Thursday, December 9, 2010

School Gossip

The school gossip mill is again going at full speed and guess who it's about...yours truly. That's right, I'm the center of the gossip mill-again. It got to the point where today I sat down with my principal and assistant principal and spelled it out for them. I talked with them individually in their offices and essentially said-Yes the rumors they may/may not have heard are true. Yes, I am getting married in DC for a specific reason. No, I am not changing my name right away and yes I am marrying a woman. I'm marrying Sam*. Short for Samantha. Not Samuel. End of story. I've played the pronoun game for a while and kept this a secret not because I'm ashamed in any way but because you weren't here when I was hired. I didn't want to put my job on the line until I knew it was safe for me to tell you this because legally you have the right to fire me. I didn't want you to hear this from anyone else." Their response after a descent pause where I watched their faces absorb all of this "You're a great teacher. Your job is completely secure and we will keep your privacy. You tell who you want to tell and we will protect you, but from our side it doesn't leave this room." My AP also said, "I heard rumors for a while from people, speculation and questions but it's really not my business. I just care that you know your stuff, which you clearly do. And my neighbors are gay...come to think of it they throw the best parties." My response? "Not surprised. We know how to throw a party." We then got into how I've been working with a group of out gay teachers who are trying to work on diversity training in the middle schools and high schools because we've heard from other teachers that they have no idea how to handle some situations that have come up in and around their schools. My principal and AP thought this was great, especially given the recent events in schools around the country, and said the same thing we have been saying and hearing, "All the diversity training I ever received in school was always about race, language, ethnicity and religion."
I texted Girlfriend after school today and told her. She was SUPER excited but confused as to how it all came up. I told her, "They were going to hear it from others or me. It needed to be me." She's just excited that they are on my side and not going to fire me. DITTO TO THAT!!!!

*Girlfriend's name changed

19 comments:

Kiley said...

Congrats on the overall positive outcome. The rumor mill is not pleasant but at least you now know your job is safe.

I am a teacher too and I am still not convinced that I am in a safe place... Love my job though.

Taylor said...

Good for you! I'm glad they reacted well.
Did you see what I posted on my blog?

- 304 - said...

congratulations! glad you work for good people who see your worth. ..and know that we throw a killer party. i'm sure it's a relief.

crystal said...

I am so proud of you for bringing this up to them and talking about it in such a straight forward manner, and what a great response!!! I love positive stories like this, thanks for sharing and for doing your part to promote acceptance!!!

Yamilette27 said...

I hate rumors.

And congratulations when you DO get married. :)

thesupermango said...

wow. that is amazing. congratulations!

i've been reading your blog over abut a year now and haven't yet responded to a post. thought this was an appropriate post to "come out," lol.

it's great to hear a positive story about coming out at work. i also work in a state (and also with children) where i'm not protected from being fired if it's known i'm gay.

congrats again!

The Surprise Dyke said...

Kiley-Thanks! I wasn't completely sure until I was told my job was safe in the meeting. Never let others bully you into being out in a school.

The Surprise Dyke said...

Taylor-I just did, that is so AWESOME!!!!

The Surprise Dyke said...

-304-True. I'm glad he recognized the gift our community has for party throwing.

The Surprise Dyke said...

Crystal-Thanks! :-)

The Surprise Dyke said...

Yamilette27-Ditto. Oh, I'm sure you'll read all about it ;-)

The Surprise Dyke said...

thesupermango-3 things:
1) I love your name. it. is. awesome.
2) Congrats on coming out as a TSD reader/comment poster today!
3) Never let anyone bully you into coming out in a school setting. It's easy to say "be visible, be out" but it's another when you don't know if that will get you fired on the spot. I had no other choice and got lucky.

Mel's Way or No Way said...

Whew! That's a uncomfortable place to be in. I'm happy you had a good reaction and it was a positive experience.

The gossipers were in full force about my GF and I when we first started dating even though we stayed low key. Eventually they got tired of it but occasionally new people enter the situation and "find out" and we're in the middle of the gossip again. Get a life people!

thesupermango said...

1. thank you. the name is from an inside joke between me and my lady.
2. it's an honor to final post on your blog. i've been tempted several times, but i'm awkward so i usually decide against it.
3. definitely agree! i work in a mental health setting, but am often in schools. luckily my job is so focused on helping kids with their problems, parents and school staff are just happy i'm there helping. they don't think about me in any further setting (or just don't care...) the kids, specifically the teens are the only ones who ask about my personal life (since they need to know everything.)

Erin said...

Congrats!!! I am so happy for you and that your bosses are smart enough to keep a wonderful teacher like you and not let something that does not in any way affect your teaching get in the way of that judgement.

I'm very open at my school about it for the most part, and everyone has been really supportive. In fact there are a few out people in my class. It makes me happy =) I still make judgement calls as far as preceptors and interning goes though.

The Surprise Dyke said...

Mel-apparently this is not the first time this topic has made its way through the gossip mill, only the first time that it actually got back to me. If my relationships is the best news they can find I feel bad for the people I work with...

Forever Femme said...

I'm so glad at the positive non-judgemental response you received. It's always good to know our jobs aren't in jeopardy because of our love on the other side of the fence.

...and this? "Not surprised. We know how to throw a party."

Priceless, just priceless! *laughing*

LilliGirl said...

YAY!!! I'm proud of you and glad you are lucky enough to work with some great people

Sarah said...

First, congratulations! What a great present for the holidays :)

But, how is it still legal (anywhere) to fire people based on sexual orientation?