Yesterday I went shopping for a few things I will need for the Cape Town trip and I realized that it is getting closer and closer! I feel like I have so much to say and so much to ask leading up to it. As the trip approaches, I wonder what impact it will have on me after I return, what I will learn, and how my position and location will effect my experience there.
As a white, young, financial secure woman, I have a lot of privileges and understand the world within those sets of identities. Though I have done a lot of reflecting on my own privileges throughout school, I know some will appear from the trip that I did not even know existed. I look forward to challenging myself in that way and learn how to use my privileges for the better in my social work practice, as well as “own up” to the ugly parts of my privilege.
On the other hand, I identity as bisexual and am married to a woman. I worry about this identity even when I travel to a rural town in the United States. Learning how to maneuver this identity in South Africa will not only be a challenge, as I am usually very outspoken about LGBTQ+ rights, but will also be a humbling experience. My privileges have allowed me to get married to the person I love and live a fairly safe and comfortable life with them. My research on the LGBTQ+ population in South Africa has indicated that many citizens do not have the same rights that I do and have a higher risk of violence towards them. Not only will this experience humble me, but I believe that it will renew my love for social justice, not only for the LGBTQ+ community.
- New Perceptions