Few things on this one. If you ask someone “how do you identify?” they may not really understand what you’re asking so it’s important first to clarify (for yourself) what do you mean and then why are you asking that question?

If you’re asking someone “do you identify as a man or a woman” so that you can know how to refer to them (i.e. their pronouns) is better to ask, “what are your pronouns?” That’s the information you actually want to know (and often need to know) — so ask that instead.

If you’re asking someone what their sexual orientation is — consider why are you asking that. If you wanna know if they are into you ? Do you want to know so you can set them up with a friend and want to make sure they’d be into that? It’s helpful when asking personal questions to clarify (both to yourself and often to the person you’re asking) why you want to know. Rather than asking how they identify consider asking a more specific question and consider adding, “I’m asking because…” to the end to let them know why.

Recent FAQs

All FAQs

What about advanced workshops? Safe Zone 201 perhaps?

Our Foundational Curriculum is a designed to create a Safe Zone 101 overview workshop. We recommend this workshop for all audiences – gay, straight, queer, allied, and anywhere in between (or outside) those categories. While some of it may be old information for some, we believe that everyone, no matter their knowledge level, will get something out of the experience.

We do have exercises that can be used for more advanced/specific workshops. Just check out the explore activities tab and search under the “201” levels for more advanced activities!

I have an activity I think you should add to the site. Do you want to see it?

Yes! One of our goals for this project is to turn it into the go-to resource online for sexuality and gender education activities, so we’d like to add as many as possible. If you have a great activity we don’t already have on the site, drop us a line. No guarantees we’ll add it, and we will likely modify it (or spruce it up a bit), but at the very least we’d love to read it!

Why do you include an asterisk in Trans*?

The term transgender is often used as an umbrella term for many other terms that indicate an individual is not cisgender.  We use the word trans* throughout this site to indicate this umbrella term-y-ness and as an inclusive way to indicate a variety of non-cisgender identities in one simple term.  We pronounce this term simply “trans” (the * is silent). Read more about this on Sam’s site here.

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).

My school doesn’t have a Safe Zone program — how do I change that?

Great question. First off – you’ve come to a great place to start! You’ve got few things to take into consideration. What are your goals for the program? Who do you want to train and how many individuals would that be? How can you access some (don’t need much) funding? Can you do this without an established student group? Are you into going at it alone? After you’ve answered these questions – you’ll have a good idea of where to start.

Do you have dreams of Safe Zoning the entire freshman class? Perhaps scale back, start small, build up interest and gather others who maybe want to become facilitators in the future. Think about how you can access funding to help you print materials and get a food (bait) and advertising budget.

After that you just need to get started! Advertising, booking spaces, exciting people about the program, and gettin’ to training! We’ve got you covered in terms of curriculum development, and soon we’ll have a whole slew of resources to help you become an all-star facilitator. But these are good questions to start with.