Yesterday I attended one of the best workshops I have ever attended, and I can guarantee that all participants feel so much better at using appropriate language and that they will in the future intervene on people's behave or when they hear people using offensive language. The workshop was a homework assignment of one of our Parks and Recreation students, and it was something that was dear to his heart and it was well organized and executed. The speaker for the workshop was a self proclaimed Queer, and yes that word is acceptable and preferred, and she was a real comedian. The workshop wasn't a boring, mandatory to attend but never the less I had no idea what to expect. And pretty much the whole workshop was more about sharing than anything, our own stories, our own experiences etc and to learn from them. The workshop was all about creating a positive space for the LGTBQ community to just participate in their community just as any other member without being discriminated, made fun of or even worse. Personally, when I spent my time in the hospitality business I had a lot of gay coworkers that fast became friends, so I had my experience with them and their community itself and never treated it any different than any other friends. For me this workshop was just an eyeopener in how many still don't feel comfortable around people that are not like them, and the issues that arise from such an atmosphere. Most of our participants were females, the odd straight guy and a few of our gay co workers. So I think we were all very intuned into the issues facing the LGTBQ community just because of who we were. I would really love and observe that workshop in a room full of high powered business men or men in macho jobs. It's amazing the perception people have of people that are not like them, like it's catching. And really you can replace LGTBQ just as simple with being another race, a different religion or any other minority amongst people, and how sad is that. People are people, no matter what color, what religion, what sexual orientation etc.
Through this workshop we are now an ally for positve spaces. Allies are pivotal to shifting and changing learning and workplace environments and supporting Positive Space initiatives.
I can't wait to see some of the posters for Creating positve spaces hang in our Community Centres.
Be an ally and create a postive space...
and think before you speak....KNOCK IT OFF!!!