poverty.

~ Adrienne Rich

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Hick darling...I couldn't say je t'aime et je t'adore as I longed to do, but always remember I am saying it, that I go to sleep thinking of you.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt, in a letter to Lorena Hickok

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There is nothing mixed up about a woman who loves women, who wants to have sex with them, or who identifies as a lesbian. It is society that is mixed up because it punishes people for not conforming to its gender stereotypes.

~ Edward Stein, editor of Forms of Desire: Sexual Orientation and the Social Constructionist Controversy

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We love men. We just don't want to see them naked.

~ Two Nice Girls

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