"But you don't look queer": students challenge stereotypes with viral campaign (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

What began as a school project, "On Sex and Gender" has ended up a viral campaign that brings attention to the everyday offenses that people, including LGBT young adults, encounter.

With the help of their fellow Connecticut College students, Gracie Hall, Olivia Rabbitt, Luis Ramos, and Alia Roth have compiled a range of micro aggressions against one's sexuality, gender identity, gender expression, race, and more. The result is a moving, honest, and empowering collection of stories, as well as further evidence that young adults are capable of effective, insightful, and creative advocacy.

A "micro aggression," explains the video, is "a brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignity, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicates a hostile, derogatory, or negative slight or insult toward someone."

The group created a video and photo blog for their Sociology class, "Sex, Gender, and Society" taught by Professor Afshan Jafar, to share their classmates' experience. Making the rounds on social media, the project has since been shared by Miss Representation; Thought Catalog; Women You Should Know; and Youth, Tech, Health.

Many of those telling their stories have experienced micro aggressions for being LGBT and gender non-conforming:

 

Others challenge racial stereotypes and gender norms:

 

While several also reveal slights relating to sexual violence:

 

"Because queerness is so marginalized, LTGBTQ students are often silenced or have their identities appropriated," group member and the project's photographer Alia Roth (pictured below) told GLAAD.  "This project aims to be a platform where LGBTQ students can speak out against injustice on their own terms in their own voices."

In October 2013, another video of Alia's went viral. "100 Men Rise For V-Day: Why Are Vaginas Important To You?" was featured in BuzzFeed, Jezebel, the Huffington Post, and Cosmopolitan UK, and has been viewed more than 200,000 times.

"It is our hope that [On Sex and Gender] provokes you to reconsider the assumptions that underlie these daily statements and to consider the damage done by these statements," the group wrote on its website.

Connecticut College has been ranked as one of the top 25 LGBT-friendly schools in the country, and partnered with GLAAD for Spirit Day 2013 to support LGBT youth.

Check out the entire set of photos for On Sex and Gender here.

 

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