Approximately 3.6 percent of the population in Ohio identifies as LGBTQ+, which means that LGBTQ+ and questioning students are present on our college campus, many of whom are in various stages of identity development and are in need of support. Moreover, homosexuality is an identity that is often invisible. The Safe Zone program asserts a visual statement of support to our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) students. To see a partial list of other schools with an Ally & Safe Zone program visit the American College Student Personnel Association’s Standing Committee for LGBTQ+ Awareness.
- Increase the visible presence of LGBTQ+ allies and places that are ‘safe’ for LGBTQ+ students, staff and faculty across campus.
- Affirm that “Safe” as practiced in the program is the use of evidence-based and trauma-informed content to provide comprehensive student support.
- Have students, staff and faculty complete the session titled "LGBT 101" facilitated by the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland.
- Have students, staff and faculty complete the session titled "The Intersection of JCU's Catholic Jesuit Mission and the LGBTQIA+ Community" facilitated by the Theology and Religious Studies Department and Campus Ministry.
- LGBT 101 is facilitated by LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland
- Trans 101 is facilitated by OutSupport
- An Introduction to Parents and Families of Lesbians and Gays is facilitated by PFLAG Cleveland
- The Intersection of JCU's Catholic Jesuit Mission and the LGBTQIA+ Community" facilitated by the JCU Theology and Religious Studies Department and Campus Ministry.
The Safe Zone series was developed and curated by staff in the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, with support from other university and external partners.
Since 2012, the LGBTQ+ student panel has been a program featuring current JCU students sharing their campus experience as LGBTQ+ persons. The session is moderated by Salomon Rodezno from the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion.
The program can be tailored to one or one-and-a-half-hour sessions.
To request a panel please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
With the Safe Zone door decal, we hope to increase the visibility of their support. Allies have existed for a long time on campus … we’re just making this support loud and clear. Moreover, by directly addressing and attempting to reduce one type of bias, the campus is indirectly addressing and reducing other forms of bias at the University.
The reality is not all people on campus are supportive, knowledgeable, and understanding of LGBTQ+people. While the University’s Statement on Diversity recognizes our diverse and vibrant community, it is important for LGBTQ+persons to be affirmed regardless of their social identity.
Creating a Welcoming Campus and Community: (2014) This guide takes a look at those colleges and universities leading the way in providing curricula and resources to support LGBTQ+ students throughout their college experience. Information on resources, curricula, and student organizations is provided, as well as candid interviews with LGBTQ+ community leaders to help alleviate some of the worries that LGBTQ+ students may have when it comes to post-secondary education.
Fair Housing for the LGBTQ+ Community: (2014) In 2010, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offered clarification on its policy to ensure its programs are open to all eligible individuals regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.
LGBT Activism 101 (2012): Help in the fight for equal rights in Ohio. Around the state, people are organizing and lobbying their local elected officials to expand the rights of LGBT residents. Help expand rights in your community!
LGBTQ+ Student Resources & Support: (2015) According to the National School Climate Report, 86 percent of LGBTQ+ youth reported being harassed at school, compared to 27 percent of students overall. School years can be challenging for all students, yet those who identify as LGBTQ often face additional pressures or concerns. Within this guide, LGBTQ+ students can find resources and information about support systems available to help them navigate both high school and college environments.
Lambda Legal’s Help Desk (2016). Lambda Legal’s Help Desk provides information and resources regarding discrimination related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and HIV status. Lambda Legal selects cases that will have the greatest impact in protecting and advancing the rights of LGBT people and those with HIV. While we are not able to take every case, the Help Desk can discuss your legal issue with you, and can provide useful information. This assistance may include follow-up discussions with Lambda Legal attorneys or contact information for an attorney in your area or for other organizations that may directly assist you. All inquiries to the Help Desk are strictly confidential.
Legal Information for LGBTQ+ Survivors of Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, and Stalking: (2015) Many different issues can impact the lives and safety of survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking. This brochure is a resource to help find legal information you may need and to help you find an attorney. It is not intended to provide legal advice.
Movement Advancement Project (2017): Founded in 2006, the Movement Advancement Project is an independent think tank that provides rigorous research, insight, and analysis that help speed equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. MAP’s work is focused on three primary areas: policy, movement capacity, and effective messaging.
Map of Local LGBT Protections: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: (2013) Neither the Federal Fair Housing Act nor Ohio fair housing law currently prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity; however, there are many local ordinances which do. The featured municipalities in Cuyahoga County include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under local fair housing laws.
National Black Justice Coalition (2017): The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS. NBJC’s mission is to end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ bias and stigma. As America’s leading national Black LGBTQ civil rights organization focused on federal public policy, NBJC has accepted the charge to lead Black families in strengthening the bonds and bridging the gaps between the movements for racial justice and LGBTQ equality.
Substance Abuse Prevention In The LGBT Community (2018): Culturally sensitive peer support programs, therapy, and community services can help to reduce the risk of substance abuse and mental health problems in the LGBTQ community.
TransAlive! (2016). The TransAlive Akron support group meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month, 6-8 p.m. at Fairlawn West United Church of Christ, 2095 W. Market Street, Akron. These meetings are facilitated by TransOhio’s Jake Nash. No matter where you have come from or where your life’s journey is taking you, you are welcome. Gender is fluid and no matter where you fit, wither you identify as an FTM, MTF, cross dresser, gender bender, or just questioning your gender, you fit perfectly with TransAlive. We are a family so come and join us. For more information, call Jake Nash at 330.240.1600.
TransFamily (2016). TransFamily is a transgender support group in the Cleveland, Ohio, metropolitan area. We hold regular support group meetings in Cleveland that are open to everyone. All transgender individuals, family members, friends, spouse/partner(s), and advocates are welcome at the meetings.
Transgender Law Center (2017): Transgender Law Center changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. The Transgender Law Center envisions a future where gender self-determination and authentic expression are seen as basic rights and matters of common human dignity.
TransOhio (2016). TransOhio serves the Ohio transgender and ally communities by providing services, education, support and advocacy which promotes and improves the health, safety and life experience of the Ohio transgender individual and community.
College Guide for LGBTQ Students (2017): For prospective college students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or queer (LGBTQ), it’s crucial to find a college with a supportive learning environment where they can thrive. Campus Pride, the predominant national nonprofit organization serving LGBTQ students, functions as a primary resource for such a search. Each year, the site provides a comprehensive listing of the most LGBTQ-friendly colleges in the nation and hosts a college fair specifically geared toward LGBTQ youths and their families.
45 Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Students: While many college campuses have made strides to better the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ+) students, they often face unique challenges in their personal lives and academia; funding shouldn’t be one of them. Scholarships aim to broaden opportunities and make the college transition a successful experience, but with millions of options out there, how do students find the right fit? To help simplify the hunt, Nitro has compiled an extensive list of LGBTQ+ scholarships created specifically for identifying and ally students.
2018 Snapshot of LGBT Equality by State-Ohio. Movement Advancement Project.
2018 LGBTQ Youth Report. Human Rights Campaign and the University of Connecticut.
2017 Bullying of LGBT Youth and Those Perceived to Have Different Sexual Orientations. Retrieved at www.stopbullying.gov
2015 Queer People of Color Resource Guide. Crossroad Community for LGBTQ+ People of Color at UW-Madison. Compiled by Sheltreese McCoy.
2010 Campus Pride’s National College Climate Survey. A National Study by the Q Research Institute for Higher Education. Written by Sue Rankin, Ph.D., Warren J. Blumenfeld, Ed.D., Genevieve N. Weber, Ph.D., LMHC & Somjen Frazer, MS, Ed.
(2010). Gender Identity Development. In N. J. Evan, D. S. Forney, F. M. Guido, L. D. Patton & K. A. Renn (Eds.), Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 327-345). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
(2010). Sexual Identity Development. In N. J. Evan, D. S. Forney, F. M. Guido, L. D. Patton & K. A. Renn (Eds.), Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 305-326). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
“The State of Gay Ohio 2014.” Outlook: the Voice of Ohio’s GLBT and Ally Community June 2014: 32-37. Print.
