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Supporting Homosexual Individuals: Breaking Stereotypes and Fostering Acceptance

Jul 11, 2023 | 0 comments

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Jul 11, 2023 | Essays | 0 comments

Questions on Homosexuality

  1. What first comes to mind when you hear the word homosexuality? What is your view as an individual on the matter?
  2. Do you think a homosexual member of society is an oppressed minority?
  3. How assimilated is the idea or concept of homosexuality in your community?
  4. What beliefs, stereotypes, and myths do you believe are close to the truth about homosexuality?
  5. Is education on the subject of homosexuality important today? What is the best way to create awareness and pass knowledge?
  6. Is it vital to create and develop a well-established support system in consideration of the homosexuals in society?
  7. Many homosexual individuals are facing a great challenge when it comes to self-acceptance, especially when their sexuality creates a great rift between them and their religious beliefs. What is your view on that?
  8. Do you believe that societal attitudes, presents a significant challenge towards our homosexual community today?
  9. What is the role of counseling to homosexual individuals as well as couples? Do you feel that counseling services are essential?
  10. What is the best way to encourage counseling and make it welcoming and attractive to the homosexual community?

 

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The world we currently live in is dominantly heterosexual; this is why LGBT grow up mostly in a condemning environment. This may lead to denial of a case where the LGBT deny their sexuality. According to Edsall (2006), counselors play a prominent role in supporting the clients to be more self-accepting. Acceptance, in this case, means that the client’s values, beliefs, behavior, and personality is respected by the counselor this would be conveyed by the counselor through a relaxed, friendly atmosphere that would encourage the client to develop a trusting relationship with the counselor thus enabling the start of the helping process. Edsall (2006) further explains that, for a counselor to efficiently assist any client, the client must be in an environment that he feels accepted, an environment that would trigger opening up and sharing essential information regarding the relationship, freely without any fear of any kind whatsoever. Lacking a thorough knowledge of the client, the counselor’s effort to assist the client is usually confined to shallow or marginal areas of the client’s experiences. Connors (2008) states that homosexual clients always become difficult for the counselor who has been channeled by society to view homosexuality as a perversion. Connors (2008) further states that religious beliefs, unrealistic fears, and myths may hinder the counselor’s ability to relax and convey acceptance when an unpredictable issue is not involved.

Therefore due to homophobia and strange beliefs on homosexuals, counselors may fail to earn trust from a homosexual client. Wolfe (1996) mentions that a trusting relationship is essential because it will enable the client to feel safe in discussing critical things and opening up with his sexual orientation. Another limitation of a trusting worker/client relationship is the general reluctance of some counselors when it comes to discussing sexuality. Wolfe (1996) expresses that, this reluctance amounts to an insurmountable barrier that hinders the client who wishes to discuss sexual matters. For a trusting relationship to develop the counselors must be willing to accept homosexuality as a feasible lifestyle sincerely.

Secondly, homosexuals need specialized counseling. Edsall (2003) points out that, due to the condemnation, they receive from a world full of heterosexuals, the client can be assisted by first investigating the cause and the effects of societal condemnation on their feelings of self-acceptance and self-worth. Edsall (2003) further states that the counselor can also help the client in realistically evaluating the problems and the pleasures of being homosexuals in today’s society as well as guide them in making fundamentals plans and decisions that will ensure the client improve on the sense of self-acceptance.

According to Connors (2008), Judeo-Christian values have made it difficult for homosexuals to synthesize their homosexuality with their religion. As a counselor, it’s a requirement that you provide appropriate services that would help homosexual clients deal with this dichotomy. Connors (2008) states that the clients are referred to the liberal theologians who have specific books, journals, and articles which would help in synthesizing homosexuality with the religion. Dunbar (1995) mentions that some churches have accepted homosexuality; the clients should be referred to these local ministers a good example being Dignity, which comprises Catholic homosexuals, this would provide the homosexuals with peer support needed mostly when they are at a stage of accepting their sexuality without detaching their religious beliefs.

