Why do I want to be a teacher?

As a college student, I am constantly asked what I am studying or what I want to do with my life. The answer never changes: Secondary Education and English, I want to teach high school English. People are baffled by this because ‘who wants to work with older kids’ and ‘who wants to read for the rest of their lives?’ Being a teacher, in general, holds so much more power and significance than just reading and grading for the rest of my working life. Teachers have the ability to spark creativity within their students and can even change their lives.

Throughout my years in school, I found safety within the pages of novels, such as The Outsiders, The Great Gatsby, and The Bell Jar. However, I found the most beneficial aspect of my English classes is having a teacher who loves what they do. From my sophomore to my senior year, I had teachers who loved every part of their job. They were passionate about what they taught us. It was not about curriculum to them, but picking pieces for us to read that would have some type of impact on the teenage mind that also fit into the curriculum.

The best part about one of my English teacher was the bond she developed with me. She knew and understood the fact that each student has a personal life outside of their academic lives. She knew that sometimes the personal life would fall apart and affect the academic life, but she was never bitter about the inconveniences. She has the biggest heart and is the reason I want to pursue this career. Every student needs someone they can trust in. She was that person for me, and I want to be that person for someone else. My goal for the future has always been to help people. Becoming a teacher will help me do that.

I do not want to be a teacher to read and write all day or because I would get the summers ‘off.’ I want to be a teacher to help and inspire, like my teachers have done for me.

“So, are you gay now?”

Take a second to think about someone you want, something you have been wanting for a long time. Now, picture the feeling you get when you finally get it. Are you excited, happy, elated? Now, whatever it is you have been wanting is not exactly what you expected, but it does not change how you feel. This is what it was like to find out the person I spent years falling for was not Marc, but instead Kylee. Now that I am dating a trans* girl, I am constantly asked whether or not I am gay. The answer is simple: no.

When I was 13 I met Marc and there was an instant connection. It was like a magnetic pull and neither of us could break it, but it is not like either of us tried to break it. Looking at him I knew that this was someone I wanted in my life for as long as possible. The friendship came so naturally to both of us. Even when he went home to California and came back a year later, all the emotions that were there a year prior remained and managed to grow over the course of the year of separation. The connection and feelings were intensifying without us even trying or talking for a year at a time.

All of these emotions came out of genuinely liking the person for who they are, what they stand for and all the things that make their eye glimmer when they discuss it. It was the fact that we could talk about books, drugs, music, who we were dating, school, life, goals or anything else with such ease. Falling in love with Marc was just the easiest thing I have ever done, but so is continuing to love Kylee. After years of giving excuses of why we could not possibly be together we are now trying and succeeding because it is what we both want and needed for so long.

Us being open about our relationship brings up the concreteness of my own sexuality. I spent many years in exclusive relationships with cisgender men. Now, I am dating a trans* woman, but this one relationship does not define my sexuality. I fell in love with Marc, but not because he was a male, but because I saw him as a person who could make me smile when it was the last thing I wanted to do and who continuously saw beyond my terrible acne and large rack. These parts of me are not the reason he wanted to be with me.

I told my mother, “I am generally attracted to men and masculinity as a whole. It just so happens that this guy I fell in love with is a girl and I just accept it because her happiness is what is important.” That is what it is. I want the person I love to love themselves and be happy when they look in the mirror. In a relationship, you build each other up, not tear each other down.

Each time I am asked if I am gay, my immediate thought is ‘do these people know and understand how sexuality works?’ I have always defended the fact that a person does not choose to be gay or straight. I did not wake up in the morning and decide to be a lesbian. I do not wake up every morning and decide that I love Kylee today. It was something I had no control over and I still don’t. When she told me she was trans* I could have said no to her, but that was be depriving myself of experiencing such joy and happiness that she brings to my life.

Am I gay? No, that implies being a homosexual, or being attracted to one gender. I am not attracted to one gender by any means. I am a woman who loves another woman and that is all. There might be a label you can place on me, but it is not your place to do so. It is not your job to define every aspect of my life, it is mine. I am not gay, a homosexual, a lesbian, a bisexual or any other title you want to throw at me. I am happy. I am loved. I am whatever the hell I want to be.