Every day I get to work at 6:30 am and stay until at least 4:30, if not later. I then take work home with me and continue to work on the weekends.
Not only do I do that, but I also take home the mental and emotional work that come with the job. “How can I help Jack?” “Did John get to eat dinner tonight?” “Sarah is so close to getting this, how can I reach her?” I could go on forever.
I love each and every one of my students and I will fight for them no matter what the situation is.
I buy snacks, so when they are hungry they can eat.
I buy them supplies so the can complete their work.
I gave every student at least two books to take home over the summer to read because they might not have one or have the opportunity to go to the library.
I play, race, run, and dance at recess to show them I am human too.
I build relationships with them so that they know they can come and talk to me if something is wrong.
I communicate to my parents almost daily if anything is wrong or even if it’s right, just so they are aware of what is going on with their child.
This year I had a parent start yelling in the hall to a co-worker about me, in front of other students.
She stated that I was an “awful human being” and that I should never be a teacher.
She said that because I was a lesbian, I had no right or reason to be teaching children.
My jaw dropped and it took everything in me not to say something. She proceeded to say awful and extremely hurtful things about me to my co-worker and in front of a handful of students.
I want to say that I spent a good majority of my life hiding who I was. I was afraid of what people would think of me.
A few years ago, I decided I wasn’t going to hide that anymore. Do I get nervous being a teacher and having a “different” lifestyle than most teachers. Absolutely. I always wonder in the back of my head, “Will they fire me because I am happy with myself, my family and my life because it’s not the norm?”
This year showed me that what I am doing IS right. For me and for those students that might need reassurance that it’s okay to be “different,” that those feelings you have are normal, and that you don’t have to hide if you don’t want to.
I had a student tell me that they were scared of life and who they were until they found out I was a lesbian.
She smiled at me and said, “Thank you. Thank you so much for being you. You made me realize that I wasn’t weird. That something wasn’t wrong with me. You saved me and I can’t thank you enough for that.”
- Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24.
- LGBTQA youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth
- LGBTQA youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth
If I can save one child’s life, that’s enough for me.
So why is it okay for the heterosexual teachers to talk about their families and show pictures, but it’s not okay for me to?
I’m not forcing anything upon anyone.
THIS is why we have PRIDE month. 🏳️🌈
We have to FIGHT for who we are.
I refuse to hide who I am anymore.
I will fight for my right and other kids rights to be who they are.
In the years to come, I will start an LGBTQA group to help those students that need it.
If I lose my job for doing what I feel is right, then maybe I shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.
I want to thank my family, friends, co-workers and especially my administration team for supporting me this last year when things got tough. Without you, I don’t think I could have made it through.
Believe in yourself.
Love is Love. 🏳️🌈
This post originally appeared on Facebook. It is reprinted here with permission.