The purpose of Safe Zone is to reduce homophobia and heterosexism on the UAS campus, making our campus a safer and freer environment for all members of our community regardless of sexual orientation. Safe Zone prepares primarily staff and faculty members to serve as a resource for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning issues, and also strives to educate the campus community about the Safe Zone program.
Although transgender refers to gender identity and not necessarily sexual orientation, this is also a sexual minority group that is unfairly discriminated against, and therefore is included in the Safe Zone program.
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B.A., University of Pennsylvania, (International Relations); M.Ed., American University
Beatrice is a 30+ year Juneau resident who has been on the Egan Library staff since 1996. She is fluent in French and travels to exotic places. Her favorite pastimes are playing tennis, drawing and painting, and reading. She also loves cats (and dogs).
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Eric grew up in Fairbanks Alaska. After graduating West Valley High School, he attended the University of California Santa Cruz, earning a Bachelor of Arts in History in 2005. Between 2007 and 2009, Eric served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Eastern Uganda. After returning to the United States, he undertook several projects with the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Bureau of Land Management. In 2012 Eric moved to Juneau and began working at the University of Alaska Southeast.
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To be a Safe Zone participant, one must be open to questions from and about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning (LGBTIQ) people and their issues. Questions may come from students who identify as LGBTIQ or are questioning their sexual orientation. Additionally, questions may come from students who are heterosexual and who are disturbed by the presence of LGBTIQ persons in their classes, residence hall, or family. Colleagues may also come to Safe Zone participants with questions.
Generally, participants support policies that bring equity to otherwise inequitable situations and give open support for LGBTIQ issues. Members will also encourage others to be part of the Safe Zone. The more willing people are to talk about these issues with facts and openness, the safer and more welcoming our campus will become for LGBTIQ individuals.
How to Participate
Participation in the Safe Zone program involves attending a Creating a Safe Zone Workshop, which examines attitudes and beliefs, raises awareness, builds, skills, and offers resources. Workshops are held on the Juneau campus once a semester or by request.
After attending the workshop and signing the UAS Safe Zone Contract & Confidentiality Statement, display the Safe Zone sticker in your workspace. Additionally, Safe Zone members participate in periodic campus Safe Zone network meetings held approximately once per semester. Check the Campus Calendar for both training and network meetings.
The Safe Zone Sticker
The purpose of the Safe Zone sticker helps convey a message that you are supportive, trustworthy and sensitive to the needs and concerns of LGBTIQ people. Displaying the sticker indicates that within your office or room, homophobic and heterosexist comments and actions will not be tolerated silently. Instead, such comments and actions will be addressed in an educational, informative and non-threatening manner.
The Safe Zone sticker does not indicate whether you yourself are LGBTIQ; it merely states that you are a support and resource person or ally.
The length of your commitment to Safe Zone is up to you. As long as you participate, display your sticker on your door or within your office. If you decide to discontinue your participation, simply remove the sticker. If you wish to have your name or office removed from the UAS Safe Zone registry, contact the Safe Zone Coordinator. There will be no questions asked. You may re affiliate anytime.
Being an ally can be tough at times. Your genuine dedication to this program, no matter what its length, will create a positive space within your community.
Designating a Safe Zone
There are many things that you can do to make you and your workspace feel like a Safe Zone for LGBTIQ students and colleagues. These are a few suggestions:
- Believe that our campus is enriched and enlivened by the diversity of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, and questioning (LGBTIQ) people.
- Be aware of the presence of LGBTIQ students, faculty, and staff and be willing to engage in genuine dialogue and interaction.
- Be willing to discuss issues impacting LGBTIQ people's lives in a non-judgmental manner.
- Know your LGBTIQ resources on campus and in the community.
- Comfortably and regularly use inclusive language, avoid stereotyping, and do not assume everyone is heterosexual.
- Maintain confidentiality.
What to Expect
As a result of posting a Safe Zone sticker in your workspace you may find that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning students, faculty, and staff censor their speech less, providing for a more genuine exchange with you. Similarly, students, faculty, and staff may be more at ease around you, anticipating a non-judgmental atmosphere in your workplace.
You may never notice a difference in the interactions you have with students, faculty, and staff but you will make a difference in improving the campus climate at UAS and the lives of our community members.
What Else Can I Do?
- Acquaint yourself with lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgendered individuals, and intersexuals. Learn more about LGBTI culture by reading books, making friends, attending functions, and celebrating.
- Challenge homophobia and heterosexism (jokes, remarks, cartoons, behaviors, language, ect.)
- Continue to educate yourself about the coming out process and sexual identity development.
Gender & Sexuality Information
LGBTIQ Support Information
- Special issues for LGBTIQ students
- Becoming a heterosexual ally
- Cycle of oppression
- Homophobia scale
- How homophobia hurts everyone
- How heterosexism & homophobia hurts LGBTIQ people
- Coming out
- Cass' Homosexual Identity Development Model
- When a student "comes out" to you
Improving the Campus Climate
|Sites on Coming Out|
|Coast to Coast Pride||A gay and lesbian Community Center's Youth Resources for Coming Out of the Closet. Includes: education, the process, self-acceptance, coming out to gay and non-gay people, and the politics of coming out.|
|Human Rights Campaign||Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equal Rights||Resource on coming out in the work place.|
|Human Right Campaign||Working for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Equal Rights||General Sites on Support, Organizations, Information|
|PFLAG||Support, education, and advocacy; working for/with LGB individuals and their families.|
|Glad.org||National Gay and Lesbian Task Force- dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status, and gender identity and expression.|
|Queer America||Largest database of queer resources: information on community centers, support orgs., PFLAG chapters, ect.||Sites on creating safe schools for LGBT people|
|www.glsen.org||The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.|
|College Mapper||College search site that includes addition of LGBTQ under Diversity Support Programs as part of their college search.||Transgender-Specific Resources|
|Youth Guard||Internet support services for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, questioning, and straight supportive youth.|
|Gendger.org||Gender Education and Advocacy website: Focusing on the needs, issues, and concerns of gender variant people.||Search Engines|
|Gayzoo||Search Engine dedicated to making G/L/B/T related internet content much easier to find.|