Safe Zone Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few of the frequently asked questions with respect to Safe Zone training. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, email us!


What does it mean if I see a Safe Zone symbol on someone’s door or email signature?

A Safe Zone symbol on someone’s door or email means that they’ve gone through a 3-hour training and are ready to provide support and act as an ally. Being Safe Zone trained also means that they’ll have a good knowledge of what resources are available beyond just what they can provide.

Why aren’t Safe Zone trainings mandatory?

The goal of Safe Zone is to create a network of visible allies who are prepared and willing to provide support. Since these are people who might receive sensitive or personal information, it’s important that everyone who goes through the training is ready to be helpful. With a mandatory training, some people who are listed as Safe Zone members may not truly be invested in supporting LGBTQA people.

Why does the training last 3 hours? That’s a long time!

There’s a lot of information! And more than just providing information, Safe Zone trainings also include discussion and practice for real life situations. In fact, the most common feedback we get is that the training should be longer in order to cover topics in more depth.

If you’d like to have a shorter information session, contact us and we’ll work with you to make something that works for you.

Shouldn’t all spaces be Safe Zones? Why do we need to designate certain spaces as safe?

They should be, but unfortunately someone coming into a space for the first time usually has to assume that it is unsafe until proven otherwise. Also since there’s no guarantee that in a larger space everyone there is committed to making it welcoming. Designating specific spaces and specific people ensures that there’s a place people can go where they can be sure that they’ll be supported and welcomed.

I can’t come to a training. Can you email me the manual instead?

We believe that experiencing the training in person is an important part of developing one’s skills as an ally. If you want to learn more without attending a training, we have a glossary on our site as well as a trans introduction page.

What if I already received a Safe Zone training at another institution?

That’s great! And we invite you to bring what you learned at your previous institution with you. However, we still encourage you to attend a Safe Zone training here at Hopkins. By attending one of our sessions you’ll be better connected to JHU-specific resources, and learn about issues and situations specific to this institution.