Microaggressions Toward LGBTQ Community

Illustration: Madalyn Drewno


Illustration: Madalyn Drewno
Illustration: Madalyn Drewno

After gay marriage was legalized in the US, it seemed as if the nation had finally, for once, reached equilibrium.

People could marry whomever they wanted without judgement and finally feel a part of a community without remaining buried in the closet. However, even after great strides, there’s a lot of work needed in terms of equality because more than ever, it seems like being gay has become a novelty topic for the heterosexual community.

Surely enough, gayness is becoming less taboo within American culture, but people have become more brazen in expressing their curiosity towards what it means to be a part of the LGBTQ community.

Some are more respectful than others, but straight people still make the same ignorant statements like “I’ve always wanted a new gay best friend.” More often than not, they mean well. But even those with the best of intentions can cause damage.

Gay people aren’t a thing that can be bought at a grocery store. In fact, they’re not things at all, nor are they meant to be objectified. They’re not products. They are people living lives. So making comments referring to “needing” someone to fulfill a role breaks the paradigm of human growth within the gay community. It perpetuates the idea that these people aren’t worthy of being independent beings.

These comments toward the LGBTQ community lead to microaggressions. A new concept reveals that there are certain unintentional actions that negatively marginalize those a part of a minority community, specifically the gay community. Sure, not all people are homophobic nor do they all believe in oppressing those who are attracted to the same gender. However, certain thoughts and phrases can have an impact on members of oppressed groups.

One common type of microaggression is applying stereotypes to the gay community, insinuating that every gay man or woman behaves the same way and likes the same things. More often than not, people begin assuming that all gay men like drag shows, RuPaul, or dressing nice. There are perceptions that all gay women have short hair, play softball, and hate men. These stereotypes don’t accurately reflect the LGBTQ community at all.

Just like within the heterosexual community, some members of the LGBTQ community don’t know how dress well, or don’t have a sense of rhythm. Because we’re all humans, everybody has different tastes that ref lect their personal values, culture, and traditions. So by placing stereotypes on those who might identify as gay is unnecessary and rude.

It’s also crucial not to obliterate those who are not applying these stereotypes, because these implicit biases are often an effect of years of conditioning by the popular media. Our society sees something on TV, which consequently generalizes an entire group of people. Back when Glee was around, the gay characters within the show were portrayed as sassy, fashion-sensible, emotional, and musically talented. People thought this was the case for the entire community, which isn’t true.

Next time you’re hanging out with friends, just know that gay men aren’t the next “shopping buddy” or a “fun night out” pal. Gay people drink coffee, go to school, and live life just like their straight neighbor down the street.

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