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CCGA hosting LGBT workshop
Mary Freeman hopes a program Saturday will open some eyes and minds to other lifestyles.

Sponsored by the Brunswick chapter of Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays, the Safe Space Workshop is geared toward helping people of all backgrounds understand how to create a supportive and safe environment for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

Freeman, a member of the Brunswick chapter and a retired English professor, understands how a hostile environment can impact a life.

"Anti-bullying efforts are so important to building acceptance and to keeping students in school. (Based on) a biennial survey of LGBT secondary school students, we know that school is not always a safe place for them," Freeman said.

"Most feel unsafe at school and are likely to skip class or even full days of school to avoid the name-calling, bullying and harassment they face on a daily basis."

Freeman wants to reduce the likelihood of that happening.

"The real story is about creating a more visibly accepting and supportive community for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning people, beginning with understanding the concepts of an LGBTQ Safe Space and LGBTQ allies, including straight allies," Freeman said.

The workshop Saturday at College of Coastal Georgia will be led by Barbara Jean Douglass, a University of North Florida adjunct professor of sociology and anthropology. Volunteer support will be provided by the College of Coastal Georgia Gay Straight Alliance.

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at slundgren@thebrunswicknews.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.

The workshop

The Safe Space Workshop, sponsored by the Brunswick chapter of Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbians and Gays, will be from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, at the College of Coastal Georgia Stembler Auditorium in the Campus Center, 3700 Altama Ave., Brunswick. It is free and open to the public.



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