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Coming Out - "A Family Affair" A Latina/o Perspective

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Cynthia Ramirez

on 26 January 2013

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Transcript of Coming Out - "A Family Affair" A Latina/o Perspective

Gracias Bienestar Human Services, Inc. Coming Out - "A Family Affair" A Latina/o Perspective Education, Empowerment, and Mobilization...
Our Community's Solution! Cultural Values The Latina/o Familia Case Study:
South L.A. Sabores Support Group Identify key Latina/o traditional family values/beliefs/experiences and explore how these values/beliefs and experiences can impact the Coming Out process for Latina/o LGBTQ youth
Create a dialogue about reframing the Coming Out experience as a family experience and the great importance of family involvement and support in the Coming Out process.
Provide Mental Health practices to employ with Latino/a LGBTQ individuals and their familias. Overview & Goals For Workshop According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos & Latinas make up 16.7% of the U.S. population, not including all those that were not reported in the 2011 Census.

Because of this, it is greatly important to make sure that the work we do is culturally relevant, that we understand the traditional values that our familias are founded on . . . We need to honor our tradiciones, our cultura, and use them as guides for transformation. The Latino/a Familia Every family is different. As Latinos/as, we come from different cultural, social, educational backgrounds and our adherence to traditional values and culture is related to acculturation, generational differences, education, socio-economic status, etc. The Latino/a Familia And it is also important to note that we are speaking from the specific point of view of the clients that we serve, in the communities that we work in . . . & that is not part of our goal to discuss every issue facing our community, but to highlight some factors that we experience directly working with our clients . . . We really can’t speak from the perspective of every Latino/a family, but can only shed light on the struggles our youth are facing.

Let’s have an open conversation about some of the social factors and struggles that Latino/a families are facing in this country in relation to our deeply rooted traditional cultural values . . . The “Disclaimer” Traditionally, a central aspect of Latino/a family values is a strong sense of collectivism or familismo.

“A quality that has come to characterize Latinos across the hemisphere is the notion of familismo (familism), defined as a strong orientation and commitment toward the family. Familismo is also connected to a high value on marriage, childbearing, and responsibility toward siblings. Family duties, loyalty, and interconnection to family members in both nuclear and extended families are also qualities that accompany the notion of familismo. The ideology of familismo extends beyond blood kin to include extended families of several generations and godparents (compadres), another important cultural practice found among Latino families.” Familismo Our familias are no longer in the most ideal setting to build and grow a healthy family, caught between a traditionally collectivist worldview and the pressures of a very individualistic, capitalist society.
Collectivism vs. individualism: commonly, the traditional way of placing more importance on groups
Familia oriented: collectivism vs. individualism (what are some of the problems with this thinking?)

Can we begin to see the coming out process as a collective movement and process as a means of offering more support and transforming the experience into something profoundly healing for all members of the family? Collectivist Culture vs. Individualism Our familias are a beautiful source of strength

Importance placed on family: There is an heavy amount of pressure being placed on our youth to be parents (problem)
Importance placed on family: placed on fatherhood/motherhood (having children); huge pressure for our youth

Importance of families (motherhood/fatherhood): pressures placed on our youth to be parents; what is the role of the family? Importance of Familia Define marianismo
Marianismo: (positives: morality, nurturance, strength)
Oppressive gender roles: women are traditionally responsible for domestic spaces, family duties and children (roles already in processes of transformation because of migration, labor responsibilities, and changing society)

Marianismo sets a lot of standards on female femininity (problem) Marianismo Fathers, machismo and the absence of fathers

Gender roles: Machismo sets a lot of standards on male masculinity (problem).

Machismo: although our familias are traditionally patriarchal, the often misunderstood term machismo is often misused to reinforce negative Latino/a stereotypes (positives: dignity, respect, strong will, hard work, courage; negatives: forcefulness, violence)

National Fatherhood Initiative: “2 of 3 African-American children and 1 of 3 Latino/a children live in home with no father figure: 2 to 3 times more likely to experience educational, health, emotional and behavioral problems, to be victims of child abuse, and to engage in criminal behavior than their peers who live with their married, biological (adoptive) parents. Machismo Part of the work that we do at Bienestar is to provide a safe space, and support groups for our LGBT youth which are primarily Black and Brown young people from South Central Los Angeles.
Support group: creates hope, pride; creates another family, a chosen family (a support system while we learn to heal ourselves and our families)

Emotional support & strength: if it’s not found at home, we will need to find it somewhere else South L.A. Sabores

“Coming Out in Our Familias” Large Group Discussion What can we draw from these values to make sure that familias are accepting of our LGBTQ youth? What can we do as service providers and individuals that work with LGBTQ youth to support Latina/o familias during the Coming Out process? Jorge A. Diaz, MSW – Mental Health Therapist
Cynthia M. Ramirez, MA – Mental Health Specialist
Fausto R. Reyes, Jr. – Health Advocate, Community Organizer Jorge Diaz, MSW

Cynthia Ramirez, MA

Fausto Reyes
freyes@bienestar.org Coming out is a personal and dynamic process of recognizing, accepting and sharing one’s sexualidentity.

