History of Safe Zone
While Safe Zone originated through LGBT student activism at U.S. colleges and universities, the concept more broadly addresses the modern ideal of freedom, affirming that all human beings, regardless of difference, are equal in dignity and rights.
Safe Zone at NIH
Safe Zone seeks to promote NIH community awareness and education about the needs and concerns of people who identify as sexual and gender minorities, represented by the acronym SGM. We encourage everyone to show support for—and actively affirm—colleagues and friends who are SGM. These individuals include lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, Two Spirit, gender non-conforming people, and other populations whose sexual orientation and/or gender identity, and reproductive development is considered outside cultural, societal, or physiological norms.
You may have questions about how to show your support. One active way to support your colleagues is by taking NIH-sponsored Safe Zone training. The training offers the NIH community an opportunity to ask questions and learn more about sexual orientation and gender identity from certified Safe Zone Trainers.
To affirm SGM employees and colleagues, the NIH offers Safe Zone training as part of the agency’s broader diversity and inclusion portfolios. Safe Zone training addresses many of the commonly held misperceptions, myths, and stereotypes related to SGM communities. The training is a 3 hour interactive session designed to improve understanding and help everyone at the NIH accept fellow employees as they are and as they want to be identified.
After completing the training, you will have the background and knowledge to display Safe Zone materials in offices, labs, and common areas. By displaying the NIH Safe Zone sticker and posters, Safe Zone team members help promote an atmosphere of openness and safety at the NIH; visibly welcome and celebrate SGM employees and colleagues; and encourage people to be themselves, ask questions, and speak openly.
We invite you to advocate for your peers at the NIH. Download these posters and “Be consciously unbiased because inclusion is excellence.”