engaging assignment #5
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I decided to take the whole break to pay attention to what spaces that I use that are safe for GLBT peoples. Over the break, I did a lot of things: I went to concerts, I went to both of my places of employment, and I went to the movie theater and other places. In all of these places, I asked myself if these areas would be considered safe for glbt persons. I especially looked at the bathrooms to see if they would be safe for transgendered persons. Even though I was expecting the majority to places to be unsafe, I was surprised especially with bathrooms.
I found that the spaces that I frequent are quite safe for glbt persons. Both of my places of employment, the Walker Art Center and a store in Minneapolis are safe, as long as the person in question fits into a higher socioeconomic situation. They people that would not feel welcomed are those that are not middle to upper class.
Going out to bars, I can see how some spaces would not be safe. Over the break, I went to two bars. One of the bars was more of a music venue, and that seemed to be a safer space than the bar that did not have live music. In the bar without music, there were more groups of people that seemed to be watching each other and drunk people that wanted to fight. In the bar with the live music, nobody was really paying attention to the other bar-goers, they were mostly watching the band. In both of the bars, the bathrooms were gender specific. I don’t think that the ladies rooms would be an issue in either bathroom because of the stalls, but in the men’s bathrooms, there were only urinals and in one of the bathrooms, a toilet that didn’t have a stall around it. I don’t think that would be considered a safe space.
The idea of not being able to go to the bathroom and feel safe is an idea that I hadn’t really thought about before. Potty Training really pushed me to think about the privileges that I have that I don’t think about.