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  1. SAFE ZONE/SAFE SPACESTRAIN-THE-TRAINERWORKSHOP Creating Safe Zones on our Campuses for LGBTQA Populations Co-Sponsored by the PASSHE LGBTQIA Consortium and The Office of the Chancellor March 18 & 19, 2010

  2. I. Welcome and Introductions

  3. Malinda Cowles, M.A.Interim Executive Director, IUP, Center for Health and Well-BeingRita Drapkin, Ph.D.Professor, IUP, The Counseling CenterCatherine Massey, Ph.D.Associate Professor, Slippery Rock, Department of Psychology

  4. AGENDA: DAY 1 • Welcome, introductions & terminology 10:00-11:00 • Need for Safe Zone/Spaces 11:15-12:30 Lunch Break 12:30-1:15 • Creating a Safe Zone Program 1:15-2:45 • Membership 2:45-4:30 Break (while we change rooms) 4:00-4:10 • Skills 4:30-5:00 Dinner Break 5:00-6:00 VI. Training Content /LGBTQIA 101 6:00-7:30

  5. AGENDA: Day 2 Breakfast 8:00-8:30 I. Problem-solving/Vignettes 8:30-9:15 II. Post-training responsibilities 9:15-10:00 Break 10:00-10:15 III. Becoming a Safe Zone trainer 10:15-11:30 Consortium Meeting 11:30-1:00


  7. Political correctness is not the goal. • There is not universal agreement on terminology and use of language. • Try not to make assumptions, particularly with use of pronouns. • Use language that an individual gives you or provide a ‘laundry list’ of options. • Try to avoid outdated words such as sexual preference. • When in doubt, ASK!

  8. II. The Need for Safe Zone Programs

  9. LGBT At-Risk Population • International data • Uganda anti-homosexuality bill • Violence against LGT women in Asia • Death sentences in Iran for homosexuality • Arrests for “unnatural offenses” in Malawi International Gay and Lesbian Rights Commission (

  10. LGBT At-Risk Population • National and local data • Same-sex relationship recognition • Statewide same-sex marriage prohibitions • Statewide employment laws and policies • Statewide School Laws and Policies • Anti-gay sentiment, harassment, and violence

  11. Relationship Recognition in US (as of March 3, 2010) Human Rights Campaign (

  12. Statewide Marriage Prohibitions (as of January 13, 2010) Human Rights Campaign (

  13. Statewide Employment Laws and Policies (as of February 17, 2010) Human Rights Campaign (

  14. Statewide School Laws & Policies (as of February 18, 2010) Human Rights Campaign (

  15. Factors Related to Oppression • Homophobia and Heterosexism • Misconceptions about lesbian and gay men • one chooses to be gay • promiscuous • Unnatural – “it’s a sin.” • Anti-gay groups • Religious Conservative Groups • Focus on the Family • Fred Phelps ( • Ex-gay Movement • Repent America

  16. Experiences of Harassment/Discrimination Numerous studies have documented the experiences of harassment and violence and the related consequences of that harassment and violence (D’Augelli, 1992; Herek, 1993;Herek, 1994, 1995; Hershberger & D’Augelli, 1995; Norris & Kaniasty, 1991; Savin-Williams & Cohen, 1996; Slater, 1993; Waldo, Hesson-McInnis, & D’Augelli, 1998) (Rankin, S. (2009, October). Presented at Inaugural Meeting of the PASSHE LGBTQIA Consortium.)

  17. Student Attitudes • 75% of LG college students reported verbal harassment (D’Augelli, 1992) • 30% of LGBT college students reported experiencing harassment (Rankin, 2004) • LGB students perceived more alienation and less support on campus than their college age heterosexual peers (Westefeld, Wood, Sher, & Goob, 2000).

  18. Rankin, 2003 • One-third of students and one-quarter of employees in the sample reported having experienced some form of harassment. • 11 respondents indicated they had experienced physical violence enacted on the basis of perceived or actual sexual orientation.

  19. Other findings noted that both LGBTQ-identified students and employees reported the overall campus climate as homophobic. • Many of the respondents indicated that they hid their sexual orientation to avoid discrimination and harassment.

  20. LGBTQ-identified students and employees reported that they were uninformed about procedures for enacting institutional responses and actions on their own behalf. • LGBTQ-identified students and employees were unaware of rapid response systems intended to address anti-LGBTQ acts of intolerance on their campus.

  21. Very few respondents agreed that their colleges addressed issues related to sexuality and gender identity. • Many felt there was a lack of visible senior leadership regarding LGBTQ issues and concerns. • Respondents suggested that educational programming be more inclusive of LGBTQ issues and that LGBTQ content be integrated into the curriculum.

  22. Why Use Strategic Planning? • Integrate into university • Identify as a priority • Request resources • Report progress

  23. PA Governor’s Office •

  24. PASSHE •

  25. IUP • •

  26. CAMPUS CLIMATE SURVEYS • IUP received a Social Equity Grant and conducted a campus climate survey in spring 2007; 750 students and 287 employees (taken from all categories) completed the survey.

  27. Most GLBTQ students reported encountering some form of discrimination as a result of being perceived as GLBTQ. • More than 1 in 8 respondents witnessed discriminatory incidents toward GLBT people on campus. • Two-thirds of student respondents have heard derogatory remarks about GLBT people.

  28. 1 in 3 respondents believe that GLB people would be harassed on campus. • 1 in 2 respondents believe that transgender people would be harassed on campus. • 1 out of 3 employee respondents could not recommend IUP to other GLBT persons.

  29. 64% of student respondents (not just GLBT) indicated that a GLBT Resource Center on campus was important. • The Safe Zone Program is seen by students as improving IUP’s climate for GLBT people. • The percentage of students who heard a professor make a negative comment about GLBT people decreased by more than 50% since 1992.

  30. III. Creating a Safe Zone Program

  31. Suggested Steps in Creating a Program Assess need Establish working group Seek support of administration Develop program mission/philosophy Clarify structure and funding Determine criteria for membership and method of training Determine method of evaluation

  32. Developing Your Safe Zone • SWOT Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities Threats

  33. SWOT • Build on strengths • Resolve weaknesses • Exploit opportunities • Avoid threats

  34. Safe Zone Program Budget Worksheet • Training • Continuing Education • Marketing • Evaluation • Administration • Miscellaneous TOTAL COSTS

  35. Sample Safe Zone Websites • • • •

  36. IV. Membership

  37. Common Membership Questions • Who can be a member? • Training whole departments • Meaning of NOT being a member

  38. GUIDELINES FOR SAFE ZONE MEMBERS • Respect individuals’ privacy • Refer when appropriate • Display Safe Zone symbol; notify if it is defaced • Update manual • Attend to boundaries • Consult with Safe Zone Coordinator or members as needed • Safe Zone (governing body) reserves the right to withhold or revoke membership of anyone who is unable to serve the mission of the program

  39. Guidelines for the Exclusion or Removal of a Safe Zone Member Member exclusion or removal will be decided by the consensus of the (governing body for Safe Zone) and will be based on behaviors that are contrary to the mission. Such behaviors may include the following: • Refusing to be a visible member through posting the Safe Zone sign or refusing to be identified on electronic and print membership lists. • Performing or having performed acts that are GLBT discriminatory including any public, oral, or written statements. • Violating University policy

  40. Protecting our members from inappropriate contacts • Best to discuss during initial training • Program only serves members of university community • Program is neither a counseling nor dating service

  41. Vignette: Interrupting a Homophobic or Derogatory Remark You are speaking with a colleague about work issues and a young male student walks in front of you dressed in rainbow pants and carrying a purse. Your colleague says, “Look at that student; he is so gay! People like that make me wonder what this world is coming to. No wonder people don’t want them to get married.” You are thinking to yourself, ‘I cannot believe that he/she said that.’ Being an LGBT ally and member of the Safe Zone, you are not sure how to handle the situation but know that you need to step in. What might you do or say?

  42. V. SKILLS

  43. Helping Skills • Clarify Role • Basic Helping Skills • When to Refer

  44. Clarify Role • To listen, provide information (e.g. resources), refer NOT to counsel or provide therapy • Probably not very different from what you do every day • Does not require new set of skills; some information, knowledge of resources • Don’t need to have solutions

  45. Basic Helping Skills • Comfortable office space (chairs, kleenex, privacy) • Active listening • Reflect thoughts and feelings • “Sounds like you have thought about this for a long time.” • “It scares you to think about coming out to others.” • Use language that individual gives to you • Summarize • “You feel you might be gay but find that unacceptable.” • “You’ve felt different for a long time and now you’re wondering if it is because you are a lesbian.” • Action steps, if relevant (e.g., referral, talk to others, set up another time to talk)

  46. When to Refer • Accept the limitations of your competence and responsibility • Be explicit about your concerns • Yes, it is uncomfortable to talk about suicide and we often feel inadequate; however, it is a myth that to talk about suicide increases the risk


  48. Gender & Sexuality Paradigm

  49. Biological Sex (My body at birth) Male Female Gender Identity (How I feel) Male Female Gender and Sexuality Paradigm Developed by Jim Huggins, Ph.D. Revised by Rita Drapkin, Ph.D. Gender Role (What I do) Masculine Feminine Sexual Orientation (How I feel) Straight Lesbian/Gay Sexual Behavior (What I do) Straight Lesbian/Gay Sexual Identity (How I view myself) Straight Lesbian/Gay

  50. Models of Sexual OrientationDichotomous - Psychoanalytic Same-Gender Orientation Heterosexual Orientation Bisexual