Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I Don't Think So

Is it just me, or do gay people really volunteer and work more for social justice issues than do straight people?

Out of the people I know, about 25% of social workers are gay, versus them being only 10% of the general population.



Anonymous said...

I believe it. Maybe the majority of gay people have certain types of personalities which draw them to specific jobs - i.e. social work.

(What is the point of leaving an ananymous comments if you can see who logs in and out? lol)

Dennis R. Plummer said...

I can't see who logs in and out; I only know the 25 or so people whom I have given permission to read my blog.

Eric said...

I think gay people are more sensitive to social issues because no matter who you are, if you are gay, you deal with social injustice. I mean, do you remember when you figured out that you were gay? Straight people don't have to go through the horror of that, wondering who is going to shun them, if they will lose their parents, if they will be gay-bashed, etc. And if a straight guy asks a girl out, the worst he faces is rejection. If a gay guy asks another guy out, it could mean death at the hands of an offended homophobe.

So built into gay existence (at least for now) is the reality of social inequity, and with that comes awareness, and often, sympathy with others who are socially oppressed or less privileged.

I think it's probably the same reason most African Americans and Jewish Americans are Democrats. If you've suffered injustice, it often opens your eyes to the plight of others as well.

Whereas if you're my brother, a nice, healthy, blond, straight, athletic, white, upper-middle-class, married Christian, why would you care about anyone else? He's happy to live in the bubble of his privilege.

It may all simply be a case of "out of sight, out of mind."

Anonymous said...

i am straight & a reliable, devoted, consistent volunteer. don't buy that gays are better, more frequent volunteers. don't think sexual pref has anything at all to do with volunteering. heart matters more.

Eric said...

I don't think it's a matter of gay people being "better, more frequent volunteers," but rather, proportionately, gay people do at least SEEM to volunteer more than non-gay people. Current statistics show that only 2-6 percent of the American population is gay, and yet at many, many charities and non-profits, the population density SEEMS to increase, like up to ten or twenty percent. So in the general populace, one out of every fifty people is gay. But then at a non-profit, it's often more like one out of every ten, or sometimes one out of four. So it has nothing to do with better, just that it seems that gay people, in general, at least seem to gravitate toward social or non-profit organizations.

And it's been the case everywhere I've ever volunteered, from the Democratic office (where you'd expect more gay people) to more general places like PBS, public radio, the Tohono O'odham saguaro harvest, Habitat for Humanity, and even when I was a volunteer in New Orleans and Mississippi rebuilding after Katrina. The same was true a long time ago when I worked for Allstate Insurance. The general populace of the company was reflective of the general American population, but the gay employees seemed to be the ones who volunteered for the community events, or the catastrophe response teams, and even the diaper drives.

Maybe it's all just assumption or coincidence, but it sure seems to be the case in my experience.

Anonymous said...

was telling a kid i turor abt [this]. had a thought. think you see more gays volunteering because you attract your friends.