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Queer 101: Safe Spaces

September 30, 2016

This article was co-written by Caitie March ’19 and Sam Roschewsk ’18.

So you’ve probably all noticed our favorite middle path picketers are back. Kenyon is usually a place most of us consider to be a safe space, and to have that violated in such a blatant way, that can be rough. We want to give you some guidelines and helpful tips on how to reclaim your safe spaces, or what to do when your safe space is violated like this.

Safe Mental Places 

The first step to having a safe space is to have a space that is mentally okay for you. You can find a mental safe space by encouraging yourself throughout the day and reminding yourself that who you are is wonderful and what other people says doesn’t matter.

We also know that sometimes that doesn’t do the job. Find people who care about you, and reach out to people who you know accept you for who you are. That might mean searching out a friend on campus, or calling friends or family from back home, whatever works for you!

*Caitie and I, as Queer 101 writers, would like you to know you can feel free to reach out to us at any time if you need to! 

Do something nice for yourself if you’re feeling down, and practice self care. Also, let yourself feel whatever emotions you’re feeling. You might be sad, angry, annoyed, or something else, and that’s okay, your emotions are valid.

Safe Physical Spaces 

We’re lucky to be on a campus that has a lot of opportunities for safe physical spaces. Crozier Center (Located behind Wiggin coffee and the bank) and Unity House (NCA 3A) are places that are great to hang out in, cook, watch TV, study, or whatever else you want to do, and will always be a safe environment.

If you’re looking for a spiritual safe Harcourt Parish also sent out a student info email reminding students they accept people of all backgrounds, identities and genders. I can say from personal experience that they are really the epitome of a loving Christian environment, and they have multiple out queer members of their congregation.

As always, the counseling center and the Peer Counselors are a great resource if you need a safe space or someone to talk to.

If these don’t appeal to you, you can make your own safe space. It doesn’t have to be a public space, it could be your room, your friend’s room, or even your library study carrel. As long as it’s somewhere you feel like you can be wholly and unashamedly yourself, it’s a safe space.

There are lots of online communities which give you the opportunity to make a safe space by interacting with people that way. (Although we would like to remind you, be safe when interacting with strangers and all that)

It’s okay to be mad, but let it out in a healthy way

There are lots of things you can do with your emotions, you can write out your feelings, draw, or play a video game that just lets you hit things with a sword (this is my personal favorite).

You can exercise, eat, or talk to your friends, or contact leaders of queer groups on campus such as Unity House, Qdubs, or QMS. They all want to support you in whatever way you need.

Remember that people care about you, and we’re a community that wants everyone to feel safe and loved. 

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