15

Cultural Background:

I come from a highly conservative country which follows Islam. According to cultural and I think religious perceptions, being transgender is not okay at all! Having to do anything with the LGBT+ is even in some situations illegal and there is virtually no community support. Such people usually live in hiding.

School Atmosphere and Effects:

I go to an all girls school (even though I identify as male). I recently got a haircut Ever since I got a boy cut, everyone in my school spreads vicious rumours about me (mostly the claims that I am a lesbian, have no boundaries and grope people). I got physically bullied as well. All these rumours are in no way true, I have one best friend and he knows everything about me (he goes to the same school and is also trans female to male). This has affected my self-esteem greatly and prevents me from doing more for my school such as extracurricular.

Treatment by Teachers:

My teachers are treating me differently now as well. I do really well at school, I get A's and the occasional B's. Once my teacher gave a lecture of how being transgender is against our religion. Another time, I had this teacher who would make my best friend sit somewhere else because I was 'disturbing' him. I am actually a very quiet child and pay attention in class. My academics matter a lot to me so I wouldn't engage in such behavior. The same teacher called a meeting with my best friend's mother and told her that he should keep away from me as I am a bad influence.

I don't understand why she is treating me like this even though I do extremely well in her class. Before my haircut, all these teachers were civil and I was usually the class favourite. Now, most these teachers isolate me from the class and even my friends by calling in their parents. I actually lost a group of friends because of this.

However, my best friend is still my best friend and supports me no matter what as I support him. We've been best friends for 5 years.

Question: How do I make this teacher stop bullying me, given that my school environment cannot provide any support to me?

  • 1
    What country are you in? Just a little confused about legal aspects as they vary considerably from country to country. – apaul Feb 22 '18 at 0:25
  • 3
    My sympathies, sounds like you are in for an undeserved tough time. – Mark Rogers Feb 22 '18 at 1:55
  • @apaul Pakistan. Most Muslim countries have rules like these when it comes to LGBT+ acts. Mostly a death sentence to both parties. – PythON Feb 22 '18 at 14:09
  • Forgive my ignorance here, but from what I can find online Pakistan looks to be a bit more progressive than many countries in the region. Are you talking about legal consequences or social stigma? – apaul Feb 22 '18 at 14:31
  • @apaul the transgender folks that they refer to are only intersex people. Also, sodomy has legal consequences which is the death penalty, so does acts of lesbianism. There is also a lot of social stigma. I think you searched for transgender rights in Pakistan? – PythON Feb 22 '18 at 15:29
10

I recently got a haircut. Ever since I got a boy-cut, everyone in my school spreads vicious rumours about me (...) I got physically bullied as well (...) Before my haircut, all these teachers were civil and I was usually the class favourite.

It seems that the short haircut was interpreted as an open rebellion against conservative cultural values, especially in the context of your preferred gender identity, and led to overt discrimination and bullying. It is possible that the teacher did not have an evil intention to bully or victimize you but the so-called "corrective action" to traditionalize you was misguidedly applied too heavily by an authority figure who believes too strongly in orthodox values and considers it her duty to "bring you to the correct path."

Given that the legal, social and cultural background is unfavorable for lgbt persons, the only option you have at the moment is to make an attempt to talk to the teacher personally and convince her to be less harsh on you, if you feel that the teacher could be sympathetic or at least fair-minded, and would not create trouble for you after hearing about your issues -- sometimes a frank and honest one-to-one talk, such as recommended by more than one answer to another 'teacher' related question, can work because the teacher might recognize your individuality and humanity, and realize that she has been bullying you.

Since it is an all girls school and the teacher is a woman, there is some scope for discussion of your problem. You could request a one-to-one meeting with the teacher and frankly and honestly point out that you feel bullied by her, giving instances to support your point. It has to be done very respectfully and submissively but if the teacher did it without meaning to victimize, as is very possible with well meaning "corrective" action by authority figures in conservative societies, you might get a heavy dose of corrective advice but the bullying would stop, even if the teacher never supports your point of view.

You can even take a decision not to reveal your preferred gender identity in such a conversation, if you think it would be dangerous or counterproductive to do so. You can instead simply focus on expressing your perception of being bullied, and request the teacher to treat you more fairly and less harshly: however, as a cultural compromise you may need to abandon the short haircut in return. This is not admitting defeat but 'playing smart to get what you want' till you acquire more educational power and economic independence that will eventually allow you to express yourself in the ways you really prefer. Until then the very realistic advice given in @AndreiROM's comment is worth keeping in mind:

when you're in an environment where non-conformity has real, very serious, and potentially dangerous consequences, you should try to conform - at least until you're old enough to get away from that environment. Unless your parents support you, and move away such that you're in a more tolerant environment, your best bet is to blend in as much as possible. Once you're legally an adult you may wish to move to a more tolerant region, or country. Until then - realistically - keep your head down. – AndreiROM

  • 2
    Thanks for the credit/reference. Good points all around. – AndreiROM Feb 21 '18 at 22:35
  • 1
    I appreciate your input @AndreiROM. It forms the basis of my answer. – English Student Feb 21 '18 at 23:13
  • 2
    If the OP chooses to keep their head down, a short haircut could be explained away as simply requiring less fuss to maintain - an act of modesty. – Grimm The Opiner Mar 22 '18 at 16:52
  • Yes indeed -- whatever it takes to avoid escalating the issue, @Grimm The Opiner. – English Student Mar 22 '18 at 18:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.