LaDIYfest Sheffield as partners in Hidden Perspectives have put together the following guide on safe spaces which we hope will be helpful.
All LaDIY events and meetings are run according to the Safe Spaces Policy on our blog. A safe space is an environment where all participants behave in an inclusive and respectful manner, in order to avoid anyone feeling uncomfortable or attacked. We want to ensure that people of all sexualities, genders, ethnicities, ages and abilities are able to talk openly without fear of verbal or physical aggression or abuse. We ask people to be mindful of the views they express and the language they use.
In addition, a collective in Manchester called Sladyfest wrote a policy specifically relating to Trans Safe Spaces highlighting the appropriate use of preferred personal pronouns and non gendered language. They also circulated a really well written guide before a recent event of theirs which we would like to share an edited version of with you:
It is everyone’s responsibility to challenge oppression and ensure everyone is treated with respect and feels safe. It is important to be aware of behavior and language used and challenge it constructively where necessary. Because of the nature of the event we would particularly like everyone to be aware that there may be a very small minority of people attending who may hold views in contradiction to the ethos of the Hidden Perspectives project and which could cause upset or offense to others. At the same time, a lot of oppressions are not intended, and most people are well-intentioned and will take challenges on board, so we’d like to encourage you to be straightforward and firm but not aggressive.
- Please respect each other and the safe spaces policies.
- Gender is not a binary concept so please be aware of gender-neutral pronouns. (eg. their, zie, hir).
- Participants should raise hands with comments or questions to ensure speaking in a fair order and allowing everyone a chance to speak without interruption.
- Please be careful not to let the space or discussion become dominated by cis men.
- If you feel like someone’s behavior needs challenging, you can use Non Violent Communication approach (make a statement observing what is going on without judging, express a feeling, state a need and make a simple request that’s achievable)
These are concepts some of you may be familiar with but equally ones that may be new or can act as gentle reminders – We are so pleased to have such an amazing range of groups and individuals leading sessions and being involved, we felt it was important to circulate and hope it is useful.
If anyone needs any support or has concerns please find Cara or Katie or any of the helpers – there will be one of the Hidden Perspectives team in every session facilitating and we can of course be contacted before or after the event via email!