APA Monitor I have been spending a lot of time thinking about this topic. I have been particularly curious about how gay and lesbian people may experience these kinds of microaggressions and how we might go about studying their occurrence and effects. I turns out almost no research has been done on LGBT people and microaggressions. So I started paying attention and making a note of various kinds of experiences I have in my daily life and recent travels. Here are a few examples of things I have recently experienced:
A customs agent pointedly agent asking my partner and I if we are "friends." While I thought about correcting him and saying in fact we are partners, I eventually decided it wasn't worth it. I wasn't entirely sure why he said it the way he did and didn't want to raise an issue that may not have existed, but it did feel like it invalidated my relationship and made me frustrated that I wasn't sure how to respond.
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- A microassault is an explicit verbal or nonverbal attack meant to hurt the intended victim through name-calling, avoidant behavior, or purposeful discriminatory actions.
- A microinsult is characterized by communications that convey rudeness and insensitivity and demean a person's racial heritage or identity. Microinsults represent subtle snubs, frequently unknown to the perpetrator, but clearly convey a hidden insulting message to the recipient of color.
- Microinvalidations are characterized by communications that exclude, negate, or nullify the psychological thoughts, feelings, or experiential reality of a minority person.