Gay And Coaching High School Football

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    May 07, 2013 3:49 AM GMT
    Ok new to this Forum thing so here it goes...
    I recently got hired part time to coach American Football for high school at a Catholic High School. (Something I have been wanting to do since I was in high school. This school is also my alma mater.) My close friend is also the head coach and the one who hired me. Here's the thing though I just recently started coming out and only have told my family and no one else. My friend who hired me doesn't know.

    So my question to all you out there is what would you guys do? Should I let my friend know that I am gay and he can deal with the politics with the school? Is it any of their business? Or should I just keep it to myself? What do you guys think? The floor is yours.

    Thanks,
    john
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    May 07, 2013 3:58 AM GMT
    It honestly depends on you. Some people are proud and want everyone to know it. Others are low-key and only care what the ones close to them.

    At the same time, a gay teacher at a cathotic school may lead to a scandal. But if everyone knows they may use it against you. Either way you're probably screwed.

    I'd just keep it quiet for now. Build a good reputation. Then come out to your friend, and work together to get the school to accept you. It's really the only move that works in your favor, at least in my opinion.
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    May 07, 2013 4:00 AM GMT
    “Secrets have power. And that power diminishes when they are shared, so they are best kept and kept well. Sharing secrets, real secrets, important ones, with even one other person, will change them. Writing them down is worse, because who can tell how many eyes might see them inscribed on paper, no matter how careful you might be with it. So it's really best to keep your secrets when you have them, for their own good, as well as yours.”
    ― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus
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    May 07, 2013 4:53 AM GMT
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/3145745
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/3181701

    Find something else to do until a secular-school job opens up. Don't be the next person dragged out of the community's closet via termination by the Catholic Church and its minions. No job is too small for them.

    Advise your close friend that for personal reasons that you'll divulge later, you cannot continue at the school. Consult him for a verbal (NOT written) recommendation for your next football job, if needed. And make sure you come out to him soon, but only after you have formally resigned.
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    May 07, 2013 5:04 AM GMT
    And welcome to RJ! Don't be a stranger.
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    May 07, 2013 5:18 AM GMT
    I'll agree with your call, personally I wouldn't do it because I don't like being in the closet ... being in closet is a horrible way to live one's life. And if the guy is such a good friend why doesn't he know you're gay? He can't be that good of a friend if you are will to lie to him about who you are.


    oh ... welcome to RJ
  • waccamatt

    Posts: 1918

    May 07, 2013 5:24 AM GMT
    I couldn't live in the closet - life is too short to hide and worry about people finding out. I'd get a job somewhere you can be yourself.
  • shawn06

    Posts: 337

    May 07, 2013 5:31 AM GMT
    You can be out without telling him. It's your personal life which you don't have to disclose, if you got fired for it then you could sue. Either way just do your job and I'm sure you will be fine even if it does come up.
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    May 07, 2013 5:37 AM GMT
    Thanks everyone. Fortunately I have a fully time job I would really be coaching for fun. Here's the thing though I am coming out and excepted who I am. Would I be pressing my luck to tell my friend and keep my personal life Personal?
  • wesv

    Posts: 907

    May 07, 2013 5:48 AM GMT
    That's great. Nothing wrong with that. I wrestled in high school. The entire team knew I was gay and they were ok with it.

    If you're not comfortable coming out to your friend or to the team, then there's no rush.
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    May 07, 2013 6:01 AM GMT
    Did you know a lesbian gym teacher was outed by a "concerned parent" who saw her mother's obit that listed she and her partner's name. FIRED! A cath-o-lic Cincinnati school recently fired a principal for SUPPORTING gay marriage (he's straight). FIRED! Reason: they go against cath-o-lic teachings. Don't tell your friend! Get a secular job!
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    May 07, 2013 6:05 AM GMT
    Keep it to yourself. Your professional life should be just that, and anything that might divide the school or team you love should stay off the field. Let your work speak for you and not your private life. Do you feel you must mention your private life to your coworkers?

    I left a Catholic school job after one year because I felt stifled ideologically (also I got a better job). If it is your dream job, though, I can see how you would want to be open with all parties concerned. I just don't think that parents paying a lot of money to keep their children away from ideas contrary to their beliefs would take kindly to their children looking up to someone who in the hyper-protective-parental mind could be a predator, especially in the locker room or on trips.

    I can't say I know exactly what your situation is, but if you are successful there you would be a much-needed picture of goodness (albeit controversial). Pray a lot and I'm sure you will find your answer. I wish you the best
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    May 07, 2013 6:28 AM GMT
    johnJH820 saidThanks everyone. Fortunately I have a fully time job I would really be coaching for fun. Here's the thing though I am coming out and excepted who I am. Would I be pressing my luck to tell my friend and keep my personal life Personal?


    if you know that he's married or dated women, then he hasn't "kept his personal life personal", so why should you?

    t0mb0mb saidLet your work speak for you and not your private life. Do you feel you must mention your private life to your coworkers?


    And again...how come it's one's "private life" only for those who are gay?

    Anyway, if he's a good friend, then it's not going to be an issue. Obviously, it's your call, but I think you would be missing an opportunity to open some hearts and minds.
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    May 07, 2013 6:31 AM GMT
    I'm not sure how close you are to your 'close friend', but I believe he offered you the position out of his trust in your characters and capabilities. Given your friendship, he is also committed to the high school and responsible for his decision of hiring you. I think it is better to come out to him first and let him decide if he wants to take the risk of having a gay coworker on the team. If he still wants you and wants you to keep it low profile, you will have a much easier life keeping the secret because he will help. If he does not want you on the team, remember it is not the end of the world, you will find a team one day which accepts who you are.
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    May 07, 2013 6:52 AM GMT
    I think this sounds like a bad combo. Because of the nature of the school, it will probably turn into a scandal someday down the line. It can even become nasty with accusations that you "touched" a son. I don't want to sound negative, but some people might turn this into a nightmare for you.

