Liverpool-based Emma Baldry, 31, comes out to her students every year.

The teacher started being open about her sexuality at school when she took her civil partner's surname in 2009.

“I’m a drama teacher and one of the first pieces of work I do with new year sevens is about family,” she tells the Liverpool Echo. “We talk about families coming in all shapes and sizes including adopted, foster, single parent, mixed race and same sex. I’d ask the kids to bring in a photo of their family and I brought in mine: of me, my wife and our cat!"

A heartfelt letter she got from an unnamed ex-pupil, flagged up by Pink News and Out Teacher, explains just how valuable it is for teachers to be open about their sexuality.

The moving letter reads:

When I first started here I was really scared to come out mainly because the words 'gay' and 'dyke' were used all the time as insults but also because at that time there wasn't anyone else that I knew of that had 'come out'. Then I heard that you had 'come out' and because you were a teacher it made being gay more normal and accepted. Then when you started doing LGBT assemblies and lessons it changed loads of students' opinions and being 'out' wasn't so weird... It was also really nice to have lessons that were based on gay relationships instead of it always being about hetrosexual couples. Hearing your stories about when you 'came out' made me feel a lot better to know I wasn't the only person in the world (which it sometimes feels like).

Emma Baldry: we salute you.

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