Thursday, April 5, 2012

Reflection on Gender and Sexuality by Ifedayo Ajiboye

The purpose of the Emerging Minds Project (EMP) is to create an intellectually open and dynamic environment for students to learn about and discuss social justice issues of today. Each month, a group of students come together at 5710 to dialogue with an experienced facilitator who works in the field.
This blog is an outlet for each of our members' voices. While this is a collection of their personal thoughts, we hope to display a glimpse of the multifaceted ways that each topic impacts the individual members of the EMP cohort.

*The views and opinions expressed in these blog entries are that of each individual author and do not necessarily reflect a collective opinion of the EMP cohort or that of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs. The conversation with Rosa Ortiz provided me insight into the difficulties that were prevalent for individuals of the LGBTQ community. Ultimately, for me, Rosa reemphasized the principle of individuality in her discussion regarding usage items taken for granted such as the function of gender pronouns. One problem, however, kept puzzling me. The tension in preserving one's identity and belonging to a community stimulated me to a fascinating realization. As Rosa mentioned, quite a lot of individuals who reveal a non-heterosexual sexual orientation oft are castigated and sometimes even ousted from places of residence creating a turbulent clash of social acceptance and personal identity. For members of the LGBTQ community, that turmoil can often generate self-repression as a mechanism to function in society without discrimination for gender identification or sexual orientation thus creating an enormous dilemma I see facing the LGBTQ community: emotions of pity or animosity from the general population rather than respect. I mention pity not in the sense of empathy but more directly on apologetic pity. I remember a quote from a source I cannot recall which reads something as follows: No one wishes for their children to be gay but loving them regardless if they were gay. This sort of pity is quite destructive in creating a dialogue to understand those that are part of the LGBTQ community as it views a non-heterosexual orientation simply as a misfortune rather than a big part of one’s identity. Ultimately from EMP's discourse with Rosa, I have gained an increased comprehension of the fallacious nature of assumptions that prevent identifying another with an equal level of respect as one demands.