I was recently having a conversation with a friend about first impressions/near first impressions, and it was amusing to pick apart some of what those had been drawn from. It reminded me a lot (particularly since we were discussing in context of a roleplaying game) of the age-old observation of veteran tabletop roleplayers (D&D, World of Darkness, Shadowrun, and the like) that they could tell a lot about someone by what kind of character they first chose to play in such a game.
These observations are, of course, varying levels of robust, but it’s particularly interesting to me to think about how some of those judgments happen subconsciously. In the queer community, we of course spend a lot of time talking about stereotyping regarding one’s gender, sexuality, presentation, etc, but there are obviously a lot of other factors in how we form early opinions about people, some of which are extremely specific to an individual observer. (Oh, so you read a lot of fantasy? What’s your opinion on the Wheel of Time series? Where do you get most of your news? What’s your favorite movie?)
What kinds of more culturally “minor” details about people contribute strongly to your first impression of them? What is wrapped up in these associations? How strong are they?
The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.
Featured image is from the Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition corebooks.