And I found wording in the social studies standards that I could use to back up my decision to do this.
Today she shares her story of coming out at school. A month into my first year of teaching seventh graders in Oakland, Calif., we were in the school library, using the big tables there to spread out as we outlined Africa on poster paper and added geographical features. She’s 9.” Immediately, everyone had questions and comments. I decided to say I knew I was different when I was in middle school and high school, but I didn’t know what was wrong with me.
“Well,” I explained in what I hoped was a calm voice, “I have been with the same partner for a very long time, but we can’t get married because we’re lesbians. ” “That’s gross.” “Right now we’re working on Africa,” I said. I’ll bring in pictures of my family to show you.” Twenty minutes later, as we walked back across the yard to our portable, my afternoon class came running toward me. That night I collected a few pictures of myself with my partner and daughter, cooking and hanging out at the playground, and one of our extended family.
I just didn’t know I would have to deal with this so soon. You think about appropriate questions, and tomorrow we’ll save some time to discuss this. ” I repeated my request that they think about appropriate questions and agreed.
I was a brand-new teacher in what felt like an incredibly challenging teaching situation. I started teaching at the middle-school level partly because it is such a difficult time for kids struggling with their sexuality, and there are so few role models.
When I was young, no one talked about being lesbian or gay — the whole subject was silenced.
Later, I was lucky to be in college at the beginning of the women’s movement and the gay liberation movement, so when I realized I was a lesbian, I had lots of support.
I met Karen when we were in our early 20s, and we have been together ever since.
When I first told my parents I was a lesbian, they were really upset, and that made me feel terrible.
But eventually they realized that it is just part of who I am and that Karen is a wonderful person.