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When discussing LGBT communities or issues, is it best for people to participate in productive conversations online or face to face?

We are trying to explore the idea of students expressing their opinions on the LGBT community, rights and personal experiences on web boards and if this is the most effective way to foster productive discussion about these topics. Although it may be the most comfortable setting to talk about sensitive subjects, does it really effectively take the place of face to face discussion.


Is electronic discussion a positive space for negotiating conflict that improves a course, or does it incite counter-productive arguments about personal relationships with issues?

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  • Nov 18 2013: This is a very interesting question. I have had conversations with LGBT community members and I can say that the in person conversations were much more difficult rather than the ones that were done in a forum type of environment. When the topic is real human emotion such as this topic is. Human interaction is always advisable.
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    Nov 14 2013: what is the alternative to reading about LGBT online? Bringing in speakers from LGBT who would talk about their experiences, or talk about the LGBT history? Are there speakers who do this? In general I would think live is always better if the speakers exist.
  • Nov 13 2013: I am having trouble understanding what would be discussed as part of an education. Beyond the concepts of acceptance of gender orientation differences, general intolerance of discrimination against gay people, and resources for discovering, understanding and accepting gender orientation differences, what needs to be taught? It would seem that basic adult discussion in high school health class or with a family doctor and identification of resources for more information should be all that is necessary to supplement lessons taught at home.

    Beyond this education, the choice about how to learn more about being gay, meet people of similar orientation, or seek some sort of counseling to help with specific individual issues is a personal choice and need not be part of an education program or discussion in an educational forum (like a school class). The best format for obtaining this knowledge sort of depends on the type knowledge or information you seek and your openness to being identified as gay in my mind.

    Despite recent advances, in many communities there is still a stigma attached with being gay. The decision to announce to the public that this is you sexual preference must be traumatic in the life of a young adult. I am not sure publicly attending a discussion on gay issues would be something that was popular at the time when it is most needed.
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    Nov 13 2013: Would it make sense to do both? It may be more natural to allow people to engage in the way that is most comfortable for them individually rather than selecting a single mode for everyone.