I teach adult students. Inevitably, I get someone asking me if I am married, if I have a girlfriend, why I don’t have a girlfriend, if I want a Tiawanese girlfriend, etc…
Up till now, I’ve tried to divert the questions, avoid answering, or just plain beating around the bush. I talk about my boyfriend as my roommate. Etc… I think the hardest part is when they ask me why I came to Taiwan. I came mainly because my boyfriend was unable to find a job in the US and had to return to Taiwan. Teaching English was a secondary reason. But, often I just make that the main reason.
I’m getting tired of lying and avoiding. Most of my gay colleagues say they don’t discuss their personal life, because it is their private life and “none of the students business.” But, my response to that is, if you were dating a person of the opposite sex, would you avoid talking about him/her? Do married teachers avoid talking about their spouses? If not, why should I avoid it just because my partner is the same sex?
The only reason I can think of is because of the possible negative reaction from the students. For those of you who are gay or lesbian, how do you handle discussing your life in the classroom? Have you ever mentioned that you are homosexual? If so, what was the reaction of the students? Did you lose any? Any suggestions or anecdotes would be appreciated.