RELOADED: How To Find Out If Your Teacher Is GayMarch 21, 2008
This is a rewritten version of an entry that has appeared previously but is no longer available. Apologies if you have read it before.
If you are a boy in year ten then (for reasons quite beyond me) it will be very important to you to find out if your male teachers are homosexual.
The main method used to find out is to repeatedly ask personal questions. Here are the usual questions:
“Are you married?”
“Do you have a girlfriend?”
“Do you have any children?”
“Who do you live with?”
“Does the person you live with have a girlfriend?”
“Is the person you live with gay?”
“What music do you listen to?”
“Do you listen to Elton John?”
“Do you listen to the Village People?”
“What clothes do you wear when you aren’t in school?”
“Have you ever gone to The Village?” [the local gay bar]
This is all fairly standard. But be careful, you risk getting so carried away with the investigation that you will accidentally ask something that isn’t very polite, like “Do you have any mates?”.
At a bad school the questions “Do you like girls?”,“Are you gay?” and “Do you take it up the arse?” may also make it into the list. If you are going to ask a question that does go too far it is best to start by saying “Sir, can I ask you a question?” (Ignore the reply, as all sensible teachers will say “No” as any question that needs permission to be asked should never be asked.)
Apart from making very stereotypical assumptions about gay men, this approach is also completely hopeless against the openly gay teacher. At Woodrow Wilson School one of the staff was not just Out but Out To The Kids. He taught a lot of the PSHE modules on Relationships to different classes and would out himself to each class in turn. Very confusing for those students who assumed it must be a secret. It did seem to pay off. Whereas most teachers would at some point experience homophobic abuse, report it and nothing would get done, he would go straight (no pun intended) to his union rep, report it as discrimination and harassment, and the child would be excluded for a day or two.
That said I can understand why most of the gay teachers I’ve known like to remain in the closet to the kids rather than be the subject of gossip. But they do have to be discreet. The other gay teacher I knew of at Woodrow Wilson School, despite keeping his sexuality from the kids, thought it would be safe to put his picture on a gay dating site. It was found, read, and within a couple of days every child in the school could quote the blurb from the advert “My name’s Dave, and I like Geography but I’m not just interested in work….”. A few days later they were also quoting several sentences that were not in the original advert, that had been added as the story spread throughout the school. Sentences I couldn’t possibly repeat.