Before May, I hope to find a job teaching at a private high school. Finding a private school which is non-denominational is a hard process. My top choice right now does not discriminate on the “basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law in the administration of its educational, admission, scholarship or employment policies, or any other programs administered by the School.” It’s ok if I’m a lesbian, but what do they mean by gender? Sex? Or gender identity? They are two vastly different subjects. Does it mean that if I am hired, I must dress within the women’s faculty dress code, or would there be allowances for my gender identity? I really don’t know. And it worries me. It worries me that I might not be able to be who I am while doing something I love. The question becomes: Is the sacrifice worth it?
I want to become an educator. I want to teach, to learn each day through my students. And I want to be able to be there for them. Each LGBT teen needs someone they can trust, someone to talk to. I did not have that for a long time. I was too scared, of myself and what people would think of me. There was one out kid at my school, out of the whole high school, and I’m sure it was hard. I did eventually come out while in high school, but that is a hard thing to do. It is so much easier with the help of those who have been there, who have had to go through the same things. I want to be able to be there for those kids if they need me. Someone needs to be.
So at this point in time, based on all the knowledge I have, I keep thinking it would be worth it, just to be able to be there for those kids and to do what I love. But how can I go from this freedom to new constraints? What will that do to me while I am trying to find myself? Even if I do dress within a women’s dress code, what about the times outside of school? This is a small town.
I guess I am just trying to steel myself for the future. I don’t know what will happen, and I don’t quite know what to expect. But I’m going to follow my dreams, follow what I have always wanted to do regardless. I just don’t know how that will affect the discovery of self I started here.
I realized today it has been a while that I have been writing here, talking about gender issues through different lenses, giving advice, and trying to find myself. It is fun to sit here and just write, knowing I have an audience, that people care what I have to say, that they are going through the same things. I wanted to say thank you to you all for reading my column, for taking the time to click on Exploring Gender each week. I also wanted to remind you that I am here. You are welcome to message me or comment. Suggest some topics for future articles or ask me my opinion. Beyond trying to figure out who I am, I am here for you as a resource. So thank you for reading.