During a “Managing Microaggressions” event last Monday at the University of Virginia, students spoke out against microaggressions like identifying as “American” and criticizing someone’s taste in food.
The event, which was hosted by the Queer Student Union, was described as an opportunity for students to tell “stories of microaggressions they have experienced in their lives and [frame] them inside of the larger forces of their respective worlds, such as identity, culture, and others.”
“I’m not gonna lie; when I see somebody who looks like a stereotypical frat brother, I get scared to share certain things.”
A Hispanic student from the School of Education began by declaring that “I refuse to take up [the] identity” of “American” because “this country has decided to take it upon itself to identify as an entire hemisphere,” which he called “the most blatant microaggression in the context of this country.”
Instead of American, the student said he identifies as Latinx, queer, socioeconomically disadvantaged, and from Southern California. Later, recounting the time he told his mother he was queer, he noted her response of “I love you. Do you need to speak to a counselor?” “as if though my sexuality’s some mental health problem that I had to deal with.”