What is a “Safe Space”?
The short answer, a Safe Space is a place of respect, where anyone can come and be their authentic self without fear. Historically and culturally, gaming spaces have not always been the most welcoming. Tabletop Gaymers feel that there is strength in diversity. Diversity of experience, diversity of history, and diversity of life; these all contribute to what makes gaming great. Supporting Gaming Safe Space, then, is a way for gamers everywhere to join us in saying
Everyone is welcome at our table
Making Your Space a Safe Space
There is no formula for making a safe space; what works for one space and one group may not work for another. Our hope is that folks interested in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion can use this site to find resources that they can use to set up gaming safe spaces that work for them.
However, as a general guideline, folks can think about allyship. An Ally is a person who is not a member of a specific marginalized community but takes action to support members of that community. Below you will find a few ways make yourself a good ally:
- Be comfortable being uncomfortable. Change is difficult, especially when that change goes against the status quo; but, keep in mind that one person’s comfort usually comes at the expense of others. We are all complicit in this discriminatory system and we must understand that system and act against it.
- Be willing to learn. Take time to examine and understand your own identity and the privileges it affords and does not afford. If you make a mistake, apologize and ask (do not demand or expect) if someone would be willing to explain what you did wrong and how you can improve.
- De-center yourself. One of the hardest things about being an ally is remembering that it is not about you. Make sure you are listening to members of marginalized communities and when you do take action, make sure you have the best interests of the community at heart, not your own.
- Avoid “performative allyship”. Performative allyship is when an individual claims to support a marginalized community, but their actions do more to show how good they themselves are than to actually help the community in question. When thinking about support and action, ask yourself “How does this help people who deal with oppression and discrimination daily?”
Gaming Safe Space and the Safe Space Initiative is coordinated by Tabletop Gaymers Inc with the support of GAMA and others. Tabletop Gaymers is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion by championing the visibility and recognition of the LGBTQIA+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual, and others) community through tabletop gaming. This initiative aims to support gamers and gaming spaces with a commitment to making gaming a hobby that everyone can enjoy.