You are on page 1of 20

CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY 1

Cultural Immersion Report on te LGBT Communit!


Rama Allen
"ilmin#ton Uni$ersit!
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY %
Te Les&ian' Ga!' Bise(ual' an) Trans#en)er *LGBT+ ,ommunit! is te population sele,te)
-or m! ,ultural immersion report. In a /orl) o- ,onstant ,an#e an) mo)erni0ation' it is sa) to
sa! tat )is,rimination an) ine1ualit! ,ontinues to o,,ur amon#st te Les&ian' Ga!' Bise(ual'
an) Trans#en)er *LGBT+ people. A,,or)in# to 2onson *%314+' 5te num&er o- LGBT persons in
te U.S. is su&6e,ti$e. Stu)ies pointin# to te statisti,s are estimates at &est. Te most /i)el!
a,,epte) statisti, is tat 1 in e$er! 13 in)i$i)uals is LGBT7 o/e$er some resear, estimates 1
in %3. O- ,ourse' tis all )epen)s on one8s )e-inition o- #a! */i, ma! $ar! &! stu)!+ an) te
parti,ipant9s /illin#ness to i)enti-! as #a!' &i' les&ian or trans#en)er.: ;or !ears te LGBT
,ommunit! as proteste)' -ou#t' an) a)$o,ate) -or e1ual ri#ts. Te LGBT ,ontinues to stri$e'
to &e treate) e1uall! /it eterose(uals. A)$an,in# e1ualit! -or LGBT ,ommunit! is
-un)amental. O$er te !ears' la/s /ere ,reate) to prote,t a#ainst )is,rimination. Ho/e$er'
some people /o are a les&ian' #a!' or trans#en)er ,ontinue to e(perien,e )is,rimination. Te
most ,urrent )is,rimination amon#st te LGBT ,ommunit! relates to same se( marria#e.
Marria#e is suppose) to represent a relationsip tat promotes )e$otion amon#st t/o people
tat lo$e ea, oter' an) /ant to spen) a li-elon# ,ommitment e(pressin# teir lo$e -or one
anoter. Marria#e is not e1ual trou#out te Unite) States. <isputes o$er same=se( ,ouples
marr!in# ,ontinues. Tere are se$eral states tat a$e passe) la/s )eterrin# marria#e to
eterose(ual ,ouples. ;e)eral appeal ,ourts are &e#innin# to ear ar#uments on /eter people
tat are omose(ual a$e te ri#t to &e marrie). Some people -eel it is -or un,onstitutional
people o- te same se( to marr!. A,,or)in# to te ACLU *%314+' In Ameri,a' 1> states plus <.C.
allo/ same=se( ,ouples to marr!. Tat means nearl! 43 per,ent o- te Ameri,an population li$es
in a -ree)om=to=marr! state. Tese -a,ts are eartenin#' &ut tere is still a lot o- /or? to )o to
impro$e la/s tat /ill prote,t all -amilies. Sin,e te -irst marria#e la/suit -or same=se( ,ouples
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY @
in Ameri,a in 1>A1' te ACLU as &een at te -ore-ront o- &ot le#al an) pu&li, e)u,ation
e--orts to se,ure marria#e -or same=se( ,ouples an) /in le#al re,o#nition -or LGBT
relationsips. Ga! marria#e ,riti,s also ,ontinue to rall! &ein) te <e-ense o- Marria#e A,t' a
-e)eral la/ si#ne) &! Presi)ent Bill Clinton tat )e-ines marria#e as &ein# &et/een a man an) a
/oman. In or)er to ,ontinue a)$an,in# e1ualit! -or te LGBT people' te -e)eral #o$ernment
soul) )o more to le#ali0e same se( marria#e nation/i)e.
Te istor! o- te Les&ian' Ga!' Bise(ual' an) Trans#en)er *LGBT+ people. ;or ,enturies
omose(uals /ere not treate) as -airl! as eterose(ual. <i--erent ,ultures $ie/ omose(ualit!
)i--erentl!. A,,or)in# to ;or) *%31@+' omose(uals 1ui,?l! &e,ame te tar#et o- me)i,al'
ps!,iatri,' an) le#al inter$ention' an) as earl! as te 1BA3' te! ,ame to#eter in su, pla,es as
Ba$aria to -i#t ,riminali0ation o- so)om!. Until te Na0is )estro!e) Ma#nus Hirs,-el)8s
omose(ual ar,i$es in Berlin an) un)re)s o- tousan)s o- omose(ual people /ere sent to )ie
in ,on,entration ,amps' te omose(ual mo$ement in German! /as /i)esprea) an) in-luential.
