CMS 100 Unit Assignment 1 Essay

Submitted By xeruan
Words: 1442
Pages: 6

For this assignment, I decided to join a friend at a get-together that they were attending. They had mentioned it in passing one evening, and I had, more or less, invited myself along with their approval, after I had explained that I had wanted to go for a class assignment. There was a light lunch set out, with only about ~20 people who showed up, but the reason that I chose to attend this event is because any other circumstance I wouldn't have been interested. I decided to go to a get-together for a LGBT group, mostly all friends who tried to hang out once a month as a way to get to see one another and take time to just talk amongst themselves. While I wouldn't describe myself as close friends, he is an acquaintance/friend that I trusted to join in order to observe for our assignment. I knew I would be completely out of my element, which I most often am in all situations, but at least in this way I knew I had someone to support me. I entered the event with quite a few prejudice and preconceptions. While I am not homophobic and I don't judge others based on their sexual orientation, I still had some barriers creating a chasm between the differences of this co-culture and me. The main barrier that I had believed was automatically assuming differences between us. I don't know why I had this barrier, since I've had several acquaintance/friends who were gay, but at the same time I still had some apprehension and marked them as acting differently than me. I also succumbed to prejudice and stereotyping, grouping the whole into a single rigid category, assuming that the majority of the group would be flamboyant or overly sociable, even to the point of overbearing. These prejudices, of assuming I knew all about them before I had even met them, because they were gay I would already know about their beliefs in religion or God, their ideas about science, and their preferences in art. I had the arrogance to believe that I knew all about them before I had even begun to meet them. Throughout the event I met with different people, being uncomfortable because direct conversation and interaction is always one of my weaker points of communication, they were extremely accommodating, answering my questions with a smile and seemingly entertained by my desire to learn. Through visiting and interacting with these people, my stereotypes and barriers began to slowly crumble, as I learned more about them. There was one older gentleman who was a successful business, a man and woman who worked together as clothing designers with each having a respective partner, a neurology student, and an aviation major, as well as my friend in economics. They each come from such diverse backgrounds and cultures, one was African American, two were Asian American, and the remainder were Caucasian. They each have struggled through a stifling society because of their sexual orientations, and have overcome great adversity, especially initially associating themselves with the LGBT community. I discovered that these people were friends, but they also acted as a larger family. Their self-concepts had become developed, especially through communication with others as they had met one another and become friends, continuing with the association with groups, where they felt comfortable identifying themselves as LGBTs. Each had a different story about how they had 'come out of the closet', generally focusing around the self-concept of assumed roles, as they tried to define themselves with how they thought society wanted them to be, before finally determining that those roles didn't, and shouldn't be applied to them. They were their own person, and they owed it, not only to themselves, but also their friends and family to be proud of themselves. Only one person I met had suffered from familial neglect as a result of his coming out, and he mentioned that over time, he had come to grow closer to his family again and they were slowly repairing the chasm that had been made. As