Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Safe Space Project

A friend of mine is starting a project, one worth spreading the word about. Ami Angelwings is a friend I met through comics blogging, and she's a consultant to various social services organizations in order to help them create more trans-positive and intersectional policies. She works with rape crisis centers, addiction services, shelters, etc. And it's become apparent that even though there are services out there that are safe spaces for trans people, people don't necessarily know about them. They haven't heard anything about them firsthand, which means that if they ever really need their services, they might have trepidation about going there, for fear that they'll be discriminated against.

In light of this, Ami's decided to start The Safe Space Project: a list of agencies that offer safe spaces for cis and trans men, trans women, and genderqueer people. Here's her describing it:

I'm starting with cis and trans men, trans women and genderqueer ppl, for now because those are the groups that typically worry about how agencies will treat them, and the general stereotype is that there AREN'T agencies, esp related to abuse and rape that will help them. And I want to create a (hopefully comprehensive) list of agencies (wherever in the world you live that you know of some) that are supportive of these groups, regardless of if they have "woman" or "man" in the title. :] Because I want a resource where ppl can look at it and know that there IS support in their area and that they CAN go to these places. So I want ppl to submit agencies that they KNOW (whether thru working w/ them, working FOR them, going to them, having friends go to them, calling them up and asking comprehensively, etc) are supportive and accepting of trans women, trans men, genderqueer individuals and cis men.
Also, on a more pragmatic view. The more such an agency is known as a supportive one for trans ppl or cis men, the more they will have incentive to change their policies or tailor more specific support. :]

She's planning on listing agencies that are available for just men, as well, because the assumption (at least with rape crisis centers) is that there are none, which isn't true. She also wants to know if these agencies are trans men friendly or not, and what sort of accommodations they have for them.

And she needs help. She'd like this to grow into a comprehensive list, a resource that people could turn to when they're in need, wherever they are, and know if they go to one of the places on it, they'll be accepted.

Here's a link to Ami's post on the subject, and what you can do to help. If you know of a crisis center or shelter that's a safe space, please comment on her post, or send her an e-mail (her address is on her site). And if you don't know the status of the shelters in your area, consider linking to her post and boosting her signal a little further.


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