So,iet!9s attitu)e o$er same se( relationsips $aries -or pla,e to pla,e. Te #a! ri#ts
mo$ement in Ameri,a ,ontinues to o,,ur. A,,or)in# to PBS *%31@+' te -ollo/in# in-ormation is
milestones in te Ameri,an Ga! Ri#ts Mo$ement. On <e,em&er 13' 1>%4' Te So,iet! -or
Human Ri#ts is -oun)e) &! Henr! Ger&er in Ci,a#o. Te so,iet! is te -irst #a! ri#ts
or#ani0ation as /ell as te ol)est )o,umente) in Ameri,a. A-ter re,ei$in# a ,arter -rom te
state o- Illinois' te so,iet! pu&lises te -irst Ameri,an pu&li,ation -or omose(uals' ;rien)sip
an) ;ree)om. Soon a-ter its -oun)in#' te so,iet! )is&an)s )ue to politi,al pressure. On
<e,em&er 1C' 1>C3' a Senate report title) DEmplo!ment o- Homose(uals an) Oter Se( Per$erts
in Go$ernmentD is )istri&ute) to mem&ers o- Con#ress a-ter te -e)eral #o$ernment a) ,o$ertl!
in$esti#ate) emplo!ees8 se(ual orientation at te &e#innin# o- te Col) "ar. Te report states
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY 4
sin,e omose(ualit! is a mental illness' omose(uals D,onstitute se,urit! ris?sD to te nation
&e,ause Dtose /o en#a#e in o$ert a,ts o- per$ersion la,? te emotional sta&ilit! o- normal
persons.D O$er te pre$ious -e/ !ears' more tan 4'@B3 #a! men an) /omen a) &een
)is,ar#e) -rom te militar! an) aroun) C33 -ire) -rom teir 6o&s /it te #o$ernment. Te
pur#in# /ill &e,ome ?no/n as te Dla$en)er s,are.D On April' 1>C%' Te Ameri,an Ps!,iatri,
Asso,iation lists omose(ualit! as a so,iopati, personalit! )istur&an,e in its -irst pu&li,ation o-
te <ia#nosti, an) Statisti,al Manual o- Mental <isor)ers. Imme)iatel! -ollo/in# te manual8s
release' man! pro-essionals in me)i,ine' mental ealt an) so,ial s,ien,es ,riti,i0e te
,ate#ori0ation )ue to la,? o- empiri,al an) s,ienti-i, )ata. On April %A' 1>C@' Presi)ent </i#t
Eiseno/er si#ns E(e,uti$e Or)er 134C3' &annin# omose(uals -rom /or?in# -or te -e)eral
#o$ernment or an! o- its pri$ate ,ontra,tors. Te Or)er lists omose(uals as se,urit! ris?s' alon#
/it al,ooli,s an) neuroti,s. On Septem&er %1' 1>CC In San ;ran,is,o' te <au#ters o- Bilitis
&e,omes te -irst les&ian ri#ts or#ani0ation in te Unite) States. Te or#ani0ation osts so,ial
-un,tions' pro$i)in# alternati$es to les&ian &ars. On 2anuar! 1' 1>E%' Illinois repeals its so)om!
la/s' &e,omin# te -irst U.S. state to )e,riminali0e omose(ualit!. On 2une %B' 1>E>' Patrons o-
te Stone/all Inn in Green/i, Filla#e riot /en poli,e o--i,ers attempt to rai) te popular #a!
&ar. Sin,e its esta&lisment in 1>EA' te &ar a) &een -re1uentl! rai)e) &! poli,e o--i,ers tr!in#
to ,lean up te nei#&oroo) o- Dse(ual )e$iants.D On 2une %B' 1>A3' Cristoper St. Li&eration
<a! ,ommemorates te one=!ear anni$ersar! o- te Stone/all riots. ;ollo/in# te e$ent'
tousan)s o- mem&ers o- te LGBT ,ommunit! mar, trou# Ne/ Yor? into Central Par?' in
/at /ill &e ,onsi)ere) Ameri,a8s -irst #a! pri)e para)e. In te ,omin# )e,a)es' te annual #a!
pri)e para)e /ill sprea) to )o0ens o- ,ountries aroun) te /orl). On No$em&er B' 1>AA' Har$e!
Mil? /ins a seat on te San ;ran,is,o Boar) o- Super$isors an) is responsi&le -or intro)u,in# a
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY C
#a! ri#ts or)inan,e prote,tin# #a!s an) les&ians -rom &ein# -ire) -rom teir 6o&s. Mil? also
lea)s a su,,ess-ul ,ampai#n a#ainst Proposition E' an initiati$e -or&i))in# omose(ual tea,ers.
A !ear later' on No$em&er %A' 1>AB' -ormer ,it! super$isor <an "ite assassinates Mil?.
"ite8s a,tions are moti$ate) &! 6ealous! an) )epression' rater tan omopo&ia. On O,to&er
14' 1>A>' an estimate) AC'333 people parti,ipate in te National Mar, on "asin#ton -or
Les&ian an) Ga! Ri#ts. LGBT people an) strai#t allies )eman) e1ual ,i$il ri#ts an) ur#e -or
te passa#e o- prote,ti$e ,i$il ri#ts le#islature.
<urin# te 1>B39s te AI<S epi)emi, su))enl! plummete). People /o /ere #a! &e#an to
a)$o,ate -or -un)in# an) pre$entati$e treatment -or AI<S. Ga! men /ere )!in# at an alarmin#
rate. <urin# te 1>>39s an) present )a! te LGBT ,ommunit! -i#ts -or e1ualit! an) te ri#t -or
same se( marria#e.
A,,or)in# to PBS *%31@+' on 2ul! @' 1>B1' te Ne/ Yor? Times prints te -irst stor! o- a rare
pneumonia an) s?in ,an,er -oun) in 41 #a! men in Ne/ Yor? an) Cali-ornia. Te C<C initiall!
re-ers to te )isease as GRI<' Ga! Relate) Immune <e-i,ien,! <isor)er. "en te s!mptoms
are -oun) outsi)e te #a! ,ommunit!' Bru,e Foeller' &iolo#ist an) -oun)er o- te National Ga!
