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Posts Tagged ‘GLBT’

I had so much fun interviewing others.  It was quite a wonderful learning experience.  I now realize that when an interview is interviewee-centered rather than interviewer-centered, the interviewee discusses a lot more information with the interviewer that probably would have never been mentioned.  The first two interviews I conducted were in person and held back to back with a lesbian couple, Kiana and Barbara.  I originally assumed they were lesbians, but during the course of the interview discovered they were bisexual.  In fact, both women had previously dated men before dating women.  Later in the night, I even got to ask Kiana’s younger sister, Lexie, a few questions about her experience with Kiana and Barbara.

When approaching this interview, I feel I had many assumptions about the GLBT community that I was not even aware I had, which were continually contradicted.  I assumed, for instance, that the GLBT community must feel slighted by religious people and their incapacity to accept gay marriage, yet both Kiana and Barbara feel it would be wrong to get married in the traditional sense, especially in a church.  They both felt this would be making a mockery of religion.  Further, Kiana once believed, but no longer does believe, that to be gay is an abomination against God.  Barbara still believes to be gay is an abomination against God.  I also believe I was confronted by my own stereotypes of this community, for I noticed that there was no rainbow paraphernalia hanging all around their home.  Also, I feel I have frequently made the assumption that homosexuals experience love differently than heterosexuals, that in some way their experience might be more physical based, yet Kiana and Barbara expressed some of the deepest love I have ever observed between two people.  Kiana told me that the love shared between two women is incredibly intense, and that she has never experienced love to this degree with a man.  Further, they both told me that bisexual people are just as loyal as others, that they do not desire a connection with a man and feel they are missing something when they are with a woman.  This too contradicted my original assumption, an assumption I believe I acquired from a heterosexual community that taught me well to think the opposite.  If my interviews were interviewer-centered, I believe I would have never recognized my faulty assumptions.  Instead, my questions would have been derived from these assumptions and influenced the interview to head in a totally different direction.  Overall, I realize now, from this experience and interview, that what we call normal, the home life of the heterosexual, is sometimes not even close in comparison to the normalcy expressed in the home life of the homosexual.  From the moment I arrived to Kiana and Barbara’s home, until the moment I left, I felt so welcomed.  There was a special sense of warmth and harmony that flowed through their walls, which I have not frequently experienced in the home’s of heterosexuals.  They both were very open and accepting of the interview experience and of me in general.  They were not afraid to express themselves and their real feelings.  I adored being with them.  I also adored meeting Kiana’s younger sister, Lexie, who told me that she does not mind that Kiana is gay, because she can still come to Kiana with boyfriend problems and Kiana understands.  Kiana, Barbara, and Lexie all agreed to getting their picture taken and posted online.  Here they are down below listed in this order:  Barbara, Kiana, Lexie.

  Barbara and Kiana

   Lexie

My third interview was with Todd, a gay man, who I also assumed was gay only.  It turned out that Todd too was bisexual.  His boyfriend, the man he lives with, is the only boyfriend he has ever had.  Prior to this relationship, he only had girlfriends.  It was interesting to see how many of the assumptions I made about the GLBT community before visiting with Kiana and Barbara were also being challenged at Todd’s home.  First, his home was also very harmonious.  He had dozens of pets: turtles, fish, snakes, lizards, rodents, dogs, cats, etc.  I was surrounded by these beautiful creatures, some of which I took pictures of and will include my favorite, his chinchilla, in this post.  Todd mentioned something to me that Kiana also mentioned, which caught me by surprise.  He said that flamboyant gays are not being themselves, that they are acting the role of the cookie cutter gay that is frequently presented in stereotypical cinema.  He said that he feels some gays are born naturally feminine or masculine, but the flamboyant stereotype of the gay man contradicts the truth of the gay man, which is that he comes in many different personalities.  At this point in my interview with Todd, I started making connections with my interview with Kiana.  Kiana also said that she disliked the stereotypical representation of lesbians being butch-like and aggressive.  She too said it was a false representation.  Overall, I noticed that Kiana, Barbara, Todd and his boyfriend contradicted these stereotypes completely.  They were not the flamboyant gays or the butch lesbians the cinema makes them out to be.  They were people with hopes, desires, and goals.  Here is a picture of Todd and below him a picture of his chinchilla.

