I have work to do, myself, to make kindness and respect so ingrained in my soul that they are automatic responses in moments of emotional challenge. Universities and institutions of all kinds have work to do, also, to create atmospheres that inculcate this kind of mindfulness, to prevent microagression and to encourage microaffection.
When one of my new straight-male friends asked if he could sit in on a QSA meeting, I immediately said yes and took him to a panel on LGBT dating, hoping to show him how cool the queer community is. The discussion was mostly civil, until my fledgling ally worked up the courage to ask one simple question.
Our son is oblivious to the stares we receive when we go out as a family. I try hard not to see elements of microaggressions in every interaction we have with those we meet, like the subtle inquiries about the type of work I do (translation: How did you end up here?), or the overeager expressions of friendliness that, frankly, feel fake and rehearsed.