Staff and faculty who participate in the 6-hour Safe Zone training will be able to:
Safe Zone is the most common terminology used for a variety of programs used in high schools, colleges and universities throughout the United States designed to create consciously designated spaces on campuses where all types of sexual and gender minorities know that they are safe to talk freely about this aspect of the lives without fear of condemnation.
As with other too often marginalized social groups we find that definitions and categories are constantly changing and our committee has made a concerted effort to shed light on the many terms in present use. What has often been referred to as the “gay community” is now more commonly referred to as the LGBT (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender) community in its abbreviated form. Those with more experience and relationships will know that the term is being continuously elongated in an attempt to be ever more inclusive (LGBTQQIAAPF – Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Questioning Intersex Asexual Ally Pansexual Fluid).
As language and sensitivities evolve terms that were once accepted become challenged and terms that were once considered derogatory become re-appropriated and rehabilitated. For example, some folks in these communities now resist the term “homosexual” because of its origins in medical discourse and some have embraced the terms “queer” and “faerie”. Even the term Safe Zone has been contested because some feel it implies that other areas on campus are not safe. Or they may worry that the designation of safe zones may actually delay the full integration and thoughtful accommodation of gender and sexual minorities into every aspect of campus life.
Here at CSU Monterey Bay, we recognize that our community members occupy many different points along the continuum of familiarity and comfort in relationship to LGBTQQIAAPF communities and issues. This includes community members inside, outside and along the borders of the LGBTQQIAAPF community. We also recognize that LGBTQQIAAPF individuals and allies are not easily identified and that profound experiences of past discrimination may leave some members isolated and disinclined to risk sharing their personal lives in a new campus environment.
We created the Safe Zone training at CSUMB to identify, support, educate, and learn from LGBTQQIAAPF allies in the campus community and thereby make CSUMB a more welcome and rewarding environment for all community members. Allies who choose to participate in the program will receive a Safe Zone placard or sticker that they will be encouraged to display so that LGBTQQIAAPF folk will know that there is someone they can reach out to on campus.
Our hope and our intention is that safe space will grow into brave space where all community members throughout our campus feel that their differences are celebrated and the default assumption will be that “it is safe to express exactly who I am and all that I am wherever I am.” The Safe Zone committee is excited to be sharing resources and building community in support of our LGBTQQIAAPF community members and their allies. Thank you so much for bringing the commitment to community and professional development you demonstrate through your participation and contributions.