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Microaggressions

Individuals who identify as LGBTQ face overt discrimination (e.g., physical violence) as well as less conspicuous forms of stigmatization, which are denoted as microaggressions. Microaggressions are subtle experiences of discrimination that communicate derogatory messages to members of marginalized groups (e.g., women, people of color, and LGBTQ people). Microaggressions frequently go unrecognized, typically resulting from unconscious beliefs regarding the characteristics of specific groups. For example, someone may tell a lesbian that she is “too pretty to be gay.” Although intended as a compliment, such a statement communicates a derogatory message (that lesbian women must be unattractive) based upon a potentially unrecognized personal belief (that lesbian women are usually unattractive).

Microaggressions can be grouped into three categories: microassaults, microinsults, and microinvalidations. Microassaults are explicit attacks, such as using ...

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