Safe Zone Workshop Saint Mary’s College of California. Intercultural Center & The Gay-Straight Alliance. Why do we have a Safe Zone Workshop at Saint Mary’s?.
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Safe Zone WorkshopSaint Mary’s College of California Intercultural Center & The Gay-Straight Alliance
Why do we have a Safe Zone Workshop at Saint Mary’s? We of Saint Mary’s College of California are dedicated to treating all people with dignity and respect in ways that acknowledge and engage diverse backgrounds and ideas. Our policies, practices and behaviors foster a safe and inclusive community and promote learning that is equitable, collaborative, and inspired by the presence of God in and among us. - College Committee on Inclusive Excellence Vision Statement
How Saint Mary’s has become a Safer Space? • The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA)/ originally named Gay and Lesbian Association (GALA) has been working to make SMC a safer space since 1998. • The BASH- Since 2006 • Lavender Graduate Celebration- Since 2007
Vocabulary Learning the Language
Sexual Orientation An individual’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction to another person.
Lesbian A woman who is attracted physically, romantically, emotionally and/or spiritually to other women.
Gay Commonly used to describe a man who is attracted physically, romantically, emotionally and/or spiritually to other men. Some women prefer the term “gay” over “lesbian.”
Bisexual A person who is attracted sexually and emotionally to members of both sexes. (Assumes a binary understanding of gender)
Sexual Preference vs. Sexual Orientation • Sexual Preference: A term typically used to suggest that being LGBTQ is a choice and therefore can and should be “cured.” This term is considered offensive to the LGBTQIA community. • Sexual Orientation: The accurate description of an individual’s enduring physical, romantic, emotional and/or spiritual attraction to members of the same and/or opposite sex and is inclusive of the LGBTQ community.
Sex Gender Role Gender Identity Gender Expression • Sex: Classification of a person as male or female, assigned at birth based on external genitalia. • Gender Role: Set of roles and behaviors assigned to females and males by society. • Gender Identity: An individual’s internal, personal sense of their gender. • Gender Expression: Refers to the ways in which people externally communicate their gender identity to others through behavior, clothing, haircut, voice, and emphasizing, de-emphasizing, or changing their bodies’ characteristics.
Transgender A person whose gender identity and/or gender expression differs from the sex they were assigned at birth. A person who feels that the binary gender system (male/female) is an incomplete description of who they are. An umbrella term for people whose anatomies and/or appearance do not conform to predominant gender roles. Trans- across, beyond, on the opposite side
Transgender Umbrella • Transexual: Born into one gender, but identify psychologically as the other. May transition from MtoF or FtoM. • Crossdressers: Comfortable with their physical gender at birth, but will occassionally dress and take on the mannerisms of the opposite gender. This is the term that should be used instead of ‘Transvestite’ which is considered derogatory. • Intersex: Born exhibiting both male and female genitalia. Intersex people do not always identify as Trans. • Performers: Dress and act like the opposite sex for entertainment, it is a job or play not an identity.
Cisgender A person whose gender identity is aligned with the gender they were assigned at birth. Cis- to the near side
GenderqueerGender VariantGender Non-conforming A term used by people who identify their gender to be somewhere on the continuum, in between, or outside the binary gender system altogether. Genderqueer people may prefer a gender-neutral pronoun.
Questioning A person who is in the process of figuring out eir sexual orientation or gender identity.
Queer A blanket term that some LGBTQIA individuals use to describe themselves. It is preferred by some because it is inclusive of the entire LGBTQIA community. Most often used as a self-identification by an LGBTQIA individual.
Asexual A person who does not experience sexual attraction towards anyone. Asexuals view their asexuality in different ways and are extremely diverse.
Ally A member of the majority/ dominant group who works to end oppression by supporting and advocating for the oppressed population. An ally supports and stands up for the rights of LGBTQI people.
LGBTQIA • Lesbian • Gay • Bisexual • Transgender • Queer, Questioning • Intersex • Asexual, Ally
Significance of the Rainbow Flag Originally made by Gilbert Baker for Gay Freedom Day Parade in San Francisco on June 25, 1978
Heterosexism Bias against non-heterosexuals based on a belief in the superiority of heterosexuality.
Heteronormativity The term that describes the institutions, structures and understanding that promote the belief that heterosexuality is “normal” and thereby privileges heterosexuality in our society.
Heterosexual privilege Includes the unacknowledged privileges of being heterosexual. There are many special and unearned assets that are accrued because of an individual's (percieved) heterosexuality – assets that could be counted on each day, but about which heterosexual people remained largely unaware.