Legal Information for LGBTQ Survivors of Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, and Stalking (2015). Many different issues can impact the lives and safety of survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence, and stalking. This brochure is a resource to help find legal information you may need and to help you find an attorney. It is not intended to provide legal advice.
2007 Gay-Straight Alliances: Creating Safer Schools for LGBT Students and their Allies. Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.
2011 National School Climate Survey Executive Summary. For full report click here. Report completed by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Written by Joseph G. Kosciw, Ph.D., Emily A. Greytak, Ph.D., Mark J. Bartkiewicz, M.S., Madelyn J. Boesen, M.A., and Neal A. Palmer, M.S.
2011 Ohio National School Climate Survey Snapshot. Snapshot completed by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Written by Joseph G. Kosciw, Ph.D., Emily A. Greytak, Ph.D., Mark J. Bartkiewicz, M.S., Madelyn J. Boesen, M.A., and Neal A. Palmer, M.S.
Bellefaire JCB (2016). Bellefaire JCB is an innovative organization that provides exceptional care, education, and advocacy to enhance the emotional, physical and intellectual well-being of children, young adults, and families in the Jewish and general communities. Bellefaire JCB provides its services without regard to race, religion, sex or national origin, and encourages all clients to develop positive identification with their religious and ethnic backgrounds. Please call the 24-hour hotline at 216.570.8010 if you or someone your know needs help.
CenterLink (2017): CenterLink develops strong, sustainable LGBT community centers and builds a thriving center network that creates healthy, vibrant communities. CenterLink envisions communities where lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people have access to flourishing LGBT community centers that advance their safety, equality, and well-being.
Familia Es Familia (2016). Familia es Familia is a first-of-its kind, comprehensive public education campaign aimed at creating strong allies with Hispanic communities across the country. For the first time, this effort is being undertaken with major national Hispanic organizations willing to engage as national partners in advancing equality. The Familia Es Familia website is available in English and Spanish – click here to visit the website in Spanish.
Legal Aid Society (2016). Legal Aid’s mission is to secure justice and resolve fundamental problems for those who are low income and vulnerable by providing high quality legal services and working for systemic solutions.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (2016). PFLAG is a volunteer, non-profit self-help organization founded nationally in 1981. They are an inclusive group of family members, friends, and individuals who are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. Through their monthly support group meetings they foster understanding and acceptance within families, and through their education and advocacy they seek to change hearts and minds in the Greater Cleveland community. PFLAG Cleveland meets every second Tuesday of the month at 6:45 p.m. in Trinity Cathedral (Euclid Ave & E 22nd Street).
Sleeping Homeless (2017). Homelessness is an incredibly prevalent issue in the U.S. with more than 500,000 people going without shelter every night. Years of research and countless studies have repeatedly shown that discrimination threatens not only access to housing but the stability of communities. Members of the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community are more likely to become homeless, and once homeless, more likely to endure discrimination and harassment that extends their homelessness. LGBT youth experiencing homelessness are at particular risk. Between 20 and 40 percent of all homeless youth identify as members of the LGBT community, and for them, homelessness or the threat of homelessness frequently forces youth into survival behaviors that jeopardize their well-being and safety. You can also visit LGBT Homelessness (2017).
Cancer Facts for Gay Men and Bisexual Men (2015). The most common types of cancer among men in the U.S. are prostate, lung, colon, and skin cancers. Anal and testicular cancers are also found in men. There are things you can do to help reduce your risk for these cancers or find them early – when they are small, have not spread, and are easier to treat. But gay and bisexual men face a number of barriers to getting the routine health care and cancer screening tests they need. Some of the reasons for this include: low rates of health insurance, fear of discrimination, and negative experiences with health professionals. The American Cancer Society can help you learn more about the cancers that men are most at risk for, as well as how to find these cancers early. All men can do things to help reduce their cancer risk.
