When you’re an LGBTQ person living in a heteronormative, cisnormative world, encounters of subtle discrimination, known as microaggressions, are a frustrating yet often unavoidable part of daily life.
Microaggressions are the everyday “slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory or negative messages” to members of a marginalized group, according to Teachers College, Columbia University psychology professor Derald Wing Sue, who has written several books on the subject.
The term microaggression was first coined in the 1970s by Chester M. Pierce — a Black Harvard psychiatrist — in relation to the more insidious forms of racism that Black people face. In the years since, the concept has been applied to other folks of color, women, people with disabilities, the LGBTQ community and other groups.
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