It seems like the closet is part of the job description for many teachers–even outside the “Don’t Say Gay” wasteland of the U.S. school system.
A Catholic school Drama teacher in Perth, Australia found himself as a subject in a viral game of “Guess Who” that cost him his job.
The TikTok series in question featured “clues” in each video to indicate who they were about; one such video included the coat of arms for this teacher’s school, the “comedy and tragedy” theater masks, and a muscled torso next to a Pride flag.
“I was victim to students making a TikTok about me that effectively was outing me,” the teacher explains to The West Australian.
“Being gay and working in a Catholic school, the scriptures and the Church believe homosexuality is wrong and that teachers may be dismissed from their role due to religious grounds.”
The official statement from a Catholic Education West Australia spokesperson failed to address this specific situation, though they assured that “the safety and well being of all students and staff are central to our processes and practices.”
“Appropriate online behaviour continues to be an educational and pastoral focus with clear policies and procedures if student conduct does not meet the high standards expected,” the statement continued.
That being said, it’s unclear whether this instance of publicly outing a teacher is even being investigated.
Queer teachers in the United States are currently facing similar roadblocks, even in completely secular public schools, with multiple accounts of teachers being reprimanded and even fired over publicizing their sexuality.
In the face of the “Don’t Say Gay” bills popping up across the nation, even LGBTQ students are being targeted. In one such instance, a Florida high school has decided it will be sending notices to parents of any students who share a P.E. class with any transgender student (à la a sex offender registry notification).
The outed Perth teacher had been at his school doing a job he loved for six years, but after becoming the target of online harassment, that’s all come to a close.