Reflection On Sexual Orientation

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Understanding sexual orientation as a dimension of difference in the human experience is necessary for social workers to fully develop deep and well-rounded perspectives. It is crucial to integrate knowledge, respect and sensitivity when working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to uphold the National Association of Social Workers’ Code of Ethics that includes integrity, dignity and worth of the person, social justice and importance of human relationships (“National Association,” 2014). One of my very close family members—my uncle, Pat—is gay. When thinking about which dimension of difference I would choose for this paper, I soon realized that his perspective and experiences with oppression would not only give me an opportunity to learn more about him, but would also help me greatly enhance my understanding about this target group. Given my ability to conduct such a personal, open interview, I became excited about the opportunity to learn about such a relevant and changing topic in today’s culture. Listening openly to his perspectives on the impacts of oppression and growth in his life resulting from these experiences was truly eye opening. This interview, along with my research on heterosexism has helped me deepen my understanding about sexual orientation as it relates to oppression. Asking Pat to be interviewed was relatively easy for me, as I know that he is comfortable and open with himself and his sexual orientation. I posed initial questions to

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