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Hiding sexuality as a teacher

1973

"When all that was happening in 1973 I got my first job in teaching as a primary school teacher and thatís when I went off and became this in the . At school I was just this woman that wasnít married, there were almost two sides to me, which makes gay people unhappy. I was in this work situation with people I knew really well and was seen as this asexual unmarried woman, it strips your personality. All of my whole life really didnít exist for them. I donít think Iíve had got the sack but I donít know. I think the did such a lot to help people. The first school I taught in was a very good school in Chelmsley Wood and I made a lot of good friends who I still see from all those years ago. It was in a big working class suburb and I loved the Deputy Head, he was a really sensitive, great bloke. They knew but you didnít say so; ĎDonít ask, donít tellí just in case it comes back and you can make enemies in staff rooms like you can in any situation, there are people who would use that against you. They knew I was in the Communist Party, a gay activistĒ.

Contributed by: Jean Turley, 72

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