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.
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.