Ten things you shouldn’t say to gay men

‘Microaggression’ is a term I learned several years back when I attended a professional development seminar focused on microaggressions experienced by college-aged black men. Not outright, in-your-face discrimination, but the little things that are said or done that result in much subtler discrimination.

It got me thinking about some of the things that gay men, including me, hear from (straight) people that would be best described as microaggressions. Even from my best-intentioned friends who, perhaps, hadn’t thought about how their comment or question would come across by the recipient — sometimes they even think of it as a compliment when, in fact, it’s quite hurtful. And, so, I’ve made a list of some things, 10 of them, that you probably want to avoid saying to your gay friends, family members and/or coworkers.

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Affirmation from a queer student for queer faculty

In job interviews and interactions within my college department, I’ve often tried to emphasize the importance of having faculty members with whom our students can relate. This is true for ethnic, racial and gender groups. But for students who are dealing with issues surrounding their gender or sexual identity, this can be particularly important. Recently, I had a lengthy conversation with a student who is newly “out” and really hit that message home.

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I struggle to define “cheating” in the remote classroom

Copy+paste exam answers

Since campus closures a little over a year ago, I have been one of the innumerable professors who has tried to wrap their head around how to maintain academic integrity while at the same time being flexible to the conditions that are inherent to an online learning environment. Open-note and open-book exams are tacitly (if not explicitly) understood to be part of the new normal. But at what point is the line crossed into cheating territory?

To date, very little guidance has been offered in answering this question from the powers that be, leaving fuzzy borders on how exactly to characterize academic misconduct.

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