As stated in the prequel to this post I did not deal with this question well in the early stages of my career. Actually, I dealt with it appallingly. I denied my sexuality and set a precedent for how I may tackle similar questions in the future.
Fast forward a few years and at no other time has a student asked me explicitly about my sexual orientation. However, there have been circumstances where I have been able to discuss my partner with students, both past and present. The most notable time was on last year’s ski trip in Italy. Another teacher and I were talking one night with two students. My colleague was talking about her boyfriend and one of the students said to me ‘Miss, are you with anybody?’. I was able to confidently say, “Yes, well actually I am married”. The conversation continued and I disclosed that I was married to a woman. It was as though a weight had been lifted off my shoulders; it felt great to talk about my sexuality. It was exactly how I wanted it to happen: natural and met with complete acceptance, as I should have assumed it would have been.
I wouldn’t say I am openly out with students; it isn’t something I feel the need to declare. It is not something I feel the need to talk about freely, in the same way I wouldn’t expect any professional teacher to talk openly about their private life. I have been questioning the need that people in the LGBT community have to come out and tell people about their sexuality, especially since watching the film ‘Jenny’s Wedding’ that I have previously blogged about. In a truly equal society there should be no greater need for me to announce my sexuality anymore than my heterosexual neighbour.