Tas? ;or,e' su,,ess-ull! lo&&ies to ,an#e te name o- te )isease to AI<S. On <e,em&er 1'
1>BB' te "orl) Healt Or#ani0ation or#ani0es te -irst "orl) AI<S <a! to raise a/areness o-
te sprea)in# pan)emi,. On <e,em&er %1' 1>>@' te 5<on9t as?7 )on9t tell poli,! /as issue) &!
te <epartment o- <e-ense. A )ire,ti$e proi&itin# te U.S. Militar! -rom &arrin# appli,ants
-rom ser$i,e &ase) on teir se(ual orientation. On Septem&er %1' 1>>E' Presi)ent Clinton si#ns
te <e-ense o- Marria#e A,t into la/. Te la/ )e-ines marria#e as a le#al union &et/een one
man an) one /oman an) tat no state is re1uire) to re,o#ni0e a same=se( marria#e -rom out o-
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY E
state. In April %E' %333' Fermont &e,omes te -irst state in te U.S. to le#ali0e ,i$il unions an)
re#istere) partnersips &et/een same=se( ,ouples. On 2une 1A' %33>' Presi)ent O&ama si#ns a
Presi)ential Memoran)um allo/in# same=se( partners o- -e)eral emplo!ees to re,ei$e ,ertain
&ene-its. Te memoran)um )oes not ,o$er -ull ealt ,o$era#e. On O,to&er %B' %33>' te
Matte/ Separ) A,t is passe) &! Con#ress an) si#ne) into la/ &! Presi)ent O&ama on O,to&er
%Bt. Te measure e(pan)s te 1>E> U.S. ;e)eral Hate Crime La/ to in,lu)e ,rimes moti$ate)
&! a $i,tim8s a,tual or per,ei$e) #en)er' se(ual orientation' #en)er i)entit! or )isa&ilit!. In %313'
te senate repeals te 5<on9t as?' <on9t tell: poli,! allo/in# #a!s an) les&ians to ser$e openl!
in te U.S. Militar!. In %311' Presi)ent O&ama states is a)ministration /ill no lon#er )e-en) te
<e-ense o- Marria#e A,t' /i, &ans te re,o#nition o- same=se( marria#e.
Film
;ilm $ie/e)G Te Normal Heart
R!an Murp! <ire,tor7 HBO -ilms' %31@
Te Normal Heart /as &ase) on Larr! Hramer' 1>BC pla! title) a 5Normal Heart.: Te mo$ie
ta?es pla,e in te summer o- 1>B1' /en an openl! #a! /riter Ne) "ee?s tra$els to te #a!
resort ,ommunit! o- ;ire Islan) Pines on Lon# Islan) to ,ele&rate te &irt)a! o- is #a! -rien)
Crai#. Crai# /as /al?in# on te &ea, /it -rien)s an) su))enl! ,ollapse). Later on' /ile
&lo/in# out is ,an)le on is ,a?e' Crai# #ets /in)e) an) &e#ins to ,ou# ,ontinuousl!.
"ile Ne) /as tra$elin# &a,? ome e rea)s an arti,le in te Ne/ Yor? Times title) DRare
Can,er <ia#nose) in 41 Homose(uals.D Ne) $isits <r. Emma Broo?ner' a p!si,ian tat appears
to treat man! patients /it te s!mptoms o- rare )iseases. "ile in te /aitin# room' Ne) meets
San-or)' a patient /ose -a,e an) an)s are mar?e) /it s?in lesions ,ause) &! te $er! rare
,an,er. Ne) appeare) so,?e) /en e sa/ all te lesions on San-or)9s -a,e. "en Ne) /ent to
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY A
#et e(amine) &! <r. Broo?ner' e is in-orme) tat normall! tis )isease /oul)n8t arm people
unless teir immune s!stems a$e &een ,ompromise). Se also in-orms Ne) tat all o- te ,ases
seem to &e appearin# in #a! men. Ne) is tol) tat e )oes not a$e te s!mptoms o- tis )isease.
<r. Broo?ner' as?s Ne) to elp er raise a/areness o- tis )isease /itin te #a! ,ommunit!.
A ,ouple )a!s later' Crai# su))enl! su--ers $iolent ,on$ulsions' is ruse) to te ospital
/ere e is later pronoun,e) )ea). <r. Broo?ner an) Ne) or#ani0e a #aterin# at Ne)9s ome
an) in$ite man! #a! men to ear <r. Broo?ner sare in-ormation a&out te rare ,an,er )isease.
<r. Broo?ner in-orms tem te illness is se(uall! transmissi&le' se as no e$i)en,e' an) tat
te! soul) stop a$in# se( -or te time &ein# to pre$ent ne/ transmissions. Man! o- te men
1uestione) <r. Broo?ner9s in-ormation' /i, as not !et &een $eri-ie) in an! me)i,al
pu&li,ations. Ne) announ,e) tat e /ante) to start an or#ani0ation to sprea) in-ormation a&out
te )isease.
Ne)' Bru,e' Mi,?e!' an) se$eral oter -rien)s esta&lis a ,ommunit! or#ani0ation ,alle) Ga!
