Gay TEFL teachers and the “Global Attitudes” project

Should gay TEFL teachers be concerned about being accepted within the teaching community?

This is a delicate topic because, like it or not, no one is ever sure if being gay is not a big deal in certain parts of the world. Anti-gay sentiment is dropping in many countries, and it has virtually disappeared in some countries.

Being gay is no more or less acceptable than being heterosexual.

  • Being gay is not something that was a decision.
  • Being heterosexual is not something that was a decision.

gay-flag

The problem with gay TEFL teachers has nothing to do with being gay TEFL teachers. The problem is that intolerance still exists in some parts of the world.

From our perspective, a student is a student. As long as the student meets our course entry requirements, behaves professionally and does the work, that is the end of the story.

Gay TEFL teachers face a challenge that is not of their own making – choosing a country to teach. The nice thing about being a TEFL certified teacher is that the skill is portable. The problem for gay TEFL teachers is selecting a country. Should it be gay tolerant? If it is not gay tolerant, what are the risks and what level of disguise is needed in public to have a peaceful life?

For anyone concerned about unfair or wrong treatment, we have done some research and drawn a couple of graphs based on a study undertaken by the Pew Research Centre in the USA.

Pew Research Centre statistics, the “Global Attitudes” project.

In 2013, the Pew Research Centre ran the “Global Attitudes” project. Part of the survey asked two questions to people in 39 countries.

  1. Homosexuality should be accepted by society. Agree or disagree?
  2. Homosexuality should not be accepted by society. Agree or disagree?

The following graphs show the Pew Research Centre’s findings as published in “Societal attitudes towards homosexuality”.

Top 10 countries stating that homosexuality should be accepted by society

countries accepted by society

The clear winner is Spain, where almost 90% of the surveyed population said that being gay should be accepted.

Spain, Canada, France, Britain and Argentina allow gay marriages and unions.

Top 10 countries stating that homosexuality should NOT be accepted by society

countries that refuse LGBT rights

The clear loser is Nigeria, where 98% of the surveyed population stated that being gay should NOT be accepted.

Raw data from the Pew Research Center

It was taken from “Societal attitudes towards homosexuality”.

    Q1. homosexuality should be accepted. Q2. homosexuality should not be accepted.
Rank Country
% who agree
% who agree
1 Spain
88%
11%
2 Germany
87%
11%
3 Canada
80%
14%
4 Czech Republic
80%
16%
5 Australia
79%
18%
6 France
77%
22%
7 Britain
76%
18%
8 Italy
74%
18%
9 Argentina
74%
21%
10 Philippines
73%
26%
11 Chile
68%
24%
12 Mexico
61%
30%
13 United States
60%
33%
14 Brazil
60%
36%
15 Japan
54%
36%
16 Greece
53%
40%
17 Venezuela
51%
42%
18 Bolivia
43%
49%
19 Poland
42%
46%
20 Israel
40%
47%
21 South Korea
39%
59%
22 El Salvador
34%
62%
23 South Africa
32%
61%
24 China
21%
57%
25 Lebanon
18%
80%
26 Russia
16%
74%
27 Turkey
9%
78%
28 Malaysia
9%
86%
29 Kenya
8%
90%
30 Palestine
4%
93%
31 Uganda
4%
96%
32 Egypt
3%
95%
33 Jordan
3%
97%
34 Indonesia
3%
93%
35 Ghana
3%
96%
36 Senegal
3%
96%
37 Tunisia
2%
94%
38 Pakistan
2%
87%
39 Nigeria
1%
98%

Our take on this is that in any profession, one’s sexual preference should not enter the interviewing skills list.

To us, it’s the least important because the most important items on the checklist are work experience, training, educational qualifications, personality as shown at interview time and professionalism.

If an interviewer is happy with a TEFL job candidate, then chances are their students will feel the same way too.