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Deciding to Be an Area Reference Person

I became certified to teach RC in 2000. When asked to be a teacher, I initially hesitated. It wasn’t a question of being able to teach (that comes easily for me) but of figuring out why I should teach and how it would be useful to me in terms of my re-emergence.

When I was asked a few years ago to consider the Area1 Reference Person (ARP) position, I had the same question: “How is this going to be beneficial for me?” At the time I was discouraged about the Community and felt I would not get the support that I needed or wanted. I did not take the position.

Since then, a lot has happened. Most significant was an Intensive2 three years ago and my follow-up work, mostly on early hurts. One piece of Chicano internalized oppression is discouragement. I had a difficult time wrapping my head around3 that. (Who, me? Discouraged?) Only recently have I been able to think about it in terms of getting some discharge.

As a result of the work that I did, I knew that the ARP position would make me come to terms with the discouragement. I saw it as an opportunity to confront it, however clumsily, and to be forced to deal with struggles that were outside of my comfort zone.

I recently agreed to be the Alternate ARP. I am good at supporting people and helping them figure things out, and I did well with my ARP. I also figured out that this Community is the one I am in and that I have to work with what I have. I know I am not leaving RC, so I found a way to work with this (predominately white, Protestant, middle-class, heterosexual) Community. I also figured out that, a lot of times, “it is not my job” is the best response I can give.

When asked again about the ARP position, I did not hesitate. I decided it would be beneficial for me. I had built better relationships with Co-Counselors locally, as well as across the country, and could feel that I had a lot of support.

As an ARP, I am hoping to strengthen the relationships I’ve developed and to build new ones. I want to develop my leadership skills and gain the confidence that comes with that. I want to be a better Co-Counselor.

I also want to give back to the Community that has given so much to me. I am genuinely interested in and care about people’s re-emergence. I have experienced how the discharge process works and feel passionate about that and would like to convey it to others.

I want to think about different ways to teach RC fundamentals to new people—in particular, people targeted by racism—perhaps with a series of introductions like “Chicanos and _______,” “Men and ______,” “Immigration,” and “Why Doesn’t Anything Ever Change?”

I am excited about taking this position and look forward to accomplishing some of my goals. I want to put a face people may not know to the Gay Chicano man."

"Edmond W"
Reprinted from the RC e-mail
discussion list for leaders of Chicanos/as

1 An Area is a local RC Community.
2 An Intensive is twenty hours of one-way Re-evaluation Counseling, for a fee, at Re-evaluation Counseling Community Resources, in Seattle, Washington, USA.
3 “Wrapping my head around” means finding a way to understand or accept.


Last modified: 2020-07-02 14:27:35+00