Men8s Healt Crisis *GMHC+. Te or#ani0ation sponsors -un)raisers -or resear, on te )isease
no/ ,alle) AI<S an) esta&lises a telepone otline' ,ounselin#' an) oter ser$i,es. Te
,ommittee ele,ts Bru,e as te presi)ent an) not Ne). Te! -elt Bru,e /as more popular an)
people /ere a-rai) o- Ne) &e,ause e /as )ire,t an) out spo?en. Ne) met /it is ol)er &roter
Ben /o9s a la/!er' to pro$i)e -ree le#al a)$i,e to te GMHC. Ho/e$er' tat )i) not o,,ur
&e,ause Ben8s la,? o- un)erstan)in# o- Ne)8s se(ualit! an) te #a! ,ommunit!. Ben &elie$es
Ne) is si,?. Ne) $o/s to ne$er spea? to Ben a#ain.
Ne) meets /it a #a! Ne/ Yor? Times reporter ;eli( Turner' in an attempt -or te me)ia to
pu&lis more stories a&out te un-ol)in# ealt ,risis. ;eli( in-orms Ne) o- te )i--i,ult! in
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY B
#ettin# mainstream ne/spapers to report mu, in-ormation on AI<S. Ne) an) ;eli( &e,ome
lo$ers an) appear $er! app!. Later on ;eli( in-orms Ne) tat e as s!mptoms o- te rare
,an,er.
A-ter Ne) is in-orme) tat ;eli( as te )isease Ne) &e,omes more a##ressi$e /en
a)$o,atin#. He ur#entl! /ants -un)in# an) pu&li, a/areness -or te epi)emi,. Te )isease
&e#ins to sprea) at a rapi) rate an) ,laims te li$es o- more an) more people.
Bru,e &o!-rien) Al&ert is a--e,te) &! te )isease an) is )!in#. Al&ert an) Bru,e tra$el to
Poeni( to $isit Al&ert mom &e-ore Al&ert )ie. Ho/e$er' te pilot re-uses to -l! te plane /it
Al&ert on &oar)' &e,ause Al&ert is si,?. Anoter pilot a#rees to -l! te plane. "ile in te air
Al&ert &e,omes )elusional' &e#ins to $omit' an) starts )!in#. Al&ert )ies prior to arri$e at te
ospital. Te ospital )o,tors re-use to e(amine im an) issue a )eat ,erti-i,ate. Al&ert9s
moter meets Bru,e at te ospital mortuar!. Te mortuar! puts Al&ert &o)! in an o$ersi0e)
trase) &a#. Bru,e must pa! or)erl! to ta?e Al&ert9s &o)! to te ,ar. Al&ert &ri&es te -uneral
ome -or tem to ,remate is &o)! /itout a )eat ,erti-i,ate. Al&ert &rea?s )o/n !steri,all!
/en e(plainin# Al&ert9s )eat to Ne).
<r. Broo?ner attempts to o&tain #rant mone! to ,ontinue resear,in# AI<S is re6e,te) &!
#o$ernment. Se &e,omes -urious /en se ears te )enial -or -un)in#. ;eli( $isit Ben at
Ben9s o--i,e an) in-orms Ben tat e is si,?. He ,on-esses is lo$e -or Ne)' an) /ants to ma?e a
/ill. Ben an) ;eli( /al? to te ,an an) ;eli( -aints.
Ne) &e#ins to #et &a,?las -rom te ,ommittee mem&er' &e,ause Ne) is /ritin# letters an)
spea?in# in pu&li, a&out te #o$ernment not ,arin# te )isease &e,ause it is ,urrentl! onl!
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY >
a--e,tin# #a! men. Te ,ommittee ,alle) Ne) sel-is' o$erl! a##ressi$e' an) a&rasi$e. Bru,e
rea)s a letter to Ne) statin# te ,ommittee /ants Ne) to resi#n -rom is post.
Ne) $isits Yale Uni$ersit!' /ere a Ga! "ee?en) is &ein# oste) &! te stu)ents. He /as
plannin# on atten)in# Ga! /ee?en) /it ;eli(. He loo?s aroun) an) a)mires o/ !oun# men
an) /omen are a&le to )an,e /it one anoter openl!. He &e#ins to ,r! an) te mo$ie en)s a-ter
an announ,ement appears statin#' Presi)ent Ronal) Rea#an -inall! ma)e an announ,ement
)eemin# AI<S a Dtop priorit!D in 1>BC &ut opte) to re)u,e -e)eral -un)in# te -ollo/in# !ear'
an) tat sin,e te start o- te epi)emi, in 1>B1' @E million people a$e )ie) -rom HIFIAI<S.:
Interview
<ate o- Inter$ie/G Au#ust %' %314
Name o- Inter$ie/eeG Tomas
Tomas is @A !ear ol) male li$in# /it HIF. He /as )ia#nose) /it HIF se$enteen !ears
a#o. Tomas -amil! is -rom 2a,?son$ille ;lori)a. He state)' e ne$er tol) is -ater tat e is #a!
or tat e as HIF. He in-orms me tat is -ater /ill rea,t ne#ati$el! an) ne$er &een one to
e(press emotions. Tomas li$es /it is partner o- ten !ears. Tomas partner is not in-e,te)
/it HIF. "en Tomas an) is partner $isit Tomas parents in ;lori)a' te! &rin# a -emale
-rien) to elp ,o$er up Tomas &ein# #a!.
