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How Much Do You Know About Lesbian History?

Sappho is just the beginning.

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  1. 1. What's the origin of the term "lesbian"?

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    It's derived from an Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic depicting a marriage ritual between two women.
    It's derived from the name of the Greek island of Lesbos, home to the Greek poetess Sappho.
    It's derived from the Greek word for "Lilith" from Genesis, Adam's first wife in the Garden on Eden.
    It's a Roman word meaning "A union of women."
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    It's derived from the name of the Greek island of Lesbos, home to the Greek poetess Sappho.

    Find out more here.

    It's derived from the name of the Greek island of Lesbos, home to the Greek poetess Sappho.
    Thinkstock
  2. 2. Which animal has historically served as a symbol for the lesbian movement?

    Thinkstock
    Rhinoceros
    Cat
    Bear
    Phoenix
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    A Rhinoceros (specifically a lavender one)

    Find out more here.

    A Rhinoceros (specifically a lavender one)
    glbtq.com
  3. 3. The Hays Code, which was in operation from 1930 until 1967, prohibited what?

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    Lesbians from serving in the military.
    Homosexuals from immigrating to the U.S.
    The depiction of homosexuality in all Hollywood films.
    Lesbians from serving in public office.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The depiction of homosexuality in all Hollywood films.

    Find out more here.

    The depiction of homosexuality in all Hollywood films.
    Thinkstock
  4. 4. Who was the first lesbian comedian to perform at The Apollo?

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    Jenna Fenway
    Samantha "Skinny" Wiley
    Janet "Pops" Hardman
    Jackie "Moms" Mabley
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Jackie ‘Moms’ Mabley in 1939

    Find out more about her here.

    Jackie ‘Moms’ Mabley in 1939 Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF
    youtube.com
  5. 5. What was the "Lavender Scare"?

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    The fear and persecution of gay people in the United States in the 1950s.
    The takedown of a well-known feminist lesbian organization which led to increased secrecy among remaining groups.
    The U.S. government banning the use of the lavender Rhino as a symbol for lesbian organizations.
    The precautions pregnant women took in the '50s to ensure that their children wouldn't be born gay.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The fear and persecution of gay people in the United States in the 1950s.

    Find out more here.

    The fear and persecution of gay people in the United States in the 1950s.
    Thinkstock
  6. 6. True or False: Don't Ask Don't Tell was repealed in 2011.

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    True
    False
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    True

    Don't Ask, Don't Tell was repealed in 2011, officially allowing gay men and women to serve openly in the U.S. military. Read more about it here.

  7. 7. Who published the first volume of openly lesbian love poetry in the United States, titled On A Grey Thread?

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    Marjory Baxter
    Elsa Gidlow
    Virginia Woolfe
    Victoria Lucas
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Elsa Gidlow

    Elsa Gidlow was a poet and published the first volume of openly lesbian love poetry in the United States in 1923. Find out more about her and her work here.

    Elsa Gidlow
    en.wikipedia.org
  8. 8. What was the first national lesbian political and social organization in the United States?

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    Women For Women (WFW)
    The Rainbow Pride Coalition (RPC)
    Daughters of Bilitis (DOB)
    The Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), founded in San Francisco in 1955.

    Find out more about them here.

    Daughters of Bilitis (DOB), founded in San Francisco in 1955.
    youtube.com
  9. 9. What were lesbians sometimes required to wear in Nazi concentration camps during WWII?

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    A purple triangle
    An 'X' symbol
    A broken cross
    A black triangle
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    A black triangle

    "...there is evidence to indicate that the black triangle was used to designate prisoners with anti-social behavior. Considering that the Nazi expectation of womanhood was strongly rooted in patriarchy (women were required to center their lives on mothering, housework, and commitments to their church), black triangle prisoners may have included lesbians, prostitutes, women who refused to bear children, and women with other "anti-social" traits." Read more about the black triangle here.

    A black triangle
    castle.eiu.edu
  10. 10. Which American lesbian feminist played a significant role in building and sustaining black feminism in the United States?

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    Tara Long
    Terri Jones
    Barbara Smith
    Felicity Sherman
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Barbara Smith

    "In 1974 Smith co-founded the Combahee River Collective, an early and influential Black feminist group. Her leadership made the group a conscience for different movements by calling attention to the ways racism, classism, homophobia, and sexism intersect." Find out more about her here.

    Barbara Smith
    makers.com
  11. 11. Which event marked the birth of the modern gay and lesbian civil rights movement?

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    The death of Harvey Milk
    The Stonewall Inn riots
    The riot protesting President Dwight D. Eisenhower's executive order barring gay men and lesbians from all federal jobs
    When the Human Rights Campaign was launched
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The Stonewall Inn riots of June 28, 1969.

