Hello Class, the article we are going to talk about is titled “Giving Voice to the Emerging Science and Theory for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People of Color”. In order to provide you a theoretical critique of the article, we’re going to break it down into six sections. We’ll be discussing: (name off bullets).
The main purpose of the article was to educate the reader regarding the multifarious issues and problems that are faced with people of color who identify themselves as either lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB)
The authors attempt to do this in a two-part series. First, the authors provide the reader a fundamental needs assessment by exploring empirical research needs and trepidation with this population. Then the authors direct recommendations in hopes to increase and continue research with the LGB people of color.
One of the Key Arguments the Authors make is the idea of Double Consciousness. This is a term where an individual makes their identity based on two or more factors. In this case, this population must struggle with the stigma that comes with being Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual. Then on top of they she/he must also balance out the issues that come with being a person of color.Let’s pretend for a moment that you’re a gay white male and I’m a black lesbian female. Think about this statement, “If you are walking down the street, people may not know you’re gay. But when I walk down the street, people know I’m a person of color”.
With people of color, some of the experiences that could happen in one’s life are: Racial Prejudice, Limited Economic Resources and Institutional Inequalities.On the same note, people who identify as Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual may face: Heterosexism (which we’ll go into more detail later), Legal Inequalities and familial issues.For a candid view on the struggle of being both a person of color and LGB, click on the hyperlink and watch the 2:15min video from Wanda Sykes.
Another argument that the authors make as to why the oppression of LGBT people of color persists is because we continue to omit the major accomplishments and contributions that were historically made by individuals who were LGBT people of color.A prime example is with Baynard Rustin. He was an openly gay African American who assisted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the U.S Civil Rights movement. He was actually the organizer for the historic 1963 March on Washington.One group that was also involved in many social activist activates relating to gay and lesbian rights were the Latina lesbians. In an effort to create a safe space and to build connections the Latina lesbians created networks such as Las BuenasAmigas
One of the theories that was offered in the article to convey the message of LGBT oppression was the theory or idea of Heterosexism.Heterosexism is the assumption that all people are heterosexual and that heterosexuality is superior and more desirable then homosexuality or bisexuality.For example, let’s pretend a new male co-worker is questioned about his personal life. Throughout the conversation you may hear, “So are you married or have a girlfriend?” (ask the class ) What does this assume? What if he were gay? What are some things he may be lead to feel?As social workers we have to be cognizant of not being victims of heterosexism. Remember that even the most innocent questions or statements can provoke heterosexism.
Another theory that is discussed in the article is predicated on the notion that members of certain ethnic and racial communities do not view being LGBT as acceptable within their communities or culture. Therefore, shunning a person of color who would identify at LGBT. This coincides with the belief that participation in same-gender romantic relationships and sexual activity violate traditional cultural values, rules and gender roles.One example can be seen in the Hispanic Culture or Latino Men where there is the prominent idea of machismo role the males are expected to play. This would be against the culture’s norms if a gay Hispanic Male were to portrait roles traditionally held for females or have more feminine mannerisms.
As social workers, it is our responsibility to assist our patients and clients in enhancing their life to the fullest potential. In order for this to be accomplished, we should:-make sure we do not assume that LGBT people of color are the same as their heterosexual counterparts.We must examine and make distinctions of those differences in the same manner we would view a person of Asian decent over a person of Caucasian decent.-Secondly we need to make sure that we look at identities, individually.-First by Look at their perspective as a person of color then as an LGBT individual. Or vice versa
When considering looking at the two identities, some things to be cognizant of are:-What is their culture? What are the culture’s mores and folkways?-What is their family structure like? Or additional support system?-How does the rest of society view them based on their color/ethnicity? OR… How does they perceive society views them, based on their color/ethnicity?When examining their LGBT identity, some things to consider are:-How does this individual identify himself/herself: gay, lesbian, queer, bisexual, Butch, Femme, Transsexual, Closeted?-What are some of the challenges that the client can identify as a result of his/her sexual identity? How does this impact livelihood?-How does the rest of society view them based on their sexual identity? OR… How does they perceive society views them, based on their sexual identity?
