Is professor homophobic or just tough?

  1. 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 family just the same as all the other students.

    What I'm attempting to ascertain is whether or not I have a professor that is homophobic? Reflecting back over this semester and last, I could see that as a possibility.

    Being from the South, we can do things a little differently down here and take things to heart too easily. Sometimes it isn't an issue that we as Southerners are disliked, but we may perceive it as such because people from other regions tend to be more "direct". I may simply be reading a lot more into it than I should.

    Another possibility is that the professor sees the potential for a great nurse and wants to do her best to assure that the potential is realized. Maybe she's being a pain for my own good. Although it would be reassuring that after you were snapped at that the reason was explained or maybe even a *wink* to let you know not to take it personally. Regardless of whether or not it is outwardly visible, chances are it was taken personally.

    From this point forward I could always be strictly business. Follow a strict policy of "keep your mouth shut" and "speak only when spoken to."

    Any opinions?
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    About RISC601

    Joined: Dec '05; Posts: 5


  3. by   hbncns35
    I'm not of the male species but perhaps I could help...............

    First off, I would not assume anything of the professor, this just puts you on the defensive. However you think of her and how she thinks of you ultimately determines your response to her. I would think good things of her despite some of the foibles she may exhibit. It is always wise to overlook certain negative qualities in people because all of us have them. Sometimes you have to look hard to find some good things in people but most times you have to just say - This is how this person is, I can't change them but I am going to take the higher road on this one and continually be nice to them. At some point when you are killing them with kindness, its hard to be mean to someone who is going out of their way to be nice. And if you don't see a change in them, just remind yourself this is only temporary and the end of the semester is near. When someone is not themselves, there are usually some underlying issues going on or overwhelming stress. I always go with the benefit of the doubt...............HB
  4. by   TheCommuter
    Unfortunately, people are still homophobic in this day and age. You are courageous for not attempting to hide your sexuality; however, many people are still very uncomfortable around gay people.
  5. by   SFCardiacRN
    Often you learn the most from the hardest instructors. Until she starts calling you a ******, I wouldn't worry. School passes quickly!
  6. by   Murse901
    Quote from RISC601
    What I'm attempting to ascertain is whether or not I have a professor that is homophobic? Reflecting back over this semester and last, I could see that as a possibility. (cut) Any opinions?
    Considering the fact that you've given absolutely no example of the incidents that are causing you to have concerns, I don't think anyone can give any real opinion on your situation.

    The only opinion that I can give you is that as a straight male, I feel pushed and pressured in nursing school myself. But, I also feel that pretty much everyone else in my class is being pushed and pressured just about the same. Honestly, your instructor probably doesn't give a flip about your sexuality, much like the rest of the civilized world.
  7. by   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
  8. by   Tony35NYC
    If I were you I would not assume anything about this instructor. Most nursing instructors are real tough, and thats not necessarily a bad thing if it makes you a better student and, ultimately, a great nurse. Focus on completing your program and getting your degree. Before you know it nursing school will be over and you'll probably never see her again.
  9. by   1Tulip
    If she treats your inadequacies and mistakes the same way she treats those of the others in your clinical group, you have your answer. It's no, she's not homophobic.

    And as an aside, that's a reeeeeeaaaly serious charge to throw casually at someone, especially someone who'd like to keep their job in education. There is no way for an instructor to prove a negative. How can I prove I'm NOT a racist or homophobe.

    Given the random nature of things, the day may come when I have a homosexual student who isn't getting it, who isn't trying, or isn't prepared, or doesn't know how to study. Now... if the other seven students in my group ARE prepared, are getting it, do know how to study... I'm going to be hard, maybe very hard, on the gay guy. Right?

    Do you have a problem with that?

    As you may have noticed, this kind of stuff is very disturbing to straights. And it's not about sexuality, it's about keeping our jobs.

    And BTW, I'm a native Southerner and I try always to call 'em the way I see 'em.
  10. by   AC439
    To RISC601:

    First of all, if your teacher impose the same standard on all students, then there should not be much to worry about. Continue to stay professional and maintain bussiness communication.

    I have to say that I have very good impression from homosexual people. I found them to bear more love and concern to others, always ready to jump in to help. My sister also told me impressive stories about how the gay coworkers had helped her too.
  11. by   SuesquatchRN
    I wouldn't read homophobia into it. Our lab director is an older gay guy who absolutely hates my guts - I somehow get on his last nerve.

    I can say, though, that I was born and raised in New York City and you might be right on target with the "directness" thing. I'm now living in upstate New York in a pretty rural area and have to really watch what I say so as not to offend. The biggest problem is that NYC humor is dark and sarcastic, and not meant to hurt anyone's feelings - and it doesn't in context. Up here, I need to be careful.
  12. by   RN2B78
    It is sad but many of people today still believe in ways that homosexuality is a sin, and yes (not to toss out religion) but the bible does say that man shall not lay with another man, but in the same breath it also says thou shall not steal, fornicate, drink to get drunk (you get my point) a sin is a sin and too many believe that homosexuality is the worst (I am a gay male as well) and I think that times are changing and too many folks are not ready to adapt to the changing times.
  13. by   bopps
    Hey, I think my nursing Prof. is out to get me and I am a straight female! I think they are all tough with their students regardless of their sexual orintation or gender. Don't get too down, not all straight people are judgemental towards gays. Good for you for being open about your gayness. No point in hiding who you are. I am a conservative born-again christian and I feel nothing but love towards you guys. One of my favorite co-workers is gay, and he is like the #1 R.N, everybody loves him. Peace, I wish you the best. Bopps
  14. by   ChadleyNC
    ok so this reply is late. I have been reading and studying and testing and.. and...

    ok that out of the way, let me address the cause for my post. I have had issues with 3 of my instructors so far at my school. I'm in an ADN program in NC. It was fairly easy for me in a situation wherein 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. In the same vein that one can never assume that a person who works in a field where they have contact with people like me, must be accepting and understanding I can not automatically assume that her apparent hatred or dislike for me is based on this. My partner, who graduated from this program some time ago talked with me about it and told me that what I should concentrate on is that the difficulty of the program is designed to break you down. not to build you back up in the end, but to see what you are made of and where your breaking points are, because when we graduate they will place a patient's life in our hands and they need to know that we can handle it. An extreme example, sure, but a true one I think. 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. I am terrified of my OB rotation this summer because of this. I think a lot of places see that as the last bastion of all female nursing. what place does a Y chromosome have in that environment? The answer to that for me is that it doesn't matter, because I will be there as I am required to be, and I will perform my student duty. To learn, to retain, and to learn some more.

    I just decided that wether the dislike I was perceiving from my instructor was due to my genetic makeup, and all that that entails, or my hair color, that they don't have to like me to grade my paperwork and tests according to my performance. And whatever they tell me to do, and in whatever tone, that what I want is to be a nurse and I will do whatever it takes to graduate this program, pass my NCLEX, get a job and move on to higher ground.

    So hang in there, whatever the reason, if they aren't failing you unfairly, or singling you out without a reason on a very regular basis to embarrass you in front of your classmates, etc. just hang in there til it's done.