Positive Spaces and Active Offer: Same Focus

Posted by on January 26, 2017 in blog-en, Must-Read Articles | No Comments

Positive Spaces and Active Offer: Same Focus

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Positive spaces are welcoming spaces for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. At Reflet Salvéo, we work to ensure that our organization is a “positive space”. We aspire to make Reflet Salvéo a space in which transgender, transsexual people, as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and asexual people and their allies feel not only at ease but accepted as they are.
Although we are working towards this goal, I have no doubt we have reached it. We are working to be a “positive space” because it is an ongoing process. This work never really comes to an end. We want to put in place an approach that can survive any turnover of staff, including the periodic arrival of students, some of whom have not been sensitized to the subject yet.

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It is also continuing work on ourselves, both of a social and intimate nature. Social, because it is with individual attitudes that one has an impact on a group attitude. It is when you refrain from cracking a transphobic joke, when you get interested and take time to research, or when you are not afraid to be vocal that you can positively change the atmosphere.

 

And it’s intimate work as well, because our prejudices are deeply rooted within us, sometimes inherited from our family or from our cultural and social background. So, fighting those prejudices can be a struggle on a very intimate level, a daily struggle that can change us forever.
Active offer of health services in French responds to a very different situation. Linguistic identity is obviously distinct from gender identity or sexual orientation. I’m not suggesting here the comparison of several minorities and prejudices. Discrimination faced by Francophones living as a minority and LGBTQ people is not the same. That said, often, these discriminations are articulated. You can be gay AND francophone, Trans AND francophone, and be discriminated as a gay francophone, or a Trans francophone.
Actively offering health services in French, and setting up a positive space do have a similar matrix and require a similar solicitude. Solicitude is a virtue we don’t hear a lot about, and that’s unfortunate, in my view. Solicitude goes beyond mere tolerance and beyond acceptance. It includes these two notions but with a strong dose of empathy. Solicitude is the considerate care that one has for someone. It is what drives our need for positive spaces and active offer.
By putting in place one or the other, or better, both, we want the same for the clients: that they feel welcomed, accepted, as they are, in all their complexity and differences, that they do not hesitate to express their orientation, their identities, in their own language.

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