Sunday, October 4, 2015

Safe Spaces-Connections

Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt you could not walk in somewhere? Where you felt like the misfit? Like everyone is worried as to why your still standing in front of them and have not left the room yet?  Many members of the LGBT community feel like this every day/hour/minute/second of their lives.  However, it is not their fault for feeling this way, it is the people's.  By the people, I mean everyone else standing in that room with that LGBT person.  The people in this society are the ones responsible for not creating the safe spaces that Gerri August speaks about in "Safe Spaces: Making Schools and Communities Welcoming to LGBT Youth".   These safe spaces are spaces where any child that is LGBT can feel confident in themselves, and everyone around them will be creating that space by being welcoming, loving, and watching what he or she says. 

Connection to Rodriguez:
This Piece "Safe Spaces" by Gerri August connects with Rodriguez's piece "Aria" in many ways.  These two pieces relate because they both discuss the environment and how it effects children who feel "different".  These children feel some disconnect with the world and society around them.  Even though one might be a gay, lesbian, trans-gender, bi-sexual, and the Rodriguez discusses a language barrier, both types of children are isolated from the world and afraid to be themselves.  In both cases it is society's fault for not accommodating these children and giving them a special environment or safe space to be themselves in.  Rodriguez would argue to accommodate these children is to hinder them not help.   But in the Safe Spaces piece, to be accommodating and create that perfect environment is to not hinder a child, but to help a child thrive in the way that they would like to.  Also to be the best version of themselves.  A child can only grow when they are not afraid of what everyone around them will think or say. This space was failed to be created for Rodriguez as he states that when in his classroom, "Without question it would have pleased me to hear my teachers address me in Spanish when i entered the classroom. I would have felt much less afraid" (Rodriguez 34). This shows the lack of security that was not built for Rodriguez.  He felt uncomfortable and scared in his classroom because the people around him failed to make him feel anyway but that.  August would argue that the teacher should have created a safe space in that classroom, where children could try and say Richard's name in his language to make him feel like all of them did, at home.  August states "Without deliberate creation of an inclusive atmosphere, however, what happens inside classroom walls reproduces the prejudice that exist outside these walls: straightness and gender conformity are assumed: LGBT identity is deviant" (August 83-84). This quote shows and links to exactly how Rodriguez felt in classrooms, that these children will walk into a place where their "normal" heterosexual classmates are, and his identity becomes lost or assimilated with being heterosexual because thats what fits the environment around them.  August and Rodriguez had very similar points, but different ways of handling them.  Children who are gay, lesbian, bi-secual, or transgender should feel just as comfortable as a child who is heterosexual.  This is August's point; that to not throw all of the children together forcing those few "different" LGBT children to assimilate with their peers, but for their peers to support their different choice and embrace it.  When  it comes to the private and public individuality that Rodriguez argues about, having a private identity and being secure in that identity will give you your own spot in society that you made.  No one says you have to fill in the gap or mold that is set.  It may be insinuated by society to be straight and speak english, but that just means you get to stand out and shine even more than the rest of the boring people that surround you.  Whomever I am speaking to....

Connection to Collier: 
Virginia Collier wrote the piece "Teaching Multilingual Children", her piece discussed in a way of creating safe spaces for children with english being their second language.  Her piece fits better with the "Safe Spaces" by Gerri August, because they both are arguing that the point is not to make these children who seem o be different fit in by making them like everyone else, but caring about them and making them feel as if they don't need to be like anyone but themselves.  To create this environment both authors discuss how they must be very caring and welcoming leaders in these environments.  In a classroom a teacher must use "Caregivers Speech" (Collier 224), as Collier would put it.  This means a teacher has to speak clearly, listen intensively, be ready to repeat themselves many times nicely, and provide as a model for other children in the room.  August would greatly agree with this type of speech.  This creates a comfortable environment where the teacher makes it clear to treat everyone equal and nicely.  August explains that we need to make those leaders and teachers allies for these student who are LGBT, or any student that feels singled out or different (August 99).  That these children not only need safe spaces but safe adults and people.  Collier would agree with this point.  That in schools and classrooms student of different sexual orientation, or cultures need to be protected and noticed by the students, staff, and world around them. 


  1. I love the pictures you shared with your post.

  2. Wow, the connections you made were very deep. I don't think, without reading your blog, I would have looked at these connections.

  3. Your connections were great! I especially love your hook at the beginning. Very intriguing.