How to Become a Safe Space
As part of our continued partnership with the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative, we recognize the importance of safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community. Safe Spaces uplifts LGBTQ+ people by providing a place to celebrate, educate, thrive, work, shop, relax and live freely.
The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative’s Safe Spaces certification allows business, retail shops, food & beverage establishments, and entertainment & public venues to show support for LGBTQ+ patrons, employees, customers and neighbors.
In order to become certified for the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Safe Spaces certification program, your business, venue, or store will need to meet the following criteria:
Those seeking Safe Spaces certification must complete two fifteen minute, guided exercises (facilitated by SIGBI) that explore important concepts, like gender identity. At the end of the training, in addition to better understanding fundamental LGBTQ+ concepts, participants will be familiar with safe spaces and why they are important for the LGBTQ+ community.
LGBTQ+ Safe Spaces are expected to do more than post a certificate on their window — investing in the LGBTQ+ community shows that a company values queer and trans safety, among other things. Consistent donations to vetted LGBTQ+ nonprofits must be a part of every Safe Spaces organization.
Code of Conduct
Companies must not imply that their employees treat LGBTQ+ colleagues and customers with dignity and respect — that expectation must be concretized in their code of conduct. Every company must list inclusive, LGBTQ+ affirming conduct in their manuals so that every stakeholder is informed and empowered to behave accordingly.
Gender Neutral Bathrooms
The simplest way to show that a space is safe is to provide gender neutral bathrooms. Everyone deserves the dignity of existing in a space where their most basic needs are met. The expectation is that Safe Spaces provides access to a gender-neutral bathroom option for employees and/or customers who choose it.
In addition to donations, companies should support LGBTQ+ people throughout the entire year — not just during Pride. Whether through corporate marketing campaigns or in-kind support, Safe Spaces value the LGBTQ+ community 365 days a year. This happens at the intersection of other identities as well. LGBTQ+ people should be included in every purpose driven activity a company produces.
Policies & Procedures
Every Safe Space should develop and implement policies and procedures that demand a diverse and inclusive workplace. This levels the playing field for LGBTQ+ people, ensuring equity in hiring and promotion opportunities and demonstrates a commitment to LGBTQ+ employee retention.
Respecting a person’s identity starts with how they are addressed. Every Safe Space is expected to communicate the importance of personal pronouns, including how to ask about them, and adopt the pronouns of every individual employee and customer as they use them.
Safe Spaces must not engage anti-LGBTQ+ partners. This includes partners that hold discriminatory policies or have a recent history of working against LGBTQ+ equality. Safe Spaces are expected to fully audit their partners and only work with partners that are affirming and supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.
Safe Spaces must not donate to anti-LGBTQ+ politicians. This includes legislators that support discriminatory policies, have a history of supporting or drafting anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, or do not openly support affirming legislation. Safe Spaces are expected to fully audit their donations to legislators and elected officials and only support those that are affirming and supportive of the LGBTQ+ community.
Safe Spaces must be open to accountability, demonstrating that they are committed to the Safe Spaces requirements. They must apply for annual recertification.