LGBT “Safe Space”



An Introduction to the Wake Tech College and Career Readiness Division’s LGBT SAFE SPACE (June 2013)

June, is gay / LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) pride month in the U.S., so what better month than June to roll out (roll out = introduce something new) the first LGBT page on the AEC ESL blog.

We call the page “Safe Space,” which refers to the training program for educators who want to make LGBT students feel welcomed and accepted.  Although the Safe Space page will be especially interesting to LGBT students, all ESL students are invited to check it out (=look at it) and explore some of the informative and educational articles and stories.

For example, one of the links on this page connects you to a list of almost 50 links to articles of interest to LGBT students and their friends and allies.  (See all links, below.) The articles are organized by topic and each one includes a brief description so readers can decide if the article sounds interesting enough to check out.

We would also like to invite students to submit their own website links of interest to the blog.  More information about this will be posted later.

Welcome letter from Monica Gemperlein, Dean of the College and Career Readiness Division

As the largest community college in North Carolina, Wake Tech is proud to serve a diverse population of students. Each student who enrolls with us is seen as a unique individual with value, dignity, and the ability to contribute something special to the college.

Thus, as a teaching and learning community, I am proud that Wake Tech supports tolerance, respect, and inclusion for everyone. It is in this spirit of inclusiveness and acceptance that I would like to congratulate our LGBT students on their new AEC blog link “Safe Space.”

Bullying and what you can do about it by Wendy Elston-Davis, Wake Tech CCR Counselor

Have you ever been treated badly or intimidated by someone who was more powerful than you are?  This is called bullying.  Wikipedia defines bullying as “the use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others.”  Bullying can include threats or harassment and can be emotional, verbal, or physical.  In general, people are bullied based on some characteristic such as race, religion, gender (male or female), sexual orientation (LGBT), or some ability.  An example of bullying would be if two male students were in the restroom, another male student came in dressed as a female, and the other two students started insulting and intimidating the guy  because he was dressed differently. Another example would be if a student teases or makes fun of an openly gay student.

Bullying has been a part of many school-aged children’s lives for years, but it is not, and has never been, an acceptable behavior. In the case of gender-based bullying, students often follow the popular group without taking a stand against inappropriate bullying behaviors.  Although our evening news is full of stories about famous people announcing their gender preferences and a handful of states supporting same-sex marriage,  there is still wide spread homophobia in this country.

It is never acceptable for a student to feel threatened, bullied or harassed at Wake Tech, and students are strongly urged to communicate concerns to staff members. Wake Technical Community College has a zero tolerance policy regarding sexual or gender-based misconduct.

So what should you do if you are a victim of homophobic bullying?

  • If you feel you are, or may be, in physical danger, walk away from the situation and get help as quickly as you can from someone you trust such as a campus police officer.
  • If you do not think that you are in physical danger, you should clearly communicate to the bully that you are offended by what s/he has said and that you want the behavior to stop.  Then, you should immediately report the incident to an instructor or counselor.   The instructor or counselor will then file a report with someone in administration, and this report will initiate an investigation into the incident.
  • Do not feel bad about taking a stand to stop the bullying behavior.   As stated above, you have a right to a safe, inclusive environment that is free from bullying or any other form of harassment.
  • Continue to focus on your academic and career goals and be proud of your efforts and achievements!



Short documentary film from WRAL news:

A locally-produced documentary about transgender people from WRAL news.  An educational and enlightening resource:

LGBT News:

June 30, 2016 – From Military ban on transgender troops lifted by Pentagon.

April 22, 2016 – From Obama says HB2 should be overturned.

March 17, 2016: From WRAL: Charlotte leaders, LGBT groups tell lawmakers to leave transgender ordinance alone.

March 1, 2016: From WRAL: South Dakota governor vetoes law on transgender bathrooms.

February 22, 2016: From Charlotte Observer: Charlotte City Council approves LGBT protections in 7-4 vote:

Feb. 17, 2016: From WRAL: Transgender student: South Dakota bill doesn’t accept me.

Feb. 17, 2016: From MSN: South Dakota may become the first state to pass an anti-transgender school bathroom bill.

Jan. 19, 2016: The movie “The Imitation Game” is about the life of Alan Turing. He was a brilliant but persecuted gay British mathematician who cracked the German “Enigma” codes in World War II.  Cracking this code helped end the war 1 to 2 years sooner and saved over 10 million lives. It inspired this writer to post the following article about Alan Turing. Many people think of him as the father of modern computers and artificial intelligence.

Jan. 10, 2016:  Singer, David Bowie passed away on Sunday January 10, 2016 after battling cancer. He will be remembered for “the way he influenced people to just get up in the morning and put on what you want to put on and be who you want to be.”
Read more at and

Dec. 26, 2015:  Transgender man in Ecuador makes history with pregnancy.

Aug. 29, 2015:  For Transgender Judge, an Early and Transformative Journey

July 15, 2015:  The ESPN Arthur Ashe Award for Courage was awarded to Caitlyn Jenner.

July13, 2015: From – Pentagon readying plan to lift transgender ban

June 26, 2015: From – Supreme Court’s landmark ruling legalizes gay marriage nationwide

June 26, 2015: From – Obama: Gay marriage decision reaffirms equality of all Americans.

 May 23, 2015: From – Ireland gives resounding 62.1 percent ‘yes’ to gay marriage.

 May 22, 2015: From – Efland school deems gay fairy tale OK for classes.

April 2, 2015: From – Raleigh same-sex couple says Uber driver discriminated.

December 1, 2014: From – Army basketball player given life by two fathers from Raleigh

October 10, 2014: From – Federal judge strikes down NC’s same-sex marriage ban

March 24, 2014:  From NBC news – A groundbreaking article about a transgender science teacher in California.      A quote from this article: “In recent years, scientists have documented that the brain structure in transgender people is actually more like their preferred gender than their biological one.”

 February 11, 2014:    Gay teen achieves Eagle Scout milestone in Maryland

An article from the Associated Press (AP), from the U.S. state of Maine, on January 31, 2014:  “Maine court rules in favor of transgender pupil”:  (pupil = student)

An article from, out of Fayetteville, on Monday, January 13, 2014:  “First-grader prompts Cumberland schools to address gender identity”:

A video from the University of Washington Medical School. This article explains how to select a doctor (healthcare provider) who is accepting of all LGBT-friendly.  Very informative.

September 15th event at the LGBT Center of Raleigh:   A Conversation about Our Shared Marriage Equality Journey

Sunday, September 15th, 2013          3:00 6:00 PM     Click on the link below to get all the details!

 August 22, 2013:  Chapel Hill may drop Russian sister city over gay rights issues  (

Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt and Town Councilman Lee Storrow said Thursday that they plan to petition t
he council to end Chapel Hill’s sister city relationship with a city in Russia over that country’s restrictions on gay rights.