Negative Effects Of Microaggressions

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Microaggressions have become an everyday occurrence. While they may be labelled ‘micro’, the effects the targeted outgroup are long-term. Microaggressions trigger feelings of isolation in group contexts, and thoughts that one’s general character is perceived as wrong. Microaggressions are usually made without a second thought. Sly yet light hearted, the greater effects are not considered. They’re used against groups that show difference against societal or cultural norms. In this essay, microaggressions aimed toward members of the LGBT community will be analysed. According to Nadal (2013), a common theme surrounding these microaggressions is the assumption that sexual orientation is the cause of all issues. When there is no one to blame, we…show more content…
Over time, outsiders opposed to the LGBT ingroup have created cruel assumptions about the sex lives/health of gay men based on minorities. These assumptions are constantly in circulation; gay men can’t be monogamous, carry AIDS and can’t help themselves from hitting on straight men (Engle, 2017). These microaggressions that continue to harm gay men. Another assumption surrounding gay men that is translated into a microaggression is the idea that gay men sacrifice their masculinity for their sexual orientation. There is a general expectation around the behavioural traits expected in gay men; they’re weak, delicate, stylish, and associate themselves more so with women (Engle, 2017). This expectation is harmful, as closeted gay men may want to avoid the gain of this stereotype in avoidance of being told ‘you don’t act gay’ as if it’s an accomplishment. The Journal of Gay & Lesbian Mental Health also saw gay men resenting the ‘gay friend’ label, as if their sexuality was used for personal gain rather than pure friendship. These negative microaggressions can lead to the individual ‘lashing out’. Michael Eagles, a long-term Truckee and openly gay man, faced extreme homophobia and threats from one of his colleagues. In one incident, the perpetrator threatened Eagles with hammer, saying that ‘gay men can’t fight’. Eagles quickly proved this claim wrong by initiating a brawl that would send the perpetrator to hospital. 10 years later,…show more content…
However, these ‘positive’ microaggressions are not seen as a blessing in the slightest. Lesbians and Bisexual women have found their sexuality to be the peak of male fantasy, rather than a respected sexual orientation. Nadal (2013) continued his studies on microaggressions by collaborating with Buzzfeed and asking gay and bisexual women about the common ones they experienced. Among these were the following: ‘that’s totally cool with me, if I can watch’, ‘who’s the man in the relationship?’ and ‘have you ever had real sex?’. These microaggressions are based on the over sexualization of these two groups, and the idea that one individual in the relationship must take the role of a male in order for it to work. This makes the lesbian or bisexual individual feel sexualized and disrespected, especially when their sex lives are compared to those of porn stars. Bisexual women find themselves being labelled as impulsive, easy and experimental despite their own personal morals. These two sexual orientations are viewed as a tease to men, rather than what they are – sexual orientations. Other the other hand, lesbian and bisexual women are dramatically more at risk of rape, physical violence or stalking by a former partner according to the Californian Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (Walters,
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