Social Work Students Discuss Experiences Working With LGBT Community

hi my name is Greg I'm Erin and I'm Ashley and together we're the LGBT services group so um basically we were volunteers at a community center in San Diego that caters to the LGBT population and it was a wonderful experience for myself I haven't had much experience with the LGBT population but overall they were very welcoming and kind and it's a population that I would definitely like to work with in the future definitely I I have had a lot of experience with the LGBT community through friends and friends so working with them was just a more reinforcement that I really do enjoy that population and find it more diverse more I think that's why I really was drawn to it because of the diversity in the community it's not just sexual orientation that's its identity I agree completely I mean sexual orientation it's found in all ethnicities all races religions I mean it's not just you know one demographic that fits them all yeah I definitely agree with that and I think that people need to understand that just because of one interaction with someone in that community whether it be positive and or negative it's not to stereotype I think that's where and even for our book there was a lot of you know stereotypes that were in there but I thought imposed a really negative outlook on the community so I just think that people need to be very cautious about the way that I mean and this goes for everyone the way in which they interact with each other and the way in which we perceive different communities or different cultures and diverse groups I agree I mean I I think that the media perpetrates a particular kind of gay person that's usually a very stereotypical where it's the super effeminate male or the yeah woman and I think I think that alienates a large segment of the gay population from from being open with their sexuality and so it's kind of like a perpetual cycle where the stereotypes are reinforced because those were the only ones that are seen by people in the gay community who are just growing into themselves I mean when you have this 15 year old teenager and you tell him you know he's discovering he's gay and he goes online to see oh you know who am i gay like do I fit this mold and he sees it sort of all and I think a lot of people don't think they don't fit that mold and that they can't be gay because then the male doesn't fit this effeminate male or the female feels like she's not that masculine and she's not that person I think it kind of hurts a lot of young teens who are just coming out of the closet and and old old people who are coming that reminds me of two situations I experienced while volunteering at our agency um I worked the front desk there on Monday evenings and Saturday mornings and so I kind of got was the point of contact for a lot of people who went to our agency and one of the people who came was a lesbian and she lives in a very conservative area and she drove she said I think 45 minutes to come to our agency because she felt so isolated and alone and one of the nice things about our agency's wheel is it offers a number of discussion groups and support groups for people who are coming out of all ages and that's I think that's a great service to have and it really showed me how vital an agency like the ones we volunteer that word because where would that girl have gone to connect with people she would have totally felt alone and it's just it's not really good to be a part of something that that gives someone that kind of hope yeah well just a little background on that too as well after reading and doing a little bit of research you know before agencies like this were around people we're going to nightclubs and that's where they were finding out about how how do I fit into this group how do I fit into this mold or find myself as you know you a unique individual and you know granite a lot of people weren't of age you know to go to these clubs and so it's one of those you know I'm in the closet thing until I'm 18 and then you get like this person guy and or female just out there lost trying you know to find their way so and all in I think that the agency is truly a blessing to not only the individual but their families the community just like the well-being of our society just providing that equality that yes you know it is perfectly fine that you are this way and we can cohabitate you know that's it that's a great point that is it's a healthy expression for one sexuality whereas I'm not saying that clubs and bars are not but it there's more of a cynicism or cynicism whatever the a bar in a nightclub you go in there and the majority of people you interact with are their first certain reason being a bar they're there to drink they're there to pick up on other sexual other people that they're sexually attracted to and that's not necessarily the best environment for it especially young people coming out to go just throw you in the hot pot and say okay well you know we have sex a lot so if you're gay the stereotype of the male gay having sex a lot of people if you're a gay sex with me and we're promiscuous and you know I think that's really damaging to a lot of young men and women who are like oh okay so I guess that's what I have to do to fit into this people and it all really takes away the the idea that so a lot of people have of virginity being you know your first time being really important so people just jump into that I know a lot of people whose first times they're really disappointed by because they didn't get that typical experience because they felt they were pressured into it for one reason or another not to say that doesn't happen in the straight community obviously but I think it's a lot easier for straight individuals to stand up and be like no this is how I want it and this is how it's supposed to be compared to the gay individuals who are like well you know this is how it's supposed to be you were supposed to have sex we were supposed to do this to change topics slightly and I know that you're very passionate about the transgender community and I wanted to share a story of mine working and our volunteer agency I worked there for about three weeks at this point where I had a heart-to-heart discussion with one of the people who volunteer there and he disclosed to me that he was actually a female-to-male transsexual and I never would have believed that I mean he he looks in every way and relates to you know me and every way like like like a man yeah and I haven't had much experience with the with the transgender community so it was really it really like touched me and it kind of made me tear up talking to him about his experience I mean he was on married at one point to man and he has kids and his kids kind of have taken his transition really hard and and one of the things that I offered him because I'm not a counselor and I'm not supposed to be giving advice but I was I was telling him that um you know that kids hold parents to an ideal and as you age you know you have to let your parents be happy too and what makes them happy and sometimes what makes your parents happy you know might be disconcerting but you got to learn to be to be beyond selfish and that bad at that advice like releasing the resume right though yeah so tell me what's your experience with the transform everything well in that particular situation I know that a lot of parents a lot of transgender individuals oh and by the way I am NOT an expert in any way shape or form none of us are experts on anything we're students individual experiences back to it my my