Dear Mr R—
Even though you're gay, I will alway's treat you the same way as I do now. I still think about you the same way as I used to. You're a great teacher and these are just some of the word's that I would describe you as: great, amazing, fantastic, brilliant, awesome and brave.
The reason why I say brave, is because you shared a personal secret, which was very brave.
You don't have to feel scared because I know that everyone in the class feels the same way as I do.
x <3 x
P.S. Mr R—, we are all proud of you.
Pink News interviewed the teacher who received the letter.
He told the website that as a primary school teacher, "I'd always worried about mentioning my sexuality, despite the fact that my colleagues talked about their husbands, wives and significant others all the time."
As part of an anti-bullying week, he asked his class if they'd heard "gay" being used as pejorative term, and "almost every one of my class put their hands up". His headmaster supported his decision to tell the class he was gay, "so they at least knew one gay person and hopefully explain that when people use that word they're talking about me".
The reaction was fantastic – there were a lot of gasps and shocked looks and some basic questions – do you have a boyfriend, etc – but after a couple of minutes they were over it and we moved on to the rest of the lesson.
The letter came a couple of days later. The little girl who wrote it gave it to me at the start of the day with all the other slips about dinner money, school trips and doctors appointments.
Reading it brought tears to my eyes and it took me a little while to compose myself. When I thanked her she just shrugged and repeated something one of the boys in the class had said during the lesson, "It's just your life". Then she went back to her maths.
Alan White is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Alan White at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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