The purpose of the Safe Zone program is to eliminate homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism on the Iowa State University campus by creating and encouraging safe and secure environments for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer or Questioning, and Ally (LGBTIQA) students, faculty, and staff. This goal will be achieved by educating Safe Zone training participants about LGBTIQA issues, and providing resources and support for LGBTIQA students, faculty, and staff exploring issues of sexual identity/orientation and/or gender identity/expression.
The 3-hour Safe Zone 101 training requires pre-registration. The Out2Lunch series does not require pre-registration. To register for a Safe Zone 101 training please begin by choosing an upcoming training option from the list appearing on this page:
Then, complete the online registration form found here:
Within a few days you will receive a confirmation of your selected date and time from an LGBTSS staff member. Then, within a week of your training date you will receive set of pre-training items to review. This will include an extensive Safe Zone manual chock full of useful resources to support you on your personal and professional journey as a Safe Zoner.
Safe Zones provide safe spaces that are highly visible and easily identifiable to LGBTIQA Persons - spaces of support and understanding where bigotry and discrimination are not tolerated. Safe Zones are commonly identified as "ally" programs, where members of the LGBTIQ community receive support from and work together with allies.
--Adapted from: The Safe Zone Foundation. "Resources for Safe Zone Programs" http://www.webster.edu/shared/shared_selfstudyreport/documents/hlc1b1_safezone.pdf
The main purpose of a Safe Zone program is to visibly mark people and places that are “safe” for LGBTIQA students. This is usually accomplished through a sticker with a pink triangle or some other recognizable LGBTIQA symbol. When students and staff affix stickers to their lockers, desks, backpacks, or office doors, it signifies an affirmation of LGBTIQA people and lets others know that they are a safe person to approach for support or guidance.
-- The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network. "GLSEN SAFE SPACE: A How-To Guide for Starting an Allies Program" http://www.ct.gov/dcf/lib/dcf/wmv/pdf/safe_space_guide.pdf
Understand your own feelings on LGBTIQA issues
Understand socialization, prejudice, and privilege
Understand why it is important to be an Ally
Understand how heterosexism and homophobia affect both LGBTIQA people and people who are not LGBTIQA
Learn about LGBTIQA communities and cultures
Learn about LGBTIQA and Safe Zone symbols
Critically think about the effect of policies, laws, and practices on the lives of LGBTIQA people
Know the LGBTIQA resources and services provided at ISU
Talk with and learn from LGBTIQA friends, classmates, roommates, and colleagues
Challenge homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism
Avoid assumptions, and ask about things you don’t understand>
Provide correct information when you hear myths and misperceptions about LGBTIQA people>
Use inclusive language, avoid stereotyping, and do not assume everyone is heterosexual
Support your LGBTIQA friends
--Adapted from Washington, J. & Evans, N. J. (1991). “Becoming an Ally.” in Beyond tolerance: Gays, lesbians, and bisexuals on campus.
1. We all were taught not to know.
The society we live in allows LGBTIQA people and issues to remain largely invisible. Even though you might have good intentions, you might not know how to best support students and colleagues. How much you know about LGBTIQA people and the issues that impact them directly affects your effectiveness as an ally.
2. We don’t have an “automatic response”.
Most of us know how to react to overtly racist and sexist behavior. There are some slurs that, in no uncertain terms, are deemed unacceptable for use in school and most everywhere else. But when people hear anti-LGBTIQA slurs being used, they often have no idea how to respond. Most people haven’t been taught how. Training will help you learn an “automatic response” to bias.
3. Standing up for LGBTIQA rights can be risky.
Unfortunately, bias still sometimes leads to violence. Allies need to know how to stand up for LGBTIQA rights while being conscious of the safety and security of themselves and others.
--Adapted from: The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network. "GLSEN SAFE SPACE: A How-To Guide for Starting an Allies Program" http://www.ct.gov/dcf/lib/dcf/wmv/pdf/safe_space_guide.pdf