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LGBT News Lesbian teacher facing discrimination

Discussion in 'Current Events, World News, & LGBT News' started by signmypapyrus, May 12, 2018.

  1. signmypapyrus

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  2. Shoei Loei

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    I’m a lesbian teacher as well, but I don’t discuss personal life at school with students or coworkers (or anyone at work really). Even though I live in CA, I still feel unsafe to be out at work, as I live in a conservative town full of like-minded conservative people. If students ask me personal questions, I try to divert attention to something else to diffuse the situation, or I just lie about it. I keep personal photos and items at home though. A lot of teachers like to have family photos around their desks or on their computer desktop wallpaper that students can see. I just feel safer keeping those things private. I’m single anyways, but still...my personal life isn’t anyone’s business, so I don’t feel like I should bring it to work with me either. It can be hard for some people to be so secretive though. Teachers who work at supportive schools are lucky, but I want to keep my job and not have students and coworkers think less of me...so I keep my sexuality private. We do have a GSA at my high school though, so I figure there’s some support for LGBTQ+ students...but I think I would be seen differently as a teacher if I was ever out at work.
     
    #2 Shoei Loei, May 16, 2018
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2018
  3. AndHeCried

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    But isn't there a teacher who runs the GSA and the LGBTQ+ club? Wouldn't it be helpful to the students if that teacher was out and part of their community?
     
  4. AndHeCried

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    This is definitely disturbing. I like your signature/quote by the way.
     
  5. signmypapyrus

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    I feel the same. I’m pretty femme so my students don’t know and I’m ok with that. When I teach college courses, I do a section on LGBT history and how it intersects with other histories.
     
  6. signmypapyrus

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    Thanks!! ❤️❤️
     
  7. Shoei Loei

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    Currently, there is no teacher who runs the club...she retired, and none of the new teachers wanted to take on the GSA. So it’s still a club, but it’s in limbo right now without an advisor. I’m also a new teacher, but I’m thinking about becoming the advisor of the GSA next year, if I can handle the workload of teaching 5 classes, two different grade levels, and being a club advisor. I would like to be the advisor though. The previous teacher was straight, but an ally. I don’t feel comfortable disclosing personal information about myself to my students...word travels fast, and if an administrator or other teacher hears that I’m gay from other students, I know I would be discriminated against. And that’s not something I’m willing to deal with. It’s also possible that I would lose the respect of many of my students if they knew I was a lesbian. But I am willing to be the GSA advisor and give support to LGBTQ+ students, since I do have some experience and insight in navigating life as someone who is LGBTQ+. Usually, the club is just a safe space for students to hang out during lunch...most of the kids at our school don’t get too involved with the community.

    So I see what you’re saying, but I don’t think I would be comfortable with being out as a teacher, not at this school or in this town. Usually the GSA advisors here are straight, so faculty is okay with that. Around here, it feels like it’s okay for students to be LGBTQ+, but teachers should be straight or perceived as straight. Some people around here think that a gay teacher isn’t safe for students to be around, but that’s asinine. Some parents here wouldn’t want their child to have a gay teacher, and if they complain to administrators, it can mean trouble for me.
     
    #7 Shoei Loei, May 17, 2018
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  8. signmypapyrus

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    Students targeting teachers has always been my fear, especially students targeting queer female teachers.

    Your post just highlights how terrifying it can be for minority teachers.
     
  9. AndHeCried

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    In California?? I thought that was a liberal state. I would have expected this from well...Texas...:unamused:
     
  10. Shoei Loei

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    California is mostly liberal, but Central CA is not. I live in Central CA, basically the heartland. We’ve got a lot of traditional people here, a lot of farming, a lot of close-knit families, suburbs and small towns, and a lot of people who tend to be religious and somewhat narrow-minded. I’m sure it’s more liberal than some other states, but where I live is kind of like the Midwest of CA haha.
     
  11. AndHeCried

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    It's too bad they are not more accepting. I guess it is good that they have a queer club. Are many kids at the school out? Do they face bullying?
     
  12. Shoei Loei

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    I know of a few of my students who are confidently out, and a few who are questioning but honest about it. I know many more who are closeted or still questioning, and a few of them have confided in me about it. I also have one student who is trans (non binary). There is a bit of verbal bullying and tension that I usually put a stop to...my students know that I don’t tolerate bullying of any kind. But there are some students who are accepting. The thing is, these kiddos are a product of their upbringing. Whatever they learn, see, and hear at home from their families is what they believe to be correct. I teach 9th grade, so most kiddos haven’t begun to form their own ideas or opinions of the world at that age...but they’re starting to. I think deep down, most of the kids are accepting, but they just lack the knowledge about LGBTQ+ topics and ideas. I think most teachers and staff are supportive of our LGBTQ+ students, but they’re uncomfortable with dealing with them because they’re not LGBTQ themselves. I’m not sure that they would be supportive of me for being a lesbian if I was out, but I can handle that. At least they try to support the kids. I’m comfortable with talking about LGBTQ topics and issues, so I guess it would be good for the kids to have a GSA advisor who’s gay. I have a special place in my heart for those kids in particular because I remember what it was like being a gay teen and not knowing how to come out or how to feel safe with being myself. And our students are mostly economically disadvantaged kids with not so great home lives...so school is their second home, and they need teachers and admins to be their allies, regardless of who they are. I love those kids with all my being...they’re my second family when I’m at school. So it just feels right for me to at least help the struggling LGBTQ kiddos. Maybe one day I’ll feel brave enough to be out at work and out to my students also.
     
  13. Humbly Me

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    This is honestly terrible. I would report the staff at your workplace to the EEOC ( a federal agency that does enforce equal opportunity for LGBT people). At my school in one of the more rual areas of California we have pride stickers in the school windows and one of our English teachers is an out gay man and noone makes a big deal out of it here. Almost to the point where it is awkward that there is no line between sexualities. There is the token young conservatives club of bigotted idiots but the entire club is like 6 people who really only do it for attention or their college apps because they want to go to a traditionally white college that spouts conservative values and every time they say something negative about LGBT people there are at least twice as many who jump back to be supportive.

    But I know there are many schools even very close that are not accepting in anyway shape or form. Places where it's dangerous because of gang violence and if you talk to the wrong people you get your head bashed into a lamp post (this actually happened while one of my teachers was at a different school in CA, an upset kid started bashing the other's head into a light pole). The teachers who survive working at that kind of school amaze me. They are either saints or impressively apathetic to everything.
     
  14. AndHeCried

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    Wow that's awful! I can't imagine what it would be like to face that kind of violence in high school.
     
  15. AndHeCried

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    I think the kids are lucky to have someone supporting them like you!
     
  16. Shoei Loei

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    Thank you! I try my best :slight_smile:
     
  17. Markness

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    I've lived in Texas all my life so this story doesn't surprise me. You can show pictures of shot animals but a photo of a lesbian couple doing something goofy is somehow horrifying. :confused: