The truth is that being gay isn't something I "do" privately. It's a part of who I am, and it has shaped how I view the world. It develops my understanding of the human condition and dictates the empathic interactions I have with each of my students.
Students teetered slightly above my knee, scissors were always a little too small, and I had to hunch over to write on the blackboard. Though on parent's night, it wasn't my size that surprised parents, but my gender.
Twelfth-grade English teachers secretly look forward to the Senior Prank. This year I had high hopes and expectations. What I got instead was an unexpected, cruel reminder of how much work we have left to do.
There are parents out there who want to know how to guide their LGBT children. They look to us for guidance. They look to us for guidance. There doesn't always need to be focus groups and committees. There just needs to be a handful of people who can unite, teach, and guide.
I certainly don't want to push anyone to come out to their students if that person isn't ready. But I do want to talk about some of the reasons to come out, and to talk about ways to make it less risky.