Is PE the last bastion of homophobia in schools?
Physical education has always been seen as a bit of a ‘macho’ subject, and PE teachers who are gay can face isolation and, sometimes, abuse as a result. Yet, when such incidents occur on their premises, schools do not do enough to protect their LGBT+ staff, say Andrew Prestidge and Grant Huddleston
David and Mike both work in British secondary schools. Both teach physical education. And both are gay. David has four years of teaching experience working in four schools. He is not “out” to many people in his work setting, owing to the perceived stereotype of the male PE teacher as macho, strong and athletic.
Of course, gay men can be those things (and lots of them are); however, PE is often seen as the “last bastion of masculinity” – where men are men and being gay goes against those “masculine” traits.
David is also a private person: work and home are different. Although the same ...