also have a significant impact on the well-being of LGBTQ2 people. After experiencing microaggressions, LGBTQ2 people have reported negative emotions, including anger, shame, anxiety and sadness.

A study on U.S. LGBQ college students found that microaggressions had an effect on their self-acceptance and distress about their sexual identity, whereas overt prejudice, such as physical violence and verbal harassment, did not. This may mean that microaggressions are more harmful to the mental health of queer people compared to overt events of discrimination.

Given the significance of microaggressions on the mental health and well-being of LGBTQ2 people, the following table summarizes common microaggressions, with examples, experienced by queer people.

Major ThemeExample of Microaggression
Use of heterosexist or transphobic terminology Saying “No homo!”
Endorsement of heteronormative or gender-conforming culture/behavioursEndorsement of heteronormative or gender-conforming culture/behaviours
Assuming a universal LGBTQ experienceStereotyping all gay men as promiscuous.
ExoticizationAssuming a bisexual person is interested in having sex with a heterosexual couple.
Discomfort of the LGBTQ experienceTelling an LGBTQ person that they are “going to hell.”
Denial of reality of heterosexism/transphobiaResponding to an LGBTQ person expressing the experience of a microaggression with a reply like “you’re being too sensitive.”
Assumption of sexual pathology/abnormalityAssuming LGBTQ people are sexual predators or have HIV.
Denial of individual heterosexism/transphobia Becoming defensive when a gay man challenges you about heterosexist behaviour.