What it means to be a Safe Space participant
- Be open to questions from and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and their issues. Questions may come from students who identify as LGBT or are questioning their sexual orientation. Additionally, questions may come from students who are heterosexual and who are disturbed by the presence of an LGBT person in their classes or family. Colleagues also may have questions.
- Support policies that bring equity to otherwise inequitable situations and give open support for LGBT issues.
- Encourage others to become a part of Safe Space program. The more willing people are to talk about these issues with facts and openness, the safer our campus will become for LGBT people.
How to participate in the Safe Space program
- Attend a Safe Space Workshop, which examines attitudes and beliefs, raises awareness, builds skills, and offers resources
- After attending workshop, display Safe Space sticker
- Your name will be on a list of faculty/staff who participate in the Safe Space
The purpose of the Safe Space sticker
- The sticker helps to convey a message that you are supportive, trustworthy and sensitive to the needs and concerns of LGBT people.
- The sticker indicates that, within your office or room, homophobic and heterosexist comments and actions will not be tolerated silently, but instead will be addressed in an educational, informative and non-threatening manner.
- The sticker does not indicate whether you are or are not LGBT; it merely states that you are a support and resource person (in other words, an ally).
The meaning of the pink triangle
- The sticker bears the pink triangle, a symbol used during World War II by the Nazis, to label gay men who were sent to concentration camps to be exterminated.
- In the 1970s the LGBT community embraced the pink triangle as a symbol of pride and solidarity. It is also a reminder of oppression and persecution that happened in the past and continues to happen in the present.
- The length of your commitment to Safe Space program is up to you.
- As long as you want to participate, display your sticker on your door or within your office. If you decide to discontinue your participation, remove your sticker and let the Safe Space program coordinator know so that you can be taken of the list.
-- Adapted by Martha Ann Spruill from the University of Richmond Safe Zone Information Handbook, 27 Jan 2000.