« engaging assignment #5 | Main | Unsafe spaces in the twin cities »

Safe Spaces

There isn’t a whole lot of variation in the spaces that I consume on a day-to-day basis. The safety of these spaces of course varies depending on the circumstance, and also changes when considering physical or emotional safety. My work, shipping and receiving at Barnes and Noble, is usually less physically safe than emotionally safe, unless I happen to be working near an ex of mine that day. At home is usually emotionally and physically safe for me, unless my mom happens to be in a rage or one of my pets happens to be sick. My significant other’s house is probably the most “unsafe? place, as there I have routinely happened upon information I would rather not have known.

Considering the video we watched in class the other day, Toilet Training, I do not face such identity of safety crises in any place that transgendered people face merely using a public restroom. Not every space is perhaps as gender binary-ed as a bathroom, but really I think transgendered people would experience many places that I usually find to be safe as potentially unsafe. It’s hard to determine exactly what spaces are unsafe, as this is usually at the whim of other people who inhabit said space.

A space is usually safe if the people in that space are similar to each other. A fight might be more likely to break out and threaten someone’s safety if maybe a flamboyantly gay guy walked into a bar filled with burly tough guys. In trying to think of situations that would be unsafe, its always the minority in a situation that would feel unsafe. GLBT people usually are the minority in most situations (with obvious exceptions, like pride parades or our GLBT class), and thus are more likely to lack in safe spaces that more visibly normal people like myself might take for granted.