Microaggressions Heterosexuals Unintentionally Commit

Understood, not excused

Madison Epting
5 min readSep 6, 2022

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Photo by Stravrialena Gontzou of Unsplash

Being ‘different’ in today’s society is already difficult enough, regardless of nature. Many of us are still in the throws of acclimating to changes in all facets of our existence as humans, so a level of grace is to be offered in certain situations. Objectively speaking, it is our responsibility as humans to help others be better for not only themselves, but for the people they might interact with in their day to day.

We can’t expect all people from all walks of life to be able to effortlessly meet us at the progressive place we currently are; however, we can hold those accountable who are falling into a regressive narrative through unintentional behaviors.

As an open member of the LGBTQ community and partner to an incredible woman, I have found myself in new environments and faced with unanticipated interactions. Because all of my more ‘serious’ romantic relationships leading up to my current one were with men, I never knew what to expect following my official ‘come out’ and subsequent romantic same-sex relationship.

Below are a few of the experiences I have had that regardless of intent, need to be addressed and corrected:

Telling someone, “You don’t look gay/like you’d date _____”

Though this might sound harmless (and in some convoluted way — complimentary?), it is hardly flattering to insinuate a person who is gay or a lesbian has a certain appearance. Not only that, but it is narrow minded and flat out offensive. Comedically, I almost splurged on an Etsy T-shirt the other day that read, “I just look straight,” until I realized, it’s not my problem to correct. Not to mention, the facetious nature of the remark might perpetuate the opposite of a point being made — that I don’t look ‘gay enough’ to be…

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Madison Epting

Wanderer. Empath. Friend. Owner of the Sincerely Madison E Publication. Author of “Unapologetically Human” and “While You Were Away” - available on Amazom