neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

more rambling

I am finding J.'s syllabus for the "Clinical Social Work with Lesbian and Gay Clients" course to be completely fascinating.  The course rationale says that "social workers are expected to demonstrate both cross-cultural knowledge and cross-cultural skills" and that "social workers shall have and continue to develop specialized knowledge and understanding about the history, traditions, values, family systems, and artistic expressions of major client groups that they serve."  The tricky thing here is that if you look at it one way, gay, lesbian and bisexual people have nothing in common except for having same-sex attractions.  Of course there are various gay cultures and lesbian cultures, and ways of socialization for each culture and subculture.  There are quite the number of transgender and genderqueer cultures as well.

The course description says that the course is "presented from an affirmative-practice perspective emphasizing short-term, solution-focused strategies for positive clinical outcomes."  I can think of some issues that might be short-term, but things like working out strategies to assist transgendered prostitutes and homeless teenagers would take longer, I would think.  There's some couples and family counseling in the syllabus, too.  The couples and families could be dealing with any issues that go with relationships plus homophobia.

Another interesting thing was that J. said he thought I was a heterosexual ally.  I suppose it's a consequence of me talking as little as possible with my family about who I'm dating.  "Oh, no," I said.  "Physically, I can go either way.  Emotionally, I have issues about getting enmeshed with women."  He immediately understood my issues around enmeshment.  I told him that I didn't want to get into details with him, but that I could indeed be physically attracted to and respond to a woman.  He didn't want to go there either in a discussion with his sister.  I think it became clearer to him, though.

The label I'm most comfortable with is the one I was given in college, when I was called "the bisexual fag hag."  It covers both aspects of my identity, even if one of the terms is problematic.  I wouldn't call someone by that particular f-word, even if that's what he called himself.

I was distressed that J. said he used "That's gay" as a derogatory statement.  He knows it's bad of him to do that.  He met my friends in college when he was a teenager.  He wore a "Straight But Not Narrow" button I got him.  Apparently he still has things to learn from the class and the people he interacts with because of it.  I note that J. hasn't ever used the phrase "That's gay" around me.  I'm sure he had a pretty good idea about how I'd react if he did.  Depends on who's around if I heard him say something like that, but he would at the very least have heard from me right then about how rude it is to say something like that, and know he'd be getting an earful of exactly why I disapproved later. 

Tags: glbt, rambling

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