In a great symbol of acceptance, a 9-year-old girl showed just how beautiful the world could be in a letter she penned to her teacher after he came out as gay. According to a report by Pink News on Tuesday, the teacher revealed his sexuality during a lesson on homophobic bullying.
In a showmanship of bravery, the teacher decided to tell his class he was gay as a way to show how difference could be misunderstood and the effects homophobic bullying has on those targeting. By opening up that he is gay, he was hopeful it would help his students understand that being gay wasn’t bad. The reaction he received was heartfelt, highlighted by the letter he received from his 9-year-old female student. The letter reads:
“Dear Mr R
“Even though you’re gay, I will always treat you the same way as I do now. I still think about you the same way as I used to. You’re a great teacher and these are just some of the word’s (sic) that I would describe you as: great, amazing, fantastic, brilliant, awesome and brave.
“The reason why I say brave is because you shared a personal secret which was very brave.
“You don’t have to feel scared because I know that everyone in the class feels the same way as I do.
PS. We are all proud of you.”
The teacher explained to Pink News that he was always apprehensive of mentioning his sexuality to peers and especially to his students. After discussing his decision to reveal his sexuality as part of the lesson to his head, they agreed that he could tell the class that he was gay so that the students could at least know one gay person. His student’s response and the letter was an experience he described as “amazing.”
“Reading it (the letter) brought tears to my eyes,” he said. “And it took me a little while to compose myself. When I thanked her she just shrugged and repeated something one of the boys in the class had said during the lesson, ‘It’s just your life’. Then she went back to her math.”
Furthermore, the experience and being open with his students taught him a valuable lesion that the world is more accepting, especially when it comes to children. He is now able to talk about his fiancé as freely as other teachers talk about their significant others. As for the students, he said they really demonstrated their appreciation for him as a teacher.
“For my class it was a surprise sure but, to them, it was just something simple and easy to file away as another piece of information. There was no judgment, no follow up, just acceptance.”