Is professor homophobic or just tough? - page 2

I'm a gay male in nursing school and I haven't made a secret of it. At my age I'm too old to waste time and energy trying to hide it. I don't shove it in anyone's face, however I talk about my... Read More

  1. by   genhen
    I am a heterosexual male nursing student. I could really care less about what the sexual orientation of a nurse is. I only care that the nurse provide quality care to the patient and also to be professional with other health care personnel. You talked about an instructor who doesn't like male nurses. My response is that she is so stupid that she doesn't deserve the energy needed to respond to her assinine beliefs. Her problems are hers, do not take her problems upon yourself. Her problems have nothing to do with you and all to do with her. 99.5% of patients, nurses, doctors, male nurses.
    I am currently in 2nd semester of nursing school. My current rotation is OB. My first day was postpartum. I took mother/baby assessments. In that, I checked uterine fundal heights, perineal care for episiotomy, talked extensively about breast feeding and corrent technique, POC for baby post hospital. I had some reservations about being a male student nurse in OB. I thought that mothers/fathers would not be receptive. I had four mothers that day and all of them thought I was great. I conducted myself in a professional manner. I was highly interested in palpating the fundus of the uterus. I wanted to know what that felt like. One mother commented that she never met a man who was so highly interested in breast feeding.

    My preconceptions continue to be shattered on a daily basis. A good part of my life I spent in destructive behavior. Now, I get to be a part of healing. In addition, I get to witness the awesome part of a new life entering this world. My instructor is awesome. She talked about how sometimes people have never been treated positively. We, as nurses, have an opportunity to plant a postive seed and watch it grow. While I don't think I will end up in OB, I am having a good time in this clinical rotation.

    Chadley, don't listen or take in negativity from a few. Most people look at how you are as a nurse. If you put your whole body, mind, and spirit into being the best possible nurse, you will be OK.

    Long live the brotherhood of male nurses. Props out to my sisters in nursing as well.

  2. by   Thunderwolf
    What a great group of MEN (and ladies) we have here. I am proud of you all.
  3. by   AC439

    Don't let that instructor get you down. A lot of instructors treat students based on their past bitterness (displacement behavior). And men coming into nursing is becoming a new fear to them that they have yet to know how to handle.

    I always disagree to the theory that the nursing program is designed to break you down and see who can hold on to the finish line. To me, this is not conducive. If nursing is about caring, love and helping, then they (instructors) are not doing what they preach. Without a positive role model from the instructors, we will not be good nurses.

    You will be alright, hang in there. You will be 1000 times happier after you graduate. School is just temporary.
  4. by   2dCareer
    Your remarks precede my comments below. (Time to put on my Psych counsellor hat.)

    "I felt embarrassed and insulted and thus defensive in class to assume first off that my sexual orientation was the issue. I too am open about things."

    If you felt embarrassed by your instructor (unprofessional behavior from your instructor) you should privately discuss the matter in a civil manner with them. If you're not satisfied with the outcome, go to the Associate Dean. Follow the chain of command up to the Dean of Students or President of the College/University.

    Remember... the first part of ASSUME is ass. Many times when folks assume, they make an ASS out of U and ME. Don't assume. Ask to be sure! You'll be glad you did.

    If by 'openness' you mean that you're discussing sexual behavior/orientation/preference/life, you're making a GRAVE mistake. One's private sexual proclivities should NEVER be discussed in professional/academic settings. Honestly, no one cares if you're homo, hetero, asexual, bisexual, trisexual or reproduce by budding. It's NOT about sex, it's about nursing academics.

    "... the program is designed to break you down."

    That remark, while made by another, concerns me. If it is true, I'd seriously considering seeking another program. Nursing is about building up, not breaking down. If it's not true, I'd consider the source.

    "I was told by one instructor last semester that she didn't feel that men had a place in nursing and she didn't like that the field was open to us."

