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I'm a lesbian teacher and mentioned in conversation 'she' when talking about my partner

Discussion in 'Personal' started by zedly, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. zedly

    zedly New commenter

    I'm a supply teacher and have been working full time at a SEMH school for boys since the beginning of term. My colleagues are aware that I'm in a same sex relationship and I have purposefully kept it private from the boys I teach as I was unsure of what their reactions might be.

    Today a TA asked if my partner was ok and I responded with 'not to bad but she had a hypo this morning because of her diabetes.' This was overheard by 2 boys that immediately questioned me. I asked if it made any difference if I was a lesbian and they were both adamant it wouldn't. The classroom went silent and I was pressed for an answer again. I said that I was and the response was quite positive with one stating that I definitely can't leave now as they've never had a gay teacher before. I'm a little worried how the rest of the school will respond as I'm sure I will be the topic of conversation now. Any advice or thoughts on how to deal with it? Especially if it's negative. I immediately informed my line manager and he said 'So what! It is fine and they will be accepting anyway. There's no shame in it.' I'm very grateful that he was supportive and made me feel more at ease...Still a little nervous though.
    agathamorse and caress like this.
  2. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    I can't see an issue. I teach in London, where the huge price of a family home and raising a child means a disproportionate number of teachers are childless, many because they are gay. About a quarter of staff on my corridor are gay. I wouldn't know about other corridors, as we don't chat around the photocopier. But I would guess it would be about the same

    edit - I don't mean people choose to be childless because they live in London, I mean many hetero couples leave the area, if they are thinking of starting a family.
    alex_teccy and agathamorse like this.
  3. caress

    caress Occasional commenter

    When our first transgender pupil came out, I heard nothing but praise & support for them, I still haven't heard a derogatory comment yet some years later, and with a recent LGBTQ Rainbow Laces sale, demand was so high for the laces/flags/pins that we simply couldn't keep up with it! So please don't worry! It's no big deal at all!
  4. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Good for your line manager and good for the kids!

    Everything sounds fine. Sounds like a decent workplace!
  5. nick909

    nick909 Star commenter

    Some teachers openly refer to their domestic situation with students, others prefer not to. One's sexuality is not a reason not to, unless you find it easier not to yourself. Whilst gay teachers might historically have found it easier not to make such references, because of the potential reactions of students or parents, hopefully things are much improved, these days. But you certainly haven't done anything wrong.
    bevdex and primarycat like this.
  6. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    Was this during lesson time?
    I would not have cared if this referred to my lesbianism or the colour of my car, my response would have been the same
    "I was in fact talking to another member of staff and not you. If you need to ask me personal questions then come and ask me in your free time, such as break or lunch, because right now you ought to be doing your work, not earwigging on a conversation between two members of staff"
    Then I'd have told my TA that if she wants to chat about personal stuff obviously it's nice to show caring, but probably better away from the kids.
    Mrs Poker Face
  7. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I think that's great in a way. He thinks your a bit of a hero, or at least a novelty. But lets hope one day you'll be neither.
    grumpydogwoman likes this.
  8. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Why has the LGBT fraternity always got a problem somewhere?
    Concentrate on your job and leave your private life outside the school gates.
  9. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    It wasn't their business to question you about your personal life, and I wouldn't have answered them. However, if your chosen response works for you then no harm done. We each have to set boundaries that work for us.
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Sorry. to burst your bubble a little, I'm afraid I doubt anyone will say anything...unless you encourage them to do so.
    The sex of your partner is really not the most important thing in any one else's life and the children in that school will have far more pressing worries and concerns in their lives than have time to fuss about you.
    sabrinakat and Laphroig like this.
  11. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    I doubt anyone cares.


    "They've never had a gay teacher before"? Probably have. Except they've probably not talked about it in lessons or in their earshot.

    Its none of their business.
  12. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    Nine days' wonder. Move on.
    Though it does sounds as if no-one at the school has an issue, except perhaps you? It's 2020. Coming out as gay is not really an issue in schools these days. No more than whether you have a cat or a dog, or whether you're an only child or one of seven. It's not really the students' business, unless it so happens that you want to tell them. They shouldn't have been listening, but might have inadvertently over-heard. Then you chose to be open about it, so now it's out. So what?
    Have a good weekend.
  13. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    that is a bit unnecessary. Many people come here to muse over large and small incidents of their working life, both for advice, and just for company. This is what one poster wanted to discuss, the title is quite clear, interested posters come and contribute, uninterested posters go and find some other thread to chat on.
  14. costermonger

    costermonger Occasional commenter

    Doesn't matter. Forget about it. Times have changed, and one of the few unalloyed positives in the modern world is that (in my experience) the current school age generation is the most liberal, non judgemental in recent history. They appear to be a long way along the road to throwing off Victorian morality. There are no doubt places / schools / groups where this isn't true, but the trend appears to be in the right direction.
  15. frustum

    frustum Star commenter

    It seems to me that the bigger problem is that we have people feeling that they have to actively conceal their partner's gender. Oh, and that the kids are saying "we've never had a gay teacher before" when it may well just be the case that they've never known they had a gay teacher before.

    That said, I can understand why any individual teacher might be apprehensive about being the first one to be out in a particular school - but have courage - it'll get talked about for a few days, then be old news, but actually quite reassuring old news for some pupils (and quite possibly teachers too).

    I think it's true that many pupils will just be completely accepting - their generation have grown up with a different perspective. There are several sets of parents in same sex partnerships in our area, and so the children don't see anything very weird about that. My daughter came home saying "one of X's mummies came in today to tell us about <their job>." It's just normal to her.
  16. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    This is what worries me. Not the lesbian issue. I'm a woman with a civil partner who's a woman. The fact that you say you were "pressed". As in press-ganged? You weren't. They didn't make you. They can't make you do anything. Really the "correct" answer (straight/gay/asexual/whatever) is "None of your frickin' business, matey!" Said very jovially. Or, "I'm on Planetary Tinder but haven't matched with anyone yet. Venusians don't seem to fancy me. I don't get it."

    My rule was not to tell the students. Not because I was embarrassed but because I liked to keep the relationship professional.

    You chose to and in some schools that simply won't wash. In some schools the advice is to answer very neutrally that you're a teacher and that your private life is to be kept private. Check when you start somewhere new. if there's a policy? Follow it. If you think the policy is discriminatory then challenge it. Clearly advising ALL staff not to discuss their marital status is not discriminatory.
  17. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Just thought I would mention that there always seems to some trauma.
    I shall say no more.
  18. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    You know what..........................no one is actually interested.
    No one.
  19. stanley4shoes

    stanley4shoes Occasional commenter

    no need for the snide comments lexus

    OP it's a complete non-issue. Concerning though that you felt that it was, and that you felt pressured.

    Thinking about most of the classes that I teach (i'm a trainee) I suspect they know that i've 3 dogs - I use them as examples in things and in conversation occasionally, and that my mentor has a young child, for similar reasons. But not whether either of us has a partner or their gender.
    grumpydogwoman and agathamorse like this.
  20. lexus300

    lexus300 Star commenter

    Leave your personal life at the school gate when you come in. You can collect it on the way out.:)
    Simple, not snide or rude or offensive IMO.
    BelleDuJour and mothorchid like this.

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