   Todd

    Todd’s chinchilla

My final interview, the one conducted online with a male homosexual, did not prove to be very effective.  The most beneficial part of the experience was that the time spent between sending emails back and forth caused me to reflect more and decide to begin the interview by asking him what he would like to talk about first.  He gave me a lot of good ideas, things I would never even have considered without his help.  But once I sent him the questions to be answered, he took a very long time to respond. When he did finally respond, he did not answer many of the questions.  Further, the questions he did respond to included very short answers that lacked sufficient detail in order to be able to grasp understanding from them.  For instance, when asked why he wanted to come out, he stated, “Because I was tired of hiding it.”  In response to this answer, I would like to ask him, “Why were you tired of hiding it?” but I did not feel comfortable enough to pry my nose in any further.  I would have felt uncomfortable attempting to approach him with more questions, because it appeared evident to me that, even though he originally expressed  enthusiasm in taking the interview, he did not feel comfortable answering many of the questions.  I cannot help but wonder then, if this interview was more interviewee-centered like the others, if he would have felt more compelled to answer fully and less uncomfortable about disclosing information.

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Here are the questions I developed for my online interview if anyone is interested in observing what I came up with. I developed a lot of them as I moved along with my first two interviews, and, as I mentioned in class, by asking my interviewees what they wanted to talk about first. Click on the link below. Thanks.

interview questions for core 2

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My research topic is on the GLBT community.  The theme of my interviews will involve the hardships and sufferings of this community, the individuality of each subject that I interview, and their civil rights.  I want to keep the themes general, because I do not want to slip into my own personal trap of persuasive writing.  I really want to try to remain neutral during my interviews, and allow the interviewees to tell me something I do not know.  I will be interviewing two lesbians and two gay men.  Three of them will be in person, and one will be online.  One of the gay men, Todd, said it is perfectly fine for me to use his real name.  I have not received permission to disclose the names of the others yet, but I will soon ask them how they feel about this.  I had no luck finding anyone to interview from twitter, but I did find someone on facebook.  He agreed to get interviewed, so I sent him an email asking him which way he would prefer being interviewed, email, twitter, etc.  Now I am waiting on his returned email.  Two of of my interviewees, Todd and one of the lesbians, I know personally, because they are coworkers of mine.  The other lesbian I will be interviewing I have never met before, but will meet in person soon.  She is the girlfriend of the lesbian I am interviewing that I work with.  The gay man I met online I do not know personally and will never meet him in person, but I will ask to speak with him on the phone.  I will be conducting two of my interviews on March 13, starting at 5 p.m., and I will record them if permitted.  I will be conducting my interview with Todd on March 15th at 4 p.m. and he said it would be fine for me to record the session.  I want to record them, so I do not have to write everything down.  In this way, the interview will be more like a conversation than an interview.   

Some of the questions I have come up with so far are:

Who is Todd?

What was your life like? Was it difficult or easy? Why?

How did you feel when you first came out?  Why?

What are your hobbies and why?

Who or what do you identify with and why?

Have you ever felt discriminated against for being GLBT? Why? What happened?

If you could change anything about the GLBT experience, what would it be?

Do you feel you have equal rights as a GLBT individual? Why or why not?  Has this impacted your life personally? How? Explain.

I want to add more questions eventually, but as for now I do not want to create too many questions.  I’d rather let the interviewees take the lead and spend most of the time talking if possible.  I tried to develop reflective, open-ended questions, so they can do this.  I plan on developing other questions during the interviews, which will probably be more effective, because these questions will reflect what the interviewees are saying.

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I am not sure what I am doing wrong, but this annotated bibliography does not look the way I typed it in microsoft works.

Arm, J., et al. (2009). Negotiating connection between GLBT experience of anti-GLBT

movement of policies. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(1), 82-96.

doi:10.1037/a0012813

In this article, Jennifer Arm et al. explores the thoughts and feelings of family

members of GLBT individuals. Until recently, most studies focused on how the

family felt once the GLBT member revealed his or her sexual orientation.

