Mar. 15th, 2010

liviconnor: Zoe roar (Queer is so gay)
I have decided to come out a little bit earlier than I'd originally planned. Why? Because I damn well want to, and because I think the queer students of this school could use a role model who isn't afraid to be seen, and I think I could be that person. And for a more practical reason, in the next three weeks we're covering the "Dating" chapter in our textbooks, and that's as good a time as any to out myself.
My hands are kind of shaky, now that I've made the decision. It's scary and possibly stupid, but not as stupid as it could be. Homophobia in China is more passive than it is in the US. Maybe you'll get passed over for job opportunities, maybe people won't talk to you, maybe you'll be a disappointment to your family and friends, but nobody's going to actually hurt you. This is what the general knowledge is. I'm here for another twelve weeks after my planned coming out week (I'm going to do it in every class for five days), and I think I could deal with it if my worst-case scenario came true. If I suddenly became a persona non grata on campus, whatever. If I suddenly became invisible in the whole city that would be less fun, but I could still deal. The foreign teachers have always been my support system anyways.
They can't fire me, just because of the logistics. We're already missing three teachers, two permanently and one may or may not be returning. His wife had a stroke- I can't blame him. But most of the teachers are already teaching extra classes. They can't afford to fire me and load even more classes on the others, especially because I'm one of the best-behaved ones here. No motorcycle, no alcohol, no whores, what can I say? I'm just a goody two-shoes.
So, all of that in mind, I'm coming out in two weeks. I hate being closeted, now for the first time in my life. I found pretty universal support back at home, and while I'm not expecting that here, I would love to feel like I'm not hiding some deep dark secret every time I talk about my life back home.
I know it's going to come out eventually. The students who see the rainbow flag on my laptop, or when someone's invited over and they see the GLBTQ magnetic poetry on my fridge, or how I discussed the difference between sex and gender in my class today and always include gay people in my examples of families an couples- someone's going to catch on, if they haven't already. I'm not ashamed of it and I never have been, so why should I give my students that impression?
Maybe I'm crazy, but hell if I'm not going to be crazy for the right reasons.


liviconnor: Zoe roar (Default)

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