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Lecture 23 Working with Queer and Trans Youth.docx

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Social Work
Sandra Preston

1 Social Work 1A06: Introduction to Social Work March 25 2013 Lecture 23: Working with Queer and Trans Youth Notes: - Check your McMaster email for online course evaluations - About last week: o Have to see the presenter’s daughter as an exception:  She is incredibly lucky that her peers and family accept her so easily  Just because she has this experience, does not mean it is the norm  Just because she was able to do it this way, doesn’t mean everyone should be able to  Doesn’t work that way – will discuss these statistics later in the lecture o Have to take it as a whole – not just individual stories  Systemic support of bullying etc.  E.g. Stuebenville rape case: girl got raped – it was videotaped by the guys who did it and uploaded to social media  Why did she get raped? o Media: because she was drunk o Truth: because she was a woman who was vulnerable, because these men felt they had the prividlege to take advantage of her  Supported by rape culture – systemic support of rapists  Teach women to avoid rape, doesn’t teach men not to rape  So the women who escape sexual assault – must have done everything right, while the women who were assaulted did everything wrong o Is what rape culture is teaching (is wrong) o Women spend a lot of time doing things in order to be safe  E.g. protecting their drinks, only going out at certain times, dressing a certain way, having friends with them in unsafe spaces  All of this just to feel safe – but the truth is that they are not – but we don’t like to talk about that  Danger in the guest speaker speaking to oppression as something that can be fought with just a positive attitude  By expecting people to accept (as the speaker discussed) - This week 2 o Will was supposed to do this lecture but he is ill today, so the prof will do it and students can ask about The Well and other things she skips over next week if they like o (I’ll keep the points from the slides in this lecture, but the prof skips over the first few until “The Initialism” The Well: the LGBTQ Community Wellness Centre of Hamilton - The Well's mission is to enhance the physical, emotional and spiritual wellness of members of The Hamilton community, particularly members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community. - Wellness promotion is a unique and under served issue within Hamilton’s LGBTQ community. - At The Well, our work is shaped by an understanding of the social determinants of health and of how systemic marginalization erodes the well-being of individuals and communities. Social Determinants of Health - "Social determinants of health are the economic and social conditions that shape the health of individuals, communities, and jurisdictions as a whole... Social determinants of health also determine the extent to which a person possesses the physical, social, and personal resources to identify and achieve personal aspirations, satisfy needs, and cope with the environment." (Raphael,2008) The Initialism - LGBTTTIQQ o An “initialism” for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, intersex, queer and questioning community members.  Also to add: asexual  People who are not sexually attracted to anyone. Still feel emotional/romantic attraction, but not sexually  Puts people in categories  Some people are totally heterosexual, some are totally gay, most people are in the middle o The trouble with language  Some people use the word “queer” as an umbrella term  But a lot of people, especially older people feel uncomfortable with this term because it has been used as a derogatory term in the past o Same with homosexual – used to diagnose and label people  Good rule to use – if you want to know what people want to be called – ask them! o Categories and definitions that flesh out these terms below: Sexual Orientations 3 - Who an individual is primarily emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to o Lesbian  Women who are attracted to other women o Gay  Men who are attracted to other men o Bisexual  Attracted to both men and women o Heterosexual/Straight  Attracted to the opposite gender  No one questions this  Is the “norm” o Is the baseline, no one asks you when you knew you where heterosexual (like they do when you are not heterosexual)  Assume people are heterosexual/straight until proven otherwise Gender Identities - Gender Identities: refers to a person’s actual or perceived sex, and includes a person’s identity, appearance or behaviour whether or not the person’s identity, appearance or behaviour is different from that traditionally associated with the person’s sex at birth - Remember gender as a socially constructed category o How we think of ourselves and our identity and how we express that identity - Types: o Cisgender  Your mind matches your body  If you think of yourself as a female and your body is female, then you are cisgender o Intersex  When you are born and your gender is ambiguous  E.g. Born with both sexual organs  Aka Hermaphrodites o Transgender o Transsexual Defying Neat Categories - Queer o Umbrella term that encompasses all the other definitions in the initialism o Most people are on a continuum  Not totally straight, totally gay but somewhere in the middle  Queer encompasses this - Questioning o People who don’t know where they fit in the initialism 4 - Two-spirit o An indigenous term: in many indigenous nations, people who were seen as gay (not so much lesbian) were identified as two-spirit – accepted as people with a second spirit  Not all indigenous nations accepted people in this way, but some did Bi/Homo/Transphobia - How oppression is enacted in terms of sexuality - Phobia o Fear of o When people question our socially constructed categories (of sexuality or gender), they question the structure on which those categories our built and that scares people - Biphobia: The fear and/or hatred of and discrimination against people who are attracted to more than one gender. - Homophobia: The fear and/or hatred of and discrimination against people who do not conform to rigid sex roles and sexual stereotypes. Homophobia is an offshoot of both sexism and heterosexism. - Transphobia: The fear and/or hatred and discrimination against people who are trans. It also refers to people who are unable or unwilling to deal with gender ambiguity. Impact on Queer Youth - REJECTION o 50% of all gay and lesbian youth report that their parents reject them due to their sexual orientation.  Rejection: kicked out, disowned etc.  I don’t ever want to see you again o In a study of 194 gay and lesbian youth, 25% were verbally abused by parents, and nearly 10% dealt with threatened or actual violence.  May also send you to a psychiatrist or treatment program to “fix you” - HIGH DROP OUT RATES o Not because of being unable to do the work, but because of verbal/physical abuse on a
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