experiences with transgender individuals who come out late in life is that many of them do have children and I think like you are saying that the children need to learn to expect their learn to not maybe to understand their parents choices but I know that for straight couples when they get divorced it's a really hardship on the children and they they lash out at the new dude the new parents sprouts too so the fact that a parent is changing in a way isn't it's that they feel you know it's different you know I think that to relate this back to our chapter yeah I'm all about the seventh are the six phases for self-identity it's really making sure that you know you have that that comparison to what help you identify your heterosexuality or your homosexuality and your just your your biology of yourself so I think that once you know and maybe that's something that was not mentioned in the book you don't know how long that might take you know what I'm saying there's no given timeline that well after this happened six months later you're going to be faced with this or that so I think that it's just all about a process and it's completely a journey and everyone has their own and I think the good thing about it is that they are able to eventually express themselves the way that they truly are and the whole thing about like the whole LGBT community is the difference in the stories of everybody is how everybody came to this conclusion that isn't even one separate conclusion when you when you have you have everybody who feels different ways about their sexuality and their gender with transgenders you have multiple people who who either some elect should take steroids some left not to some like to get surgery some elect not to and it's all about what makes you comfortable it makes you feel like you and I think that's really important for social workers to remember that it's it's not a Medical Journal it's not something you can write down and say this this this this there's so many different variances in sexuality and gender and how you feel an individual might dress like a typical female but be a male and then you call them crossdressers and they don't identify as cross sisters because they haven't had a surgery because they haven't had steroids they still identify as well just because I'm I'm biologically male I'm identify as female I don't need surgery to identify as female I feel female I am female so I think a lot of and that's really really disconcerting to a lot of people just to be like I perceive you as male but you're wearing a dress and you want to be called Sheila the people are comfortable with others who are different and that's a really big thing for individuals to accept so that's that I'm really for me Social Work that's a really big thing why I got into it so much is because it's not Medical Journal it's you know this isn't a standard this is a way to handle situations to sort of wrap it up um what would you say is the one thing that you will take away from working with the LGBT population um the one thing that I will take away from it it's just that you know everyone has a right to equality I think that is the major issue and it lies under health care discrimination oppression just all those underlining negative things about anyone in any culture it's just if we could all treat each other equally and understand that you know my illness may not be caused from the same thing that your illness was caused for but we all deserve treatment I think that we we live in a better place exactly like I really what I've taken away from our our center of residents not residents are volunteers yes sorry I'm a little tired anyways when I have taken away from the experience is that is that there's no there's no understanding of the value of help you can view you you don't understand how much your ball tearing can just impact a person and let alone you talking to them you being there to support them and and it's not just an LGBTQ community issue it's a everybody issue everybody needs to it's just when people are more vulnerable they're more of open to support so it's a lot easier to help them than it is a straight person who just who's going through trouble but doesn't want to talk about it you have this community center where people will come together because they all understand this issue that you know equality and equality of life liberty happiness and it's all about loved I mean come on all you need is love right um I will say the one thing that I got out of working with the LGBT population is is the strength of of the population I mean they said this is this is a community that that's dignity and self-worth is debated when you turn on the news howdy humanizing is that to know that that you're not even seen as a legitimate person that you're that you're going to hell or you're not entitled to get married because you know you're bad you're disgusting these are people that repeatedly told this and yet and in my experience you know I this is a this is a positive stereotype but but gay people are some of the sweetest nicest most caring people and it just it just kind of breaks your heart to know um you have the kind of discrimination the kind of hatred that they face but you know but through it all they they they they still they're still fighting on and sorry about that we've had some technical difficulties we're gonna wrap it up here um we've been talking a while so so basically um we're going to conclude with what was the one thing you will take out of this experience and how it relates to social work what did you learn about Social Work volunteering I learned that social work is everything social work literally is just interacting with each other it's just human interaction wrapped into this nice little bow that we call social work because it's helping it's helping people it's helping each other that's that's what I learned I learned that social work it's unique to the individual it's you need to be the organization and that education within social work it must be continued when working with the hell gbt community it's something that we just need to make more aware we need more resources and as long as you know you two are out there advocating I think social work within the community is gonna flop bus bluster alright flourish into something really great you know to me to me social work is everything that I that I love it's politics its economics its sociology it's psychology is it's all these things wrapped under one umbrella and it's something that I knew I'm good at that I'm passionate about and you know working at our volunteer agency just reinforced that to me um it was an incredible experience and it's one that really reinforces into reinforces of you that social work is my calling and yeah I'm grateful for the experience so if you have any questions about the LGBT population or our volunteer agency talk to either one of us or you can look it up online either way we wish you all have a wonderful wonderful summer and hopefully if you stuck around for this whole video you'll have taken something valuable out of it

4 thoughts on “Social Work Students Discuss Experiences Working With LGBT Community”

  1. Thanks for your comment! For privacy reasons, we aren't going to disclose too much personal information. This channel belongs to the three students shown in the video.

  2. Is this youtube channel belong to one of those 3?

    What state do these 3 live in?

    Thank you for believing in gay equality!

    I'm gay and I can't wait to get married to the person I love!

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