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?