Coming out is the process in which a person first acknowledges, accepts and appreciates his or her sexual orientation and begins to share that with others.

Coming Out can be a scary, yet an affirming and freeing experience. People come out at all different stages in their lives and for a multitude of reasons.From birth, most of us are raised to think of ourselves as having to fit into a certain mold. Our culture and our families teach us that we are “supposed” to be attracted to people of the opposite sex, and that boys and girls are supposed to look, act and feel certain ways. That’s why so many of us are scared, worried and/or confused with facing truths about lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBTQ) issues. Defining "Coming Out" Coming Out & Mental Health Grief and Loss Si mi vida es una Telenovela,quien escribe el proximo capitulo? 1. Denial and Isolation: “This can’t be happening to me.”The first reaction to learning of having an LGBT son/daughter is to deny the reality of the situation. It is a normal reaction to rationalize overwhelming emotions. It is a defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock. We block out the words and hide from the facts. This is a temporary response that carries us through the first wave of pain.

2. Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”As the masking effects of denial and isolation begin to wear, reality and its pain re-emerge. We are not ready. The intense emotion is deflected from our vulnerable core, redirected and expressed instead as anger. Emotionally, however, we may resent the person for causing us pain. We feel guilty for being angry, and this makes us angrier.

3. Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will ____.”The normal reaction to feelings of helplessness and vulnerability is often a need to regain control–•If only dad would have been involved in his life...•If only we got a second opinion from a professional that this is a “phase”...•If only we had tried to be a better person toward him/her...Secretly, we may make a deal with God or our higher power in an attempt to postpone the inevitable. This is a weaker line of defense to protect us from the painful reality.

4. Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”Two types of depression are associated with mourning. The first one is a reaction to practical implications relating to the loss. Sadness and regret predominate this type of depression. This phase may be eased by simple clarification and reassurance. We may need a bit of helpful cooperation and a few kind words. The second type of depression is more subtle and, in a sense, perhaps more private. Common symptoms of grief/loss: While loss affects people in different ways. Just remember that almost anything that you experience in the early stages of grief is normal – including feeling like you’re going crazy, feeling like you’re in a bad dream, or questioning your religious beliefs.

Shock and disbelief – When an individual comes out, it can be hard to accept their gender identity and/or sexual orientation. You may feel numb, have trouble believing this is really happening, or even deny the truth.

Sadness – Profound sadness is probably the most universally experienced symptom of grief. You may have feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning, or deep loneliness.Guilt – You may regret or feel guilty about things you did or didn’t say or do. You may also feel guilty about certain feelings.

Anger – Even though your son/daughter’s sexual orientation should be viewed as a normal and natural identity, you may feel angry and resentful.Fear – Realizing that your son/daughter identifies as LGBT can trigger a fear Stages of Change 1) Pre-­contemplation
2) Contemplation
3) Determination
4) Action
5) Maintenance
6) Relapse Sanacion?? El Perdon?? La Ninez? Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Motivational Interviewing CBT is based on the premises that what we think affects our emotions, what wechoose to do or avoid, and our physiological reactions. Most situations remain neutral until we assign meaning based on how we interpret the situation.*CBT is an active therapy. Client and therapist are engaged in active, collaborative relationship*CBT is structured and focused*CBT is brief and time limited*CBT gives homework projects to extend the work done in the officeGoals:*Develop a therapeutic alliance*Educate clients about the clinical problem*Help clients re-­conceptualize their problems in a more hopeful fashion *Insure clients have coping skills*Encourage clients to perform personal experiments*Ensure that clients take credit for changes they have brought about conduct relapse prevention
Problem Solving Treatment (PST)
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Motivational Interviewing
Structural Family Therapy Best Clinical Practices: What you think/your thoughts: “I feelI’m different. Am I weird? I like boys. Is this normal? Behavior:
Increased highsexual risky behavior, low academic achievement, acting out, etc. What you Feel:
Isolated, scared,
dirty, weird.....
 Evidence basedNon-confrontational style of talking with a person which has the goal of helping the other person recognize risk/problem behavior, and motivates them in the direction of changeClient centered14 Interventions very based on client’s “Stages of Change” Techniques:
Explore Ambivalence:
Decisional Balance; Readiness Rulers; Importance of change, Confidence that you can change
Elicit Change Talk: Desire, Ability, Reasons, Need and Commitment Critical Elements: FRAMES
Feedback about personal risk
Responsibility for changed is placed on the family
Advice is given in a non-­‑judgmental way
Menu of self directed change options are offered Empathic counseling-­‑being respectful and understanding
Self-efficacy-­‑optimistic empowerment
Express empathy
Develop discrepancies
Avoid Argumentation
Roll with resistance
Support self-efficacy El Pasado,
El Presente, y
El Futuro Son Cadenas o son tradiciones?
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