Tomas state) -eelin# o- )epression an) an(iet! &! not $er&all! in-ormin# is -ater o- im
&ein# #a!. He states' 5I9m openl! #a! &ut' a-rai) o- te )is#ra,e-ul loo? an) rea,tion o- m!
-ater ?no/in#. <i--erent ,ultures $ie/ omose(ualit! )i--erent.: His moter an) si&lin# ?no/
tat e is #a!. Tomas state) e a) a lot o- -emale -rien)s #ro/in# up. Ho/e$er' e ne$er a)
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY
13
se( /it a /oman. He ?ne/ e #a! as a !oun# &o!' &ein# #a! /asn9t a,,epte) easil! /en e
/as #ro/in# up.
He re,alls /en e /as in is t/enties. Al/a!s out on te #a! so,ial s,enes. Atten)in#
parties' sni--in# ,o,aine' se(ual e(,ursions' an) &ar opin#. He sai) a lot o- men /ere attra,te)
to im &e,ause e a) ,o,olate &ro/n s?in an) /a$! air. Ho/e$er' e onl! a) se( /it men
/o loo?e) li?e tu#s an) a) a lot o- mone!. He reminis,es a&out is -rien) Bla,?. Bla,? /as
$er! su,,ess an) /as one o- Tomas9s lo$ers. Bla,? )ie) o- AI<S. Tomas is unsure i- e
,ontra,te) HIF -rom Bla,?. Tomas state)' 5Me an) Bla,? &ro?e up an) /ent our separate
/a!s. One )a! e /as in-orme) tat Bla,? /as si,? -rom te AI<S $irus.: Tomas )oes in-orm
man! people tat e as HIF. He atten)s se$eral ,on-eren,es to a)$o,ate -or resear,.
Tomas ,rie) se$eral times )urin# te inter$ie/. He a)mits to &ein# a-rai) to )!in#. He ta?es
se$eral pills a )a! to -i#t o-- te pain' /ea?ness' an) neuropat!. He ates ta?in# pills an) e
state) tat e is &e,omin# )epresse). He )oes not re#ret an! ,oi,es tat e ma)e an) e )oesn9t
ate &ein# #a!. He /ants e1ualit! -or e$er!one an) e /ises e a) a stron#er relationsip /it
is -ater. He /ises tere /as a ,ure -or AI<S &ut un)erstan) is ris?! &ea$iors lea) to is
HIF )ia#noses.
Summary of immersion project:
M! immersion pro6e,t /as $er! emotional. It is sa) to ,ome to te reali0ation tat e1ualit!
)oes not e(ist in Ameri,a. ;or !ears people /o are LGBT e(perien,e )is,rimination' all
&e,ause te! are )i--erent. I ,an9t ima#ine seein# m! ,lose -rien)s )ie' )ealin# /it te ,an,e
o- tem not re,ei$in# a,,urate me)i,al treatment' &ein# re6e,te) &e,ause o- m! se(ual
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY
11
orientation' an) &ein# tol) tat I ,an9t marr! someone tat I9m )eepl! in lo$e /it. Tese are
issues tat te LGBT ,ommunit! as &een )ealin# /it -or !ears. People tat are #a! /ere tol)
te! a) a )isease. "en #a! men /ent to &ars' riots o,,urre). Te! /ere -ire) -rom teir pla,e
o- emplo!ment )It teir se(ual pre-eren,e. It remin)s me o- /at so man! &la,? people /ent
trou# )urin# te ,i$il ri#ts error.
Fiolen,e a#ainst te LGBT people ,ontinues to o,,ur. More people are out o- te ,loset' &ut
/ile tat ma! relie$e an) li&erate in some /a!s' it also ma?es people eas! tar#ets -or
)is,rimination an) atre). Some states are passin# a Ci$il Union &ill an) allo/in# same se(
marria#e /ile oter is not. Tis so/s tat LGBT ,ommunit! must ,ontinue to -i#t -or
e1ualit!.
Assessing the Field Work Agency
M! -iel) pla,ement /as at <ela/are Count! O--i,e o- Ser$i,es -or te A#in# *COSA+. COSA
is lo,ate) %3E E))!stone A$e' E))!stone Pa. COSA in a pre)ominatel! /ite nei#&oroo).
"itin -i$e minutes o- COSA !ou /ill -in) Boein#' a Teamsters union all' a -a,tor!' Poli,e
station' Elementar! s,ool' an) i#/a! %>1. E))!stone soppin# ,enter is lo,ate) ten minutes
a/a! -rom COSA. Te -ollo/in# stores are lo,ate) in te soppin# ,enter tere is a SopRite'
"almart' Rita9s /ater i,e' Ra)iosa,?' Rain&o/' Hi,?s' an) Min# Gar)en. Man! people tat li$e
in E))!stone /ill #o to te E))!stone Crossin# to &! ,lotin# an) #ro,er!. I noti,e) some
LGBT people /or?in# in "almart an) SopRite. I /as una&le to )etermine i- an! LGBT people
li$e) m! a#en,!9s nei#&oroo).