    If anything, to avoid all of that, you can let only people that need to know at the school (such as the principal etc) and hear their reaction. If they don't seem against it, well by all means. This does sound a bit risky, and the longer you keep it quiet, the more damage it can do you in the long run.

    PS: I mean keep your sexuality quiet at the Catholic school by the way.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    May 07, 2013 7:56 AM GMT
    How naive can you be? People who are opposed to gay people in these circumstances have only to proclaim that you are gay. It is enough for them to simply ID you. They do not need logical reasons. All they need to do is to manipulate prejudice. This can ruin your life with lots of bad publicity. It can easily do the same for your friend who hired you. It can also do a nice job of dragging down others on the staff and hurting the school. Is that what you want? Getin into this kind of position in a parochial school is like walking into a bonfire with a gas can. It is stupid.

    If you want to do some coaching, get involved in an adult recreational football program and work your way into coaching.

    And keep your personal life personal. Your field is sports, not broadcasting.
  • shawn06

    Posts: 337

    May 07, 2013 8:18 AM GMT
    Lustolove saidDid you know a lesbian gym teacher was outed by a "concerned parent" who saw her mother's obit that listed she and her partner's name. FIRED! A cath-o-lic Cincinnati school recently fired a principal for SUPPORTING gay marriage (he's straight). FIRED! Reason: they go against cath-o-lic teachings. Don't tell your friend! Get a secular job!


    "Columbus has a very strong anti-discrimination ordinance, passed two years ago after a tough struggle. It contains specific language outlawing discrimination because of sexual orientation, as well as race, age or sex."

    http://peoplesworld.org/catholic-teacher-fired-for-being-gay-draws-wide-support/

    In this case it is indeed illegal for the school to have fired her. Anti-descrimination laws should protect anybody in any situation, just pointing that out as I believe the OP should do what he wants to do as he should be protected by the law.
  • ja89

    Posts: 789

    May 07, 2013 8:39 AM GMT
    Since you don't stand to lose anything (as far as your monetary situation goes) and you're doing this out of pure enjoyment and love for the sport, you should keep it to yourself. Why ruin your own happiness? Gay isn't what you ARE, it's your sexuality. You ARE a football coach.

    Yeah you would get a bunch of people saying they can't live life like this and that, it's ultimately up to you and how you see you need to handle the situation. seems like you've wanted this for awhile, why let someone take it away from you. PLUS, there is always a public school if this goes sour.
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    May 07, 2013 9:24 AM GMT
    Closeted gay man decides to come out after accepting coaching job at Catholic high school.

    This isn't going to end well.

    Good luck. You'll need it.
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    May 07, 2013 9:27 AM GMT
    Are you a private person? If so keep your personal life personal. No it's not the school's business. As for telling your friend. I say yes tell him. If he really is your friend this will certainly test that friendship. As for the school finding out... Lame Catholic high school students and ignorant religious coworkers can be cruel and immature and make your life miserable with their ignorance. Also the world is still in its very ignorant and intolerant state, so being out and it being majority welcomed depends on the staff, where you live, how educated folks are around you, and how welcoming your town is to LGBT. However you could just make a leap of faith and make a difference, taking whatever comes from it!
    (May the Catholics bless your soul!)

    It's sad that for many of us, we feel that it has to be announced since the presumption is everyone is straight until told or obvious. Maybe you should ask yourself: Is your sexuality being known about to the school that relevant to your actual job duties?
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    May 07, 2013 9:54 AM GMT
    Keep it to yourself.

    People don't introduce themselves like, "Hi! My name is Mark, and I'm straight icon_biggrin.gif." I don't think it's any of their business. There may be times where he may want to hang out in which case the conversation of women or dating may come up icon_neutral.gif Umm... I'm actually not sure anymore, but I don't think it's something you have to bring up if you want the job.
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    May 07, 2013 9:57 AM GMT
    ^^I am agree with Vla8
  • Sportsfan1

    Posts: 479

    May 07, 2013 10:02 AM GMT
    John,
    My best to you. You are going to need all the support that you can muster. Everyone that has responded has given you some great advice. All I can add is that so much depends on you. Since you are still just coming out, I advise to take things very slowly. At some point you are going to have to confide in your friend. If he is truly a friend it will not matter and he will stand by you if things get ugly. Being at a private Catholic school things can get ugly. You may be able to keep things under the radar since you are not the head coach. Be very careful in your private personal life, be very careful in who you confide in and be very careful not to do anything that can get you fired.
    I recently retired from teaching. One of my regrets is that I did not get into coaching. I am very athletic and love sports. I would have made a great coach. However when I made the decision to go into teaching the situation for gays in sports was not conducive to being out and a coach. There is still rampant homophobia is sports. Do not forget that. Best of luck!
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    May 07, 2013 10:28 AM GMT
    Closeted gay man in close contact with high school boys at an institution (Catholic Church) reeling from scandals involving, for the most part, male clergy and staff and underage males seems to be a recipe for disaster.
  • mynyun

    Posts: 1346

    May 07, 2013 10:34 AM GMT
    Lustolove saidDid you know a lesbian gym teacher was outed by a "concerned parent" who saw her mother's obit that listed she and her partner's name. FIRED! A cath-o-lic Cincinnati school recently fired a principal for SUPPORTING gay marriage (he's straight). FIRED! Reason: they go against cath-o-lic teachings. Don't tell your friend! Get a secular job!



    Yeah, I was just looking to see if anyone posted this or not. I would not recommend working at a catholic anything Period. Let alone a high school and being gay. But if you like it then it is your choice.