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Anna Kellner: ‘I am glad I am out at school; it feels good not hiding being gay’

The UK-based teacher said she came out at school partly because she couldn’t contain her excitement when her wife became pregnant

Anna Kellner: ‘I am glad I am out at school; it feels good not hiding being gay’
Courtesy Anna Kellner
Teacher Anna Kellner and her son

My name is Anna, I have been working as a high school maths teacher for around five and a half years. I live a pretty standard life: I am married with a two year old son and I play hockey.

People don’t usually expect me to be a maths teacher. It must be because of my two eyebrow piercings and numerous ear piercings.

I have always been out to my colleagues, in my first job I was planning my wedding so I couldn’t contain my excitement. I am no good at keeping secrets from friends and I have got on well with all the teachers I have worked with.

My current school is the first one where I have been out to my pupils too, it also happens to be the first school where I have a permanent contract.

We found out my wife was pregnant in February 2013. I was overjoyed, I have always wanted to be a mum. I found it harder and harder to contain my excitement as we got closer to the due date. I had started hinting at classes that I would be off for two weeks soon but I didn’t tell them why.

Up until that point I had done the usual things: used gender neutral pronouns when talking about my wife and made jokes to avoid answering questions about my ‘husband’.

My son was born three weeks early so I ended up not being as prepared as I would have liked. My oldest class, who I’d already told, sent me a message on Edmodo with their congratulations.

I came back after two weeks ‘paternity’ leave and openly told my classes that I had been off for the birth of my son. Of course they knew I hadn’t given birth so they asked and I told them that my wife had.

None of my classes made any comments about my being married to a woman; most pupils seemed happy for me for becoming a mother.

That was a year ago now and I am glad I am out at school; it feels good not hiding being gay. It should not be something to be ashamed of. It is easier not watching what I say and being able to talk about my son and wife openly.

I haven’t really mentioned what pupils said, mostly because nothing has changed in the way that we interact with each other. There was no big reveal followed by a stunned silence. I am glad that we have all carried on as if nothing has changed, because nothing has.

I don’t know if the phrase ‘that’s so gay’ is going out of fashion or kids just don’t use it around me, but I hope it’s the former.

I am glad to live in a place where sexuality isn’t an issue and I look forward to the day when my wife and I will be able to convert our civil partnership into a marriage.

This article first appeared on OutTeacher.org, which offers further stories about LGBT teachers and being out at school.


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