What is Safe Zone?
Safe Zone trainings are opportunities to learn about LGBTQIA+ identities, gender and sexuality, and unlearn prejudice.
You may have seen a sticker or sign that says “Safe Zone” or “Safe Zone Trained.” These stickers most often indicate the person displaying the sticker has gone through a Safe Zone training and wants to communicate to others that they are open to talking about and being supportive of LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, and Asexual +) individuals and identities.
Why do people do Safe Zone trainings?
LGBTQIA+ folks sometimes question whether they will feel safe, welcomed, or supported in a new environment. Displaying Safe Zone stickers and demonstrating you went to a training can communicate to others the commitment you’re making to creating LGBTQIA+-inclusive environments.
There is a pressure to already know how to be LGBTQIA+ inclusive. And while many of us want to be, we don’t necessarily feel comfortable with the language, our level of understanding, or don’t know where to go to learn more and to explore conversations around gender and sexuality. Safe Zone trainings are safe places where people can go to learn more about their own gender/sexuality and deepen their understanding of LGBTQIA+ identity and issues.
Who can be a Safe Zone member? What is the time commitment?
Members must attend one 2-hour training session. Membership is open to all members of the university community. After the initial training session, participation in other events on campus is voluntary. Every spring semester, the Office of Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Access offers a Safe Zone training session during their annual Diversity Academy.
What if I just want to show support, but I don't have time to provide ongoing counseling?
Safe Zone members are not expected to be "experts" or counselors. One of the reasons we require attendance at the training session is to provide knowledge about how and where to refer someone to a counselor or other resources on campus.
How do I become a Safe Zone / make my organization a Safe Zone?
If you have questions about Safe Zone training or how to become a Safe Zone, contact the Office of Multicultural Affairs at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 605-688-5585.