As I’m putting together the final pieces of my Advocacy Action Plan, I’m spending a lot of time in really negative spaces online, particularly websites for anti-lgbtq organizations, and even several organizations that are specifically against queer and trans teachers; as a preservice teacher who identifies as bisexual, some of the things these organizations believe and perpetuate are really discouraging. It’s hard for me to understand that people believe I am a lesser teacher or even dangerous influence on their children because of my sexuality.
And the more I researched, the more discouraged I became.
Legally, myself and my fellow queer educators can be fired in 29 states, while trans educators are left unprotected in 32 — just on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
With this amount of workplace discrimination alive and well, it occurred to me that in order to keep my job, I may also have to keep my sexual orientation a secret — something I haven’t had to do since high school.
I sit now in a place of severe shock. Discouraged as I am, I know all of this will not always be true. I know it is possible for a few dedicated individuals to act as a catalyst for a life-changing movement — and I invite you to be a small part of that right here right now, in less than one minute.
The 1 Minute Advocate: 32 of the 45 Republican senators in Congress voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would protect LGBT workers from workplace discrimination. While you are welcome to tweet them all (full list here), I’ve provided the most high profile of the group: @tedcruz @RandPaul, @BobbyJindal, @LindseyGrahamSC, @ChuckGrassley, @ScottWalker. Your job is to tweet them with the hashtag #TeachwithPride, either crafting your own tweet or using the template below:
“@_______ LGBTQ teachers should be protected by #ENDA. #TeachOurKidsTolerance by proving you believe the same. #TeachwithPride”
Every person has the right to be protected against discrimination; every teacher has the right to feel respected in their own classrooms. This is why I support #ENDA and LGBTQ teachers in classrooms across the United States. Workers have the right to safety in the workplace, and teachers have the right to #TeachwithPride. Change starts here, with us, showing that support.