Saturday, 13 December 2014

Hide Me Now


I’m dangerously writing this particular post from my new comfy office chair at my new job.

Although I’m hugely enjoying the regular hours, extra time with R and remembering what it feels like to be bored at work and not rushed off my feet…there is a downside.

Where I work is a Catholic school.


So for the first time in many, many years of my life, I’m back in the closet.

In 2 days, I’m due to sign a “morality clause” add-on for my contract. A scary document which I’ve not read yet, which basically says I mustn’t give the school a bad name by acting in an un-catholic way.

…awkward.

It’s a strange experience to watch my mouth, carefully monitor my pronouns, and to hold back in conversation because I can’t just chip in with “oh, R did that once…”

So I’m edging around questions about my private life, looking over my shoulder when I put 3 “x”s on the end of an email to R, and generally just feeling pretty paranoid in general.


It’s not a hugely pleasant place to be in.

It’s only been a week and I’m already thinking of throwing in the straight-towel, and before I sign this horrendous and unnecessary morality clause, just telling the pleasant lady in HR that I’m gay and be done with the whole thing.

The amusing thing is that really I probably have nothing to worry about. Every time someone’s spoken to me about the morality clause they’ve had a little laugh to themselves and said, “but I’m sure you have nothing to worry about”, because when they look at me they just see a nice little Catholic girl.


Which really… I am. And I’m good at my job. And reading things with people chiding gays for wanting to work in a Church environment makes me a little sad. Because, why shouldn’t I work there? I’m Catholic, I suit the job well, and I should have the right to work where ever I damn well please anyway.

After accepting the job and being told about this extra bit of paperwork that’s been causing me so much stress lately, I started driving both R and my Mother up the wall by pestering them with constant hypothetical situations and grand speeches I would make about equality if I was ever found out.


But instead after a huge amount of depressing research where it seemed like every gay teacher in America was being fired, I sent an email to Stonewall (the biggest LGB charity in the UK) who sent me reassuring advice that it would be a tad illegal for them to fire me and that if such a thing were to happen, to get in contact again and they would help and support me, because they’re lovely like that.

So for now I guess I shall shuffle about in my old dusty closet until I either burst out in a shower of glitter and rainbows rather than suffocate…oooor accidentally mention R’s name in conversation.


…I will leave you to guess which one of these is more likely.

-T

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