Access
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY
1%
People ,an to COSA &! pu&li, transportation' /al?in#' or )ri$in#. Tere is a R% train station
)ire,tl! aroun) te ,orner -rom COSA an) t/o &us stops near COSA. Some people )ri$e to
COSA. I- someone li$e) in E))!stone te! ,oul) /al? to COSA. Atta,e) is a map o-
E))!stone Pa.
Receptivity
I- I /as a LGBT in)i$i)ual I /oul) initiall! -eel /el,ome) &e,ause te re,eptionist pleasant
an) te /aitin# area are &ri#t. I /oul) &e a&le to i)enti-! /it some sta-- &e,ause o- m!
se(ualit!. Te inter$ie/ room $er! &ri#t' small an) te /alls are /ite /it no pi,ture. I
/oul)n9t -eel $er! ,om-orta&le. It remin)s me o- an institution settin#. Te &ro,ures are $er!
)i$erse an) ,ome in )i--erent lan#ua#es.
Administrative and Staff Training
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY
1@
COSA )oes not a$e trainin#s on ,ultural )i$ersit!. No trainin#' /or?sop' -orums' or retreats
o,,urre) to )is,uss te LGBT population or people li$in# /it AI<S. COSA is an e1ual
opportunit! emplo!er. COSA emplo!s an) promotes people /o are LGBT.
Funding
COSA9s -un)in# is )ire,te) -or seniors si(t! !ears ol) an) ol)er. ;un)in# is a$aila&le to
pro$i)e trainin# an) literature -or te LGBT seniors. Ho/e$er' no trainin# o,,urre) /itin te
past !ear an) tere is no literature a$aila&le. I- someone ,alls COSA re1uestin# in-ormation or
literature' te in-ormation an) re-erral /or?er #o##le in-ormation to &etter assist te ,aller.
Staff Sensitivity
Sta-- is a/are to treat oter sta-- an) ,onsumer /it respe,t an) to &e ,are-ul o- o/ te!
a))ress someone no matter teir se(ual pre-eren,e. It appears' tat most o- te sta-- tat intera,ts
/it ,onsumer on )ail! &asis is sensiti$e an) respe,t-ul to te ,onsumers te! ser$e.
Agency rograms and Services
COSA is ma?in# an e--ort to rea, out to LGBT people. One o- a#en,! )ire,tors is openl!
#a! an) an a)$o,ate -or e1ual ri#ts. He is )e$elopin# a /or? -or,e to ,reate trainin#s an)
,ommunit! e$ents -or seniors in <ela/are Count! tat are LGBT. He as also met /it te
Trainin# Spe,ialist to )e$elop trainin#s -or COSA9s sta--' to assist /it sta-- )e$elopment.
!uality
Currentl! COSA9s pro#rams are not measure) -or ,ultural ,on#ruen,e an) sensiti$it!. Some
o- te ser$i,es pro$i)e)' ta?e into ,onsi)eration ,ultural &arriers te LGBT people en,ounter. I-
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY
14
a LGBT person is re1uestin# to re,ei$e in ome ser$i,es in te ,ommunit!' te! /oul) appl! -or
an assessment. I- a LGBT person /as re1uestin# assistan,e /it personal ,are an) )i) not /ant a
ome ,are a#en,! to assist tem. Te! a$e te option to sele,t a -rien) or -amil! to &e,ome
teir ,are#i$er an) COSA /ill pa! te ,are#i$er. In or)er to enan,e ser$i,es to LGBT people'
COSA soul) )e$elop a ,are#i$er support pro#ram -or people /o are LGBT. Te! /ill &e a&le
to ,ome up /it more i)eas an) pro#rams to &etter assist people /o are LGBT an) teir
,are#i$ers.
"ffectiveness
Tere are no pro#rams to spe,i-i,all! a))ress LGBT people at COSA. Te pro#rams are -or
all seniors no matter o- ra,e' se(ualit!' or reli#ion. A LGBT person /ill a$e an in)i$i)uali0e)
,are plan to assistan,e tem /it li$in# in)epen)entl! in te ,ommunit!. So -ar' COSA as not
re,ei$e) an! ,omplaints o- un-air treatment to/ar)s LGBT people.
"fficiency
COSA as te potential to enan,e ,oor)ination /it te LGBT people. Currentl! COSA
rea,es out to areas ospitals' nursin# omes' an) ,ommunit! a#en,ies to re-er seniors -or
ser$i,es. COSA also re,ei$es re-errals -rom oter areas on a#in# trou#out te state o- Pa. Te
re-erral -orms )o not as? -or te ,onsumer9s se(ual pre-eren,e or HIF status. COSA9s
Communit! Liaison soul) )e$elop a stron#er relationsip /it LGBT people an) a$e a LGBT
support pro#rams to )is,uss pro#rams nee)e) an) to promote COSA ser$i,e.
ersonal #ultural #ompetencies
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY
1C
In re#ar)s to relationsip an) trust &uil)in# /it LGBT people' I /ill ,ontinue to treat tem
li?e I /ant to &e treate). Te! are no )i--erent -rom an! oter #roup o- people. Te! /ant to &e
app!' treate) e1uall!' an) li$e pro)u,ti$e li$es. "en someone in-orms me tat te! are #a! or
a les&ian' I /ill in-orm tem tat I a,,ept tem. I /ill tell tem' te! are 6ust li?e me people' /e
6ust a$e )i--eren,e pre-eren,es. I /ill -or#et a&out stereot!pes. LGBT people $ar! in sape an)
si0es. 2ust &e,ause a /oman as sort air' it )oes not ma?e er a les&ian. I /ill also in-orm
tem tat it9s no o- m! &usiness /o te! lo$e. E$er!one as to ri#t to lo$e an) &e in lo$e.