    If that is true, I'd document it, verify it with other students whom could validate that the remark was made, and present it to the Dean and/or University/College President IMMEDIATELY. That is a blatantly discriminatory statement and may be grounds for dismissal and/or censure, if not a protracted and expensive lawsuit.

    Like you, I'm a native Southerner, and am NOT ashamed of it. And, I've always made it my practice to NEVER share about my behind-closed-doors experiences.

    There was a country song about that, you know... and it bears repeating today: "Because no one knows what goes on behind closed doors." (In healthcare, we made protecting personal privacy a law, and called it HIPAA. Hint, hint...)

    Hang in there my friend. You CAN overcome!
  5. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from 2dCareer
    If by 'openness' you mean that you're discussing sexual behavior/orientation/preference/life, you're making a GRAVE mistake. One's private sexual proclivities should NEVER be discussed in professional/academic settings. Honestly, no one cares if you're homo, hetero, asexual, bisexual, trisexual or reproduce by budding. It's NOT about sex, it's about nursing academics.
    Well, if we're having a conversation about our lives (which happens in every environment) and Chadley mentions his partner by name, has he somehow crossed that line?

    As to no one caring if he's gay, that's a sweet fantasy, bless your heart. I don't know that that's what's happening here necessarily, but the idea that the whole world is comfortable with gay men is optimistic at best. And that this woman stated to Chadley that she doesn't like men in nursing certainly makes clear that she doesn't like Chadley in nursing.

    Chadley, just hold your head high and ignore this ill-bred anti-male bigot as best you can. Get past it. She's only going to be a part of your life for a relatively short time and then she can just get over another guy joining our caregiving circle.

    I also wouldn't devote any energy to trying to figure out why she doesn't like you. It doesn't matter, and it's only your problem if she grades you unfairly because of it or worry incessantly over it. And honey, it ain't worth it. :flowersfo
  6. by   APP
    I wish the OP had given examples....

    That said, even if the instructor is a homophobe, there is nothing anyone can do about that: all one can do is one's best.
  7. by   jaytek13
    Quote from genhen
    I'm confused. What has the instructor done? Has he said that he does not like homosexuality? Why do you feel it necessary to tell him that you are gay? I have not told my instructor that I am heterosexual.

    If you tell someone something about and they don't like it, is that a problem? It is a problem if it interferes with instructor/student relationship with respect to learning about nursing. Last semester, I had an instructor that didn't like me and I didn't like her. We still maintained a professional relationship and we didn't have any problems.

    You say that you are not trying to hide your sexuality. What does that mean? Sexuality should not be an issue to be the classroom or in clinical. I'm heterosexual and I don't flirt or hit on women in the classroom or at clinical.

    Help me to understand what it is you are trying to say.

    2nd Semester Student
    This entire post is homophobic. He said he talks about his family, just as anyone would... I'm sure he's not walking into class and making sure everyone knows he's gay. But much like how a straight person could mention their wife/girlfriend in casual conversation, so can a gay man, but when a gay person does it people like you consider it flaunting their sexuality.

    He is right about one thing though... You should just shut up and deal with it. Being in the South I'd assume the school your attending has no policy banning discrimination against homosexuals, and so even if it were so bad that you had a clear cut case, no one would do anything about it.
  8. by   Doog
    I think being a male in nursing school, regardless of sexuality, puts us in a unique position. Some instructors react differently depending on their personal experiences with men in the field. They either expect more or less from you due to your gender. This had it's advantages and disadvantages.
  9. by   anonymurse
    Hi RISC601, I was asked in clinicals by a crusty old NP if she'd seen me before and I said, yup, I'm re-taking this course. She quietly took me aside and said "You know why you flunked, don't you? First, all nursing instructors are b*****s. And second, you're a male. Now, back in the old days, we didn't mind males, because if you were a male and a nurse, you were 'one of the girls,' if you know what I mean. But now when one of US sees one of YOU coming, we're thinking to ourselves--now that we're finally getting paid what we're worth, here YOU come to take it from US."

