– Mahim Aryal
You are the real you in your safe space, while you are not the same person you were anymore in unsafe space.
Safe space for youths, Safe space is such an area where youths can share their opinions, discuss, express them or can open up with their self, discarding the stereotypes, discrimination and prejudices.
Where do you feel safe to open up? Home right? Why do you think you feel safe there? Is it because there are people who understand you or is it because you can be yourself? But the rest of the time you are worried about people judging you or you feel uncomfortable because people are staring at you.
Why do you think those unsafe spaces should be turned into safe spaces? It is because you can have your say, so that you can have a healthy discussion about a topic. Safe space is very important in your school, college, workplace, public places, on the streets because the topics of mental health, sex and gender are a very sensitive topic, you can have your say, but you need to think whether you have offended another person because that person might understand the things you say from another perspective which might be offensive to him/her.
Considering the context of Nepal, we need to be empathetic towards other people in order to know whether it is good to speak that specific topic in front of them or not. To allow everybody under the sky become comfortable about any topic safe space is important. So to obtain safe space we need to aware people on that sensitive topic of gender or mental health.
Giving my personal example, I was introduced to the topic of Sexual and reproductive health and rights in 2012, but before that I used to feel uncomfortable in front of transgender people because I was unaware about LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Gender queer.) I used to think they are the way they are due to mistake; it is not a mistake to be a LGBTIQ. If they are proud the ways they are then why do all of us see them like some alien?? I was uncomfortable because I was not used to seeing Transgender people in the markets or in any place. But now, I think they are normal. I learned this through the internet when I became curious.
In order to learn new things, we need to listen to other people’s opinion sometime, in order to have a healthy discussion safe space is essential. Almost all children go to school, if we allow safe space as a culture in the school then, children will embrace this culture. Also, if we add the sensitive topic in the curriculum of children, then they will learn what not to speak in front of other people. And, if we form a group of people and train them to give peer to peer education to the out of school youths or the youth who have dropped out of the school then it will be good for all.
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