Cancer Facts for Lesbians and Bisexual Women (2015). Some of the most common types of cancer among women are breast, colon, endometrial (uterine), cervical, lung, and skin cancer. Knowing about these cancers and what you can do to help prevent them or find them early (when they are small and easier to treat) may help save your life. Studies have found that lesbians and bisexual women have higher rates of breast cancer than heterosexual women.They also get less routine health care than other women, including colon, breast, and cervical cancer screening tests. Some of the reasons for this include: low rates of health insurance, fear of discrimination, and negative experiences with health professionals. The American Cancer Society can help you learn more about the cancers that women are most at risk for, as well as how to find these cancers early. All women can do things to help reduce their cancer risk and stay well.
FrontLine Service (2016). FrontLine Service, formerly Mental Health Services (MHS), a non-profit 501(C)3 organization, helps more than 20,000 individuals and families each year struggling with homelessness, crisis, and trauma. Founded in 1988, FrontLine Service serves as Cuyahoga County’s provider of choice for homeless and trauma services – from emergency shelter, transitional and permanent housing to Children Who Witness Violence, suicide prevention services, Mobile Crisis, and the Violent Loss Response Team. FrontLine Service is the first responder when crisis strikes. We work side-by-side with law enforcement to prevent suicides and reduce the impact of tragedy on families in our community. The 24 hour hotline is 216.623.6888.
MetroHealth Pride Clinic (2016). In a perfect world, gay and lesbian health concerns could be addressed in any primary care office. But sometimes, people in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community don’t feel safe and supported in a standard medical office. That’s especially true of people facing tough medical choices. And that could impact their health—and the success of their doctor visits. The MetroHealth Pride Clinic is different; it’s the first LGBT clinic in Cleveland dedicated to serving the LGBT community. Specially trained physicians and staff provide care that respects your unique health needs—including transgender services. And, the Pride Clinic offers the routine care you need to stay healthy. It’s primary care plus.
John Carroll University Student Health and Wellness Center (2016). The Student Health and Wellness Center at John Carroll University is committed to assisting students in their acquisition of the knowledge, attitudes, skills, and behaviors necessary for them to be self-directed health advocates in the pursuit of intellectual growth and personal development. The Student Health and Wellness Center subscribes to the definition of health, which includes the attainment, maintenance, and life long commitment to an optimum level of wellness. This philosophy is rooted within the Jesuit educational tradition in which there is integration of learning with the development of the whole person.
The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland (2016). The mission of The Free Medical Clinic of Greater Cleveland (“The Free Clinic”) is to address vital community health needs by providing high quality health care and related services to individuals and families, regardless of their ability to pay, and by advocating for policy changes that promote greater access for the underserved and improved community-wide health and wellness outcomes. Health care is a right, not a privilege.
Trevor Lifeline (2016). Every day, The Trevor Project saves young lives through its accredited, free, and confidential phone, instant message, and text messaging crisis intervention services. A leader and innovator in suicide prevention, The Trevor Project offers the largest safe social networking community for LGBTQ youth, best practice suicide prevention educational trainings, resources for youth and adults, and advocacy initiatives. Call the 24-hour hotline at 866.488.7386 or connect to other resources here.
Gay Ohio History Collective (2006- current). In January 2006, Outlook Weekly and The Gay Ohio History Initiative formed a partnership with the Ohio History Connection (then known as the Ohio Historical Society) to preserve, archive and curate Ohio's LGBT history and culture. This is a ground-breaking partnership between Ohio's preeminent history preservation organization and LGBT Ohioans. Since then, a committee of volunteers and community leaders has been working to advance this project. A LGBT history collection plan has been developed and a plan to solicit and accept donations of historical items has been created. Further, the Ohio History Connection has named an LGBT person to their Development Board to assist in moving this project forward. Throughout this process, the Ohio History Connection has shown extraordinary support for this project from the Executive Director to the Development and Curatorial staff. To learn more about GOHI, make a donation, or show your support, visit the GOHI web site.
