My life as a non-binary transgender teacher – and why I’m still closeted

Many schools have stamped out homophobia but few have got to grips with transgender issues – it’s either too confusing or they worry parents will complain

I am non-binary transgender which means that I identify as neither man nor a woman. Some days I feel more masculine while other days I am feminine. Sometimes I feel completely genderless.

It may be a new concept to you; it was to me but then again I grew up under section 28, the law that forbade the promotion of homosexuality or the acceptability of it in school. As a result, most schools played it safe with a blanket ban on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) teaching. My gender and sexuality are areas where my own education let me down.

Now I work as a supply teacher, but always find myself playing detective when I start at a new school. I have experienced a variety of attitudes and approaches to my sexuality and gender, and how much I tell colleagues depends on the impressions I get.

I start by dropping hints; when talking to fellow teachers about what they did on the weekend I will mention things such as Pride parades to see how they respond. Sometimes questions about why I am a supply teacher lead to me telling them about Rainbow Teaching where I work on creating and developing resources for teachers to promote LGBT inclusion in school…