These guidelines apply to all Social Networking Groups spaces, online and in-person. All individuals engaging in our services & spaces agree to abide by the following Participation Guidelines detailed on this page and the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Terms of Service.
Social Networking Groups & LA LGBT Center is a HATE-FREE ZONE. This applies to all of our spaces, both online and in-person. We do not condone any language and/or actions that threatens or harms others, especially negativity and discrimination connected to race/ethnicity, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, and disabilities. The following behaviors are prohibited and will not be tolerated whether they are verbal or physical: insults, threats, personal attacks, abuse, violence, stalking, bullying, harassing, and similar actions.
Failure to adhere to any of these guidelines, or facilitator guidance, may result in expulsion from the Social Networking Groups program.
These guidelines have been developed based on the ongoing feedback of our participants. They are implemented for the safety and comfort of ALL staff, clients, and participants and we take them VERY seriously. We thank you for your continued cooperation in keeping our community safe!
♦ Come as you are:
We’re happy to have you here! Please know that it is up to you if you want to have your camera on or off during group. The chat is also a wonderful way to participate both for adding to the conversation in the room and for sharing your own experiences. If you prefer to just listen and sit with community, that is great too. Whatever ways you have the capacity to show up are welcome here.
♦ Make Space, Take Space:
This is your space and we want to hear from you but please only one person speaking at a time! If you would like to share, please raise your hand to be added to queue – there is no interrupting others in this space. We also ask that you please be mindful of how much space you are taking and how that impacts others in the group. We only have so much time together and lots of voices to hear from. Please be thoughtful of how often and how long you are sharing. We ask that you keep your shares to no longer than 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, we may ask you to wrap up. We also want this group to actively make space for folx that are new or that we don’t hear from often.
♦ Only Use “I” Statements:
Speak only from your own experiences. DO NOT make assumptions or generalizations of other people’s experiences. ALL experiences are unique and valid.
♦ Listen and Consider Before Responding:
We encourage you to listen and consider everyone’s perspective before choosing to respond with yours. It’s important to allow space for everyone’s perspective to exist just as they are. Sometimes things can feel personal when we hear them, when they weren’t intended that way at all. Ask yourself about any biases you may be carrying with you that could be shaping the way you are responding to everyone here.
♦ Be Mindful of Giving and Receiving Advice:
We are here to uplift and support our community members, but support can feel different to different folx. Always ask if someone is open to receiving advice before you share. And on the flip side, please let us know the support you would like to receive from us while you are sharing; whether that is just holding space to be heard or if you would like to receive feedback or advice. We are a peer-led group, we can offer you support but we can’t tell you what to do. Only you can decide what is best for you!!
♦ Be mindful of what you bring into the space and how you do it:
Words matter! Be thoughtful of your words and the affect they can have on others in the group. Some topics can be heavy, triggering or difficult. We ask that you give verbal Trigger Warning that names your content and allow space for folx to decide for themselves if they want to participate in the topic. If you choose to opt out of a certain discussion, we will make accommodations for you. This is meant to be a safe space for all.
♦ Lean into discomfort:
Meetings and topics can sometimes be challenging. We invite you to expand your comfort-zone and experience some uncomfortable growth within the discussion. Be mindful of your capacity in the moment. Pushing your boundaries can open your mind to new and exciting perspectives but it is important to balance that with self-care.
♦ Speak Up for YOUR Safety:
If something is said during group that is triggering or problematic for you, we need you to let us know. You can say something verbally, in the chat or via private message to a facilitator and we will address your concerns. We also welcome feedback by email at [email protected]. We want all participants to feel safe and welcome at all times.
♦ Be Mindful of Pronouns and Gendered Language:
Nothing is worse than being misgendered in a safe space. We require all participants to always be mindful of using correct names & pronouns. Pronouns are visible in each participant’s Zoom video panel so please take note and be respectful of pronouns and other gendered language when addressing others. Also, please be aware of antiquated gendered language like “you guys”, “brothers & sisters” and “ladies & gentlemen” “female or male pronouns” can be triggering and hurtful to some folx! Our community is VERY gender expansive and we are making space and celebrating all identities.
♦ Respect Confidentiality:
Assume that stories and comments shared at meetings should remain private. What is said in this room, stays in this room!!!
♦ Substance-Free Space:
This is an alcohol and substance-free space. We ask for the safety and comfort of others that you be mindful of those in recovery when speaking about substance issues and abuse. We also ask that if you plan to smoke or vape during group, please turn off your camera while doing so. It can be triggering to others in the space.