By Ayanna Christian
5115 Hampton Blvd, Norfolk, VA 23529
Old Dominion University is a very diversified campus with all types sexual orientations, ethnicities and genders. With a campus as diverse as ours, the school makes sure that every student feels safe on campus at all times.
ODU Safe Space is a committee of faculty and students that set out to diminish the wave of homophobia amongst teens, young adults, and adults. Not only battling homophobia, but also transphobia and heterosexism in the community surrounding Old Dominion and Norfolk. The vision statement for Safe Space is to create a “community that is open, safe, and accepting to all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning people and allies. We help cultivate this climate through awareness, education, and advocacy.” The purpose of Safe Space is to create an environment where people of any religion, race, or sexual orientation can go without the pressure of being bothered or open to discrimination, harassment or criticism of any kind. Safe Space is truly a place for oneself to be confident and completely open with oneself.
Other resources ODU offers on campus are LGBT friendly workplaces, spirit days, and awareness days that all students are able to participate and are encouraged too. There are organizations that are offered that are off-campus in Norfolk like the Hampton Roads Pride which helps promote a strong understanding community, providing a safe space, and offering scholarships for LGBT students. Another off-campus organization that partners with the ODU Safe Space organization is the LGBT Life Center which helps LGBT and non-LGBT students with STD testing, housing, and rides if needed. It can be hard to come out to the world, but with organizations like Safe Space, coming out doesn’t have to hurt your life.