- What values and beliefs around sexual orientation and/or gender identity were you exposed to growing up?
I grew up knowing that homosexuality is evil, and people should never engage in this practice. Instead, people should only participate in heterosexual behaviors, which involves parties from the opposite gender. I came from the Caribbean community, which does not support homosexual behaviors.
- What were the sources of those values and beliefs?
My gender values and beliefs were mainly shaped by my family, as well as by the society where I grew up. My family had strict beliefs on sexual orientation, and my parents could not tolerate homosexual behaviors. My parents were Christians, and that implied that our gender values should be based on the teachings of the bible. The bible does not support homosexuality. I grew up like many individuals believing that homosexuality is bad, and those who are homosexual will go to hell. The Caribbean society, where I grew up, also condemned homosexuality. Homosexual behavior was taboo in my community.
- What values and beliefs around sexual orientation and gender identity do you have now?
Currently, I believe homosexuality is good and not evil, as I was taught when I was growing up. I believe that gays and lesbians should be given the freedom to exercise their sexual orientation behaviors. Sexual orientations are different, and individuals ought to exercise what they believe is good for them.
- d) If they’re different from those of your childhood, what influenced that change?
I believe in free will, which people should exercise in their lives. I have formed and shaped my beliefs on my own experience instead of following those of my culture or family. I believe in equality and justice for all. Therefore, families and societies ought not to dictate the sexual beliefs of their members. They should not condemn some sexual orientations since they depend on an individual’s choice.
- Which of the NASW Code of Ethics’ six core values do you believe this course primarily addresses? (Pick only one, whichever one you believe is primary.)
This course addresses the core value of social justice, which is among the six key NASW codes of ethics.
- What is it about that core value that makes you think so?
Social justice is an important core value that ought to guide social workers in their work. This core value is based on the belief that there should be equality in society, where people are not discriminated against because of special characteristics (NASW, 2020). Social workers should work to ensure all people in society are allowed to make choices concerning how they ought to live and relate with others. Although it is not easy to fight against social injustices, social workers should continue condemning the practice for the sake of the minority groups (DeTurk, 2011). Consequently, the concept of social justice is addressed in this cause since it can help to deal with the challenges that LGBTQ faces in society. Families and societies ought to allow this group to exercise their free will without compelling them to behave in a certain way.
You have learned that the stressors associated with identifying as LGBTQ (e.g., hiding, coming out, family reactions, prejudice and discrimination, etc.) can increase an LGBTQ individual’s risk of internal (self-inflicted) and external (other-inflicted) harm and danger. What are some psychological/behavioral issues that LGBTQ community face due to stressors associated with identifying as LGBTQ
Firstly, the LGBTQ community faces family and societal rejection associated with identifying their sexual orientation. A significant number of LGBTQ end up in the streets because of facing rejections in their families. As a result, they are not able to pursue their careers after moving into the streets. Secondly, the cases of suicide are also higher among the members of LGBTQ in comparison with other members of society (Alexander et al., 2015). After identifying as LGBTQ, this group experiences depression due to the stigma they face from their communities. Some of them commit suicide as a way of escaping from the harsh reality they face in society. Finally, LGBTQ members experience violence in their communities due to a lack of acceptance. The prevalence of hate crime is high against individual members who are LGBTQ in the country. Some transgender individuals have been injured or killed in their community because of their different sexual orientation.
Alexander, R., Parker, K., & Schwetz, T. (2015). Sexual and Gender Minority Health Research at the National Institutes of Health. LGBT Health, 3(1), 7–10.
DeTurk, S. (2011). Allies in Action: The Communicative Experiences of People Who Challenge Social Injustice on Behalf of Others. Communication Quarterly, 59 (5), 569–590.
NASW (2020). Ethical Principles. Retrieved from https://www.socialworkers.org/About/Ethics/Code-of-Ethics/Code-of-Ethics-English