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The New Social Worker is the quarterly magazine for social work students and recent graduates, focusing on social work careers for those new to the profession. This blog is a companion to the free online magazine at http://www.socialworker.com.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Changes Around NYC

Whew! There have been some big changes happening around here since I last blogged... we've had temperatures over 100* and same sex marriage began to take effect!

First, thank goodness for all of the communities throughout the country who have been setting up cooling centers, giving out bottles of cold water, and otherwise doing whatever they're able to help keep the fragile members of their neighborhoods healthy during this time of extreme temperature! It's so wonderful to see people stepping up to help just because the need is there.

Second, as it's no secret where I (and the NASW) stand on the issue of same sex marriage, YAY for this! As more states legalize equality, I'm interested to see how our profession changes. Will our textbooks include more chapters on marriage therapy within same sex couples? Will our children & families texts have sections on same sex parents? Or will research show that there isn't much difference between couples and families of the same or opposing genders? Will more schools offer a focus in LGBT issues the way some offer for women's studies, gerontology, adolescents, etc.?

In the past two weeks, a city known for its size, its garbage piles, its supposed rudeness experienced 2 major threats to its people in terms of weather and bigotry. As someone living in the midst of it, I can tell you only what I saw. I witnessed elders playing in fountains with children in an attempt to cool off. I observed businesses handing out free ice water to overheated commuters. I viewed LGBT people become legally wed. I looked on while heterosexual people cheered for the newlyweds.

Perhaps the sidewalks feel tiny and the crowds massive, perhaps there are garbage piles, perhaps New Yorkers are more blunt and less hesitant to use curse words in regular speech, but certainly there is a sense of pride and of love here in NYC. I hope you feel it wherever you are!


  1. Kryss, it just happens that I was in NYC last weekend, and I definitely felt positive energy on the historic first day of same sex marriage there. I watched on TV as a couple of women in their 70s who had been together for decades were pronounced married...also watched coverage of the marriage performed by Mayor Bloomberg.  You bring up some interesting questions about how relationship issues might be the same or different in same sex marriages vs. any other marriages, and what the implications might be for social work practice and education.

    I also experienced first hand that smoldering heat that was in the 100s+ and am glad to know that you were involved in helping keep the seniors in your community cool and healthy!  Keep up the great work!

  2. So glad you got to share that experience while in town, Linda!  As a social worker with a focus in LGBT issues, I really struggle to find social work programs that have much more than one elective course in this topic area.  I continue to seek out such and I hope and encourage all to keep updated on this ever-changing issue, both in their client experiences and in their legal systems!

  3. Cheap Social WorkerAugust 2, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    I am so happy for New York!  Now if California can only reverse Proposition 8....