I belong to and help moderate a safe space group on Facebook called Link Your Life (LYL). The mission of this group is to provide “a safe, non-competitive space that is fueled by mutual support and compassion.” We are writers (who share our links, hence the group name), survivors, humans, who want to be lifted and lift each other up in a world that would silence, shame, and push us back down.
Our brilliant and compassionate admin, Shawna Ayoub Ainslie, recently asked us, the LYL moderators, to reflect on what exactly a safe space is to each of us. We realized that while we all share the core concepts, we each have different lived experiences and so approach the notion of safety through varied lenses. And that’s a good thing.
I have blogged about safe spaces before, here and here. I’ve considered what safety actually is, because of course, as I just said, it means different things to different people. And of course, there are real brick-and-mortar safe spaces, and there are online safe spaces, and literary safe spaces, and the safe space underneath my favorite, impossibly soft, charcoal-with-yellow-leaves throw blanket, the safe space of my increasingly solid tree pose, and even underneath my tattoos and leather and poetic “speaker” voice.
Today, I’m going to address only online safe spaces, specifically Link Your Life, and I’m going to start via negativa, to clear up misconceptions. Continue reading