Home › Forum › In the classroom › Are there any gay elementary school teachers out there? › Hi Matt,
I am an out, male preschool teacher in San Francisco.
I have the privilege to give workshops through out the country on creating safe and welcoming schools for LGBT teachers, parents and children. There is no doubt in my mind that LGBT teachers encounter discrimination in the field. Yet closeted or not, LGBT teachers are everywhere, making a difference in the field. We continue to work in the field because the calling to serve children and families is greater than the cost. We bring a unique commitment to the field and as a result, the field is changing to accomodate us. Policy leaders like the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) now use language inclusive of LGBT staff and families in their ethical codes and policy. Local and national workshops are being conducted in schools and at conferences that are helping teachers understand our joys and challenges as LGBT educators.
We live in a homophobic society. When a proposition came before the voters to eliminate gay marriage in California, it passed. We now have a state constitution that discriminates against a group of people. The ads for this campaign focused on the fact that we would be forced to teach about homosexualiy in schools and read books featuring lesbian and gay parents in schools.
There are a few schools that welcome LGBT staff and value the role we play in the lives of children, but many and most are still either struggling with how to be more welcoming or they are holding on to homophobic values.