Instead, the intention behind this study is to investigate the thoughts and feelings

the families experience in relationship to the legislative initiatives that limit the

rights of the GLBT family member. When considering the physical and

emotional traumas the GLBT community experiences in response to these

initiatives, it seems natural to suggest that their family members, those closest to

them, are also experiencing physical and emotional problems. Arm refers to the

stressors endured by the family as secondary stress, because their stress is viewed

as an indirect, rather than a direct, result of the legislative initiatives. Researchers

are still uncertain whether the family members experience sexual prejudice the

same way the GLBT individual does. Further, they also want to explore whether

limitation of GLBT rights poses a limitation on their family members rights. For

example, Arm et al. points out that in Tennessee a GLBT person can be evicted

solely for the reason of sexual orientation or gender expression. My question is if

these individuals are forced from their homes and they are the primary supporters, are not their family members who are also forced from their homes also being

affected? Are not their rights then being limited? I hope that this study provides me with these answers.

Blackwell, C. W. (2008). Nursing implications in the application of conversion therapies

on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender clients. Issues in Mental Health, 29, 651-665. doi:10.1080/01612840802048915

Nursing

Christopher Blackwell describes the historical background of what was once

assumed pathological GLBT-ism. He says it all probably took root in Freud’s

Oedipus Complex Theory. Then later it developed into a crime against God and

religion. Consequently, once viewed as pathological, people developed a belief

in conversion therapy, namely that a GLBT individual could learn how not to be

GLBT. Today religious people still hold to this belief, even though GLBT-ism is

no longer considered a pathological problem. In fact, it is no longer listed in the

DSM-IV as a psychological disorder. Therefore, religion currently appears to be the perpetrator in denying the GLBT community equal rights and opportunity. I hope this article helps me to identify whether or not conversion therapy is possible. I would like to know whether the literature says individuals are born as GLBT and cannot change or that their environment influences their choices and they can change.

Campbell, L.J. (2007). Jack Nichols, gay pioneer: “Have you heard my message?” New York: Harrington Park Press. doi:10.1080/15504280903073564

[?]. (2003). Gay and lesbian rights in the United States: a documentary history.

Westport, CT: Greenwood Press dio:10.1336/03133066966

Graham, A. H. (2008). Hometown Stories. Advocate, (1009). Retrieved from

Academic Search Premier.

In this article, six gay men from six different states in the U.S. explain their

personal experiences of what it is like to live as a gay man in their hometowns.

These hometowns include Asbury Park, NJ, Portsmouth, NH, Ely, NV, Kihei,

Hawaii, Natchitoches, LA, and Dallas, TX. They all point out something that they

share in common. They all discuss whether or not they can feel comfortable

enough to express public affection with their lovers in their hometowns. Being

able to express public affection appears to be very important for them. It is

significant to feel safe in expressing affection toward the one you love without

being judged. Further, they all mention different places they can go to in their

hometowns that are developed for the GLBT community. For instance, Steven

Crespo, from Asbury, NJ, explains that there are gay owned businesses and an annual GLBT pride celebration in Asbury Park. These, along with many other

GLBT gatherings, appear to be very important for all of them. I hope, during the

course of my research, to find more information on Asbury Park, NJ, because this

is my hometown. I also will search for upcoming Asbury Park celebrations and

probably attend one.

Herek, G. M. (1989). Hate crimes against lesbians and gay men: Issues for research

policy. American Psychologist, 44(6), 948-955. doi:10.1037/0003-006x.44.6.948

In this article, Gregory Herek discusses hate crimes in extensive detail. He gives a

clearly stated definition. He says that GLBT hate crimes are dangerous to both

homosexuals and heterosexuals, because at any time heterosexuals can be

mistaken for homosexuals. Then he gives specific occurrences and examples of

hate crimes in order to strengthen his research. Herek feels people are not as

aware of these hate crimes as they should be. Further, there are many hate crimes

that have never been reported as a result of fear, especially fear of continued

harassment. People of the GLBT community have been viciously harassed,

beaten, and killed for no other reason but being GLBT. I hope this article

provides me with a deeper look into the statistics of hate crimes committed

against GLBT individuals. Further, I would like to know more about the specific

occurrences of actual hate crimes that have taken place throughout history.

