So normally, I'd tell a story or two about my life for my bi-monthly posts, but this time, it's all about you guys and your stories. Seriously, BLOW UP the comments section with all of your stories.
So I'm currently working with Duke Professor Brian Ammons in the education department, and we're going to be conducting a basic LGBT-issues training for student teachers in the education department. For the LGBT-issues training, we want to have real-life stories of positive or negative experiences that you guys have had in schools. Whether that be a peer using homophobic language class and a teacher failing to respond, or a teacher who went out of their way to be inclusive of LGBT-identified individuals in the classroom, we want to hear it.
So what are your stories?
I'll tell you one of mine.
My favorite moment at my high school graduation was when my friend Evan got his diploma. At my high school, one of my good friends Evan was transgender, and transitioned from living as a girl named Sarah to living as a guy named Evan throughout the course of high school. His parents were not at all supportive of his transition, and made things really difficult for him at times, but he had a supportive community at our high school through the Gay-Straight Alliance. When the time of graduation came around, he was having a hard time, because his legal name was still Sarah, and that was to appear on his diploma, but it wasn't really his name anymore. It was like someone else was graduating, some figment of the past. So the big graduation day rolls around, and my favorite teacher, Mrs. Klein (who also happens to be the advisor of the GSA, and an academic dean) is calling out the names for people to walk across the stage and get their diplomas. As Evan walks up to the stage, I hear Mrs. Klein's voice booming over the microphone, "EVAN McMillan." It may have gone somewhat unnoticed by most other people, but it was the highlight of my high school graduation. It's that kind of affirmation in schools that LGBT people like me never forget, simply because it is so rare.
More of my stories about education to come in two weeks, but in the meantime, WHAT ARE YOURS????