Out of the Supply Closet

Next year, if all goes as planned, Cakie will attend kindergarten at my school.

It recently dawned on me that I expect him to be out of the closet about having two moms. [Not that he’s aware of the need or urge to be in a closet in the first place.]  But I have never been out of the closet about being one of two moms to my students.  This is in great part because I tend to avoid conflict.  I don’t feel like I would be very professional about any parent backlash that may ensue. I’m also not sure how to talk about it with my kids without going into too much detail.  AND even if I came out, I’d have a whole new group of students and their families next year, and the next year, etc.

My administrators have always backed me up and have no problem with me doing it.

I just haven’t.

Third graders are nosier than second graders, so they’ve been asking.

Does anyone know anyone who has come out to their own class?

Thanks.

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9 Comments

Filed under teaching

9 responses to “Out of the Supply Closet

  1. Lo

    I have….though my kids are older….and as you point out, there are new kids every year. I honestly am not sure if my kids this year *know* about the two-mom thing. When Co was pregnant I was pretty clear about it, but now that I’m pregnant, it’s too easy not to discuss. And they haven’t asked. So I am not sure I have anything terribly useful to say here…

  2. S.

    I was always out, and my spouse has been out for about the last seven years of teaching (out of 11? 12?) but I taught high school and I had queer kids and two-mom kids seeking me out. Different dynamic.

    I did once have some kids from the fourth grade (I taught in a K-12 school) stop me as I was walking through the playground wearing a jacket with a pink triangle pin on it. One girl was savvy enough to know what that meant and wanted to make a point of her savviness to her friends, who had a lot of questions. I answered some of them matter-of-factly and others I said I wasn’t going to answer because that was my private business (Did I kiss my girlfriend?) Their teacher was eavesdropping with my eye-contact permission, so I felt okay about gauging where their boundaries were from her signals, and I never heard anything back.

    In general, though, treating it as something normal seems to go okay.

  3. S.

    Oh, and my experience is that kids have ways of passing this information amongst themselves from year to year. There are older siblings, and gossip, and such. You don’t so much need to keep coming out formally as just treat it as open information that you are the reliable source for, and make sure you aren’t giving signals that the kids have to pretend to you that they don’t know what they do know.

  4. j

    Some of my kids know (like my students of staff members) but most do not. If they ask if I am married, I say no (legally, I am not.)
    When they ask about my ring, I say someone special gave it to me. I answer all of their questions as honestly as I can.
    No one has ever come right out and asked if I have a “girlfriend.” I would probably answer that honestly though.
    My kids are 5th graders.
    When I got pregnant, I thought I would have to face it, but since we lost the baby, I haven’t been forced to yet.

  5. The other thing — and this is me and my own bias and expectations about religious folks — is that many of my students, MOST of my students are immigrants or children of immigrants with either Muslim or Catholic families. I’m just not sure how they’d take it.

  6. I am not out to the kids and feel terrible and conflicted about it. Last year I came really close. In my dream world, it is all organic and comes up in a discussion about gender or something. It’s only come close to happening once (with one half of one third grade class) and I chickened out. And reality is it can’t be organic because I teach 150 kids and see them 9 at a time.

    The administration has made it clear that they will totally support me.

    We had two 4th grade teachers who were out to all their kids every year. They announced at the beginning of the year. It went smoothly almost always.

    I actually find myself leaning more toward not divulging right now because my own kid will most likely be going to my school. Or at least I feel more torn about it. We always made it clear to our big kid that he was allowed to be out or not (but he was in another state!). In our current situation, the outing is more subtle – playdates won’t know from looking, etc. I don’t know what to expect. I do know 3 and 4 year olds blurt a lot of stuff out. Right now it feels like it will be an eternity before he even begins to understand…. but I know it won’t.

  7. I work in a school (MA) where all the kids & parents are “out”… completely… never saw/heard any problem. My kids are amazing (3-6) year olds and talk to me all the time about me getting married to my partner and having babies.

    Great blog. I found it when I was searching for IUI and insurance coverage. Did u get coverage?

  8. So where is it in MA I’m moving to, exactly? Just kidding. Thanks for the compliment, Agatha. My insurance covered all of my fertility stuff except for the sperm. (Thank you, oh mighty fates!) If your insurance doesn’t cover it, look in to using a midwife. They charge a lot less per IUI and don’t do unnecessary ultrasounds, which could get pricey.

    Best of luck to you and your partner.

  9. Eva

    Wow. I have no direct experience with this but I am sending support and love.

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