Before I get into my interpretation and analysis of Safe Spaces I would like to start off by including my own experience with a close friend of mine who has "come out of the closet" and told me he was gay.
Zak has been my neighbor for all of my life and I have grown up with him in every school since kindergarten. My family and I were fairly close and I can always remember going over to his house during the summer and spending hours and hours baking under the sun; jumping in and out of the pool. So when my sister, friend, Zak and I were sitting at Gregg's Restaurant one evening and were having a meaningful conversation about life and everything the future had to offer us, it soon became a moment I will never forget. In one sudden outburst Zak said, "guys I have something to tell you.... I'm gay." I distinctly remember this moment in great detail because it affected Zak's life more than he had ever expected. I looked at him and said, "yeah and?". With those two words being uttered from my mouth he broke down in tears. He explained how nervous he was to tell us because he didn't want us to see him any differently. The insecurity that he had not to tell us who he really was did not come from the relationship we had, but with the judgment that came from society.
For someone to feel that insecure about showing who they really are to the people that mean the most to them is not something that teenagers, or anyone for that matter, should feel. And for some it becomes too much and they feel as though they have end their life, to end their misery. For a person to feel that helpless is something that no one should have to go through and in order for that to change, we as a society need to change our mindset. An just like August says in Safe Spaces, it starts within the classroom walls. If teachers learn to include LGBT into the everyday vernacular of the classroom the exposure to it will allow for it to become less foreign to students. Once they are more familiar with the concept they are more accepting of the idea outside of the classroom. Just by including a story about a happy family with two mommies can show the positivity of a different household and affect the way a child views a family different from theirs. As teachers can include this positivity and LGBT vocabulary, then the acceptance of people that are seen as different from us will be increasing.
This concept of making the recognition that there is injustice towards other people occurring in society, but it is not something that is talked about is a concept that Delpit acknowledges in her article, Other People's Children: Cultural Conflict in the Classroom. Instead of tying it to LGBT issues she ties it to multicultural and power issues, however the concept is the same. It is as such, that there is problem within our society where there is a culture of power, who are not aware of the power they have, or the fact that because they have this power, it mean others do not. When a culture has this power their ideals about other cultures, languages, groups etc., are considered to be the normal thought of society's people, without even acknowledging the fact that there are more variables to consider.
As a connection to the modern world, there is a man who is considering the other variables and recognizing and celebrating the increasing acceptance of the LGBT community, this one singer that is paving the way for the idea that talking about the issue is the first step toward actual acceptance is Macklemore. Upon hearing this song over a month ago I remember being in awe because everything what he says in his song is inspiring and true, but most of all he was saying it (Johnson). He was saying it and that is everything.
"For those that like the same sex had the characteristics
The right-wing conservatives think it's a decision
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made, rewiring of a pre-disposition, playing God
Ahh, nah, here we go
American the brave still fears what we don't know
And "God loves all his children" is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase book written thirty-five hundred years ago
I don't know."
And here is the man who is "saying it".