As you can see the authors were able to make valid arguments on the needs for this population to have a voice in society based on multifarious issues including:-oppression-misrepresentationThe data that was used to make these arguments were tabulated from current research and surveys.The authors were able to acknowledge the lack of empirical research that needs to be completed relating to important subpopulations such as:-LGBT Youth of color: Given that healthy growth and development is crucial at this stage in life, urgent studies are needed in order to improve future interventions that focus on increasing mental health and well-being-Research also needs to be expanded to include the most under represented minorities such as: women, Native Americans and transgender.
The authors do make a great effort in establishing the needs and the arguments for the contribution to oppression on the LGB people of color. However there are a few weaknesses that we found in the paper. For example, the authors neglected to look at the Eurocentric culture that dominates the homosexual community. This gay pop culture can be seen in:-Advertisements: like Abercrombie & Fitch-Television: Shows like Modern Family, 90210, Glee-Films: Movies like The Birdcage, Brokeback Mountain and even Adult EroticaThe authors also do not mention the oppression that occurs within the LGBT community itself. A new trend of violence that is seen in the LGBT community is hatred directed towards different classifications of LGBT: Gays against Lesbians, masculine people against feminine people, black against white and so on.
This concludes today’s presentation. We hoped that you found it to be both informative and engaging. Thank you.
Group 2 week_4
SOWK 505 – Summer Semester 2012 Assignment #1 Caitlin Bowers, YurikaQuan and Kevin Thompson May 25, 2012 Patricia Chan, LCSWGiving Voice to the Emerging Science and Theory for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People of Color
Objectives• Main Points Of The Article• Key Arguments• Theoretical Value• Enhancing Human Behavior In The Social Environment• Peer Evaluation• Strengths And Weaknesses
Main Points Of The Article• Educate. – Regarding issues and problems that are faced with people of color who identify as • lesbian • Gay • Bisexual
Main Points Of The Article• Two-parts. – Provide needs assessment • by exploring empirical research needs and trepidation with this population. – Provide recommendations • hopes to increase and continue research with the LGB people of color.
Key Arguments• Double Consciousness – individual whose identity is divided into several facets. • Stigma of being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual • Stigma of being a person of color.• “If you are walking down the street, people may not know you’re gay. But when I walk down the street, people know I’m a person of color”
Key Arguments• People of Color may experience: – Racial Prejudice – Limited Economic Resources – Institutional Inequalities• LGB may experience: – Heterosexism – Legal Inequalities – Familial issueshttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_wWJ-_4uSY&feature=related
Key Arguments• Silent Voices to LGBT people of color – Omitting major accomplishments of LGBT people of color. • Baynard Rustin • Las BuenasAmigas
Theories• Heterosexism – Assumption that all people are heterosexual – Heterosexuality is superior and more desirable than homosexuality or bisexualityEven in innocent statement or question can provoke heterosexism.
Theories• Intraracial/Intra-ethnic discrimination – Various ethnic/racial communities not accepting LGBT – Examples: • Hispanic/Latino machismo
Enhancing Human Behavior In The Social Environment• Cannot assume that LGBT people of color are the same heterosexual people of color.• Must look both identities individually – Person of color – Person of LGBT
Enhancing Human Behavior In The Social Environment• Person of color – Culture? • Mores and Folkways – Family? – How does the rest of society view them?• Person of LGBT – Self Identification? – Challenges? – How does the rest of society view them?
Peer Evaluation• Valid arguments on needs assessment• Reliability of current data• Lack of empirical research – LGB youths of color – Psychological research – Spread out diversity of research
Weaknesses• Eurocentric culture – Advertisements – Television – Film• Subcultures in the gay community – Gays vs. Lesbians – Femme vs. Masculine
References• Harper, Gary W., Jernewall, Nadine &Zea, Maria Cecilia, (2004), Giving Voice to Emerging Science and Theory for Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People of Color: Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology: Vol. 10, No. 3, pp 187-199, Chicago, IL• Nabors, Nina A., Hall, Ruth L., Miville, Marie L., Nettles, Reginald, Pauling, Monique L. & Ragsdale, Brian L., (2001), Multiple Minority Group Oppression: Divided We Stand?, Journal of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association, Vol. 5, No. 3., Ypsilanti, MI• Brown III, Clarence Ezra, (2008), Racism in the Gay Community and Homophobia in the Black Community: Negotiating the Gay Black Make Experience, retrieved May 24, 2012, retrieved from: http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/theses/available/etd-05222008- 112356/unrestricted/ClarenceEBrownIII2008Thesis.pdf