For the homosexuals who are trying to accept their social orientation, the availability of social counseling is very vital. Seow (1996) mentions that the concept of coming out of the closest is a primary problem for many homosexuals. Seow (1996) further states that the counselors should assist in this process by helping the client explore both the unanticipated and anticipated consequences of coming out of the closest. Just as heterosexuals, homosexuals need major counseling in regards to the relationship with partners. For homosexuals, they usually encounter difficulty in maintaining a stable relationship without the many positive sanctions that heterosexuals accorded in keeping a stable relationship. Counseling agencies that have staff who are more welcoming to homosexuality should make it known to the community for the individuals who seek their services to access them easily. According to Edsall (2006), the most common counseling the homosexual needs are individual counseling and premarital and marital counseling. Counselors should be prepared to offer appropriate services to various packages including the homosexual couple that separates or even in the case of death in one of the partners.

Third, the counselor may be unaware of the homophile subculture that currently exists in their communities. According to Connors (2008), a knowledgeable counselor is required by the homosexuals who are in the process of affirming their sexuality. Connor (2008) further explains that when the counselor is ignorant about the city he or she might be unable to identify the homosexual community who provide much-needed support to their fellows and also provide social interaction opportunities and offer an enabling environment in which the homosexuals will feel comfortable and unconstrained. Connor (2008) points out that, a counselor who is ignorant of this homosexual community would not know the roads to access the city and therefore would prove to be rather ineffectual when dealing with the homosexual clients whose needs are unique.

Fourth, homosexuality is still an illegal act in the majority of jurisdictions. Edsall (2003) mentions that the homosexual needs a proper legal referral to help them avoid severe punishment accorded by the state even when their homosexual acts appear to be that of two consenting adults in privacy. This will enlighten them and help them avoid criminal prosecution, further to the homosexuals face an excess violation of civil rights due to their known or the assumption of their sexual orientation. Edsall (2003) points out that, a legal referral is very vital when criminal charges are involved and also when their rights are violated. Discrimination based on sexual inclination has been made illegal in about forty counties and cities in the US, this is not enough as many legislation and judicial action is still required on the provision of extensive human rights for all homosexuals. In the meantime, counselors are expected to make necessary legal referrals to homosexual clients that would enable them to assist them in their legal fights for fundamental human rights. For this to happen, it may be necessary for the clients to be supported by the social worker in assessing alleged discriminatory events or acts regarding possible personal consequences involved in legal or administrative challenges versus the potential for furthering the client’s rights and the rights of all homosexuals. Connors (2008) affirms that they will require at some point for the counselor to act as an advocate for homosexual’s civil rights this is necessary because it will further expand legal rights for homosexuals.

According to Wolfe (1998), the service need of a homosexual clientele may be overlooked by the counselor by the account that he or she is under-educated on the realities of homosexuality and by homosexuals being the victims of institutional homophobia. These counselors must overcome this problem by ensuring they become better educated about the topic. Such education ought to institute at the baccalaureate, and master’s degree levels for the counselors have an opportunity to assess their values and come to some conclusion without impact upon a homosexual client. Edsall (2006) states that the counselor can get more information and get information by contacting the community or regional homophile organizations and bibliographies as well as homosexual speakers (Wolfe, 1998). By listening to these speakers and reading materials written by homosexuals the counselor can start to discount beliefs, myths, and stereotypes and he or she can begin to viewing homosexual as a sane functioning person. Once the counselor is exceptionally knowledgeable, he can act as the clients advocate and provide an advocacy support system for homosexual clients and enhance the counselor/client relationship and further improve attitudes the society has regarding homosexuals.

References

Connors, P. G. (2008). Homosexuality. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.

Dunbar, R. E. (1995). Homosexuality. Springfield, N.J: Enslow.

Edsall, N. C. (2003). Toward Stonewall: Homosexuality and Society in the Modern Western World (Homosexuality and Society in the Modern Western World). University of Virginia Press

Edsall, N. C. (2006). Toward Stonewall: Homosexuality and society in the modern western world. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press.

Seow, C. L. (1996). Homosexuality and the Christian community. Louisville, Ky: Westminster John Knox Press.

Wolfe, A. (1998). One nation, after all: What middle-class Americans really think about God, country, family, racism, welfare, immigration, homosexuality, work, the right, the left, and each other. New York, N.Y., U.S.A: Viking.

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