Sexual and Gender Acceptance (SAGA) Wetaskiwin made their way through Wetaskiwin last week asking local businesses if they would display their safe space sticker in their store front.
Executive Director with SAGA, Don Haywood, says that the creation of safe space stickers was a project that the group has been working on for the better part of a year.
In October and November of 2020 SAGA officially set out to have the logo designed and then printed.
Haywood says, “the last few days I’ve been walking up and down mainstreet.” Haywood has been going around to local businesses on behalf of SAGA, some days with the help of other SAGA members, to ask if they would display the safe space stickers in the front of their location.
The sticker is meant to symbolize that the business is a safe space for LGBTQIA2S+ individuals where they can be and not fear for their mental or physical safety.
“The safe space means as a business, as employees of that business, you accept all people for who they are,” says Haywood. “It’s a place you can just be yourself and not worry.”
“You know that people will not put up with mistreatment of you in that business.”
Haywood says that so far Wetaskiwin businesses have been quite responsive to SAGA’s campaign and are willing to take the stickers or at least the letters that Haywood has written up explaining the importance of showing they are a safe space.
In addition, Haywood also says that in their pursuits to hand out safe space stickers, an open dialogue has been created between businesses, individuals and SAGA members on what it means to have a safe space or to be a member of the LGBTQIA2s+ community.
“It’s allowing people to talk to me, to kids in our group,” says Haywood. “It’s a safe space to ask questions.”
Haywood says he hopes to reach all businesses in Wetaskiwin by the end of March. He also encourages businesses to reach out to him if they want a safe space sticker, he missed their business, or they want more information on the topic. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.