The Story of (Lisa)

Read The Story of Timothy on page 91 in your text.  Use it to help you begin thinking about writing your own story of uniqueness in a diverse world.  In this three- to- four page (excluding title and reference page) paper, you will discuss the unique and diverse aspects of yourself as they relate to gender, age, religion, race, ethnicity, ability, class, and sexual orientation (GARREACS).

  • Explain “who you are” and what your experiences have been as they relate to the concept of diversity.  Include any aspects reviewed in the first two weeks’ readings (Ch. 1,2,3,4, 6) that are relevant to YOU.
  • Assess your development in relation to the identity theories discussed in the readings.  Which model applies the most to you?
  • Explain any historical, social/family, financial/economic, cultural, or political considerations that have specifically impacted you or your family in your development and in your ability to meet your own needs.
  • Summarize the impact of any programs or laws that help or hinder your ability to have the life you would like to have.
  • Explain how any of the diverse aspects of “who you are” have either been helpful or hindered your ability to obtain health or human services. Illustrate your points with any personal examples that are relevant.
  • Summarize with a focus on where you see the need to gain understanding and insight for future work with diverse others.

Information about myself (I am in my 50’s, African American woman, Christian/Baptist church, from down south, married to my husband, working class, worked in the medical field for over 30 years, love helping people)


NARRATIVE 3.1  The Story of Timothy

Born in a southeastern state in 1972, the oldest of three children, Timothy reported, “I have red hair, brown eyes, and happen to be Caucasian. The general belief is that I am from Irish decent, but to my parents’ knowledge our family name is Dutch-German.” The family was “lower-middle class” and lived mostly in apartments and duplexes while Timothy, his brother, and sister were growing up.In primary school, Timothy became “best friends” with a Black boy, and although they went to different elementary schools for a few years, the two “reunited in junior high school and started hanging out again.” This friend taught Timothy “a lot about defending myself and speaking up for the things I believed in most. I adopted many of his beliefs.” Timothy played on the basketball team in school and gained respect for his athletic abilities on the court. “The only downfall to this newfound glory was the negative attention received from my White friends. They did not approve of my association with Black kids, and referred to me as ‘White Knight’ and ‘Wigger.’”Growing up in a multicultural neighborhood with Black, Asian, Latino, Greek and Euro-American ancestries living together, Timothy felt “Blessed to experience so much diversity. It was always entertaining when I stayed the night at my friends’ houses due to the differences in our cultures.” He credits his parents for instilling positive values. “The values, manners, and respect that my parents have instilled in me have carried on throughout adulthood. In 1992, I accepted Christ into my life and have tried to live my life according to His word ever since. I am proud to be a Christian and consider it to be a great success in my life.”Timothy’s experiences with diversity and his embracement of values and beliefs that cross cultural boundaries have posed personal challenges. “I am a constant outcast because of the things I am attracted to in life. No matter the crowd I am in, I seem to be different.” He explained, “My favorite music is hip-hop, a predominantly Black music and culture. Music plays a huge part in my life because it makes me feel better when I’m down, happier when I am unhappy, and safe when I feel exposed. Most people tend to judge me simply by the music and culture I live by.” As a White, educated adult, Timothy reported that this “is frustrating, but I feel a certain comfort in being different, so it balances out. I guess I have strived to be different my entire life and it appears to bother other people.”A final suggestion in using racial and ethnic identity models is to become knowledgeable of cultural behaviors and nuances that might influence the helping skills you choose. Learn about behavioral differences and cultural sensitivities common among the people with whom you will work. Search out resources to learn about Native Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos/as, and people of other heritage, and use them judiciously. Learn from clients what is important. For example, what behaviors offer them comfort or present uncomfortable situations? Use their perspectives in creating healthy and helpful relationships. The remaining chapters of this text continue to explore different aspects of cultural identity and self-concept development that will help in this process. To begin, Chapter 5 examines, sex, gender, and sexual orientation identity as contributing factors.

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