No matter who you are, it’s important to have a good support system. Members of the Shippensburg community learned how to provide that support system at the Pride Center earlier this month.
The SU Pride Center educated students, faculty and staff about the LGBTQ+ community through safe-zone training on March 4. Dani Zinn, the director of the SU Pride Center, led the training.
Zinn defined a safe zone as a community of people who are understanding, supportive and trustworthy toward LGBTQ+ members.
“Safe zone training is important for anyone because terminology is constantly changing and evolving,” Zinn said. “It’s important to be up-to-date on what is best practice.”
Participants at the training learned what LGBTQ+ stands for, LGBTQ+ core vocabulary and tips for inclusive language. LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning plus others, according to Zinn.
Attendees participated in different exercises including first-impressions with LGBTQ+ members and learning about the “genderbread” person model.
The genderbread person model showcases a gingerbread man as a guide to how one identifies themself. The genderbread model listed on its official website presents the different areas of the body where people may feel different things. The model shows the brain as a place for identity and shows the heart as a place for attraction.
Zinn encouraged people to seek out ways to better educate themselves on things they may not know or understand.
“I’d like participants to know that I try to create safe spaces for individuals to feel like they can ask questions that they may not know how to approach when asking,” Zinn said. “I also want participants to know that the learning does not stop here.”
To learn more about the Pride Center, visit ship.edu/pride.