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Coming out through the NUT


Coming out through the NUT in 1988
“I came out through the NUT which was really strange because these days it’s all male dominated. People knew but I wasn’t out. When came out it just made me so angry. I was a good teacher and what I felt that was doing was stripping away my authenticity as a person. It was a local government thing about not promoted homosexuality, not discussing it. Piss off, it’s my life you’re talking about here. So I went to an NUT meeting not with the intention of coming out but people were very sympathetic because it’s a good Union, the NUT was red hot then and I just thought I’m going to do it so I stood up and said ‘I want to speak as a gay woman’. ‘As I lesbian’, I think I said and told them what I felt that meant to gay teachers not to mention gay pupils. I was a primary school teacher so really, although we did have children who we thought were possibly going to be gay, what the government was trying to do was stop a gay teacher interacting with a gay pupil and saying ‘If you ever need to talk to me just come and see me’. I thought it was dreadful that they should do that. I got a very good response, people came up afterwards and said it needed a gay person to do it really. As far as I knew, nobody had come out at an NUT meeting at the time. You have to remember this is the 80s we’re talking about and (Union) membership had fallen off drastically, I was in a small room in the city centre with about forty people.

Contributed by: Jean Turley, 72

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