    I mention this story because you can take comfort from her remark about 'one of the girls,' and you can feel you're being treated equally with other males in that attitude represented by the remark about 'here you come,' and lastly whatever attitudes you run into, you will remember that there are many different ways nurses are looking at you, and actually the majority will probably not have anything to do with maleness or orientation, just how well you do your job and how helpful you are to other nurses.
  10. by   DaFreak71
    More than likely, you will never know if the source of tension between you and your instructor is based on your sexual orientation or not. For your own peace of mind, I would actively try to dismiss your feeling that you are being discriminated against or treated differently unless or until you had some evidence.

    I am not originally from the south, but I live here now. I have noticed many cultural differences. I am originally from the N.W., and I am an assertive woman. This does not go over very well with some of the instructors I have enountered. I also know that homosexuality is not something that the average southerner is comfortable with. This is heartbreaking to me because I can imagine how isolating it is to feel the need to hide your identity. Who you love and your lifestyle are integral parts of our being. To have to filter your language to hide your true self is a chore and leaves one feeling disenfranchised. I applaud your choice to be open with your classmates and instructors. I realize that some people feel that if you say you are gay, it's flaunting your sexuality and bringing up an issue that shouldn't be brought up, but perhaps they simply don't realize how difficult it would be to have to refer to their significant others in gender neutral terms, make up reasons why you don't have children, etc.

    The truth is that probably most of your instructors disapprove of your sexual orientation but would never let on, there might be a few who don't have a problem with it at all, and there's even a slight chance that one of them is homosexual as well. But like I said at the start, you will probably never know since divulging their acceptance or disapproval of homosexuality could very well get them fired. So to save yourself from a great deal of inner turmoil and uncertainty, please do your level best to make it a non-issue. If you get funny looks or are snapped at, instead of telling yourself it's because you are gay, tell yourself they are having a bad day or just have icky personalities. Even if you directly asked one of them if they are treating you harshly because you are gay, they would not say yes. So this becomes an issue where you have to do what's in your best interest.

    I wish you the very best!
  11. by   JohnBearPA
    I'm also an "out" gay male, and encountered both sides of the coin on this one. I had an instructor that made my life hell for one semester, holding me to a higher standard than the females or heterosexual males in that rotation, and you know what? It made me a better nurse. I learned to always be prepared for any obscure question she might ask me, knew that I would be the one asked harder questions than the others, and knew that I would recieve the more "difficult" pt's during that rotation. She picked apart my paperwork, looked over my shoulder as much as possible, called on me to do procedures that were difficult as hell, and generally made my life hell for three months. I'm not just feeling sorry for myself here, other students noticed this too and pointed it out to me. The important thing was,,,, I MADE IT, and it made me ONE HELL OF A GOOD NURSE!

    Just grin and bear it dude, nursing school will be a distant memory soon, and you'll be out in the real world, where you'll have recourse in such situations. Also, don't sweat the ob/gyn. Mine was a blast, and I really learned alot!
  12. by   L.O.E.N.
    i think just being a guy sometimes set the bar higher, albiet unintentionally... I'm one of 2 men in a class of 40 women and I've just gotten used to being singled out for the hard stuff. I don't think the instructors do it purposely MOST of the time, we just stick out a bit. The other times happen because as of now I've got the highest GPA in the class, so they like to toss the worst of the worst at me.... but I love it! Bring it!!

    The south (especially the southwest, where I'm from) isn't the friendliest place for gay people though... the bible belt is called that for a reason... and we've our share of fanatical christians still imposing biblical "law" to everyone around them. Personally, if I were gay, I'd probably keep it real low key, just in case... it sucks, but you've probably been down that road before.

    The instructor would be seriously jeaprodizing their career if they openly discriminated against anyone though... that's a big can of worms to open. It's really your call.
  13. by   papawjohn
    Hey Ris!!!

    How'd did it turn out for you this semester? Any answer to your question?

    Papaw John