Change towards accepting that there exist more than heterosexuality has been really slow. Progress in general for equality or no discrimination within diverse groups has been slow. When we think about racism, although it has been a struggle for many, many years, and it has made a lot of progress, it continues to exist. Therefore, for new generations who grow up in a diversity world, and are more open minded due to the exposure, it is easier for them to accept change. That does not mean that their parents, church, etc., influence their way of thinking. So, it wouldn’t be weird to meet an 18 year old who is against homosexuality. In general younger generations are more accepting of diversity, and more accepting of change. Younger Americans appear to be more accepting: 41 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 29 support same sex marriage, as opposed to 28 percent of Americans overall (as cited in Sue & Sue, 2008).
The GLBT group continues to experience discrimination in communities and in general the society. Gay and lesbian youths face discrimination and harassment in schools (Sue & Sue, 2008). Discrimination, harassment, and fear have taken these individuals to struggle with their identity, to hide, and develop mental health problems. The individual must learn to accept his or her internal identify, often struggling with the society’s definition of what is healthy (Sue & Sue, 2008). It appears that it has been easier for females to obtain acceptance, than males. In a society where a male is expected to be strong, function cognitively rather than emotionally and simply reject feminine traits, it has been difficult for gay men to obtain acceptance. When I think about acceptance in regards to male versus females, I always think about children. For some reason it is more accepted that a little girl play with cars, but once a boy is seen playing with a doll it is defined as unacceptable.
2. What are some of the stereotypes about elderly people? How can these stereotypes impact your counseling practice?