Microaggressions Toward Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Genderqueer People: A Review of the Literature

Kevin L Nadal, Chassitty N Whitman, Lindsey S Davis, Tanya Erazo, Kristin C Davidoff
Journal of Sex Research 2016, 53 (4-5): 488-508
Microaggressions are subtle forms of discrimination, often unconscious or unintentional, that communicate hostile or derogatory messages, particularly to and about members of historically marginalized social groups. While Sue's (2010a, 2010b) microaggression theory formed its foundation in studies based on racial microaggressions, the following review summarizes microaggression literature to date, as it pertains to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and genderqueer (LGBTQ) people. Searching PsycINFO and other databases between 2010 and 2015, we found 35 peer-reviewed papers or dissertations that concentrate on the negative impact microaggressions have on LGBTQ people. A comprehensive overview of the experiences of individual LGBTQ subgroups (e.g., lesbian women, gay men, bisexual people, transgender people, and genderqueer people) is included, as well as microaggressions based on intersectional identities (e.g., experiences of LGBTQ people of color). The significance of this review is that it is the only known article to comprehensively analyze the literature on LGBTQ people and microaggressions, examining the strengths and weaknesses of past literature while encouraging future areas of theory, research, and practice.

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