Safe Zone Project
The purpose of the Safe Zone Project at Susquehanna University is to create a visible network of support for lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender students. The Safe Zone Project prepares members of the campus community to serve as resources for LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) people, and through education, works to decrease homophobia and heterosexism.
Homophobia - an irrational fear of lesbian, gay and bisexual people rooted in cultural norms. It may be expressed in a range of ways from feeling anxious when in proximity to LGBT people to harassment, violence and murder.
Heterosexism - The cultural assumption that a heterosexual orientation is normal and that other orientations are abnormal. Like sexism and racism, it is made up of pervasive and largely unquestioned cultural assumptions about human nature.
Safe Zone Principles
- Members of the Safe Zone Project affirm the basic human dignity of all members of the campus community, regardless of sexual and gender orientations. They affirm the basic tenant that sexual and gender orientations are not determined by a simple choice.
- Members of the Safe Zone Project serve as supports for students who are coming out, and they are resources for members of the campus community of all sexual and gender orientations.
- Members of the Safe Zone Project publicly identify themselves as participants in the program by displaying the Safe Zone flier.
- Members of the Safe Zone Project strive to address homophobia and heterosexism as they encounter it.
- Members of the Safe Zone Project participate in initiatives and advocate for policies that support the equal rights of LGBT community members.
- Members of the Safe Zone Project recognize that issues surrounding LGBT people are not simple and are open to questions and continuing dialogue.
- Members of the Safe Zone Project are willing to continue to educate themselves about LGBT issues.
Resources on Campus
Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA)
Student group focused on educational initiatives, activism and programming
Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian Student Support Group (BGLASS)
Confidential support/discussion group for LGBT and questioning students
Center for Diversity and Social Justice
Resource center for all diversity initiatives on campus. Includes LGBT books and periodicals
Resources include LGBT-themed books, periodicals and movies
A Dozen Things You Can Do to Educate Yourself
- Read a lesbian detective novel. (Sandra Scoppertone, Laurie Arcane)
- Celebrate National Coming Out Day, held on Oct. 11 of every year.
- Notice and question cultural assumptions about sexual orientation.
- Rent a gay-themed movie.
- Attend an equal-rights march.
- Wear a pink triangle for a day.
- Surf the Queer Resource Directory.
- Appropriately incorporate LGBT issues or examples into your teaching/learning.
- Read the Advocate or Philadelphia Gay News.
- Research transgender issues.
- Challenge jokes and slurs that devalue LGBT people.
- Share this list with a friend.