GingerSass

adding ginger to your sass

GingerSass - adding ginger to your sass

Ringggg.

Remember that post where I talked about my secret en(gay)gement?

Today I had a meeting with my supervisor about some school stuff. After the business end of our meeting was done, I asked for her opinion on the whole wearing my engagement ring thing and parental concerns.

She essentially told me to wear it, and if there are any parental complaints it’s their problem, that “there are plenty of gay folk at school.”

So, I’m wearing my engagement ring tomorrow at school. It’s essentially my coming out day.

Wish me luck.

I can wear this thing to school tomorrow.

I can wear this thing to school tomorrow.

My (Semi-Secret) Engagement

I became engaged this weekend, but I am keeping my engagement a secret for fear of losing my job.

ringsun

V and I had a romantic getaway in Mystic Seaport, Connecticut this weekend. We arrived on Friday night, and she was super romantic and proposed under the stars by the water while I was a sarcastic ass. It was very us.

We were floating on Cloud 9 the entire weekend. Our happiness was indestructible. The texts, calls, and Facebook comments and tweets of congratulations and happiness blew up our phones. Life was perfect.

Then, we started the 4-hour drive home on Sunday and I started thinking.

When I think, I overthink.

My mind wandered to a fellow teacher friend’s recent engagement, how her students started squealing once they spotted her ring, and how she was able to share her excitement with her students.

I can’t do that.

I have a very open and honest relationship with my students. I “keep it real” with them if they “keep it real” with me.

On the first day of school, two classes asked if I had a boyfriend. The answer was no. Two other classes asked if I was in a relationship. The answer was yes. Neither of these answers were lies.

If I come into school wearing an engagement ring, someone is going to put two and two together.

Normally, I would say screw it. It took me awhile to accept who I am, and I am proud to be an out, lesbian poet and blogger. In fact, if you Google me, that’s what comes up.

Yet… I’m hiding my engagement.

I love the diversity of my school. I have quite a number of students from varying cultural and religious backgrounds. And… a lot of students who have made it clear they don’t accept homosexuality. I have a Zero Tolerance policy in my classroom for name-calling and discrimination of any sort. I regularly have to fight against preconceived notions and ideas stemming from cultural and religious beliefs I know nothing about. For a lot of my students, any sexuality other than heterosexuality is a one-way ticket to Hell. My students and their families feel strongly about their beliefs, and I admire that. What I don’t admire is the power my students and their families unknowingly have over me.

I am a non-tenured first year teacher. If a parent or guardian calls to complain about the fact that a flaming homo is teaching his or her student, that goes on my permanent record. If I have any parent complaints on record, it affects my chance of having my contract renewed.

So, for the time being, I am silent.

ringchain

I am wearing my engagement ring on a long chain around my neck and tucking it into my sweater every day before school. I am missing out on beaming and showing off my ring to my co-workers, and I cannot even honestly answer what I did this weekend.

I am choosing to go back into the closet after being out and comfortable with who I am for years simply so I do not have to worry about parental concerns that a lesbian cannot do a great job teaching their students about reading and writing.

I have a secret engagement.

Scrambling

Prompt: Write a list poem starting with “I am…”

I am... unsure of why anyone would interview me as I was trying desperately to figure out how to save my iphone from imminent doom.

I am… unsure of why anyone would interview me as I was trying desperately to figure out how to save my iphone from imminent doom.

I am…

unable to think of a fitting description of myself for this poetic prompt.

I could write about my teacher identity,
but that’s already been the accidental focus of my poetry lately.

Perhaps I could write about my declaration of fiery, ginger glory,
but I am only minimally defined by my hair color.

It is possible to write about my lesbian poet label,
but, really, anything I write falls under that category by default.

Mayhaps you would like to learn of the summer in high school
where a friend and I only spoke in British slang. We were the dog’s bollocks.

Ooh! I’d like to tell you how I’m convinced my dog is a drag queen,
but one simple search of “Max the Dog” confirms that.

My caffeine addiction would make an interesting topic,
but a post about “addiction” would lead to unwanted spam in my inbox.

If you’d like to learn something fascinating,
we could discuss my one-night-gig as a fashion model from Jersey.

I should probably write something insightful,
something that has changed me for the better…or worse…

I know! You’d really like to know about my phobia
of flapping pigeons at night…?

Alas, perhaps it is best if we smile politely
and pretend this prompt didn’t happen.

After all, I really don’t know how to define myself in this hodge-podge of tidbits floating around in my head.
Do you?