To Be, or Not to Be . . . Hmm
The students are talking. I'm not surprised, and in fact, had suspected it would occur at some point (if not already). But knowing it in fact as opposed to speculation gives it a whole new sense of reality. I'm actually surprised it is suddenly occupying so much of my thought time, but it is . . . So, I'll share with my friendly readers, and perhaps gain some insights to give me some equilibrium on the matter.
A few of my more perceptive students noticed a couple of years ago when I started wearing my wedding ring. I know this is true because one of the more "sensitive" ones also studies private voice with one of my oldest, dearest friends, and she mentioned it in a voice lesson. Thank goodness there is no such thing as voice teacher/client privilege! For it is this same student who brought up - with some degree of frustration - at her voice lesson this week that "everyone is talking about Doc." I won't go into a lot of detail at this point, but suffice it to say that she is struggling with the "talk," her loyalty to me, her faith upbringing, and whether or not it should really matter.
Now the noble part of me that stands occasionally on a pedestal proclaims - Great! Let these gentle young minds struggle with what they think might be wrong as it applies to someone they seem to respect and admire. This is great. This is why I've told the Frau that she shouldn't worry about going to things at school with me and being seen more frequently. "Let them wonder," I say.
Well, they are wondering, and the not so noble part of me - the part that enjoys a regular pay check and regular meals - says ever so softly, "I sure hope their wondering doesn't cost me my job." Reality tells me not to worry - I'm not the only gay faculty member in the school, and the school district even has a very high level administrator who is "in the family way." But we all have heard stories of people "moving on" for other reasons at the critical juncture when their orientation was discovered.
Now, dear friends, the previous paragraph is just me acknowledging that I have fears, however minute. I've been claiming to be ready for a test - to "live out" my life, just as I grew up being taught to "live out" my faith. And frankly, I don't think there should be any disparity between the two. It's time for the world - or at least my little microcosm of it - to be exposed to "normal" gay people - yes, and see a wedding ring that says I believe in the sanctity of a monogamous long-term relationship and it is not in conflict with the faith most of the students also know me to have. I'll keep you posted on this one. I'm at a convention for a few days, so I have some time to really reflect on this one. I feel quite sure that the answer is . . . "To Be."