Herek, G. M., et al. (2009). Internalized stigma among sexual minority adults: Insights

from a social psychological perspective. Journal of Counseling, 56(1), 32-43.

doi:10.1037/a0014672

Researchers describe the many different internal stigmas a GLBT individual might

experience. Some of these stigmas include obsessing about the possible

occurrence of a hate crime or believing in negative stereotypes as true about the

self. In fact, this study attempts to reveal whether or not these stigmas cause

GLBT individuals to feel badly about themselves. As Herek et al. points out,

many beliefs play a role in creating these stigmas like the heterosexual

assumption. The heterosexual assumption is when the consensus seems to be

that everyone is heterosexual in a specific environment such as the workplace.

GLBT individuals develop negative stigmas that they internalize in response to

these stereotypical beliefs. For example, a GLBT person, in response to the

heterosexual assumption, might perceive that it is unacceptable to be GLBT.

Consequently, GLBT individuals develop negative self-concepts. I hope that

this article reveals to me many more beliefs, like the heterosexual assumption,

which develop negative stigmas and self-concepts among the GLBT community.

Herek, G.M., et al. (1999). Psychological sequelae of hate-crime victimization among

Lesbian, gay, bisexual adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology,

67(6), 945-951. doi:10.1037/0022-006x.67.6.945

In this article, researchers compare hate crimes to nonbiased crimes. The victims

of hate crimes report higher levels of depression, anger, anxiety, and

posttraumatic stress. Further, hate crimes are less likely than nonbiased crimes to

be reported to the police. The source of the hate crime, being GLBT, does not go

away. Yet the source for many criminal victimization crimes, such as wearing

gold during a public event, can be avoided in the future. Therefore, the trauma a

GLBT individual experiences after enduring a hate crime could remain constant,

because they cannot avoid being GLBT. Eventually, these constant worries and

concerns can overpower the GLBT individual’s sense of self. Because sexual

prejudice is still widely accepted, the GLBT community is vulnerable to the

psychological effects of hate crime victimization. Present society still feeds the

GLBT community the message that they deserve to be victimized. I hope this

article provides me with some specific examples of how hate crimes cause the

GLBT community to experience trauma more severely than those who experience

nonbiased crimes. I would like to make connections between this article and the

other articles I have chosen that discuss hate crimes and self-concepts among the

GLBT communities.

Letellier, P. (2009). Transactions: A transgender news update. Lesbian News, 34(10).

Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database.

Patrick Letellier describes a hate crime committed against a transwoman. She was

murdered by her boyfriend after she revealed to him that she once was a man.

According to this article, many transwomen have been killed this way. Most of

the perpetrators, in Turkey and the U.S., have received reduced sentences on the

notion that when they were first told about the true identity of their lovers, they

instantly experienced uncontrollable panic. The government of these countries

has been accused of helping these hate crimes to persist. In California, there have

been court rulings that allow birth certificate changes, namely change in gender

identity, for those born in the state. These types of rulings are necessary in order

to protect the GLBT community from hate crimes. One glance at a birth

certificate could mean one more dead. I hope this article, along with

others like it, provide me with a deeper look into the personal experiences that

GLBT individuals have had with hate crimes. Further, this article will provide me

with a deeper understanding of how court rulings influence the day to day lives of

GLBT persons.

Levitt, H. M., et al. (2009). Balancing Dangers: GLBT experience in a time of anti-

GLBT legislation. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(1), 67-81.

doi:10.1037/a0012988

Heidi Levitt et al. attempts to determine the level of minority stress GLBT

individuals experience as a result of living in a society that is currently supporting

anti-GLBT legislation. She examines the GLBT experience of minority stress by

comparing their stress to Harrell’s six types of racism-related stress. Further, she

and other researchers conduct a qualitative study in order to reveal how GLBT

individuals perceive the anti-GLBT legislation and society. During this study, the

researchers ask the subjects many open-ended questions in order to elicit the true

thoughts and feelings of the GLBT community. The responses the GLBT

subjects provide clearly reveal that the anti-GLBT legislation influences them to

feel alienated. They struggle with feelings of personal inadequacy as a result of

being dehumanized. I really hope this article helps me to make connections

between the traumatic feelings GLBT individuals experience in response to hate

crimes and the feelings they experience in response to an anti-GLBT legislation and anti-GLBT society.

