Note: My Web pages are best viewed with style sheets enabled.
As a government contractor, TRW (my employer until I retired) had an affirmative action program. However, TRW's program went much further than required by law (perhaps because it's the right thing to do). Among other features of the program, employees of diverse ethnic, racial, cultural, and other distinctions were encouraged to form networking organizations within the company.
Periodically, TRW sponsored a "diversity fair". The various networking groups setup booths where they presented information about their organizations and how their members fit into the company's overall environment. One such booth was for GLAFnet — Gays, Lesbians and Friends Network. At this GLAFnet booth, gummed and magnetic stickers were distributed with the "Safe Space" symbol. They also distributed a brochure that included the following description of this symbol.
GLAFnet sponsors a safe space program to promote understanding and non-judgment. A key element in the program is a Safe Space symbol for colleagues to display showing their commitment to providing an atmosphere of acceptance and assistance. Safe Space symbol stickers are available as a communication tool for managers and, other employees who want to let others know that they are supportive of gay and lesbian employees.
The adhesive backed sticker features a pink triangle inside a green circle. Gay and lesbian employees recognize the pink triangle as a symbol of equality despite its origins of oppression. Among the groups targeted for extermination by the Nazis, gay men wore pink triangles and lesbians were labeled with black triangles in the same manner that political prisoners were forced to wear red triangles and Jews were identified with yellow, six-pointed Stars of David. Thousands of homosexuals died in the concentration camps.
The green circle is used to represent "yes" or "okay" as opposed to the red circle with a diagonal line that symbolizes "no" or prohibited.
Placing a sticker in your work area is an easy way to say that you want to be understanding of gay and lesbian employee issues. Unlike most other minorities, lesbians and gays are invisible and have no way of knowing what the reaction will be if a manager or fellow employee learns that they are not heterosexual. The sticker is one of many ways for employees to send a message of non-judgment, and inclusion. GLAFnet provides the Safe Space sticker as a communication tool for you to use if you choose. Please note: the absence of a Safe Space sticker should not be interpreted as a lack of support for gay and lesbian people.
I put a sticker on the door to my office, and there is now a magnetic sticker on my refrigerator at home. My Web site is also a safe space. As a commitment to my daughter, this symbolizes not only understanding of gay employment issues but support on all issues affecting gays.
If you reached this page without reading about why this straight, married man cares so strongly about the rights of gays, please do so now.
23 October 2002
Updated 12 November 2004
The copyright on this page includes neither the text within the box nor the Safe Space graphic. The Safe Space name and logo are trademarks of EQUAL! at Lucent Technologies and are used with permission. The graphic was originally created by Jeff Frontz, another "straight" man who cares about his gay friends.
Depending on the browser used to view this page, you might see a miniature version of the Safe Space graphic in the address bar. Setting a bookmark or "favorite" for this page might also include that icon. I can provide you a copy of the icon if you first present evidence that you have permission from EQUAL! to display it.
David Ross home