Allyship July- Creating a Safe Space
Welcome to the 3rd post of InterPride’s “Allyship” campaign! Today’s post focuses on creating safe spaces.
In InterPride’s penultimate “Allyship with InterPride” post, we are talking about how you can create safe spaces. Safe spaces are crucial to be an ally for your community and create an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their stories. There are plenty of different ways to create safe spaces; these are just a few examples.
Let’s say you are trying to create a safe space for your neighbors, friends, and community. One of the easiest things you can do is ensure that diverse voices are present.
What does this mean?
It means inviting people with different racial backgrounds, gender identities, and sexual orientations to your home, a local establishment, or out on the front patio to engage in a constructive, friendly conversation. If you are trying to show allyship, show it by inviting people into your comfort zone. Recognizing the need for diverse voices is vital. Everyone can learn from each other, and the more diversity, the better!
Diversity isn’t restricted to an individual's ethnic or racial characteristics but also diversity of thought and life experiences. Bringing a range of diversity will set the stage for a better conversation; however, it also allows for a more comfortable and safe environment.
While Pride events are often celebratory, safe spaces can be smaller and more intimate where people can bond with a different type of community. These conversations can happen anywhere, but they help members of the LGBTQIA+ community feel accepted 365 days of the year, not just during Pride marches and parades.
Ensure the space itself is warm and comforting.
Now, you don’t want the room to be cold and sterile. Nobody likes that. Even having snacks and drinks will make people feel less uncomfortable! You can do this by having a safe space in your living room, dinner table, or just a shared space where people feel happy and welcomed. They should feel comfortable and safe expressing themselves after all.
Establish a rapport with the people in your safe space, setting a tone of vulnerability. For example, let’s say you were to open up about your experiences, or you asked questions (look to our previous post about asking questions) that create an atmosphere of love, and people will naturally begin to do the same thing.
Your goal in creating a safe space is to make sure people are:
- Vulnerable if they choose
Creating a safe space allows people to be open and genuine with each other. That is such an important task. Realize your place and be kind. Many articles and studies report that safe spaces provide people a reprieve from the harsh realities of the world around them, giving them the freedom to be themselves.
Check out the following articles for more information: