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Safe Spaces

The Mega Bus
Alterra Coffee Shop
My Roommates Mothers house

Over the course of this assignment, I guess you can say I purposely chose location that I knew I would find myself and that I could talk about. I went back to Wisconsin for break and in doing so I had to catch the Mega Bus which most UofM students utilize for its cheap fares. The bus itself is obviously not a “Safe Space� or welcoming in anyway to person who expresses a different gender than what there physical appearance my project, but its bathroom is Gender Non specific letting any person who has to use the restroom, able.
But that doesn’t change the fact of the stares you may receive while entering the bathroom or even making your way toward it. I was accompanied on the Bus by my close Trans friend and she hates trying to make her way to the bathroom and usually holds it until we reach our rest stop. I myself do not have this problem so I did use my friend as an example through the locations I chose.
After returning to Milwaukee with my roommate and our friend, the next morning we eat lunch at a near by coffee shop called ‘Alterra’. The space is hands down GLB friendly, I guess like most trendy coffee shops, but Trans I am not to sure. The bathroom my friend exclaimed our nice because they are hidden around the corner and they lock once inside, she felt no pressure to use the men’s bathroom. So I am not sure if I would consider Alterra a safe space or not. The environment is welcoming and the bathrooms we secluded…
My roommate’s Mom’s house is quite GLBT friendly, my roommate is an ally and a GLBT Minor (trying to make it a major). Her mom is super open and friendly and is willing to talk to you about anything…maybe. Heh! For Thanksgiving my roommates mom had her daughter the ally, two gay males (one being myself) and a trans (m+f) in her home for Thanksgiving and we never brought up gender or sexuality and if it did it would probably never be in any negative context. This being a kind of “Safe Space’ that kind of reminds me of the QSCC on the second floor of Coffman. Making you feel safe and welcome and almost forget you live in a world that is so judgmental on sex, gender and of course race.
The last place I used for my assignment was the Wal-Mart in Milwaukee Wisconsin on Capital. It was predominantly African American and I had grown up in that neighborhood but accepting is not something I could say about exists within those blocks or store. Within the first few seconds of entering the store I was being glared at up and down, and my friend was called out by a young man “Man! That’s a dude!� Not a safe place what so ever.
Its obvious that homes can be more of a ‘safe space’ as well as few public places. Buses are almost always a no and neighbor hoods in which your sexuality of gender is not of common.
After doing this assignment is so apparent that you cant always go home to use a bathroom and you cant always hope while driving through somewhere if a place is going to be accepting or not. The privilege of ‘Gender’ is not something that most people even the GLB community thinks about really, I know I don’t. It was hard to be so self conscious about it for a week. I can only imagine stessing about this on a daily basis.