SENSE: diversity as a fundamental principle of identity
As basic a concept it might sound, being oneself is not always an easy option. At least, it is not for everyone. This goes to show that being faitfhul to one’s identity can come at a price, if that identity deviates from the norm, whatever the norm in that particular socio-cultural setting is.
As social beings, we are constantly and very often unconsciously confronted with compromises to make. Since we need to feel part of a group, from a very early stage of our life we interiorize the awareness that, in order to be accepted by the group, there are some aspects of our identity which we simply will have to hide or keep under control.
Perfectly normal, you might think. And you would be right to assume that adaptation is often a beneficial choice because it allows different people to coexist and respect each other, at least in principle. That’s the point though. People are not identical to each other. Problems begin when some of them start being afraid of everything that is not identical to themselves, or that does not correspond to what they perceive as normal.
Identity is a complex business, it is no secret. Actually there is probably nothing normal about it. One of the most sensible dimensions of identity is that which concerns our gender and even more so, our sexual orientation. Interestingly, this holds true in almost every corner of the world, perhaps showing how taboos related to the sexual sphere are among the most difficult to deconstruct.
However, we think something can (and should) be done to help people feel they can be themselves without this leading to social isolation or, even worse, psychological and physical violence. This is why CESIE took part in a project called SENSE – Vocational and Sexual Sensitivity: Sexual Diversity in Social Domain Vocational Training.
SENSE focuses on future professionals in the social domain, hence people who will one day provide assistance to people in need, such as health professionals. The idea at the basis of the project is that young students in vocational schools can benefit from training in dealing with diversity at large, given that they will one day probably have to assist a broad range of clients and/or patients.
Do people become gay, or are they born this way?
About the project
SENSE: Vocation and Sexual Sensitivity – Sexual Diversity in Social Domain Vocational Training is co-funded by Erasmus+, Key Action 2 – Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training.
The project holds together 7 organisations:
- Coordinatore: Stichting Global Alliance for LGBT Education – GALE (The Netherlands)
- Fondazione Centro Studi Villa Montesca (Italy)
- Formacion Para el Desarrollo e Insercion, Sociedad Limitada – DEFOIN (Spain)
- Eurotraining Educational Organization(Greece)
- ROC Van Amsterdam – ROCVA (The Netherlands)
- European Forum of Technical and Vocational Education and Training – EFVET (Belgium)
- CESIE (Italy)