Gay Primary School Teacher

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noddy holder
Joined in 2010
December 28, 2010, 16:56


My name is Mark. I grew up in a Pentecostal movement called the Logos Foundation (Anthony is very familiar with this group). It was a fundamentalist extremely homophobic organisation. I went to the church, school and youth group. So all my childhood and youth I grew up hearing only negative things about gay people. Yet I had an ever increasing sense growing up that that is what I was. My early same sex attractions go back to when I was very young when I felt attracted to my cub master. When I was 15 a friend of mine climbed into my bed in a dorm at the school camp while the others were at a meeting. Much to our horror we were still in bed when a group of other boys all of a sudden entered the dorm turned the lights on and caught us in bed together. We pretended it was a joke that we were playing with them and laughed it off. However, this experience taught me that I could never come out as a gay guy in that particular environment. Incidentally I recently heard through the grapevine that the friend I was in bed with is married with two kids, so whether he was just experimenting or has repressed his sexuality I don’t know.

I went to the Logos Bible College for a year. At the end of my time in Bible College I went to see one of the pastors to confess that I thought I was gay. He told me that I wasn’t and prayed for me to be healed from any same sex thoughts that I was having. Obviously that prayer wasn’t answered. After Bible College I went to university and studied English Literature. Doing a degree in literature I learnt about textual analysis and analysing the cultural and social environment that a text was written in. This led me to question the Bible and whether it was 100% accurate and infallible.

Nevertheless after university I decided to go teaching English overseas with a mission group. I taught in Kyrgyzstan for almost three years. In Kyrgyzstan I had a Russian woman teaching me Russian. She had a son who was a few years older than me. I found him very attractive. We became good friends and he came to my place a fair bit. After a while we started to play around a bit. However, he then met a girl and married her. I was the best man at his wedding. Near the end of my time there I confessed to my mission leader and a couple of other guys working with the mission that I thought I was gay. They prayed for me to be free of these thoughts but again these prayers weren’t answered.

When I went back to Australia I did my graduate diploma in primary teaching and went to teach in Bowen in North Queensland. I shared a house with a woman. We immediately became good friends but after a while I started to suspect she was a lesbian. One night I asked her if this was the case. When she replied that she was I told her that I thought I was gay but that my Christian beliefs didn’t allow me to live as a gay man. She gave me a book called Stranger at the Gate: Being Christian and Homosexual by Mel White. Reading this book helped me come out.

After coming out I decided that to get support to move to Melbourne and attend MCC there. Before I went to Melbourne I visited my family in Toowoomba. I told my sister that I was gay as I knew she would be accepting, which she was. I also knew that she would go to mum with the news so that meant I didn’t have to do it myself. While mum wasn’t really accepting it didn’t change our relationship. She told me not to tell dad as it would kill him. About six weeks after moving to Melbourne I got a call from mum saying that she had told dad. He wasn’t really accepting either and I got a letter from him a week or so later asking my forgiveness if he had done anything to make me this way. However it certainly didn’t kill him and our relationship didn’t really change either. However neither mum nor dad were really willing to talk about it and mum still isn’t. Having said that I took my partner at the time up to Toowoomba for Christmas. Dad loved him and often asked about him afterwards. Sadly Dad passed away a couple of years ago.

After going to MCC in Melbourne for a while I decided it wasn’t really for me and I stopped going and I relinquished any faith that I had in God. In 2005 I went up to the Northern Territory to teach. After a couple of years there I moved back to rural Victoria. I taught at a special school there. Even though I liked my job I found living in a country town isolating as a gay man. A Christian friend who worked with me invited me to attend an Alpha course. During this time I made a recommitment to God and started attending the Salvation Army. I basically went back in the closet, though still attending gay events and visiting gay friends in Melbourne. At the end of last year being a bit tired of working in special ed I applied at the Christian school in town and got the job. I had decided that I would live as a celibate gay Christian. However teaching at the Christian school and having to teach the students religion made me realise I didn’t really hold a fundamentalist position anymore and I felt a real dichotomy working at the school. I took a trip to Turtle Cove during the July school holidays and had a great week with a man I met there. This made me decide that I was meant to live as an openly gay man. After I got back from Turtle Cove I contacted Anthony about coaching and had three great months of coaching in which he helped me to prioritise my life and set goals and decide values. It was an enormous help in deciding what I really want with my life. I highly recommend it if you are thinking of getting coaching.

