Wednesday, June 11, 2008

There's Nout Queer as Folk

Lesbians are revolting!

Now calm down ladies, I'm not pointing fingers.

True, the natives of the Greek Island of Lesbos are revolting because gay girls have hyjacked their national identity by calling themselves Lesbians. Proper disgruntled are the those who live there, that their namesakes choose same sex relationships and it is something up with which they shall not put!

Three islanders from Lesbos told a court last Tuesday that gay women insult their home's identity by calling themselves lesbians. The plaintiffs - two women and a man - are seeking to ban a Greek gay rights group from using the word "lesbian" in its name. Also known as Mytilini, Lesbos was the home of the ancient poet Sappho who praised love among women, hence the origin and ultimate suitability of the term to describe female homosexuality.

"We are very upset that, worldwide, women who like women have appropriated the name of our island," said Dimitris Lambrou, a magazine publisher who is one of those bringing the complaint with other islanders. "Until 1924, according to the Oxford English dictionary, a Lesbian was a native of our isle," he said. "Now, because of its new connotations, our womenfolk are unable to call themselves such and that is wrong."

On a more serious note, the hearing coincides with a highly charged national debate over gay rights. Lambrou insists he has "nothing against lesbians" who flock to Eressos - a resort on the island that is famed as the birthplace of the 5th century BC poet Sappho - and whose contribution to the local economy has been considerable.

But human rights campaigners say the court action has been motivated by barely disguised homophobia in a nation that remains reluctant to accept gay people. "No other group faces such discrimination in this country," said Grigoris Valianatos, a long-time homosexual rights advocate.

"The [Orthodox] church is literally out of control in its approach towards us, the media full of hate speech and the conservative government both hypocritical and indifferent," he said. "This trial is a reflection of the homophobia that prevails in Greece."

The increased visibility of gay people - including the first marriages between two lesbians and two gay men last week - has been met with consternation by some, with the ruling conservatives holding emergency talks to deal with the issue. Odd, as California and Australia revisit legislation and gay rights that those in Greece are still pushing jelly uphill in a bid for acceptance. Stranger still when you think that their ancient forebears immortalised their homoeroticism.

Frankly, I don't fancy their chances . . . a new name for same-sex girly swats . . . I don't think so, it would be easier to rename the occupants of Lesbos . . . Lesbithians, Lesboans, Lesbonites?

Or maybe our famous Dykes on Bikes will become Motoring Mytilinis . . . has a ring to it!


Anonymous said...

HAHHAAA, I know this is no joke for the people concerned but what a laugh - thanks Baino :)

Bimbimbie said...

Hi Baino ... I'm scratching my head in amazement - you would think the island would be happy - all that money they have saved on tourism advertising ;) beats our So where the bloody hell are you campaign hehe *!*

Nick said...

What a big fuss over nothing! You'd think they'd be amused and quietly proud of their global reputation. Homophobia in yet another guise. As you say, why not just coin a new word for the residents!

Babysis said...

I'm rather fond of the "Lesbonites" I think it has a certain ring to it.....mmmm, I like it!

Darragh said...

Interesting alright - can't wait to see how it goes.

I dunno, I've always been quite open about saying I was a Lesbian. I'm surprised more men don't...

Emperor Ropi said...

Hi, it is quite unlucky. It is like many people thing Hungry and Hungary is the same, or a continent is called America but we only use American for citizen of the USA.

ian said...


I always understood that the islanders were called Lesbosians. I actually read it somewhere.

Quickroute said...

why don't they just try and say "lez-be friends!"

Baino said...

Anony: No PC on this blog!

Bimbimbie: Absolutely, Lara Bingle was a bungle.

Nick: they're also a bit upset that Lesbos has become a bit of a gay playground thanks to a popular resort there. I guess the Orthodox Church has a lot to do with it, weird considering the concept of lesbianism sprang from Ancient Greece.

Babysis: Perhaps so . . I wonder if we could countersue and try to bring 'gay' back as a code of happiness! Not much chance in Gay Mardis Gras City

Darragh: Thanks for dropping by. Apparently a month to go before the court reaches a decision. Pushing jelly uphill with a hot pin methinks.

Ropi: very observant of you. I wonder if the people in the German town of Fuck would like to retain that particular saying for themselves.

Ian: with your nose for detail and trivia, I'll bet your absolutely right ... I wonder if the defence lawyers have cottoned on to that!

Quicky: Hardy har har!

ian said...

Can't find reference to Lesbosians, but what I did discover was that the Greek rendering of the island name into English is "Lesvos" and that the genitive form transliterated appears to be Lesbou, not Lesbian.

GayƩ said...

Europe needs a Lesbon Treaty referendum. :p