Assessment and ro$lem %efinition
LGBT people ,an -eel isolate)' espe,iall!' a-ter te lost - a lo$e one or partner. E$er!one
)oes not a,,ept tem -or /o te! are. Te! mi#t nee) a person to $ent to' an) te! mi#t
&e,ome )epresse). In tis t!pe o- e$ent' I /oul) )o a )epression s,reenin# assessment /it te
in)i$i)ual. I /ill -irst as? te in)i$i)ual i- I ,an as? tem some 1uestions. I /ill as? tat 1uestion
&e,ause te mi#t not -eel li?e tal?in# at te ,urrent time. "en ,ompletin# te )epression
s,reenin#s' te 1uestions /ill &e sort an) opene). Tis /ill #i$e te in)i$i)ual more lee/a! to
tal? a&out teir -eelin#s. A-ter te )epression s,reenin# is ,ompletin# I /ill &e a&le to )ete,t i-
te in)i$i)ual as se$ere )epression or mil) )epression. Ten I /ill &e a&le to assist te
in)i$i)ual in o&tainin# a))itional ser$i,es. "eter it is ,onta,tin# teir p!si,ian to re,ei$e
me)i,ation or elpin# tem lo,ate a terapist tat is popular in te LGBT ,ommunit!.
&oal Setting
Te -ollo/in# #oals /ill &e appropriate -or LGBT ,ultural. I /ill ma?e te in)i$i)ual -eel
,om-orta&le an) open /en ,ommuni,atin#. I /ill let tem ?no/ tat I a,,ept tem -or /o te!
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY
1E
are. Atten) so,ial e$ents in te #a! ,ommunit!. I /ill pro$i)e outrea, to te #a! ,ommunit!
a&out COSA ser$i,e.
In or)er to pro$i)e more outrea, to te LGBT ,ommunit! a&out ser$i,es -or seniors I must
,omplete te -ollo/in# o&6e,ti$es &! <e,em&er @1' %314. I must ,reate -l!ers a&out COSA
ser$i,es an) sen) tose out /itin tirt! )a!s to people in te LGBT ,ommunit!. I must reser$e
a $enue to ost te e$ent &! Septem&er @3' %314. M! -inal o&6e,ti$e /ill &e to noti-! ne/spaper
a&out te e$ent an) te )ate o- te e$ent to ensure LGBT people /ill &e in atten)an,e.
Interventions
A,,or)in# to te C<C *%314+' 5tere are o$er one million Ameri,ans ,urrentl! li$in# /it
HIF an) appro(imatel! C3'333 ne/ in-e,tions e$er! !ear. Almost t/o=tir)s o- tose ne/
in-e,tions are amon# #a! an) &ise(ual men.: I- a person 6ust -oun) out teir partner as AI<S. I
/ill re-er tem -or testin#. I- te in)i$i)ual as AI<S an) is see?in# treatment I /ill re-er tem
AI<S ,oalition o- <ela/are Count!. I- an in)i$i)ual is ,ontemplation sui,i)e' I /oul) re-er tem
to Pro6e,t Rea, o- <ela/are Count!. Pro6e,t rea, is a mo&ile mental ealt ,risis unit. I-
someone as AI<SIHIF an) i- a$in# se( /it people /itout in-ormin# te! prior to a$in#
se(. I /ill in-orm tem a&out te la/ an) tell tem tat are not a,,epta&le. Te! must in-orm te
oter person o- teir HIF status.
Te -ollo/in# inter$entions are not appropriate -or te LGBT ,ommunit!. Tellin# an
in)i$i)ual to )rin? teir pro&lems a/a!' is not #oo) inter$ention. A,,or)in# to te C<C *%314+'
5Stu)ies a$e so/n tat' /en ,ompare) /it te #eneral population' #a! an) &ise(ual men'
les&ian' an) trans#en)er in)i$i)uals are more li?el! toG use al,ool an) )ru#s' a$e i#er rates
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY
1A
o- su&stan,e a&use' are less li?el! to a&stain -rom al,ool an) )ru# use' an) are more li?el! to
,ontinue ea$! )rin?in# into later li-e.: In-ormin# an in)i$i)ual to tr! to ,an#e teir se(ual
orientation is not a #oo) inter$ention. En,oura#in# /it sui,i)al i)eation to ,ommit sui,i)e is
not a #oo) inter$ention. ;or,in# an in)i$i)ual to atten) terap! is not a #oo) inter$ention.
;or,in# a LGBT person to a$e se( /it a eterose(ual is not a #oo) inter$ention.
"valuation
Te in)i$i)ual LGBT person ,an )etermine /eter or not te inter$ention /as su,,ess-ul.
Ho/e$er' it ,an $ar! at times. Sometimes -amil! mem&ers ,an )etermine i- an inter$ention /as
su,,ess-ul. In some ,ases te LGBT in)i$i)ual mi#t &e see?in# a,,eptan,e -rom teir -amil!.
