The Teacher Learns A Lesson: Coming Out In Class In years of teaching high school English in New York, John Byrne kept a secret from his classes. But that changed in 1991, when his students helped him overcome his fears. Byrne calls it "a wonderful turning point" that made him the teacher he is today.
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The Teacher Learns A Lesson: Coming Out In Class

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The Teacher Learns A Lesson: Coming Out In Class

The Teacher Learns A Lesson: Coming Out In Class

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STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

And it is Friday morning, time again for StoryCorps when we hear from every day Americans talking about their lives. And this morning we'll hear the story of John Byrne, a high school teacher at Friends Seminary in New York. John describes his English classes as rowdy, and he's known for encouraging students to be themselves. But 30 years ago, as a young teacher, John had a very different style.

JOHN BYRNE: That class that I came out to, they asked me to be their graduation speaker. And I talked to the parents about how proud they should be of their children, for having taught me and helped me through a really difficult time in my life. It was a wonderful turning point.

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INSKEEP: John Byrne told his story to his former student, Samantha Liebman, at New York City. Their recording will be archived along with all StoryCorps interviews at the Library of Congress. And the Podcast is at npr.org.

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