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Every community is important because even the smallest one contributes to the social processes within the community. The LGBT community is vital, a fact that isn’t recognized in many parts of the world. Unfortunately, full social equality has yet to be reached.

The underrepresented LGBT community is far from monolithic. Within it, there is a further, even less represented group – lesbians.

The LGBT community is comprised of people with all kinds of backgrounds, of all races, and of all income levels. People have erroneous notions of what lesbians look like and how they act. There is a stereotype that doesn’t fit many of them, and they struggle as a result. It’s hard for them to be openly and noticeably lesbian. Why does that matter? Because they can’t afford to be who they are. They don’t live an authentic existence.

I have lesbian neighbors. They tell everyone they’re sisters, but they look nothing alike. We’ve been neighbors for more than 20 years and I haven’t seen a man over there once, not even to visit. They’re always together, nobody is around them. They go shopping together, go for walks together; they do everything together. I started suspecting it and eventually, they came out to me. But only to me. Everyone else still thinks they’re sisters. They’re really nice women and I’m glad to have them as neighbors. They are very helpful and very important to me.

These women do not personify any of the common lesbian stereotypes, like wearing masculine clothes or having short hair. I know women who do who are straight. I myself am one of them.

It’s never right to assume that a woman is gay or that she is not. A coworker who you see every day could be gay. That wouldn’t change anything, would it? She’s a good, helpful colleague, gay or not. The women you do business with could be gay. Your clients could be gay. If you knew, would that change anything? Would you not want them as paying customers anymore? Why not? If you answered no, what is wrong with you?

Lesbians feel that they can’t be open about their sexuality without being somehow “over the top.” It’s the unwillingness of society and even fellow members of the LGBT community to recognize their nature that drives some to be quite vocal about it, taking part in every parade, wearing the rainbow colors, and buying T-shirts with slogans like “I became a father” and “I love my wife.” It’s important to recognize the lesbian community because everyone should have the right to self-expression.