Gender Diversity - Student Feedback

Lia Smith
The following are anonymous responses from ESL 160 students, in the spring of 2009 after a class discussion on common targets of discrimination in the United States and a viewing of the “Check All That Apply” film made by the HIV/STI Prevention Studies Department at City College, which is disseminated through the Gender Diversity Training offered by that department.

  • I did not get anything from the short video we watched on Monday, which was about identities. This video didn’t convince me at all.

  • I really liked the video that we watched on Monday. It helped me to understand that no matter what kind of person we are, we are still human beings. We have to respect each other.

  • Some people don’t want to admit their sexual preferences because they don’t want their family and themselves to be hurt or bothered. Some people don’t mind stating their personal information.

  • The video that I saw on Monday was impressive to me because I learned that we will lose ourselves if we hide part of our identities. In addition, I learned that identity can change over time, which makes a lot of sense to me because, as a matter of fact, we will always be trying to adapt to new changes in different stages of our lives.

  • In my opinion, the short movie that we saw on 3/16 inspires every immigrant not to be upset after we’ve become Americans. Native-born Americans haven’t thought that immigrants do not belong in California. They have helped us a lot and even the government helps us a lot. The video showed that we are not “Aliens” and we have to escape the shadow of being “Aliens.” Being Americans, we can study the history and culture of the U.S. and also, we need to know what happens, just as Americans should know. It’s a good idea to know all those aspects to become Americans.

    Second, I like the sentence in this movie, because it lifts me up: “Personal identity can help us feel better and proud of ourselves.” “I am who I am.” Nobody can change my identity. Trying to be the person I want to be can help me survive in the U.S.

  • City College is a good source of quality, quality education. It has students from different countries who have different cultures and religions. The fact is that City College is rich in ethnic diversity. City College wants to remove the dirt of discrimination regarding race, sex, age, religion, disability, skin color, etc. I have seen many students who are gay, lesbian, handicapped, old in City College. They are treated equally by teachers.

    Outside the college, it’s difficult to say whether they are treated equally or not. For example, I am Asian and my English is not so perfect, which sometimes makes me feel embarrassed in front of waiters and other people. In restaurants, waiters don’t give much priority to Asians when whites are there.

  • It’s important not to trivialize the problem of identifying one’s identity. In the past, people were afraid of talking about and discussing this issue in society because they knew no one would pay any attention to them. Nowadays, the government can’t ignore the problem of identity anymore. A good government cares about its people and treats them well. Americans are lucky because they have the chances of expressing their ideas and their problems are concerns of the U.S. government. Even if the results don’t come out the way they expect, at least people can keep on striving for what they want forever.

  • After watching the video, I have learned a lot of ideas about how people think about their gender and how people think about themselves.

  • Before watching this video, I thought that there was only one identity for each person. However, one sentence: “What are your identities?” changed my mind. It is impossible to express ourselves as one type of person because humans are very complicated. Having identities and showing our identities makes us free. This video contains a lot of information that’s very distilled, but it wasn’t difficult to understand. Thank you.

  • City College is a free place that doesn’t discriminate against gender. Many people fear to show their authentic identity because they worry about their families, friends, workplace…Those groups which are not understood and accepted are common targets in the U.S. But our authentic identity is an individual’s desire for love, safety, freedom…

  • I learned from the video that everybody is unique and special. We should respect each other and be proud of ourselves.

  • We cannot despise those people [who are different from us] because they also have their rights. All other people should respect them. Before I watched this program, I didn’t know that there are so many people who have been common targets in the U.S.A. and have been threatened or even have been killed. That’s why all the people need to think about this serious problem. I enjoyed watching the [DVD], which was made at CCSF. The program is very meaningful. I can learn lots of information about people who are common targets in the U.S. such as non-Christians, people who have disabilities, the homeless, people who are uneducated, etc.

  • This short film was interesting. I realize that we hide our real identity because our society does not understand us sometimes. Also, we should be proud of who we really are. We lose ourselves when we hide our identities. Who we are is usually complex and changing from time to time. This film was a great source of self-understanding and understanding others.

  • I think that this presentation was important for me and for those who saw it. The identity, respect and diversity themes that were addressed in the presentation are aspects that I, as a social individual, should remember and practice. These are important themes because valuing life, respect and tolerance are the basis of a good and harmonious society. This presentation reminds me that we live in a world where we are all different and where these differences and our identities make us special and unique. (: