This week in QueerLab, we discussed the politics of safer spaces in downtown Greensboro and the surrounding area. We talked about what makes or breaks a “safe” space, and how to construct one in our own community through our actions, and use of language. We also talked about the idea of pushing beyond institutionally prescribed “safe zones”, thinking critically about the idea of training someone on how to create a safe space and how this can often be problematic or incomplete. Afterwards we physically mapped locations in downtown Greensboro and went on a bike-surrey ride along Elm Street.
Some ideas brought up during our discussion of “safe spaces” include:
- A place where gender doesn’t have to exist or be a defining characteristic of another person
- A space where love is blind
- A safe space is where I’m able to greet my friends, family etc. presenting anyway I choose and still be referred by my preferred pronouns
- A place where I don’t feel threatened physically or emotionally for just existing
- A space that isn’t transphobic
- A place with language and literacy about gender/sexual identity
- A place of health and love
- A place where consent is discussed and respected
- A place where I don’t have to worry about unwanted groping
- A place where I don’t have to worry about what bathroom to use
- A place where conversation can happen
Beyond the Safe Zone Map
Help us create a map of safe and unsafe spaces. Email education [at] goelsewhere [dot] org to submit an entry.