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Safe Zone

What to expect in a Safe Zone?

As a result of posting a Safe Zone sticker:

  • You may find that transgender, bisexual, lesbian and gay (TBLG) patients, faculty, and staff speak more freely, censoring their speech less, providing a more genuine exchange with you.
  • You may find that patients, faculty, and staff will be feel more at ease and will anticipate a non-judgmental atmosphere in the Safe Zone.
  • You may never notice a difference in the interactions you have with patients, faculty, and staff, but, even so,  you will make a difference.
  • You will make a personal contribution to improving the UMHS environment for patients, staff and faculty and their families.

How to be a Safe Zone?

  • Know that UMHS is enriched and enlivened by the diversity of transgender, bisexual, lesbian, and gay (TBLG) people, as with other forms of diversity.
  • Be willing to discuss issues impacting TBLG people's lives in a non-judgmental manner.
  • Know how to access TBLG resources and be willing to refer people to support and information resources in the community.
  • Comfortably use inclusive language, avoid stereotyping, and do not assume everyone is heterosexual.
  • Use the name and pronoun a person prefers.
  • Maintain confidentiality.
  • Recognize the variety of families: same sex couples, families with two same sex parents, etc. 
  • Create an environment where patients are comfortable in sharing their sexual orientation or gender identity with you.  Recognize that people may have had bad experiences in the past when sharing this information.
  • Do not allow homophobia, transphobia and heterosexism to occur in your presence (e.g. remarks, jokes, behaviors, cartoons, language, etc.).

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What is NOT expected from a Safe Zone member?

  • You are not expected to be an expert on TBLG issues. 
  • Know your limits and refer a patient who has needs you cannot provide for, rather than guessing at answers.  Your non-judgmental attitude will be one of the best resources you can provide.
  • There will most likely be people who will want to debate the value or purpose of the Safe Zone program, or who may challenge you about general TBLG issues. 
  • You are not expected to defend the Safe Zone or participate in debates of this nature. 
  • You are simply serving as a safe person and a resource. 
  • Please refer these individuals to Patient Relations, Office of Institutional Equity, or the Pride Network.

What else can I do?

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Designated Safe Zones

The Safe Zone program is currently in it's pilot phase. On May 26, 2006 the first Safe Zone training was completed. Look for the Safe Zone sticker and brochures in these areas:

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How to be a Safe Zone?

What is NOT expected from a Safe Zone member?

What else can I do?

Designated Safe Zones

Interested in receiving Safe Zone training for your area?

 

 

 

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