Rostosky, S. S., et al. (2008). Marriage amendments and psychological distress in

lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56(1),

56-66. doi:10.1037/a0013609

Sharon Rostosky and other researchers examine whether marriage amendments

impact the level of minority stress and psychological distress the GLBT person

experiences. They conclude that the GLBT individuals living in states that

have passed marriage amendments do experience higher levels of minority stress

and psychological distress. The authors then go on to explain the different types

of amendments that have taken place. For example, in June of 2008, forty-five

states refused to recognize civil marriage. In this study, researchers provided

participants with an online survey, which asked them questions about how many

times they experienced negative messages through the media about being GLBT. They were asked to rate their answers on a scale between 0-5, etc. Therefore, this

study attempts to determine the influence of an anti-GLBT legislation

quantitatively rather than qualitatively. In the course of my research, this study

will probably help me to perceive the GLBT experience quantitatively also.

Further, there is important information contained within this article about the

marriage amendments, which helps me to further understand the thoughts and

feelings the GLBT community might be living as a result of these anti-GLBT

decisions.

Silver, D. (2009). The Cruelty of Expectation. Lesbian News, 34(10). Retrieved from

Academic Search Premier Database.

Diane Silver discusses the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and its many effects

on the GLBT community. She begins by providing a real life example. Tan, a

nonpermanent U.S. resident, faces deportation, because she is not permitted to marry her lover. Further, she will be removed from her family and the one she loves. If she was permitted to marry, all of this could be prevented. She could then receive permanent residency as a U.S. citizen. Silver then explains many other difficulties the GLBT community faces, because Congress has not yet changed these acts. Along with the GLBT community, entire families are suffering as a result of DOMA. Parents are losing jobs and homes. Silver says that Obama should fulfill his promise and Congress should act. I believe this article will help me to see the world through the eyes of the GLBT community, because it provides specific examples of how DOMA is negatively impacting their lives.

Strickland, Bonnie R. (1995). Research on sexual orientation and human development:

A commentary. Developmental Psychology, 31(1), 137-140.

doi:10.1037/0012-1649.31.1.137

The development of sexual orientation is thought to have many influences.

In this article, Bonnie Strickland suggests that sexual orientation develops as a

result of genetic, prenatal, and environmental factors. She says that gender

identity develops early and is quite difficult to transform. She then goes on and

gives specific examples of these early childhood characteristics. For example,

homosexual adult women report being tomboyish as children, such as playing

sports and engaging in competitive behavior. Homosexual adult men frequently

report the opposite. They typically report that they did not play sports as children

or engage in competitive activity. This is only one example of the many she

provides. Overall, GLBT individuals, along with their children, tend to be

emotionally healthy. I feel that this article, and others like it, will help me

discover whether GLBT individuals are born as GLBT or develop GLBT

characteristics overtime as a product of their environment.

Wright, Ellen. (2005). Report shows sexual orientation is second leading category of

bias crimes. Lesbian News, 30(6). Retrieved from Academic Search Premier

Database.

Ellen Wright provides statistics comparing the amount of hate crimes each

minority group experiences. GLBT crimes are rated the second highest category,

with racial crimes being the first. Yet in 2003, six GLBT murders were reported,

whereas four racial murders were reported. However, these statistics only

resemble a small number of the actual amount of hate crimes reported, because

these reports were only taken from eleven different regions across the country. In

fact, the FBI continues to undercount the actual number of GLBT crimes

reported, even though in actuality they have only increased. Further, they do not

collect any statistics on transgender people. Wright stresses that with the increase

of GLBT visibility, the FBI needs to accurately record these crimes. The public,

especially the GLBT

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