SAFER SPACES POLICY
Our spaces at London Friend are for all self-identifying LGBTQ+ individuals. As an organisation, we are inclusive of trans, non-binary, and gender fluid individuals, people of colour, older people, and disabled people.
To make sure that we can enforce this inclusivity, we have several ground rules that must be followed in our spaces to ensure that everyone feels welcome.
If you feel unwelcome or unsafe at any point of any of our events, or witness any behaviour that may be deemed problematic, please speak to the facilitator of that event.
Under our confidentiality policy, it is important that no one records or takes any pictures during our sessions, unless you are a volunteer or member of staff who has explicit consent from the clients to do so.
All participants must be over the age of 18.
- Oppressive behaviour
We have a zero-tolerance policy for racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, fatphobia, ableism, ageism, or discrimination based on immigration status, ethnicity, religion, cultural and/or spiritual beliefs, or any other kind of oppressive language or behaviour. Please give people a choice of whether they want to interact or not, do not force people to talk if they don’t want to. Do not tell people off if they need to talk or move when other people are seated quietly. Give people space so that they can move at their own pace.
Please avoid using complicated language, acronyms, and in-jokes. Try to be clear in the language you use. Please try to give explanations or brief descriptions of people, events, and theories – don’t assume that others have the same knowledge as you in these areas, no matter how well known you think something is.
- Content/Trigger Warnings
Please always give a pre-warning if you are going to discuss something that others may find upsetting such as mental illness or domestic abuse.
A pronoun is how you refer to someone, for example they or she. Please ask people what their pronouns are if you are meeting them for the first time. If someone does not want to give their pronouns, please be respectful of this. Make sure to use the pronouns someone has told you to use to refer to themselves, even if you are unfamiliar with the words. If you make a mistake and refer to someone using the wrong pronoun, apologise and move on.
Please do not make assumptions about someone’s identity and be mindful of the ways in which people from minority groups may be impacted in different ways by the issues discussed at sessions. Be aware that your experiences as a member of the LGBTQ+ community are not necessarily the same as everybody else in the sessions. Be mindful of any position and privileges you may bring regarding e.g. your class, race, gender identity, ability, or age. Try not to make generalising statements e.g. ‘all women love Y’.
- Sexual Harassment
We have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment. You must gain consent before engaging in physical contact with someone, and this includes hugs. We also will not tolerate any wolf whistling, catcalling, inappropriate sexual comments or sexually based jokes, songs, or taunts.
- Taking Up Space
It is difficult for members of marginalised groups or minority groups to participate in discussions. Please do no talk over people and try your best to gauge whether it is appropriate for you to speak on certain topics. Give everyone a chance to speak.
A huge thank you to LGBT Foundation for permission to adapt their Safe Spaces Policy.