As schools open their doors in the U.S., many LGBT educators in Catholic schools will re-enter what one teacher has called a “somewhat fraught existence.” Working in Catholic education is not an entirely safe employment environment; some 60 church workershave lost their jobs in LGBT-related disputes since 2008.
Writing in Eureka Street, an Australian Catholic magazine, that same teacher, using the pseudonym Alex Ryan, described his experiences as a gay religion teacher. Ryan said a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is “implied” for LGBT people in church-affiliated institutions:
“This black cloud hangs over our every public action because, for some reason, teachers’ lives are something our communities feel entitled to know and talk about. . .Whether it’s our social media posts, or even just holding our partner’s hand in public, we must carefully curate our outward appearance so as to not technically break Church rules, even if many of us live in a ‘glass closet’. Though we know it is unlikely we will be fired, we also know the potential is there if the wrong student or parent catches whiff of our supposedly un-Christian behaviour.”
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