I decided that I could no longer in all good consciousness work at the Christian school anymore and so have started looking around, though nothing has eventuated yet so it looks as if I might be there for a while longer yet.

The coaching sessions also helped me to reconcile my spirituality and my sexuality and I feel I have made great strides in this area. I really believe that God knows who I am and that He is ok with that. I have told a couple of friends who go to the Salvos and they have been very accepting, though I have asked them not to tell anyone else yet until I get another job as a few people who go to the church have connections to the school. Interestingly in the last week of school I got a call from the principal at 7:30 at night asking me to come into the school as it was urgent. When I got there he was there with the chairman of the board. Apparently the IT guy was installing a program on my computer when for some reason my computer started printing off pages of a gay discussion forum website that I had visited a couple of months previously. I’ve no idea how it happened. They questioned me about it but I just deflected the topic. As it was my personal computer and I wasn’t the one who printed it off there was nothing much they could really do but it also made me realise that I really didn’t fit in with the values and beliefs of the school.

Besides my job I am really happy with my life at the moment. I love the Salvos. I play the piano and lead the worship there. Even though most people there don’t know that I am gay I have never heard a negative comment about gay people in my three years there. I have two great little dogs. One of the friends I came out to at the Salvos said that having two little dogs made her suspect that I was gay. I am currently up at Turtle Cove as the guy I met back in July and I arranged to meet back up here after Christmas. It has been another great few days with him. It is a pity he lives in New Zealand. I am hoping to attend Mardi Gras next year and march with Freedom 2 Be Anyway, that’s my story.

Ann Maree
Joined in 2008
December 28, 2010, 18:17

Hi Mark

It’s great to hear your story.

We’ve had a couple of teachers here who have had positive experiences coming out when they feared the worst. Iain is one of them but I don’t think he’s in teaching any longer. He did a fantastic speech to his school that’s really inspirational. Here’s the link if you’re interested to read it.

Anyway, hope we here more from you.


Ann Maree

noddy holder
Joined in 2010
December 28, 2010, 19:30

Thanks Ann Maree for the link. I just read Iain’s story and left a reply. It’s always good to know you’re not the only one that has gone through these things.

Joined in 2007
December 28, 2010, 21:16

Thanks for telling your story Mark. It is always amazing and can also be comforting for others when they read a story that is almost like their own – with all the feelings, the doubts, the confusion, the realisation and hopefully, eventually, the acceptance of ourselves. Having grown up in a pentecostal church / home / school, I can so understand the difficulties with reconciling your Christian values and being gay.

Even the ‘coming out’ to our families can be difficult, especially when our families make that distinction between accepting & loving us – but not our gayness. But then how your father responded to you, and then your ex partner, brought a tear to eye.

I know that this was really the case when I read Anthony’s story, and now as I am reading your story, I can’t help but smile or nod to myself (or even have a cry) as I understand where you and others are or have been in your journeys. And what amazing journeys that we are on.


noddy holder
Joined in 2010
December 29, 2010, 13:01

Thanks for the reply Jason.

By the way, my username is the name of the lead singer of my favourite band Slade. They were a glam rock band from the UK back in the 70s. It’s a name I use regularly on different discussion forums. It has a fairly camp connotation to it though he wasn’t gay.

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
December 29, 2010, 14:55

hey Mark……welcome. Great to have your share your story here. I’m sure there will be more to add as they year progresses.

We have another primary school teacher who attends our Sydney meetings…….you will get to meet him when you come to Sydney

Joined in 2010
December 31, 2010, 10:17

Hi Mark,

I just read your story. I too am a primary school teacher (I might even be the one that Anthony was talking about above :p ). As a brand new teacher (and an openly gay man), I’ve had to make up the rules as I go. It’s been interesting to read your experiences and especially to see how big of a part faith has played in your journey.

I have been a Christian for about a decade (but not really a church going one any more).

In any case, thanks for sharing your story. It’s always great to have lovely people with unique stories share about their experiences here on our forum.

Looking forward to meeting you at the Freedom 2 B[e] Mardi Gras March.

Macman 🙂

Joined in 2008
December 31, 2010, 14:26

Welcome Mark to our/your online community. Thanks for sharing your story.

Iain’s journey and coming out story is definately an inspirational one to read.

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