Examples of Heterosexual Privilege • I do not have reveal my heterosexuality. It's assumed. • When I talk about my heterosexuality (such as in a joke or talking about my relationships), I will not be accused of flaunting my heterosexuality or having an agenda. • I do not have to fear that if my family, friends or job find out about my heterosexuality there will be economic, emotional, physical or psychological consequences. • I can be pretty sure that my roommate, hallmates and classmates will be comfortable with my heterosexuality. • People don't ask why I made my choice to be public about my heterosexuality.
Genderism A binary oppression system rooted in the belief that there are two and only two genders, that gender identity is essentialized and based on biological sex assignment at birth.
Cisgender Privilege Includes the unacknowledged privileges of being cisgender. There are many special and unearned assets that are accrued because of an individual's (percieved) cisgender identity – assets that could be counted on each day, but about which cisgender people remained largely unaware.
Examples of Cisgender Privilege • I never have to explain to everyone in my life that I will now be going by a different name and living as the gender not assigned to me at birth. Strangers don’t ask me what my “real name” is and then proceed to address me using that name. • I do not worry about being housed in a section other than the gender I identify as. (residence halls, prisons) • Strangers don’t assume they can ask what my genitals look like. • I am not excluded from events which are either explicitly or de facto (because of nudity) for men-born-men or women-born-women only. • At my funeral, it is unlikely that my family would present me crossdressed against my living wishes.
Homophobia The fear or hatred of homosexuality, especially in others, but also in oneself (internalized homophobia). Can also refer to fear or hatred of the LGBTQIA community. This is a form of prejudice, and is characterized by hatred or antipathy toward LGBTQIA individuals.
Data Quantitative & Qualitative
Statistics • 2010 Census information is not yet available: • First to count same-sex partners and same-sex spouses, even if the state where they live does not recognize their relationship. • Only provided gender identity options of ‘male’ and ‘female’, so respondents were forced to choose one. • Just beginning to gather national data about experiences of LGBTQ students, staff and faculty on college campuses.
GLSEN 2009 National School Climate Survey: Key Findings • 7,261 middle and high school students • Nearly 9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment in school • Nearly two-thirds felt unsafe in school because of sexual orientation. • Nearly one-third of LGBT students had skipped at least one day of school in the last month because of safety concerns. • Frequency of hearing homophobic remarks have decreased in past ten years. • Frequency of more severe forms of bullying and harassment have remained relatively constant with some small but significant decrease from 2007 to 2009.
SMC Statistics • CCIE developed ‘Acts of Intolerance Protocol’ in summer of 2008. • Any SMC community member can file a report. • 2008-2009 Academic Year: • 14 Total Acts of Intolerance reported • 7 were homophobic • Majority of all reports came in the form of vandalism, graffiti, or defacement of property. • 2009-2010 Academic Year: • 15 total Acts of Intolerance reported • 6 were homophobic
Student Experiences at Saint Mary’s What challenges have you faced? What have you seen change? How have you found allies and safe space at SMC?
Why is it important for SMC to be a Safe Zone? • Respect for all Persons • We honor and respect the dignity of all individuals. • Inclusive Community • We celebrate diversity and welcome all members of our community. • For some students Saint Mary’s may be their only safe space.
How to be an Ally You can make a difference!
Examples of Ally Behaviors • Have student fill out information cards at the beginning of each semester with preferred name and preferred gender pronouns. Then make sure to follow the student’s wishes. This is an opportunity for some education and goes a long way to letting students know that you are a safe space. • Allow people to define their truth with their answers and language, don’t define their truth with your question. • Who did you grow up with? • If you date, who do you date? • Don’t tell or tolerate jokes about LGBTQIA people. • Be aware of heterosexual and cisgender privilege. • Challenge gender stereotypes. • Respect and mirror a person’s use of language and pronouns.
Some SMC Resources • GSA • Intercultural Center • Women’s Resource Center • Counseling Center • Public Safety • Mission and Ministry Center • Human Resources • Library • Reach out to another ally to help
Web Resources • HRC: Human Rights Campaign- www.hrc.org • GLSEN: Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network- www.glsen.org • AVEN: The Asexual Visibility and Education Network- http://www.asexuality.org/home/ • TLC: Transgender Law Center- www.transgenderlawcenter.org • COLAGE: People with a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender or Queer Parent- www.colage.org • Our Family Coalition: The Bay Area’s LGBTQ Family Organization- www.ourfamily.org • GroundSpark: Igniting Change Through Film- (The Respect for All Project & Straightlaced ) www.groundspark.org