Transvestite speaks out

3rd August 2001 at 01:00
Please forgive my not revealing my true identity, but as a transvestite and a teacher I prefer to be discreet. The article (TES, July 20) over what heads should do if it comes to their attention that one of their teachers has "flexible" sexual behaviour deserves a response from one such as I.

I happen to be straight but wearing women's clothes has always been interwoven in my character to such an extent that I do not see it as aberrant. It is a very common form of behaviour - more gender-related than sexual - that society is barely flexible enough to cope with. Thousands of men in this country do it because it feels right to express part of their nature that our odd social mores teach them should be repressed. It has absolutely nothing to do with my work.

I am good at my job, popular and very professional. I do a good job and earn my pay. What I do at home is my business and who I tell is for me to decide.

If someone told my head of my private behaviour then I would hope he would ignore it. If I chose to flaunt my behaviour and pupils became aware of it, then it would be of legitimate concern to him and I understand that completely.

I think to expect consensus to emerge on how to deal with these matters is unrealistic; each case will be considered on its own particular circumstances. However, it would be of great comfort to many like me to know that if they were "outed" then the knowledge would be used tactfully, with discretion, and with a certain sensitivity. I have lived in dread of being found out for all my professional life. To be free of that fear would be wonderful.

AW Gordon

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