Nope. Our curriculum is evidence-informed, but not evidence-based.

Here’s why:

  1. We tweak the curriculum several times a year based on changes in culture, research, and feedback from facilitators.
  2. We overhaul the curriculum every year (including frequent substantive changes to the structure, or replacing activities)
  3. Our curriculum is used in over 100 countries in more capacities than we can keep track of (far beyond just higher education)

Just one of the above would be enough to break the deal on our curriculum being evidence-based. All three are a deal-breaking trifecta.

While we appreciate evidence-based curricula, and what doors that opens for some people, it’s not something that aligns with our goals for this project.

We don’t want to limit who can use our materials, or tie our own hands against improving the curriculum to react to new trends/data/needs.

To be evidence-based, (1) we’d either have to proscribe uses beyond the specific application we’re studying, or potentially mislead/misrepresent people with data that aren’t generalizable; and (2) we’d have to allow our curriculum to stagnate for several years (or nearly a decade) without changes for the data to be viable.

Both of which are deal-breakers for us.

Note: As of now, any published research or evidence you find discussing “safe zone” trainings is not about our curriculum specifically. There are several researchers who have reached out to tell us they’re using our materials in some capacity for their study, but as far as we know none of these have been published yet. We’ll update this if that changes.

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.


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, often used to encompass all types of marginalized genders and sexualities.

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.