Archive for the ‘school’ tag
Fantastic blog post on Big Gayborhood about being closeted at work and how those stupid comments can affect you so much, and about how we worry that our children will pay for our honesty. Read on…
A year ago, I was working in a child care center in a very small town. At a staff meeting, a colleague said, “This small town is not ready for gay marriage.” Bear in mind that I am a Canadian, living and working in Ontario, where same-sex marriage has been legal for a number of years, so it is inevitable that this teacher will encounter a child of same-sex parents at some point in her career.
In fact, she already had the child of a lesbian in her care, and didn’t even know it. She was my daughter’s preschool teacher.
I should have spoken up. I should have asked, “How do you know there isn’t a child in your room who is in that situation right now?” I should have defended my child and the life I was beginning to live. Instead, I was silent. It was easy enough for me to hide my sexual orientation, I was single at the time, and my internalized homophobia created shame, when I should have been defending my right to raise my child with another woman, if I so chose.
I was acutely uncomfortable with my working situation after that comment was made. Not only did I feel unsafe about coming out to my colleagues, I really felt as though my daughter would be treated differently if the teacher became aware of our situation. Whether or not any small town is ready, teachers need to be prepared to set aside their own biases in order to truly love and accept the differences of all the children in their care. It is essential to preserve a child’s self-esteem, to educate, and to teach love and inclusion over hate.
read the rest at Our Big Gayborhood.
Crowley has been teaching for 33 years and she decided to come out five years ago. “I felt that I had to come out for the sake of younger teachers. We need to be more public,” she says. “After 33 years in the job, I don’t have a fear now that I’ll lose my job, but younger teachers do. They’re afraid they wouldn’t get promoted. They don’t want to risk anything at the beginning of their teaching career.”
Hugh (32) teaches in a village school in rural Co Cork. He changed careers recently, and is still on a temporary contract while he gains experience. Nobody in his staffroom knows he is gay. He speaks from the privacy of his car before he starts the school day.
“I have to be so careful all the time what I say in the staffroom,” he says. “I can never talk openly about my weekend on Monday; about going to a gay club, for instance. I’m very much aware that, under law, I could be fired.”
from The Irish Times
“I definitely lost some friends,” he said, “but no one really made fun of me or called me names, probably because I was one of the most popular kids when I came out. I don’t think I would have come out if I wasn’t popular.”
“When I first realized I was gay,” Austin interjected, “I just assumed I would hide it and be miserable for the rest of my life. But then I said, ‘O.K., wait, I don’t want to hide this and be miserable my whole life.’ ”
I asked him how old he was when he made that decision.
“Eleven,” he said.
Benoit Denizet-Lewis won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Magazine Article for his New York Times Magazine article “Coming out in Middle School” which chronicles the experiences of a 13 year old boy as he goes to a gay dance (without his closeted 14 year-old boyfriend), explores the stories of various middle school-aged kids who are not only aware of their sexual orientation, but are coming out, processing it, and getting on with their lives.
His hope-filled article discusses the bullying, the outing(sometimes by internet history) and the difficulty in naming your identity at such a young age.
It’s well worth a Sunday read if you — like me — missed this treasure the first time around.
On April 8, 2002, the Durham Catholic District Schoolboard told Marc Hall — then 17 — that he was not allowed to bring his 21 year old boyfriend, J.P. Dumond, to his high school prom.
The case was decided in favour of Marc Hall.
From the ruling:
The idea of equality speaks to the conscience of all humanity—the dignity and worth that is due each human being. Mark Hall is a Roman Catholic Canadian trying to be himself. He is gay. It is not an answer to his section 15 Charter rights, on these facts, to deny him permission to attend his school’s function with his classmates in order to celebrate his high school career. It is not an answer to him, on these facts, to suggest that he can exercise his freedom of disassociation and leave his school. He has not, in the words of the Board, “decided to make his homosexuality a public issue”. Given what I have found to be a strong case for an unjustified section 15 breach, he took the only rational and reasonable recourse available to him. He sought a legal ruling.
Judge Robert MacKinnon