Coming Home: To Faith, To Spirit, To Self (2014). Life for many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people has changed dramatically. Among other breakthroughs, marriage equality is the law of the land. What few people realize is that these history-shifting events are largely due to faith communities taking a courageous, love-affirming stand. As religious institutions raise their voices for justice and inclusion, LGBTQ folks, long closeted, are wondering if they might finally be open in their faith communities. While many people enjoy a rich, spiritual life outside the realm of organized religion, this guide is aimed at folks who hope to lead their faith communities toward a more welcoming stance, and those seeking a path back to beloved traditions. Because each of those traditions is built upon its own complex history and doctrine, these pages will offer general, overarching insights and suggestions. The hope is always to spark new ideas, new dialogue and new courage.
Faith Resources: The resources in this section are intended to help LGBTQ people, their families, friends and allies, find powerful and transformative spaces to learn more about the intersection of their faith and LGBTQ issues.
The Coming Home guides are aimed at LGBTQ people of faith who hope to lead their faith communities toward a more welcoming stance, and those seeking a path back to their beloved tradition. Because each tradition listed here is built upon its own complex history and doctrine, these pages will offer general, overarching insights and suggestions. The hope is always to spark new ideas, new dialogue and new courage.
- Coming Home to Catholicism and to Self (2015)
- Coming Home to Evangelicalism and to Self (2018)
- Coming Home to Mormonism and to Self (2017)
- Coming Home to Judaism and to Self (2016)
- Coming Home to Islam and to Self (2015)
A Christian Conversation Guide (2019). Focused on Christian congregations, this guide provides practical suggestions Christians can take to build safe and inclusive communities and congregations. Included in the guide is a step-by-step conversation guide for small group discussions on the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ people; a list of actions faith communities can immediately take in their congregation and communities; as well as a comprehensive glossary of useful terms when talking about sexual orientation and gender identity. The guide is a new resource developed by the Religion and Faith Program and Project One America. If you have any questions please contact Joseph Ward at email@example.com.
Gender Identity and Our Faith Communities: A Congregational Guide for Transgender Advocacy (2008). Gender Identity and Our Faith Communities is based on the contributions of transgender people, their families and clergy. Drawing on a wide array of personal experiences, religious and cultural analysis, and diverse faith journeys, it will empower people of faith with the knowledge and skills necessary to transform their communities and congregations into welcoming environments. Even more than this, though, our hope is that this curriculum will turn participants into advocates for transgender rights. The transgender community is one of the most discriminated against and least understood segments of our population. They are disproportionately targeted for violent hate crimes; they suffer regularly from the most severe forms of job discrimination and are far too often shunned by their families and faith communities. Click here for audio files to be used in conjunction with Gender Identity and Our Faith Communities. Feel free to download for use with the curriculum.
Is Safe Zone appropriate at a Jesuit university?
Yes. Students are educated at John Carroll University in the Jesuit tradition of cura personalis, the care of the whole person. Briefly stated, the mission of the University is “a commitment to a church within the world, serving the human search for truth and value, and for justice and solidarity.” John Carroll inspires individuals to excel in learning, leadership, and service in the region and in the world. To achieve this goal, the University creates an inclusive community where differing points of view and experience are valued as opportunities for mutual learning. Lastly, the University is committed to the intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and physical development of each student.
Programs like Safe Zone help to increase awareness and support for the LGBTQ+ community on campus. Many Jesuit Universities have Safe Zone programs, including Georgetown University, Santa Clara University, University of San Francisco, Boston College, and Loyola University Chicago. The Safe Zone program at John Carroll University was developed with input and support from campus stakeholders.
What is an ally?
In the most general sense, an “ally” is a person who is a member of the majority group who works to end oppression in their personal and professional life through support of, and as an advocate for, the oppressed population. Allies to racial, religious, a
What are the responsibilities of an ally?
Allies commit to foster a campus environment where homophobia is not tolerated and heterosexism is challenged. They continue to educate themselves on how to be an ally for LGBTQ+ people.
What are the benefits?
Safe Zone fosters the opportunity to interact and learn from one another in our diverse community. Allies make a difference on campus—even if they don’t see or hear it all the time. Allies live out the Jesuit mission by making a personal contribution to