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Faculty Member Identifies and Discusses Microaggressions in New Book, That’s So Gay

Associate Professor of Psychology and Deputy Director of the Forensic Mental Health Counseling Program at John Jay College, Kevin Nadal, has published a new book, That’s So Gay! Microaggressions and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community that investigates forms of subtle discrimination experienced by people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT). These microaggressions can occur in any social setting, and, in many cases, are committed unknowingly and without malevolent intentions, but are nonetheless discriminatory.

An example of a verbal microaggression is a person saying "That's so gay" to convey that something is bad, weird, or different. An example of a behavioral microaggression is a person inappropriately staring at same-sex couples showing public displays of affection.

“I hope this book helps to validate LGBT people who experience microaggressions on a regular basis, and helps them recognize they aren't the only ones who encounter these types of bias. The book is helpful in providing recommendations for how to deal with these experiences. I also hope that the book enlightens perpetrators of microaggressions to be aware of their behaviors and to be open to others who may point out when they commit microaggressions,” said Nadal.

Nadal discusses previous research on microaggressions and discusses ways to prevent them from occurring and how to deal with them. This book makes recommendations for educators, clinicians and health practitioners, parents, and all community members. It provides tips on how to discuss and advocate for LGBT issues in the social realms of family, community, educational systems, and the government.

Dr. Nadal is an award-winning professor, psychologist, performer, activist, and author. He is one of the leading researchers in understanding the impacts of microaggressions, or subtle forms of discrimination, on the mental and physical health of people of color, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, and other marginalized groups. He has published over 50 works on multicultural issues in the fields of psychology and education.

He is the author of Filipino American Psychology: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice (2011, John Wiley and Sons) and Filipino American Psychology: a Collection of Personal Narratives (2010, Author House), Women and Mental Disorders (Praeger, 2011). In 2011, he received the Early Career Award for Contributions to Excellence by the Asian American Psychological Association, and in 2012, he received the Emerging Professional Award for Research from the American Psychological Association Division 45.

To learn more about That’s So Gay! Microaggressions and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community, click here.