On Microaggressions and being queer

We had unconscious bias training through She Geeks Out today at work. I love that we have such an excellent company-wide training program — communication and empathy training, unconscious bias training, these are baseline at The Grommet and really help set the culture apart from other places I’ve worked.

Part of the training today was about microaggressions. While the training touched well on racial and some gendered microaggressions, an interaction I had later in the day reminded me that little ever gets mentioned about microaggressions toward queer folks. There’s a few embedded in ‘Trans 101’ sorts of documents, but never in list form.

An incomplete list:

  • Asked about our marital status repeatedly.
  • Assuming we get intend married if we have partners we love deeply.
  • Assuming we’re on good terms with our families of origin.
  • Assuming we’re on poor terms with our families of origin.
  • Having our partners assumed to be our roomates.
  • Assuming we have only one partner.
  • Assuming anyone we’re on affectionate terms with is a partner.
  • Assuming someone we’re with is not our partner because we’re not as affectionate publicly as straight people would be.
  • Asking of trans folks what our ‘real name’ is or what our name ‘used to be’
  • Asking of trans folks if we’ve ‘had surgery’ or ‘had the surgery’ yet.
  • Staring and watching which bathroom we go in.
  • Being confronted with surprise or indignation in a bathroom.
  • Being asked if we’re a man or a woman.
  • Being asked to ‘bring our husband or wife’ to an event as a plus one.
  • Assuming that ‘partner’ is a single person in our lives.
  • Asking people about their husbands or wives, and then backing up to “or partner”
  • Assuming we have a partner.
  • Assuming that our relationships work exactly the same as straight people’s on the same timeline.
  • Interpreting any friendly interaction as flirting.
  • Asking trans women if you can take them shopping.