    Read more about these historic riots here.

    The Stonewall Inn riots of June 28, 1969.
    en.wikipedia.org
  12. 12. Which Caribbean-American lesbian writer, poet, and activist helped pave the way for more inclusive feminism in the 1960s?

    Flickr: oceanyamaha
    Daphanie Exarchopoulos
    Elice Sanderson
    Audre Lorde
    Emma Smith
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Audre Lorde

    "[She] dedicated both her life and her creative talent to confronting and addressing the injustices of racism, sexism, and homophobia." Find out more about her here.

    Audre Lorde
    flavorwire.com
  13. 13. True or False: In 1963, the American Psychiatric Association decided that homosexuality should no longer be classified as a mental disorder.

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    True
    False
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    False; it wasn't until 1973.

    Find out more here.

  14. 14. What has historically been a symbol of strength and unity for the lesbian community?

    Thinkstock
    A sai.
    A bow and arrow.
    The labrys (a double-edged hatchet or axe).
    The scales of justice.
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The labrys (a double-edged hatchet or axe). Demeter, the Goddess of Earth, used a labrys as her scepter.

    Find out more about this symbol here.

    The labrys (a double-edged hatchet or axe). Demeter, the Goddess of Earth, used a labrys as her scepter.
    Thinkstock
  15. 15. What was the first lesbian/feminist bookstore in the U.S.?

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    The Daughters Of Lilith (now known as LGBT United Books)
    The Lavender Brigade (now known as The Rainbow Collective)
    The Amazon Bookstore Cooperative (now known as True Colors Bookstore)
    The Sappho Scrolls (now known as The Sappho Collective)
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    The Amazon Bookstore Cooperative (now known as True Colors Bookstore) opened in Minneapolis in 1970.

    Find out more about it here.

    The Amazon Bookstore Cooperative (now known as True Colors Bookstore) opened in Minneapolis in 1970.
    en.wikipedia.org
  16. 16. Who was the first openly lesbian actress to play an openly lesbian character on television?

    Thinkstock
    Jodie Foster
    Sara Gilbert
    Ellen DeGeneres
    Rosie O'Donnell
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Ellen DeGeneres

    Her character Ellen Morgan famously came out in "The Puppy Episode" of Ellen in Season 4. Despite critical acclaim for the episode, the show faced criticism for being "too gay" and was cancelled after Season 5. Find out more here.

    Ellen DeGeneres
    Thinkstock
  17. 17. Who was the world's first openly lesbian head of government?

    Thinkstock
    Alexandria Dante
    Annette Adalheidis
    Maria Delagato
    Johanna Sigurdardottir
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Johanna Sigurdardottir, Iceland's first female Prime Minister (2009).

    Read more about her here.

    Johanna Sigurdardottir, Iceland's first female Prime Minister (2009).
    en.wikipedia.org
  18. 18. Who became first openly lesbian or gay senator in American history?

    Thinkstock
    Barbara Parker
    Tammy Baldwin
    Shannon McSweeny
    Ruth Parker
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin, elected in 2012.

    Read more about her here.

    Tammy Baldwin from Wisconsin, elected in 2012.
    en.wikipedia.org
  19. 19. Which state became the first to pass a bill requiring public schools to teach the historical accomplishments of gay men and women?

    Thinkstock
    Massachusetts
    New York
    California
    Delaware
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    California, in 2011

    The bill required California public schools to teach the historical accomplishments of gay men and lesbians, and passed the state Legislature in 2011, a first for the nation. Read more about it here.

    California, in 2011
    Thinkstock
  20. 20. Who argued at the Supreme Court for her right to her partner's estate without estate tax, effectively helping to overturn DOMA?

    Thinkstock
    Emma Smith
    Edith Windsor
    Barbara Boxer
    Bette Sampson
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    Edith Windsor

    "The case of United States v Windsor is arguably the most influential legal precedent in the struggle for LGBT marriage equality. In its landmark 2013 ruling in Windsor, the Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which by its terms had excluded gay couples from all the benefits and protections of marriage under federal law." Read more about her and this historic case here.

    Edith Windsor
    en.wikipedia.org
  21. 21. When did same-sex marriage become legal nationwide in the U.S.?

    Thinkstock
    2014
    2015
    2011
    2013
    Correct!
    Wrong!

    On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing same-sex marriage nationwide in the U.S.

    Read more about this decision and the work that's still left to be done here.

    On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing same-sex marriage nationwide in the U.S.
    Thinkstock

How Much Do You Know About Lesbian History?

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