Why hi there! I’m Meg and it’s already a pleasure.
I wanted to take hot second of your time to tell you a little more about myself (other than what you’ve already scoured through on our bio page) and also why I am stoked to be 1/2 of this Safe Zone dedicated project we’ve got going on here.
Now just to clarify Sam and I are not the same person. I do not look that good in salmon colored pants, trust. However, we do share there are parts of our stories that lead us to where we are today both doing what we do (and love) and to this very site here.
The short of it? Like Sam, I would be who I am or be doing what I do without Safe Zone trainings. The long? Well let’s begin at…
Freshman year of college, little baby Meg comes out to herself, her family, her friends, and her new friends at college. Her very first meeting at her college’s (Hamilton!) Rainbow Alliance she hears about these Safe Zone trainings. They don’t have them at Hamilton yet but a near by university is going to send a professional LGBTQ staffer (because they have one of those… which is cool) to host one at Hamilton. Meg thinks this is neat.
Flash to sophomore year, I start using I statements and I finally attends the long awaited Safe Zone workshop. While it a tad rushed the experience, I’m totally hooked. Hamilton has no Safe Zone program or LGBTQ office. My supplies consist of the information I was given in that single Safe Zone I attended and my experience from being a participant in the workshop, but its enough. I start prepping to faciliate more trainings and well you could say the rest is history… but let’s get into it a little more.
Because Hamilton didn’t have any Safe Zone program I went at it alone. Reinventing the wheel a little, writing up all my own definitions, curriculum, activities, outlines, feedback forms you name it. It was both exhilarating and exhausting. I dreamed then of a website just like this – where activities and curriculum could be laid out for me to browse through, edit, make my own, and use freely. AND now there is.
When I say that Safe Zones are what got me to where I am and in many ways to who I am today, that is no exaggeration. My first experience facilitating a Safe Zone workshop set me on a path towards becoming the diversity and specifically gender/sexuality educator I am today. It lead me to interact with mentors who encouraged me to found my own business, it helped me grow, develop, and learn so much of what I hold near and dear today.
Because Safe Zone workshops had such a transformative effect on me I take um real seriously. I don’t mean that I sit down with a stern look and let people know that this is not to be taken lightly. I think that having fun, enjoying the learning process (and the teaching process), and being able to laugh while learning about these topics is essential both to encouraging more people to participate and helping the information stick. When I say I take diversity education seriously, what I mean is sometimes you only get one shot. Sometimes the person sitting across from you may never sit down and chat about LGBTQ/sexuality/gender like this again. So how can you do your best? How can you leave that lasting impression so that when that person walks away from the workshop you know that they got it.
That’s where this project comes in. That’s why I’ve pour myself into this website, these activities, our additional little resources, trying to make it all as “navigateable” and accessible as possible. I want to make sure that everyone who enters a Safe Zone workshops leaves being able to say, I learned something that I didn’t know, I felt safe asking questions, and that was awesome.
So! With that! Go check out our ready-to-rock curriculum, check out the activities we got up, see how you can contribute and what we have already got in the works.
Keep fighting the good fight!
Hugs and rainbows.