LGBT Safe Space Training

The Office of Diversity and Inclusion offers Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Safe Space Training in partnership with the Feinberg Queers and Allies group. The Safe Space Program is an initiative to educate allies who support LGBTQ individuals in our campus community.


Unlike more visible underrepresented groups, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons cannot be readily identified. Likewise, there is no easy method of finding persons supportive of LGBT people. The Safe Space Program strives to provide a way for supportive persons within the Feinberg community to prominently identify themselves. The program advances Northwestern University's goal of creating a campus community in which everyone is treated with respect and dignity.

Program Objectives

  • To identify and mobilize a network of people who are empathetic and knowledgeable about LGBT people and topics
    • The Safe Space training will emphasize knowledge about campus and community resources
    • The Office of Diversity provides Feinberg Safe Space trainees who are clinicians a rainbow caduceus pin that can be worn on clothing or a white coat as a visible symbol of support for patients and their families
  • To provide evidence of LGBT support by displaying a sign as a visible symbol of personal commitment
  • To reduce the fear of reprisal and discrimination of LGBT persons within the NU community

Safe Space Training Overview

Part 1: Language, History and Inclusive Conversations

  • Lexicon, vocabulary, basic terms
  • What not to say
  • Homophobia, heteronormativity
  • Microaggressions of language
  • Add, drop, transform models of inclusive language

Part 2: Clinical Encounters that promote comprehensive sexual health for everyone

  • Provider interviews/allied and ancillary staff interviews
  • Crucial phrases for success so you don't seem awkward
  • Straight talk about sexual health - um yeah it ain’t a gay thing people!
  • Inclusive language and practice in the clinic (microaggressions)

Part 3: Stories, Questions and Panel

  • Q and A with a Gay. 'Everything you wanted to ask but were afraid to' - creating a safe space for developing informed allies
  • Stories of coming out, being on campus, what life is like
  • Interactive format
  • Panel of students, faculty and clinicians


Campus announcements for training are sent at least four weeks prior. The registration form will be available via this page only when registration is open.  

Safe Space Training Logo

About the Symbol

The Safe Space symbol is based on the rainbow flag, representing the acceptance of the diversity within our entire society, as well as the more specific LGBT communities. The triangle shape is derived from symbols the Nazis used to identify gay men (pink triangle) and lesbians (black triangle) in concentration camps. These icons have been reclaimed by the gay rights movement as symbols of empowerment and remembrance.