Yes yes yes! Please do. Everything is uncopyrighted, and we did that for YOU. No need to ask permission, but we would appreciate you sharing back anything cool you make, so we can spread the word.
I am the only person in my organization who wants to be a facilitator. Can you train just me?
Unfortunately no / Not yet.
Unfortunately no — Our train-the-trainer programs are designed for groups. Our visits are centered around group activities and involvement, and that doesn’t work 1-on-1. We also encourage organizations to train a group of people for a number of reasons:
- More folks to facilitate workshops (responsibilities is shared by more people).
- We recommend all workshops be co-facilitated if at all possible.
- If one person was to leave the organization, Safe Zone capacity wouldn’t leave with them.
Not yet—We have had a lot of requests by individuals who want to be Safe Zone facilitators, and we want you to be too! We are currently in the development stages of creating a self-guided online resource for individuals who want to become Safe Zone trainers called Starlab. If you’d be interested in being alerted when this resource goes online, please sign up for alerts here!
Also, know that there is no formal barrier to entry that you need to facilitate trainings. We created the All-Star Facilitator Series (as well as our book), to combine with our free curriculum and make any self-starter out there better equipped to get going.
Isn’t “Queer” a bad word?
No, Sometimes, and Yes. For many people (especially those who are younger, or in more urban areas) queer is a word of pride and the best way to “umbrella” diverse sexualities and genders. For some, queer is considered a “bad word” (i.e., a slur) in some contexts, and okay in others (e.g., who is saying it, how they’re saying it); or was a slur, but now they’re comfy with it. And for others, it’s still a slur, and they wouldn’t use it, or want it used to describe them.
We use “queer” in an affirming way on the site and in our trainings, and see it as a great umbrella term to refer to all diverse sexualities and genders. Here’s how we define it in our vocabulary:
Queer – (adj) used as an umbrella term to describe individuals who don’t identify as straight. Also used to describe people who have non-normative gender identity or as a political affiliation. Due to its historical use as a derogatory term, it is not embraced or used by all members of the LGBTQ community. The term queer can often be use interchangeably with LGBTQ.
If you’re unsure if you should use it, or when you should/shouldn’t, here are two helpful rules: use it as an adjective (e.g., “Meg is a queer educator” — yay!) not a noun (e.g., “Meg is a queer” — blegh.); and use it if you’re comfy explaining why you use it.
LGBT vs LGBTQ vs GLBTQ vs GLBTQQIAPTS vs …
As you may have noticed, on the site and in our curriculum we tend to use the acronym LGBTQ when referring to the queer community. Is this the right acronym to use? No, there really isn’t a “right” one — they all have their pros and cons. This is just the one we feel has the ideal balance of legibility (and ease of pronunciation) and inclusivity. The Q (queer) is used here as an umbrella, to recognize all the gender and sexual identities that don’t have their own letters.
A relatively new term, GSM, which stands for Gender and Sexuality Minorities, has cropped up recently, and while it has a lot of potential, it doesn’t have the universality of understanding that LGBTQ has (in the United States, at least).
What size group do you work with for a train-the-trainer?
The ideal number is between 12-15 people. Our minimum is 10 and max is 20.
If you’re interested in a train-the-trainer but don’t have 12-15 interested folks, our top recommendation would be to reach out to other similar organizations in your area and invite them to collaborate. If you both bring 6-8 future facilitators to the table, you’ll have the perfect group size, be able to share the costs of the program, and support each other after the training is complete!
I’ve attended a Safe Zone, but it was completely different than what your workshops looks like — was it wrong?
Nope. Just to clarify there is no “right” or “wrong” way to run a Safe Zone workshop, we just think there are “better” or “more effective” ways to go about getting the information out there and meeting your goals. Our curriculum is what we think is the bestest and most effective way to accomplish our goals for Safe Zone workshops. The facilitators of your program may have had different goals – and that is a-okay.
Do I need to be “certified” to use your curriculum?
Nope! We actually don’t offer certifications anyhow, so you can’t be certified by us. Our curriculum is provided here for your use — no strings attached. If you need help rolling out a program, or getting facilitators trained, we offer train-the-trainer programs.
I did a Safe Zone [some # of] years ago. Do I need to do another one?
Depends. The material covered in Safe Zone trainings evolves over time — at least, it should. If you’re doing a Safe Zone where the material hasn’t been updated in years, it’s at best out of date, at worst harmfully inaccurate). And tons of folks do trainings using the “Safe Zone” moniker that include very different activities and learning outcomes.
It’s not required (at least not by us, because we aren’t requirers/certifiers/overseers — we’re just a free online resource), but with that in mind, it never hurts to get a refresher, if you can. And don’t let the fact that you haven’t gotten a refresher prevent you from doing what you can to advance the goals of Safe Zone in your workplace: mark yourself as an advocate, speak up and interrupt bias, and do what you can to make your space more inclusive of LGBTQ+ folks.