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Safe Zone

safe zone logo


The mission of the Safe Zone Program at Western Carolina University is to provide training, support, resources, and a network of allies who are committed to enhancing the campus and local community’s understanding of gender and sexuality. 

Our Safe Zone symbol visibly identifies people and places that are "safe" for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) students, faculty, staff, and community members. It signifies safety, support, trustworthiness, and affirmation—regardless of sexual identity or gender identity and expression. Others will know they can come to you for help, advice, conversation in a supportive environment.

The symbol also means that transphobic and heterosexist comments and actions will not be tolerated, but will be addressed in an educational and informative manner. Colleagues and students have a right to their opinion; however, if someone is stating myths or misinformation about LGBTQ+ individuals, you will inform them of more accurate information in a respectful manner.

The Safe Zone training program at WCU is based on the Safe Zone Project.  learn more

 The  Safe Zone Project and Trans Student Educational Resources have helpful edugraphics on their websites. We're including a few here as examples:

LGBTQ+ Umbrella
LGBTQ+ Inclusive Language Do's & Don'ts
Gender Pronouns

American Civil Liberties Union - The ACLU works to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States. 

Campaign for Southern Equality - working to build a South where LGBTQ people are equal in every part of life.

Campus Pride - Works to create safer, more LGBTQ+ friendly colleges and universities.

The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network - GLSEN works to create safe and affirming schools for all students.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation - GLAAD works to promote fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media.

Family Equality Council - The council's mission is to advance legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families.

Human Rights Campaign - The HRC is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer civil rights organization.

Lambda Legal - Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of the LGBTQ community and those living with HIV.

LGBT Center of Durham - The center is committed to supporting and improving the lives of LGBTQ+ people in and around Durham, NC.

Matthew's Place - An online community for LGBTQ+ youth, run by the Matthew Shepard Foundation

Matthew Shepard Foundation - The Matthew Shepard Foundation empowers individuals to embrace human dignity and diversity through outreach and advocacy. - A website with information and education on personal pronouns.

National Center for Transgender Equality - The center advocates to change policies and society to increase understanding and acceptance of transgender people.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force - This organization works to advance full freedom, justice and equality for LGBTQ+ people.

OutRight Action International - This organization works for human rights for LGBTQ+ people internationally and has a permanent presence to advocate for LGBTQ+ people at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. - Addiction Resources & Rehabs for the LGBTQ+ Community

Trans in the South: A Directory of Trans-Affirming Health & Legal Service Providers - A directory of more than 400 southern health service providers who are trans-affirming.

Trans Student Educational Resources - The only national organization run by young transgender people, TSER works to transform the educational environment for trans and gender non-conforming students through advocacy and empowerment.

Counseling and Psychological Services - CAPS provides services that empwer students to engage in and be successful in a range of academic, social and cultural endeavors through fostering psychological wellness.. 

Intercultural Affairs - ICA works with all members of the university community to create an environment where students from different backgrounds and cultures feel appreciated, respected and valued.

LGBTQ Working Group - This group works to advocate and protect the rights of LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff.

Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs - WCU's Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Programs aspires to strengthen diversity as an integral component of academic excellence within WCU and, in the process, to establish the university as a leader within North Carolina in preparing its students for success in a culturally and racially diverse society.

WCU LGBTQ Archive - a WCU faculty and student project that aims to provide a sustainable and visible presentation of queer life in rural Western North Carolina.

Rainbow 101 Presentations -

•Increase basic self-awareness, knowledge, and skills related to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community

•Gain exposure to and knowledge of general concepts related to gender and sexual identity

•Learn basic terminology and vocabulary

•Receive practical tips for how to demonstrate respect and value for members in the LGBTQ community


For more information or to schedule a Rainbow 101 presentation contact

Blue Ridge Pride - This organization promotes equality, safety and quality of life for WNC's LGBTQ+ communities.

Cornbread & Roses - CBR offers events, groups, and support services where LGBTQ+ folx in Jackson County (and beyond!) can come together, build community, and get their needs met.

Tranzmission - This organization provides education, advocacy and support for non-binary and transgender people.

Transformers - Asheville-based Transgender Support Group that supports transgender and non-binary people.

Youth OUTright - This non-profit organization is dedicated to empowering LGBTQ+ youth ages 11 - 20 in WNC.

Western NC AIDS Project - WNCAP provides HIV-related client support, prevention, education and advocacy activities guided by the belief that all people are entitled to equal access to health care and disease prevention.

STD Testing in Ashville - You have options for getting STD tests in Asheville, NC. Learn about convenient local testing for common STDs.

Sylva Pride - Sylva Pride is dedicated to celebrating and uplifting the experiences of our LGBTQ community throughout western North Carolina.

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