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Tapestry

Lesbian teacher


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Hi, I don't know if anyone can relate. But I have recently had a civil partnership and because one of my colleagues has a child that attends my school, most of the children know my sexual orientation. I wouldn't say that I have advertised my 'gayness' but I have not ignored it either. I am not ashamed that I have a female partner but at the same time don't know how to handle it appropriately within my primary school. My head teacher has been completely supportive and said she will support me with whatever I want to express to the children. But Im not sure what is the right thing? At what age are children ready to know that love can be with any person of any gender?? But at the same time I want children to have a positive image of a range of people from different backgrounds??

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Seeing as you are likely to have children of same sex couples being educated in your school at some point I think it's perfectly appropriate for the pupils to know that your partner is a woman and that this fact is unremarkable. They don't need to know further details any more than they would about a heterosexual relationship.

In your position I would talk about my home life when it was relevant as any other teacher might, offering no explanation or justification unless it is asked for. The children will then accept it as normal.

I speak as someone who has childminded for a same sex couple who are both teachers.

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Does your sexuality need to discussed anymore than if you were straight? In general conversation I refer to my husband, mom, dad, children ect but I've never gone out of my way to refer to my family unless we did a topic.

How old are the children you work with? Its difficult to say what age children are ready to know, children are so different but introduced in a matter of fact way I'd guess any age. My eldest was about 8 when he told me gay is when two men kiss, I agreed but had to say but thats not dad and Paul, they're just best friends :) didn't want him confused!

There are some books that you could read to introduce different families, I think one is called i've got 2 dads. Hope you find a way and congratulations :)

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Thank you Rea, I completely agree. I work mostly with nursery children, but also across upper foundation and KS1. We're good friends with a male gay couple and they completely oppose the idea of children being introduced to diverse relationships at a young age. I just think children just think like children should! When we play farmers in his dell it doesn't matter if the farmer is male/female or wants a husband or wife! Just as long as everyone is included and valued :-)

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my son is a gay primary teacher and is open about his sexuality. it is as normal as being straight. some people at my work know, some don't as i will say asked if he has a girlfriend, but don't mention it otherwise, as no one goes round telling everyone they are straight!! i am proud he came out at 19. we have a same sex couple in their early thirties at our school and at neither one has told their mum. such a shame. he teaches year 4 and has been open with staff and won't hide it if asked by a child or parent. and having someone openly gay helps everyone to be more open minded and widen their own understanding etc

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Hi Lumpty

Thanks for your post and I agree with all the others really. If you are talking about home you might say I live with my partner called XXXX and my dog XXXX and cat XXX or whatever combination you happen to have and leave it at that.

I think children are much more accepting of the different dynamics that make up families now and what was once different to me growing up (I am 45 yrs old) is now so much more normal to the children of today as it should be.

More relevant to the children and parents is whether you love doing what you are doing and are good at teaching their children rather than your sexuality in my humble opinion :D

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Here's to a world where being in a same sex relationship is unremarkable other than for the fact that in this big wide world two people managed to find their other half! As Sue says, life is so different from when we were at school - I can only imagine the uproar that would have been caused if any of our teachers had been open about their sexuality.

Upsy (as usual) has said it all, and all I can really do is add my congratulations! :1b

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