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LGBTQ teachers

eheller's picture

In high school I had several LGBTQ teachers. Some were out and often talked about their sexuality, some were out and never talked about it, and some were out to other teachers but not to students (we found out anyways, of course). To me, having an openly gay teacher was not a big deal and I never really questioned it. However, after reading Blackburn's book, I wonder what the experience was like for those teachers, both those who were open about it and those who were more private. Was the administration supportive? Did students ever make comments? Did parents complain?

In all of the classes I had with these teachers, they did not seem to have an agenda or have explicitly LGBTQ themed literature in the curriculum. I remember reading Mrs. Dalloway in AP English with my teacher,who was out as a lesbian to other teachers but not to students, but all the AP english classes read it and she did not seem to focus on the homosexual scenes or bring up any discussion about that topic. I wonder if she deliberately chose not to focus on that or if she felt strange about bringing an issue she had a personal connection with into the classroom. Although I understand what Blackburn is saying about educating about LGBTQ issues in the classroom and incorporating LGBTQ texts into the curriculum and think it is important for all teachers, I wouldn't want teachers who happened to be LGBTQ to feel like they have to bring an agenda into the classroom and feel it is their duty to educate students about these topics. If they feel comfortable with it, that's great, and they do not even need to identify themselves as a member of the community in order to do so, but I understand why so many of my teachers who were part of that community did not bring LGBTQ issues into the classroom and do not think that they should feel like they have to.