"I Know..."

05 January 2009
Yesterday was an interesting day for me. Well, I guess I could say yesterday evening was interesting for me. I first went to my relatives' house for the traditional family dinner on fast Sunday. That was fine. I got to play with my cousin's kids and have a good time with the family--always enjoyable. I then stopped by Drex and Salad's to drop off their key after I took care of their apartment for the Christmas break. This is when it starts to get weird.

I get a text from one of my swimmers. It says, "haha Sean is a texting my bro... weird." I'll now give some background. His older brother is gay I knew him in high school. We have been talking for awhile and I have been kind of nervous since his brother could possibly find out. Continuing... I let that text sit there for about an hour. I didn't want to respond. Then I get this text: "oh btw I'm not dumb and I know... and I'm not a 'hater' I won't tell anyone because I'm also not a jerk... Just don't get mad that I know. My bro doesn't want me to tell you that I know." At this point, I had no choice, but to respond. I responded, "So how long have you known?" In reply, "about a week." Then I asked, "How did you find out? Your brother?" He responded, "You keep your life personal and you talk to my bro and then it kinda clicked plus my bro isn't too good at keeping secrets." I then asked, "Did you talk to your brother about it?" He then replied, "I did tonight and he said to ask you. But its cool." Now one of my swimmers knows that I am gay. I am ok with it. I would rather be out than pretending to be straight. It sometimes wears on me, especially with my swimmers. They are always bothering me about who I am dating, how many people I've kissed, my girlfriend's name, what she looks like, etc. I have been pretty good at pushing on their questions by changing the subject, but it wears on me after awhile.

I know, however, it is not good for me to be out to the team. I know that parents would freak out and so would some of the kids. Then I would probably get called into the principal's office. He couldn't fire me because it would be discrimination. The problem is that people living in Happy Valley are very judgmental. I know that parents would pull their kids off the swim team so they wouldn't be coached by a gay person. I could also get in lawsuits saying that I did something to some of their children, when in fact I didn't. The principal would then probably force me to quit somehow. There would be a lot of bad repercussion.

Out of all the people who could know on the swim team, I am glad it's this guy. He is one of my favorite swimmers and he always works hard. I also believe him when he says that he won't tell anyone and that he will keep it to himself. It feels kind of nice to be out to him so it's on less person I have to worry about, but I'm afraid it might become awkward for us. This morning at swim practice, we didn't have too much interaction. Although, the limited time we did have interacting was kind of weird. I wasn't sure what he was thinking anymore and he was probably wondering what I was thinking. He looked and talked to me the same, but I couldn't help to wonder what was going on in his mind. I'm sure this will pass with time and everything will be fine, if it is not right now. I think I may talk to him sometime about it. I'm not sure though. I'll have to see what happens. One thing I do know for sure is that I have a friend in him.

9 comments:

Kengo Biddles said...

...uh, actually, you can get fired for being gay.

It's stupid, but it's still technically legal.

Rich said...

Utah is an at-will state, which means that you can be dismissed for any reason or no reason at all - as long as it doesn't go against public policy. As for orientation, that is not protected in the state of Utah but it could potentially be bad PR.

Silus Grok said...

What Rich and Kengo said. There was a case very much like this where a female coach in Payson, I think, was fired.

So do be careful … and take a few extra precautions. If you have an office, don't close the door when a student is with you. That sort of thing. And good luck! Sounds like a positive with a whole lotta down side.

Formerly known as Peter said...

This is why we have tried several times to pass non-discrimination laws in Utah. It is ridiculous that they haven't passed.

I watch Milk and I see how people tried to fire all gay teachers in California--they failed--but 30 years later we're still worried about people wanting to fire gay people at schools.

David said...

Ugh...silly silly Utah. Good luck, Sean.

playasinmar said...

"He couldn't fire me because it would be discrimination."

C'mon, Gimple. You've got to know better than that if you're gonna live here.

You are soooo canned if this gets out.

Michael said...

sad that we STILL live in a society where one must be hidden and stifled. Sean, I am sure you are a great coach. Just be careful! on a lighter note it does feel good to not have to "hide anymore." Keep your chin up and good luck with everything...

Z i n j said...

I'm sorry but this makes me angry....what does having SSA have to do with you even potentially ever abusing kids any more or different than any other jock out there in the world?

Bravone said...

Sean, I just echo what others have said. Sexual orientation is not a protected class federally or in Utah. I hope it all works well for you, just be overly careful. Someone evil could make unsupported claims if they wanted too. Sad but true.

I was telling my best friends wife that one of my good gay friends would make a great scoutmaster. Her first thought....pedophilia. I was hurt that she would even think such thoughts, but the truth is we live in a world full of preconceived ideas. It will take a long time to break that barrier.

I didn't mean to be such a downer. Sorry.