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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » LGBTQA Relationships » Queer Safer Spaces

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Author Topic: Queer Safer Spaces
Jacob at Scarleteen
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Hey!

People in different queer communities often seem to find that they have to set up safer spaces to be able to hang out comfortably or to try and organise politically. That can be a booked room in a social centre, a squatted building, or an on-line space.

I've helped be part of quite a few such spaces! I guess scarleteen is one too. To me they're such a great resource, but I've seen physical spaces like that in my university union or my city get shut down or come under fire, often by some pretty crappy political forces.

They were so important to me, but I don't know how many people even get to experience anything like being in a place run for and by queer folks, or even what they can be like outside of my own limited experience.

Where do you go to experience that safety? Do you? If so what are those places like? What does a queer safe space mean to you?

[ 11-10-2012, 03:58 PM: Message edited by: Jacob at Scarleteen ]

Posts: 694 | From: Leeds UK | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
smittenkitten
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As part of my uni Queer* Department we have a safe space and a safe space policy to go with it. Basically it is a place where GLBTIQ students can go to socialize or be safe.

Unfortunately it is in a tiny and dingy room tucked away behind a bike shed. In the past 18 months we have had multiple sewerage leaks into the space and we are working hard to get a new, better one.

Anyway if you want to check out our safer spaces policy it is here: ANU Safer Spaces Policy

Cheers,

Marion

Posts: 465 | From: Canberra, ACT, Australia | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ellecubed
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I also go to a University that has quite an extensive safe space mandate. You can read about it here: http://www.positivespace.utoronto.ca/

As for spaces that are not necessarily safe, I find myself siding with caution. I don't hold hands or kiss in public. I try to go to places and neighborhoods I know are friendly and I try my best to blend in. None of these things are ideal but it has worked for me and it scares me to challenge the people in my city who seem to be set on being homophobia.

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Jacob at Scarleteen
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Thanks for bumping this thread elle! I forgot to respond to marion!

Sorry to hear about the need for caution elsewhere. I guess this is the very real reason why spaces to BE safer are important.

Just feeling safe is so important to me that I almost forget that safe spaces aren't just safer because they feel safe but also ARE safe because we're far less likely to get physically attacked.

Posts: 694 | From: Leeds UK | Registered: May 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jacob at Scarleteen
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And marion, that place sounds so cool!

We had a 'health and safety' issue in our space too (it was called the peanut gallery *sighs*)... but then the repair was prolonged and the users of the space were blamed for not managing it well and despite me proposing a few new ways we could be organised... my union just kinda held out until everyone involved had graduated :-( I hope you get a better newer space soon!

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atypical
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While the city that I live in is considered very safe for queer, and really anyone who is considered "different" in any way, the university I go to has a rather expansive and inclusive LGTB organization which includes both the student body and professional help/support for anyone who might need that. Of course, there is the odd homophobe, but you can't really get away from those anywhere.

While I do identify as biromantic I've never felt the need to have a safe place nor be part of an organization of any kind. I'm openly bi and asexual and I can't say that I've had any problems with it. However, I do quite often need some alone time and to just get away from everyone. That really is just a personality thing though.

There probably are some meet ups and that kind of thing going on around town, but I haven't really read up on it and I doubt I will. I feel perfectly safe as it is and I love the friends that I have.

--------------------
Signature that I might fill out later ~~~

Posts: 15 | From: Norway | Registered: May 2013  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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