Article Contributed by
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
On Tuesday, January 25th at 7 pm, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will host a Safe Zone training, designed to resource for parents, grandparents, and other adults who wish to support gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT) young people in the community. This introductory class defines vocabulary around gender identity and sexual orientation, as well as offering concrete steps on how to support members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Emily Van Wey, the LGBTQ Liaison & Prevention Education Coordinator at Prevention Works will teach the class. “The Safe Zone Training provides a safe place that fosters educational growth pertaining to the LGBTQ+ community,” Van Wey says, “This training allows participants to learn inclusive strategies that support their students, family members/loved ones or community members creating a safe and healthy environment for all.”
Awareness of the need for Safe Zone training arose through St. Luke’s and First Presbyterian Church’s youth group partnership, which affirms youth identifying across the spectrum of sexual orientation and gender identity. “Education helps create a more inclusive community,” says Raine Hagel, 10th grade member of the youth group, “and makes people within the LGBTQ community feel more comfortable.”
Elizabeth Gattman, nurse practitioner at Evergreen Health and St. Luke’s parishioner, underscores the importance of Safe Zone training: “As a health care professional, I feel it is important to educate the community on gender identity and sexual orientation. There is a lot of misinformation floating around in social media and just in the community in general, and this only leads to fear and divisiveness. Education from a professional source is a great way to help allay fears and foster an environment where everyone is welcome and safe.”
The Safe Zone Training is free and open to the public. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at 410 North Main Street, Corner of Fourth and Main, Jamestown, NY. For questions or more information, call the church office at 716-483-6405.