Te! mi#t a$e poor ,ommuni,ation /it teir -amil! an) -eel tat teir -amil! )oesn9t lo$e
tem. I- te inter$ention /as a su,,ess te in)i$i)ual /ill a$e a &etter an) eater relationsip
/it teir -amil! an) &e,ome appier.
Termination
Prior to te sessions &ein# terminate)' I /ill prep te ,lient an) in-orm tem tat mi#t
ser$i,es /ill &e en)in# soon. It /ill &e in a positi$e tone. I /ill /or? /it te in)i$i)ual an)
a#ree to a termination )ate a ,ouple o- /ee?s out. I /ill ans/er an! 1uestions tat te in)i$i)ual
as an) te termination $isit /ill &e -a,e to -a,e. I /ill in-orm m! ,lient tat eIse /ill &e a&le
to atten) terap! in te -uture i- it is nee)e).
'ASW Standards for cultural competency
I /ill a,,ess COSA9s ,ultural ,ompeten,! &! usin# NAS" Stan)ar) A' )i$erse /or?-or,e.
Stan)ar) A states' 5So,ial /or?ers sall support an) a)$o,ate -or re,ruitment' a)missions an)
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY
1B
irin#' an) retention e--orts in so,ial /or? pro#rams an) a#en,ies tat ensure )i$ersit! /itin te
pro-ession.: COSA ires pro-essionals re#ar)less o- teir ra,e' a#e' #en)er' reli#ion' an) se(ual
pre-eren,e. COSA9s lon# term ,are unit pro$i)es ,are mana#ement to senior re#ar)less o- se(ual
orientation' ra,e' or reli#ion. Te one e(,eption is tat te in)i$i)ual must me o$er te a#e o-
si(t!.
ersonal #ultural #ompetency
Tis assi#nment ma)e me re-le( on m! o/n personal ,ompeten,e. I am $ie/e) as A-ri,an
Ameri,an -emale. I /as &orn an) raise) as a Muslim' pra,ti,in# Islam. I )o not -or,e m! $ie/s
an) opinions on e$er!one I ,ome into ,onta,t /it. I /as raise) to treat e$er!one as m! e1ual'
an) I a$e -rien)s -rom )i--erent ra,e an) tat pra,ti,e )i--erent reli#ions. M! &est -rien) is a
Cristian. Her moter /as a minister an! m! -ater /as an Imam. I en6o! learnin# a&out
)i--erent ,ultures' an) I also ta?e into ,onsi)eration o/ oter mi#t $ie/ me' &e,ause o- m!
s?in or reli#ion. I tin? te more people un)erstan) te meanin# o- te /or) ,ulture. Te more
te! /ill &e a&le to a,,ept people' no matter te person ra,e' se(' reli#ion' or se(ual pre-eren,e.
In summar!' I /oul) li?e to a)) tat LGBT people )eser$e te same ri#ts as eterose(uals. I
am prou) to sa! tat I ne$er ,ommitte) a ate ,rime or 6u)#e) someone &! teir )i--eren,es.
Tis assi#nment as allo/e) me to $ie/ people as people. I reali0e) tat te /orl) is $er! ,ruel
an) as &een ,ruel -or a lon# time. Ho/e$er' tere are a lot o- #oo) people still in te /orl). "e
must assist te LGBT ,ommunit! an) #a! ri#ts mo$ement &e,ause not all states allo/ same se(
marria#e. LGBT people are uni1ue' an) ,ome in e$er! si0e' sape' e$er! reli#ion' ,olor'
pro-ession' an) &a,?#roun). Te! soul) &e allo/e) to lo$e an) marr! /om e$er! te! /ant.
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY
1>
Te! are )o,tors' la/!ers' artists' tea,ers' stu)ents' an) people. True e1ualit! is ,lose /itin
our rea,' i- onl! /e /oul) #rasp it.
Re-eren,es
*%314+. In-ormation retrie$e) Au#ust B' %314' -rom
ttpsGII///.a,lu.or#Il#&t=ri#tsIl#&t=relationsips.
*%314+. In-ormation retrie$e) Au#ust B' %314' -rom
ttpGII///.,),.#o$ImsmealtIsu&stan,e=a&use.tm.
*%314+. In-ormation retrie$e) Au#ust B' %314' -rom
CULTURAL IMMERSION REPORT ON THE LGBT COMMUNITY
%3
ttpGII///.umanri#ts.#o$I/p=,ontentIuploa)sI%314I3@I;a,t=Seet=Glo&al=E1ualit!=;un)=
2an=%314.p)-.
;or)' M' retrie$e) Au#ust %314. A Brie- Histor! o- Homose(ualit! in Ameri,a.
ttpGII///.#$su.e)uIalliesIa=&rie-=istor!=o-=omose(ualit!=in=ameri,a=@3.tm. J
2onson' R' *Au#ust %134+. How many Gay people are there? In-ormation retrie$e) -rom.
ttpGII#a!li-e.a&out.,omIo)I,omin#outIaIpopulation.tm.
The Normal Heart, %314' )ire,te) &! R. Murp!.
*%314+. In-ormation retrie$e) Au#ust B' %314'
ttpGII///.p&s.or#I/#&Iameri,ane(perien,eI-eaturesItimelineIstone/all.
*%314+. In-ormation retrie$e) Au#ust B' %314' -rom
///.so,ial/or?ers.or#Ipra,ti,eIstan)ar)sINAS",ulturalstan)ar)s.