05-12-2014, 07:21 PM   #1
theOcean
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Safe Spaces

Has anyone ever encountered "safe spaces" for LGBT, whether it's been at school, at hospitals, or otherwise?

My high school was Anglican and its principal was Catholic, so we had a really hard time there fighting for a gay-straight allies club within the school. Our principal even said she didn't want it to be talked about or openly advertised because it wasn't showing something she deemed "appropriate" to potential students or parents that would visit.

But eventually it went through, and now a safe space exists there.

My current college has been wonderful about safe-spaces, and it even has LGBT magazines all over the place and LGBT-friendly stickers posted on pretty much every office. It's to the point where I assume everyone is comfortable about it there, and I even noticed and came to be friends with a bunch of LGBT people there, which was awesome.

Outside of that, I've heard of establishing "safe spaces" at conventions, as well. Has anyone else encountered these? What were your experiences like with them? Are there places where you wished safe spaces would be created?
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05-12-2014, 08:54 PM   #2
Lisa
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There is an event every year where I work, Empire Pride is what it is called....while I have not seen any "safe" places set up (this is held in a public/state venue)...there is one bathroom that is designated as gender neural during the event, and the convention hall where the main event is held its own throughout the day.

It is kind of interesting to note, there was a gay legislator for a few years- he was out about it and there are even quite a few desks in the Assembly Chamber with rainbow flags on them.
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05-12-2014, 09:27 PM   #3
theOcean
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Oh! That's awesome that it has a gender neutral washroom. I've never encountered that. I'm still a bit surprised when I see trans* or intersex or other genders outside the gender binary on forms, let alone public places.

And that's even more wonderful to see in government, too. Our current premiere (who governs the province) is actually an open lesbian.
05-13-2014, 05:14 PM   #4
nogutsnoglory
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I have never encountered a so called "safe space" but I'm familiar with the concept and have seen stickers on office doors in college to signal the person was a safe person to talk to if necessary or that they were involved with the gay community in some way as a member or straight ally. I think safe spaces as a designation is pretty limited to education like high school gay-straight alliances and college groups but I could be mistaken.

It would be fantastic to have some version of this in hospitals for patients and employees. I know a lot of big businesses have lgbt employee affinity groups that support their employees and do outreach.

If there was a sign, group or brochure in the hospital id feel more comfy knowing the doctor is a safe person to discuss these issues with. I probably would not be out anyway but just knowing it's ok would be comforting.

I posted last year about the Healthcare Equality Index http://www.crohnsforum.com/showthread.php?t=53507 which rates hospitals on their lgbt climate so thankfully the Human Rights Campaign is working to improve the situation.
05-13-2014, 05:36 PM   #5
theOcean
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It looks like some of my local hospitals have gotten pretty LGBT-friendly, which is wonderful. Women's College Hospital is one of them, and my hospital has LGBT resources but I don't think has made as much of a public effort. (WCH is where I was thinking to switch my GP to, so that definitely just got another point in its favour.)

I also just found there's an official website for Canadians where they can rate their hospitals, as well. Mine apparently could do better. It doesn't seem to talk about the social aspect of being LGBT-friendly, though, which is a shame.
05-13-2014, 06:06 PM   #6
plaidknitter
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I've only encountered safe spaces at schools. My high school and colleges all had gsa/lgbt groups that were designated as safe spaces. I've never encountered a safe space in the wild, but
I live in a pretty liberal area.
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05-16-2014, 12:57 PM   #7
nogutsnoglory
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"Safe space in the wild" made me laugh. I just pictured a hiking trail with a tree that had a sign that said gays here. With a bunch of friendly squirrels sharing acorns. Wow I'm weird! Haha.

I saw a hospital in my area that has an lgbt clinic which l think is awesome. I'm considering switching my internist to that one because I'd feel more comfy. My only hesitation is that I don't want the rest of my medical team knowing I goto an lgbt clinic because that kinda makes things obvious.
06-07-2014, 10:00 AM   #8
nogutsnoglory
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"Volunteers are needed for a new study - backed with a Crohn's and Colitis UK research grant - looking at the issues, concerns and needs of gay and lesbian people with IBD. If you are interested and would like further information about the study, please contact Lesley Dibley at Bucks New University on 01494 603179 ext. 4418, or email her at [email protected]"

I believe this is the second part of her research into this but "safe spaces" would definitely be an exploration of this research.
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