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23 chad smithnov1 23 chad smithnov1 Presentation Transcript

  • -Chad Smith, MSWRainbow Resource CentreWinnipeg, Manitoba
  • “The Experience of Being Gay Bashed:Making Sense of the Senseless” My own experience of being gay bashed Participant’s understandings of theirexperiences Systemic responses to gay bashing &recommendations(Social Work, Healthcare, Policing, Education, Community)
  •  Seven men were recruited & interviewed about theirexperiences of homophobia with one dropping out The definition of gay bashing was left open forparticipants to define, thus it could include verbalharassment as well as physical violence 4 men experienced primarily physical violence, with 3of these requiring hospitalization 1 of these 4 men also experienced ongoing verbal harassmentas well as the physical violence; 2 men experienced ongoing verbal harassment
  • Kevin Mid-40s Identifies as “black” Grew up in northern MB, came to Winnipeg at 18 Worked in the sex trade on and off HIV+ since late 90s Bashed in 1997 while cruising Stabbed Hospitalization extended time
  • Rick Early 30s Identifies as Aboriginal Bashed in 2000 while waiting for a friend onthe street Severe injuries Hospitalization
  • Dan Mid 40s Caucasian Grew up in rural Manitoba “obviously gay” Repeatedly bashed, harassed at school, on wayhome Medical treatment required at various times Family sent him away for “fresh start”
  • Todd Late 40s at the time of interview Caucasian Drag queen; ambassador HIV+ Bashed in 1987 Walking home in an area known forcruising, bashing—crossed the street for safety Extended hospitalization Has since passed away
  • Jeff Mid 30s Caucasian Harassed/threatened two seperate occassionsthat he cited, in 2002 Both incidences walking with his boyfriend, oneinstance holding hands, the other just walkingtogether
  • Matt Late 30s Caucasian Repeated in-direct harassment/homophobiawhile teaching in rural MB Mental breakdown Left teaching profession
  •  Qualitative research study Anti-Oppressive Practice approach Interviews analyzed using Grounded Theory Data & research findings were first presented to anoutside member checking panel made up of threemembers of the LGBTTQ community in Winnipeg withexperience working with & knowledge of thecommunity and experience working with men thathave experienced homophobia/gay bashing Findings then defended to thesis committee
  • QUESTION: How do various types ofhomophobia experienced by gay men affectthem and what is the process that occurs: Within their own personal lives In understanding & viewing their place insociety; & In how they combat homophobia?
  • Total of Eight Themes Arose from the Data1. Personal Experiences of Homophobia2. Fighting Back3. Heteronormativity4. Identity & Identity Change5. Reaching Out—Disclosure & Support6. Isolation7. Power, Powerlessness, & Privilege8. Creating Change
  • Personal Experiences of Homophobia Homophobia is a common occurrence Multiple attackers—usually male Physical violence—extreme◦ Also included verbal harassment◦ Weapons◦ Unprovoked Intentional Homophobia & Violence◦ 5 out of 6 men—Intentional towards them◦ 6th man experienced indirect homophobia, intention
  • Fighting Back Verbally Physically Responsiveness to the incident afterwards◦ Community awareness◦ Cruising grounds◦ Drag
  • Heteronormativity Use of time & space Messages delivered—from attackers &supporters Victim blaming/internalized responsibility
  • Identity & Identity Change Out Identity Awareness Mental Health Racism Behaviour Changes Relationship impacts
  • Reaching Out: Disclosure & Support Disclosure decision making
  • Reaching Out: Disclosure & Support Disclosure decision making Coping methods Shared experiences Concrete & helpful Re-experiencing homophobia
  • Isolation Feeling alone Self isolating Unable to leave their home/take publictransportation Used as a coping method as well
  • Power, Powerlessness & Privilege Power over Language—homophobic; racist; degrading Violence Awareness to privilege; use of privilege; who has Resiliency of the men—use of power within
  • Creating Change Active change◦ Careers◦ Volunteerism◦ Community Ideas on change◦ Anti-homophobia education at large◦ Anti-homophobia education within the schoolsystems◦ Diversity promotion within the family
  • Findings Verbal harassment versus physical violence◦ Not that different◦ Sense of self; identity; out Mental health concerns/PTSD◦ Anxiety; depression; bi-polar◦ PTSD Resiliency in survivors
  • Learning From Their Experiences Connecting with others Concrete supports Creating a sense of trust in service delivery
  • Recommendations Social work◦ Beginning with education◦ Continuing in training & professional development Medical & healthcare◦ Education & training◦ More inclusive, developed training & curriculum◦ Use of community knowledge & expertise
  • Recommendations Policing◦ Training◦ Development of a more open & accepting workenvironment◦ Connection to community—Pride; Resource Centre;Community events
  • Recommendations School systems◦ Better policies & practices implemented for dealing withverbal homophobia◦ Development of a more open & accepting workenvironment where staff can be out◦ Freedom to discuss issues by school socialworkers, teachers, guidance counsellors◦ Development & support of GSA’s (Gay-Straight Alliances)within school systems
  • Recommendations Our community◦ Better responsiveness—blaming◦ Better support◦ Changing our reaction from normalization tooutrage◦ Dialogue
  •  Thank you!Chad Smith, MSWRainbow Resource Centre170 Scott StreetWinnipeg, MB R3L 0L3(204) 474-0212 extension 208chads@rainbowresourcecentre.org