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"I am a bit homophobic"


purplekow
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I was having a professional encounter today when the person I was speaking with mentioned that he was disenfranchised from his family. His father divorced his mother who then put him and his three brothers up for foster care and remarried and started another family. His father and mother are both dead now.

He then went on to say that he did not keep in contact with his brothers as: "I am a bit homophobic"

"Two of them have been in and out of jail for pedophilia and the other lives in Coral Gables"

It was a professional encounter, so I let the matter drop right there.

I am sure I could have done more, but not sure what would have been appropriate. Any ideas?

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so is there something wrong with Coral Gables??!!....(I don't what its rep is)
Apparently living in Coral Gables is equivalent to being jailed several times for pedophilia. I do not know anything about Coral Gables but the inference I made was that he was gay and living in a gay community. I moved on.
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I'm not sure there was anything to do since it was a professional encounter unless you would have been allowed to say, "I'm not the right professional for you, but I will help you find another." On the other side of that, if the tables had been reversed, and you were the homophobe and he was gay-well "we" have been fighting in numerous venues that people that serve the public don't have a right to refuse to provide services to us in their scope of practice because they don't agree with our 'lifestyle'. So I'm not sure what you could have done.

 

Gman

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His comment is open to numerous conflicting interpretations, and I suppose I might have asked him which ones he intended. Does he believe that homosexuality and pedophilia are the same thing? ( A good opening for some education.) If not, does living in Coral Gables imply that his other brother is homosexual? Is living in Coral Gables an equivalent perversion to pedophilia/homosexuality? Or, in contrast to the pedophiles, does he have little contact with the brother in Coral Gables only because he lives far away? Does he have little contact with the pedophile brothers because they are often in prison? His explanation of why he is "a bit homophobic" is far from clear.

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I was having a professional encounter today when the person I was speaking with mentioned that he was disenfranchised from his family. His father divorced his mother who then put him and his three brothers up for foster care and remarried and started another family. His father and mother are both dead now.

He then went on to say that he did not keep in contact with his brothers as: "I am a bit homophobic"

"Two of them have been in and out of jail for pedophilia and the other lives in Coral Gables"

It was a professional encounter, so I let the matter drop right there.

I am sure I could have done more, but not sure what would have been appropriate. Any ideas?

 

Exactly as you should have... It was a professional encounter... and the professional that the person was seeing at the time of the encounter was certainly not a family counselor... I am sure that it was for an entirely different reason. At times people need to express certain frustrations with various aspects of their lives and as professionals we need to be good listeners, respect the fact that they need to express such feelings, and then tactfully move on to the business at hand. So I think that you made the correct decision... Yes you could "have done more", but it would not "have been appropriate". I have been in many smilar situations and have reacted in a similar fashion... It is part of acting professional.

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Exactly as you should have... It was a professional encounter... and the professional that the person was seeing at the time of the encounter was certainly not a family counselor... I am sure that it was for an entirely different reason. At times people need to express certain frustrations with various aspects of their lives and as professionals we need to be good listeners, respect the fact that they need to express such feelings, and then tactfully move on to the business at hand. So I think that you made the correct decision... Yes you could "have done more", but it would not "have been appropriate". I have been in many smilar situations and have reacted in a similar fashion... It is part of acting professional.

 

Well stated!

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I was having a professional encounter today when the person I was speaking with mentioned that he was disenfranchised from his family. His father divorced his mother who then put him and his three brothers up for foster care and remarried and started another family. His father and mother are both dead now.

He then went on to say that he did not keep in contact with his brothers as: "I am a bit homophobic"

"Two of them have been in and out of jail for pedophilia and the other lives in Coral Gables"

It was a professional encounter, so I let the matter drop right there.

I am sure I could have done more, but not sure what would have been appropriate. Any ideas?

 

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As implied I have been placed in situations similar to that of PK over the years. When people open up to you and tell you such personal aspects of their lives in such a setting it probably is an indication that they feel more than a certain bond or sense of trust with you... There is also an awareness of a certain caring aspect to your personality that makes them feel comfortable opening up with such information. So kudos to PK...

 

Of course quite often the info definitely needs to be filed under "waaaay too much information". My most bizarre situation occurred when a quite lovely woman needed to confide in me the fact that her son in law had set up a threesome as a "surprise" for her unwilling daughter... and that precipitated divorce proceedings. What was even funnier concerned the fact that the woman did not know the word "threesome" so instead explained in graphic detail what potentially was about to occur... but ultimately just could not get overly graphic without turning every color of the rainbow... Fortunately I was able to get her to stop prior to learning a few too many lurid details while still treating her in a very respectful manner.

 

Of course I bump into said son in law at a restaurant about a week later and he addresses me in a most courteous manner. I address him in like manner all the time thinking to myself, "And I know what you've been up to!"

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As Whipped Guy said, as a professional encounter (and I'm assuming you were the service provider and he was the service recipient), it wouldn't have been appropriate to get into it. As Charlie said, it's not clear what he was getting at.

 

If it had been a personal rather than a professional encounter, clearing up those uncertainties probably would be the best approach (as in questioning the equation of pedophilia with homosexuality). But in no case would this require an extended tirade on one's own sexuality.

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Clearly, you have reasons to not describe the nature of the professional encounter or whether you'll see this person as a professional client again, so it's difficult to advise. people disclose all kinds of bigotries and they may or may not be personally relevant. When I lived in the South and the rural Midwest, there was a lot of anti-semitism and anti-Catholic opinions--I wasn't raised Catholic and have no affinity for Church teaching, but half my family is Catholic and most Catholic people I've known have been less annoying about religion than the Protestants; all my mentors have been Jewish, I only ever addressed this kind of bigortry where it occurred in the context of what was to be an ongoing professional relationship where things were stated in such a way that they would be a barrier to continuing that relationship. Did you feel these comments were directed at you as a gay man? It's difficult to know if homosexuality was being equated with pedophilia. Coral Gables is fairly well-off, but it's also in Florida which often has white trash and/or nouveau riche connotations. Depending on the generation and worldliness of the person the Miami area also tends to be derided on the basis of anti-semetic or anti-Hispanic attitudes. So take your pick of the bigotries that are possible and their relevance to how uyou'd deal with this person or someone similar in the future.

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Apparently living in Coral Gables is equivalent to being jailed several times for pedophilia. I do not know anything about Coral Gables but the inference I made was that he was gay and living in a gay community. I moved on.

 

Maybe he just meant it as a geographical distance issue. Some people just aren't very good at maintaining relationship (in general) and distance really exacerbates the problem.

 

But, then again, I usually try to view odd comments in the most favorable light.

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