Lesbians were almost invisible in literature; they have become almost abundant. Literature is known as one of the major forms of recording history. In the early literature lesbians and their lifestyle were not discussed in any positive manner if they were discussed at all. They were portrayed as perverse, almost psychotic, even in the days when romantic friendships between women were so acceptable that society encouraged young women to live together until they found a husband.
Analysis of literature for what it reveals about social history shows that women were expected to live within a particular boundary according to their class. If any woman, regardless of her social or economic class, deviated in any manner, she was labeled sick, an old maid, or a spinster. So as society perceived lesbianism, so its literature reflected, and created, these perceptions. A woman who knew that she was attracted to other women had, before the twentieth century, nothing in the library to encourage her in seeking a positive self-image or in seeking a fulfilling relationship.
The Naiad Press of Tallahassee, Florida, opened its doors in 1973 as a publisher of works written by and written for lesbians. Since that time the view of lesbians in literature and the view of lesbians in the world have become much more positive and ordinary. Lesbians in literature will continue to be identified in negative ways by some authors, but lesbian writers continue to produce literature that is positive about their lives. Society has a greater chance of identifying lesbians positively.