The Safe Zone Initiative: An Ally Community
In January 2009, the Counseling Center and the Rainbow Alliance launched a campus-wide "Safe Zone" project to increase the visibility of LGBTQI allies throughout the Lehman campus. People who identified themselves as LGBTQI or who are active allies of the LGBTQI community were asked to participate by attending an initial training workshop. They were then asked to wear or post the "Safe Zone" graphic and to visibly identify themselves on campus as people who are educated about sexual orientation and gender identity, and who oppose bigotry and hatred directed at LGBTQI people. Safe Zone stickers, posters, and buttons can be seen throughout the campus.
The training workshop ensures that all community members have a common level of basic knowledge and the tools needed to be an effective “safe” person for LGBTQI students and people who are questioning their own sexual orientation or gender identity. The training covers the following topics:
- Affirming language and vocabulary for talking about sexuality and gender identity
- The prevalence of homophobic harassment and what you can do to stop it
- The "Coming-Out" process and how you can help
- Where to find on-campus help and LGBTQI community resources
Safe Zone Ally training are offered each semester, enabling new volunteers to join the effort throughout the year. Once training is completed, participants sign the Agreement to reaffirm their commitment to making Lehman College a safe and inclusive.
The Lehman LGBTQI Community and the Counseling Center
The Counseling Center is a safe space for anyone who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, or anyone who is questioning their own sexual orientation or gender identity. Students are encouraged to come in to talk with any of the Center's counselors to help with the journey of identity formation, sexuality and gender. Each semester, the Counseling Center offers support for LGBTQI students focused on the life-long journey of "coming out."
Upcoming Counseling Center Events:
Full Safe Zone Ally Training (Student Life Building)
- March 30th. 2017 2:00 – 4:00
- April 27th, 2017 2:00 – 4:00
Annual End of Year Mayo Con Pride Party (Details coming soon)