Closets and Classrooms: Conclusion

Looking back on my summer research, I am struck by a couple different things.

First, I am painfully aware of just how much more there is to learn about the experiences of LGBTQ teachers. The oral histories I collected certainly dug deep into the lives of my interviewees, shining a light on things they went through, sometimes heartbreaking, and revealing how these experiences shaped my interviewees as people and as educators. That being said, I can’t help feeling like I barely scratched the surface of the topic. There are so many more LGBTQ teachers I didn’t get the chance to speak with, so many more stories that are still untold. I hope that, in the future, I get another chance to interview more queer teachers, to continue to bring their unique and valuable stories to light.

Second, I believe, maybe a little idealistically, that with everything I got out of these interviews, my interviewees got something as well. While we were talking, it was clear to me that this isn’t a topic that my interviewees discuss frequently. For some, it seemed like it was their first time talking about it at all. I hope that, on some level, talking with me about fears and anxieties they hold so privately helped validate their feelings and encourage them to be more open about how keeping their queer identities private at school affects them.

This summer has been challenging and complicated in more ways than one, but I am truly grateful to the Charles Center and its donors for giving me the opportunity to pursue this line of research.