By phalangesenfuego - United States - Yakima
Today, a student came out to me, saying that she thinks she's gay. This has happened several times since I have taught here, which made me wonder why they were comfortable telling me. Turns out being a single, childless woman of my age screams "lesbian" to this particular community. I'm not. FML
phalangesenfuego tells us more :
OP here. Just to clarify, I'm not offended that people mistake me for a lesbian. What bothered me was the assumption was made based on what I feel are stereotypes of what a lesbian should be (single and childless). I do support ALL my students with whatever they come to me with, be it family issues, bullying problems, etc, and I feel privileged they feel comfortable enough to come to me with these things they are struggling with. And thank you for all the positive comments. Sometimes teaching is a thankless job, and positive support is few and far between.
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Top comments
  chinaski7628  |  32

19, not really. I teach high school and I'm female, single, childless, and almost 40. It's very difficult for a lot of my students (hell, even for a lot of adults) to understand that a woman may choose to remain single and childless past the age of 25. When students find out I'm unmarried, they almost immediately assume it's because I'm a lesbian. This happens to a lot of single, female teachers I know, but rarely to the male teachers of the same age and marital status. I have a lot of theories about why this is, but part of it is also that I'm older than a lot of my students' parents and a lot of them have single mothers (not to mention some of them are already parents).

By  mm12344  |  8

Too many negative votes, comment buried. Show the comment

  mm12344  |  8

45- a fake wedding ring doesn't automatically mean she's straight. Unless I missed the memo where gay couples can't give wedding rings?

54- people who are unmarried use "miss" while married people use "mrs" and people who don't want you to know use "ms"

  Kielnmsoftly  |  26

I wouldn't say that entirely. It's often insulting to be called something you're not. Lot doesn't have to have anything to do with being a lesbian or not in this fml, just mislabeling.

  catherinecas  |  30

It's not an insult but it is annoying that someone assumes just because a woman is single for a while she's either gay or crazy.
The single male teachers at my high never had this problem. No one ever spread rumors of them being gay.

  tigerisabelle  |  31

Nobody's saying it's an insult. It's just annoying to be mistaken for something you're not. And there's this whole stigma that if a woman doesn't want kids or she doesn't have a partner after the age of 30, she's either lesbian, forever alone, or insane.

By  Tiny_Nerd  |  14

At least they are comfortable telling you. If you weren't somewhat approachable even if you *were* a confirmed lesbian they wouldn't come out to you. Depending on your environment (both at home and with your peers) it can be pretty damn hard to admit that sort of thing to anyone due fear of possible backlash (hell-in my area the discrimination can get pretty horrendous). Coming to terms with it in a bad environment can be more than enough to induce a nervous breakdown, especially in a teenager. Just do the best you can to mentor these kids as best you can through what can be a pretty trying self-realizations.

Also don't let other people's assumptions get you down. You are who you are. There's no shame in being whatever age, not married, and no kids. You don't have to go to any lengths to convince anyone of anything.