The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - 48

Zachary R. Blackmon, Robert M. O'Hara, Jordan W. Viars

can lead to increased engagement and positive
outcomes in both academics and identity development (Harwood, Huntt, Mendenhall, &
Lewis, 2012; Rankin et al., 2010).
Unfortunately, LGBQ individuals often
do not feel safe, and thus can never advance
into resolving higher-level needs such as their
"love needs," which include a sense of belonging (Maslow, 1943). Harassment, defined by
Rankin (2003) as "conduct that has interfered
unreasonably with your ability to . . . learn on
this campus or has created an offensive, hostile,
intimidating . . . learning environment," is a
frequent experience for LGBQ students (p.
26). While some might argue that campus environments have become less hostile, Rankin
et al. (2010) found those improvements to be
marginal and argued that climate remained
hostile to LGBQ individuals (pp. 73-74).
One challenging aspect of being an LGBQ
student is the consistent exposure to heterosexism, which has been linked to negative
developmental and health outcomes (Platt
& Lenzen, 2013; Woodford, Howell, Silverschanz, & Yu, 2012; Woodford, Kulick, & Atteberry, 2015). Blumenfeld (2010) defined
heterosexism as "the overarching system of advantages bestowed on heterosexuals based on
the institutionalization of heterosexual norms
or standards and founded on the ideology that
all people are or should be heterosexual" (p.
373). Heterosexism can surface in many ways,
one of which is microaggressions, defined by
Sue (2010a) as "the everyday verbal, nonverbal,
and environmental slights, snubs, or insults,
whether intentional or unintentional, that
communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative
messages to target persons based solely upon
their marginalized group membership" (p. 3).
48

Within a residential context,
one student outcome, sense of
belonging, can be impacted by
microaggressions.

Microaggressions targeting sexual identity have been linked to developmental harm
(Nadal, 2013; Platt & Lenzen, 2013; Sue, 2010a,
2010b; Wright & Wegner, 2012). Wright and
Wegner (2012) found that homonegative microaggressions (HMs), which are microaggressions targeting individuals' homosexual
identities and the degree to which individuals
were affected, were linked to negative feelings about their sexual identities. Additionally,
"those who experienced a higher frequency of
HMs growing up had more difficulty in developing an LGB identity" (Wright & Wegner,
2012, p. 48). Platt and Lenzen (2013) found
that experiencing LGBQ microaggressions
could "complicate the life-long process of disclosing one's sexual identity" (p. 1028). In
terms of impact, Sue (2010a) considered the
biological, physical, emotional, cognitive, and
behavioral effects of microaggressions, noting
that individuals could experience increased
health issues and trouble focusing and/or performing. Similarly, Sue (2010a, 2010b) noted
that LGBQ microaggressions could lead to
decreased disclosure along with negative selfconceptualization, or internalized homophobia. These challenges hinder the ability to
develop an individual sense of identity which
can impact overall sexual identity development. Recognizing these potential impacts,
it is understandable why there has been an

THE JOURNAL OF COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY STUDENT HOUSING



The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3

Contents
The Journal of College and University Student Housing - Volume 46, No. 3 - Intro
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