“I am gay – what kind of issues might be involved?”

I find it a puzzling question in a sense, because I suspect it very much depends on the individual case. It also depends on how willing you are to open up about yourself and your personal life in a classroom, regardless of whether about your sexuality, your family situation, or your political or religious views.

I don’t venture deeply personal information, unless I develop a stronger relationship with a student (something approaching friendship), and even then I am pretty private among my friends. I think this is a reasonable approach, in that I wouldn’t expect my students to reveal in a group anything about themselves that they wouldn’t normally do to anyone in their daily lives.

Sometimes one comes across blatant narrow-mindedness amongst students and it is difficult not to react to that, but so too in any situation. You judge each encounter in the best way you see fit at that particular time and with those particular students.

I suppose in the end, there is a need – at least for me – to create a sense of ease in any social interaction, unless the purpose of the exchange is to challenge or antagonize. 

I think, above all, that it shouldn’t matter or be singled out as a possible issue – we each of us should be sensitive enough to know how best to give of ourselves, what we think is apt.

Categories: Inclusivity