Pride and the Push for a Safe Night Out
June is a month of celebration and recognition of the progress made by the LGBTQ community in the United States – Pride Month. Pride is so much more than a festival or parade. Pride is history, community, and a more inclusive future.
Since Stonewall and well before, gay clubs have been safe spaces for members of the LGBTQ community to come together to connect, celebrate, and be themselves. This is why a post-Stonewall gay disco in Manhattan was named Sanctuary; why one of the longest-running queer dancefloors of London is called Heaven; and why a beloved LGBTQ club in San Francisco is known as Oasis. For many who’ve never known a safe and happy home or school or workplace bars and nightclubs have been places where LGBTQ people come together with their families of choice.
In some communities, the push for safe nightlife programming has been led by members of the LGBTQ community and their favorite bars and nightclubs. We honor the work of these communities by partnering with local folks in our efforts to connect a network of bars and other alcohol-serving venues across the country creating workplace cultures focused on increasing safety. In everything we do, we are guided by our values: trust, respect, accountability, connection, and support.
Whether you’re headed to your local Pride festival, gathering in your backyard with friends, or enjoying a drink at your favorite bar there are ways you can make it a safe night out.
Notice. You don’t have to be an expert to notice when something isn’t right. Trust your gut. If you see someone is uncomfortable or unsafe check in and help out. Watch this quick video for examples.
Check In & Help Out. For far too long we’ve talked about bystander intervention as if there is only one solution – to put on a cape, be the hero, and confront the person causing the problem. Yes, that works. But there are so many other options that work just as well and may be better for the situation.
· Do Something Yourself. Talk to the person causing the problem, check in with the person who is uncomfortable.
· Get Others to Help. Get your outgoing friend to say something, check in with the people around you, and make it a team effort.
· Talk About Something Else. Create a clever distraction by starting a conversation, or say you need help finding the restroom, this is your chance to be creative.
Give Support. Get Support. There are going to be times when you check in and help out and it feels really good. But there are also going to be times when you try to help someone and it’s a bit more complicated. Maybe it doesn’t feel good. Maybe you’re not sure how to feel. Talk to someone about what happened and when the time comes, be ready to pay it forward by offering support to someone else.
The SAFE Bar Network is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) you can join the team by donating your time, talent, and money to the mission of giving everyone a SAFE Night Out, just click here.
To learn more about joining the SAFE Bar Network visit safebarnetwork.org/join
SAFE Bar Training conversations are simple, manageable, and they work – but you don’t have to take our word for it. Check out these real-life, Everyday Active Bystanders.
To learn more about active bystander skills check out our blog post, Obstacles. What obstacles? 3 Full Proof Everyday Active Bystander Skills.
For information, inspiration, and resources for a more vibrant nightlife, visit 24HourNation.