A bisexual teacher in Michigan, US, has given a masterclass in teaching kids about living their truths after coming out to her class – and rattling parents in the process.
Anna Dietrich, an Michigan State University student teacher at Carman-Ainsworth High School, took to Twitter to describe how some educators feel the need to hide who they are at work.
And there’s a reason for that, Dietrich decried. After she came out as bisexual on Tuesday (13 April), three parents called her to say they were “unhappy” about it.
“I envy the teachers who don’t have to hide their identity in class,” she wrote.
“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!
“I got calls from three parents unhappy,” they said, before adding: “If anyone has any similar struggles/reactions to being out and proud to students I would love to hear.
“Really hurting today and feeling alone in this.”
Then Dietrich got an email.
“I really love your class,” a student wrote to her.
“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.
“In your class, I already feel comfortable with who I am, which for me, isn’t normal, so thank you, so, so, so much.”
Twitter praises ‘brave’ bisexual teacher for coming out to class
Fellow educators, LGBT+ people and allies all celebrated Dietrich for her courage to come out to her class, even when facing pushback from parents and guardians.
“This is SOOO awesome,” one user wrote.
“Not only did you create a safe space for this student to grow into who they are, but you’re shattering the bigotry and biases that many of your students were unknowingly being conditioned to have, advancing equality and inclusion with the next generation.”
And the praise kept coming, with some stressing that trailblazing teachers like Dietrich must focus on the impact they have on their students, rather than the parents they may face judgement from.