Into the mid 1970s, lesbians around the world were publishing their personal coming out stories, as these came few and far between at the time. while the goddess of love is not identified prominently as lesbian herself, the greek poet sappho (as in sapphic) of lesbos (yes, as in lesbian). march 2009sappho the ancient greek poet, muse and claimed by some as the worlds first feminist, became a gay icon for women. the word lesbian is derived from the name of the greek island of lesbos, home to the 6th-century bce poet sappho. From various ancient writings, historians gathered that a group of young women were left in sapphos charge for their instruction or cultural edification.