Now What

You have completed Safe Space training. Now what?

A Safe Space sign helps to identify these safe spaces. By displaying a Safe Space sign, you are committing to create a safe place for the discussion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning-related issues. While a small piece of paper may seem insignificant, the impact of displaying a Safe Space sign is profound and should not be undertaken without thought and intention.

What is an ally?

An ally is a member of the dominant social group who takes a stand against social injustice directed at a target group(s) — for example, white people who speak out against racism or heterosexual individuals who speak out against heterosexism and sexual prejudice. An ally works to be an agent of social change rather than an agent of oppression. When a form of oppression has multiple target groups, as do racism, ableism, and heterosexism, target group members can be allies to other targeted social groups (African-Americans can be allies to Asian-Americans, blind people can be allies to people who use wheelchairs, and lesbians can be allies to bisexual people).

Characteristics of an ally

  • Listens openly.
  • Actively pursues a process of self-education. Learns about the history and culture of target groups.
  • Acknowledges and takes responsibility for one’s own socialization, prejudice, and privilege.
  • Is willing to examine and relinquish privileges.
  • Learns about and takes pride in one’s own identities.
  • Identifies one’s own self-interest in acting as an ally.
  • Makes friends with people who are different.
  • Knows resources about and for target groups.
  • Educates others.
  • Takes a public stand against discrimination and prejudice.
  • Interrupts prejudice and takes action against oppression even when people from the target group are not present.
  • Risks discomfort.
  • Is not self-righteous with others (especially other dominant group members).
  • Challenges the internalized oppression of people in target groups.
  • Supports the value of separate meetings/events/activities for members of target and agent groups.
  • Has a vision of a healthy multicultural society.