To be or not to be… out that is…

In one week I start teaching at a new school. I am going  back to working in public school.

Every year teachers are frantic setting up bulletin boards, prepping lessons, and worrying about whether or not they will get the crazy students this year all in one class.

 

But not me.

 

I am distraught over what to tell my students about my wife.

In Louisiana it is legal to fire someone for being gay. Especially if they work with impressionable youth. My school is progressive, they have a gay straight alliance. And the GSA even has a bulletin board on a main hallway in school. But, that is not the same as an adult teaching children it gets better.

 

I could ask my principal what she wants me to say, but last time I asked that, I was fired.

 

I could just do my usual and use words like ‘they’ when they students ask about my husband, and simply not correct them. But, when I do that I feel like I am doing the young gay kids in my class an injustice. I am standing there telling them they should have to hide who they are because it might make someone uncomfortable. Which is not right.

I could correct them when they ask about my husband. But, if I do that do I use the word partner or wife? I use the term wife because we are married, and I personally feel partner is a second class separate but equal term. But, in god’s country, people may not take kindly to me using the word wife. Because didn’t you know that using the word wife means you are shoving your ‘lifestyle’ in everyone’s faces?

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could just go to work?

Wouldn’t it be nice if I didn’t have to worry that a moral lynch mob was going to come after my job simply because I am married?

Maybe If I were butch, the kids would assume I was gay and not ask me about my husband?

I wish I didn’t work with kids sometimes, but honestly, I am a fantastic teacher. Why should the kids miss out on a great teacher, and why should I have to change careers because a preacher can’t be bothered to read his bible?

Or maybe one day, it won’t matter that I’m gay.

 

 

Maybe one day I will convince a school to do an it gets better video?

19 thoughts on “To be or not to be… out that is…

  1. So very sad, I didn’t realise being gay was such a big deal in the USA.
    I live in a really small rural community in Australia , one of my teachers in primary school was gay (I’m 38) and there was never an issue made of it. I now have a daughter attending the same school and the teacher is still there. At my sons high school the deputy principal is gay, her “commitment” ceremony with her partner was published in the school magazine.
    Same sex couples are acknowledged in all of our social security paperwork etc but gay marriage isn’t allowed yet! Luckily the greater community is pushing for this.this.
    I would hope that the people in Louisiana would open their eyes and forget their bigotry. After all a good teacher is a good teacher regardless of age, sex, colour or sexual orientation.

    I wish you the best of luck!

  2. Move to California, move to the delta, get a job at Los Medanos Community College, become my teacher, and listen to me say redundant things like this.

    In all reality, if you can’t show youth to be themselves, then don’t be a teacher. It may sound harsh, but I don’t make the rules, this society does.

    • “In all reality, if you can’t show youth to be themselves, then don’t be a teacher. It may sound harsh, but I don’t make the rules, this society does.” So If I understand correct bc in most states it is ok to fire people for being gay then gay people shouldnt be teachers because they cant show youth to be themselves bc they have to remain in the closet? Seriously? What society do you live in because I leave in the real world.
      I hope I am misunderstanding what you are trying to say.

  3. You could always phrase your question in third person?

    I’m surprised you want to live/work in a state that is so prejudiced against who you are! Be strong! You’re awesome! Protest and get the laws changed against their blatant bigotry?

    • Oh I don’t want to live here. No way. But, I had to finish my masters. Now that I am done, we want to move, but it is so hard to pull myself away from family, ya know?

      I do love a good protest. My friends are sueing the state to recognize their marriage. Pretty exciting.

  4. I’m sorry you still have to deal with this. I hope for change and the end of this type of discrimination and any need for ambiguity in your classroom about who you are and who you love. I wish I had something more constructive to add…I’m just glad you still teach.

  5. I hope your new school is supportive and you are able to feel comfortable and be yourself! It is so sad that you have to even think about this. 😦 Stay strong!

  6. Are you freaking KIDDING? Fired?? For being gay? That is outstandingly absurd. What possibly could you DO? Absurd. Stupid does not even begin to describe some people.

    I’d like to think that one day, it won’t matter to be gay. And the from-the-Dark-Ages parts of these silly religions might matter less too. (Of course, it wouldn’t hurt my feelings if all those religions would just go away.)

  7. it’s an immediate eye roll when I read that somewhere it is still legal to fire someone for being gay. I know this sounds juvenile but it’s just so…stupid! Good God people get over it and move forward with your own effed up lives. Good for you for teaching in the public sector and I hope you have the opportunity, grace and support you need to be truthful and honest with your students.

    • I have not told the students. When they ask leading questions I just say sounds like a conversation for another day we only have time for math today. I decided this year would not be my year to be brave. Maybe next year.

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