I never thought I’d say this, because my gym teacher is also super stereotypical high school gym teacher. Meaning, he’s really intimidating. But the other day we were playing a game where everyone has to hold hands. Predictably, he went for the, “and if there’s a certain someone of the opposite sex you’ve been interested in” and I, predictably, thought, “actually, not everyone goes for the opposite sex”. And then Mr. Gym Teacher added,
“Or, if some of you have same-gender orientation” and my jaw practically dropped to the floor. Everyone giggled like it was a joke, but I spent the rest of gym glowing because of how cool this was. Thank you, Mr. Gym Teacher! And yes, he did seem a little bit awkward and uncomfortable about adding this, but that’s O.K.! In fact, it’s sort of good– even though he felt uncomfortable about bringing it up, he still thought it was necessary to make everyone in the class feel included. That sort of acceptance and actively trying to overcome your own fears is exactly what we need more of.
It did piss me off that everyone treated it as a joke, though. It was a legitimate point, and it wasn’t really funny in and of itself. But then again, this is high school. “Hurr hurr, teh gays! Hurr hurr” is pretty much the standard response to any mention of anyone non-het, non-cisgender.