A bi teacher came out to her students. One student’s email afterwards made the backlash worth it.
Anna Dietrich, a student-teacher studying at the University of Michigan, decided to come out to their class after they continued to ask her questions about her personal life.
“When students asked me today if I had a husband, I answered that I as a bisexual person, do not have a husband or a wife yet!” they tweeted.
“I envy the teachers who don’t have to hide their identity in class.”
Dietrich was upfront the fact that some weren’t happy with her sharing that information. “I got calls from 3 parents unhappy,” they added.
“I did however get one email that made it worth it,” Dietrich said, including a screenshot of the email.
“I really love your class,” the student wrote in the email. “In my other classes, I am not comfortable sharing my sexuality or pronouns and it really gets to me when people use my pronoun wrong and try to say my sexuality without even knowing it.
“And in your class, I already feel comfortable with who I am, which for me, isn’t normal, so thank you, so, so, so much.”
Still, Dietrich was “really hurting” from the backlash and felt “alone” in the ordeal.
Other educators and LGBTQ people showed her an outpouring of love and support, though, and others who have or are currently enduring the same issues around being pro-LGBTQ or out in school shared their stories.
Every comment wasn’t as understanding of her struggle, but she still takes comfort in being a “queer educator.”
“Our circle can feel small, but the love is mighty,” she said later.
Dietrich, who uses she and they pronouns, is completing their internship year at a Flint area high school. In a recent local ABC affiliate interview, they described how having an educator as First Lady of the United States in Dr. Jill Biden makes a difference to them and their students.
Dietrich said of Dr. Biden, “It’s really hopeful because I’ve never seen somebody in education so far up.”
“We definitely have to be an advocate for our students at all times,” they said. “Because often times we’re the only voice that they do have besides their parents. And often, school is the only chance they get to see where you can make a change. That’s the first place that they see there’s some difference in the world between their experiences and other peoples’ experiences.”
The article reports that “Dietrich is hoping more diverse voices will be heard with a Biden administration.”
“Our students are the voice of our nation. Our students are who are going to make change and it’s our job to help them get there,” she said.
Tags: Coming Out
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