What is something about the LGTBQ+ community that straight people would struggle the most understanding?
The pervasiveness of cisgender heteronormativity. Being cisgender and heterosexual are presumed to be the default so strongly that when LGBTQ+ people defy those expectations, they are frequently met with hostility and sometimes even violence.
How often do you hear someone comment on two people of the same sex kissing in public with something like “ugh that’s disgusting! They need to do that in private”, yet when seeing two opposite-sex people kissing just move along without comment?
How often are transgender people passed over for jobs, raises, housing, and as potential dates, just for being transgender?
It’s everywhere, and it’s so ingrained in some people’s worldview that they can’t even recognize it when it’s pointed out to them.
Why do cis people get weird when pets are misgendered, but are totally fine with misgendering trans people?
I don’t exactly know, but notice how quickly and easily the person who misgenders the pet apologizes and corrects themselves? Why can’t that same courtesy be applied when someone misgenders a trans person?
I speculate that people are more tolerant of misgendering trans people because there’s often an (incorrect) assumption that a person’s genitals dictate their gender, and/or that one can assess someone else’s genital configuration/gender with 100% accuracy. And humans don’t like to be wrong, so they rationalize that the person correcting their misgendering must somehow be wrong.
It’s really easy: quickly apologize, correct yourself, move on. Don’t argue, don’t spend a lot of time apologizing or making a big deal – that just makes it awkward for everyone.
Apologize, correct, move on.