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Teaching as a transgender

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#16 Aquarelle



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Posted 11 May 2017 - 13:33

Hello and welcome. Just be yourself - your very own valuable self. It took me a number of years to learn that lesson. I am in a same s-e-x  relationship - we have been together for something like 46 years and have been through all the stages  - from  being kicked out,  to being politely ignored, to being accepted quite happily. I have a group of pupils whose parents turn a blind eye as my life style does not coincide with their religious beliefs. However they seem to value the work I do and simply ignore the rest - or perhaps pretend to themselves that they don't know. Whatever - it works. I respect them and they appear to respect me.


Society has come a long way from where it was when I was growing up. Be confident and go ahead  with your teaching. If you have any problems come to the forum because here you will find a lot of help and support.


Sorry I seem to have posted before I had finished typing and I have deleted the first post.

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#17 caprice



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Posted 11 May 2017 - 18:57

Wow you guys are fantastic and I only hope your attitudes are reflected in those I deal with in my new venture. For something that caused such shame and guilt in much of my formative years and divisions even in my own family I am slowly feeling ready for living as my true self and teaching what has always been my biggest passion in life. Its something we tend to only hear the negativity and the doubters, not the quiet majority.


The feeling is I should be honest about it if asked and I will. Beyond that I look forward to getting into teaching with my history as a none issue.

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#18 ten left thumbs

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 09:25


The feeling is I should be honest about it if asked and I will. Beyond that I look forward to getting into teaching with my history as a none issue.

I think that's the wise policy. If asked, by all means be honest.


As a parent, if I approached a teacher and they started to offer me personal information about being trans (or, for that matter, being gay), then I would begin to worry. Can they put their issues aside and focus on the matter at hand (teaching my child)? What are their priorities? Is this going to be a big distraction?


Be yourself at an initial meeting/lesson/interview and by all means be open that not everyone will choose you as a teacher, for all kinds of reasons. If they go with you, then get on with teaching and enjoy! :)

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#19 GMc



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Posted 12 May 2017 - 09:32

Absolutely would not make a blind bit of difference to anyone I know frankly.  I remember many years ago when the Queen Mother had one hip operated on pre-change by a transgender surgeon and the other post.  It was rumoured she thought they were two different surgeons and no one including the surgeon had the nerve to enlighten her...!   Australia has a very senior army chief who transitioned in post male to female - I would have thought that that would be the worst environment imaginable to cope with but she faced it head on and in the media.  Good for her I say. I really do believe that things have changed hugely in my lifetime.  I worked at the first AIDS hospice in London as a volunteer while at uni and I can tell you that people were far, far more narrow-minded than they are now.   

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#20 Dorcas


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Posted 12 May 2017 - 09:48

Personally, when I meet students for the first time, the impression I get is they care that I know my stuff, that I am professional, easy to get on with and will not insist they play pieces they hate.  I love the story about the Queen Mother!   I think the approach of being honest, but only if asked, is the most important thing.  People are not looking for loads of personal disclosure.  As you teach, it is sometimes appropriate to mention something from your own life, and you will know when to do so.  I often end up being confided in, as a teacher, one to one, people often trust you with personal problems.  I suppose music teachers on the whole are an empathetic bunch.  The advice about having an up-to-date DBS check is a good one, but that applies to all of us.


Good luck Caprice and happy teaching.

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#21 funkiepiano


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Posted 18 May 2017 - 16:49

Best of luck Caprice. I am gay - a lot of my students don't know as it's not relevant, but several have now met my fiancée & have probably guessed. My sexuality has no bearing on whether or not I'm a good teacher, as is your gender. If they/their parents were homophobic I would not want to teach them, end of!
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#22 Tixylix



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Posted 19 May 2017 - 23:49

Congratulations on your grade 8 distinction :) I transitioned from female to male back in 2006 and have been teaching privately for a couple of years. I'm fortunate that I've been on testosterone for 9 years and people never clock me as trans (except other trans people occasionally, we have a sixth sense  ;) ), I don't think any of my students have known and if they did they haven't said anything. If someone asked me directly I would say yes, if they can't handle it that's their issue and they can take it elsewhere. I will say that the responses I get from people who I do tell now are in general a lot more understanding than when I first came out, there has been a lot of progress in the last decade and hopefully it will continue in that direction. Good luck with your teaching, and with getting your documents updated - if you can take down the forces of bureaucracy teaching will be a breeze by comparison! :P

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