A lesbian is a homosexual woman who is romantically or sexually attracted to other women.   The term lesbian is also used to express sexual identity or sexual behavior regardless of sexual orientation , or as an adjective to characterize or associate nouns with female homosexuality or same-sex attraction.  
However, Ellis conceded that there were "true inverts" who would spend their lives pursuing erotic relationships with women. These were members of the " third sex " who rejected the roles of women to be subservient, feminine, and domestic.  Invert described the opposite gender roles, and also the related attraction to women instead of men; since women in the Victorian period were considered unable to initiate sexual encounters, women who did so with other women were thought of as possessing masculine sexual desires. 
Lesbians in Western cultures in particular often classify themselves as having an identity that defines their individual sexuality, as well as their membership to a group that shares common traits.  Women in many cultures throughout history have had sexual relations with other women, but they rarely were designated as part of a group of people based on whom they had physical relations with. As women have generally been political minorities in Western cultures, the added medical designation of homosexuality has been cause for the development of a subcultural identity. 
Because of society's reluctance to admit that lesbians exist, a high degree of certainty is expected before historians or biographers are allowed to use the label. Evidence that would suffice in any other situation is inadequate here. A woman who never married, who lived with another woman, whose friends were mostly women, or who moved in known lesbian or mixed gay circles, may well have been a lesbian.. But this sort of evidence is not 'proof'. What our critics want is incontrovertible evidence of sexual activity between women. This is almost impossible to find. 
Female sexuality is often not adequately represented in texts and documents. Until very recently, much of what has been documented about women's sexuality has been written by men, in the context of male understanding, and relevant to women's associations to men—as their wives, daughters, or mothers, for example.  Often artistic representations of female sexuality suggest trends or ideas on broad scales, giving historians clues as to how widespread or accepted erotic relationships between women were.
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras is one of Australia's biggest tourist drawcards ,  with the parade and dance party attracting many international and domestic tourists. It is New South Wales' second-largest annual event in terms of economic impact,  generating an annual income of about A$ 30 million for the state.
The second Mardi Gras Parade occurred in 1979 despite opposition by gay media, businesses and groups. The 1979 parade, in recognition of the Stonewall Riots and commemorating the riot of the previous year, was attended by 3,000 people. In that same year, the Labor Government of New South Wales, led by Neville Wran , repealed the Summary Offences Act (NSW) under which the arrests in 1978 were made.  The second Mardi Gras had the theme of Power in the Darkness.  While there was a large police presence, there were no arrests made.
Criticism of the Sydney Mardi Gras was perhaps at its strongest during the early years of the AIDS crisis, and flared again when in 1994 the national broadcaster ABC telecast the parade for the first time. 
In 1996 there was criticism over the inclusion of bisexuals and heterosexuals as members of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. It was claimed that the subsequent requirement for those people to correctly answer specific questions, created two classes of membership - namely (1) gays, lesbians and transgender people and (2) bisexuals and heterosexuals. 
Mardi Gras, at different times, has attracted criticism from its own members, LGBTQI communities, and a variety of religious and political groups. Some argue Mardi Gras is inherently subversive to traditional Christian, Islamic and Jewish values.  Each year the event is held, Fred Nile , a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council and a former minister of the Uniting Church in Australia , leads a prayer for rain on the event. 
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