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The Cultural Center

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Gender and Sexuality

Q&A Training/Network


As part of the University's commitment to Inclusive Excellence, the DU community is called upon to engage in opportunities to learn about diverse communities, and to develop skills as advocates for our own identity groups and as allies to communities to which we do not belong. All members of the DU community are invited to participate in the Queer & Ally (Q&A) Training as one such option in this ongoing effort to create an inclusive living, learning and working environment at DU.

Those who complete both Q&A Levels 1 and 2 are invited to be a part of the Queer & Ally Network at DU, demonstrating an additional level of commitment to sexual orientation and gender identity/expression equity.

History at DU

Q&A began as the "Safezone Program" at the DU Graduate School of Professional Psychology, similar to that at many other colleges, universities and even companies across the nation. In 2007, the DU Queer & Ally Commission (QAC) developed a new identity and curriculum for the program as it administratively moved to the The Cultural Center. Beyond making the program available to the entire DU campus, QAC also wanted to strengthen it in two ways, more:

  1. Inclusive Content: The original SafeZone curriculum was focused on sexual orientation (specifically, Lesbian, Gay & Bisexual issues), and included little on gender identity and gender expression. It was important that the curriculum be revamped to be more inclusive of both sexual orientation AND gender identity/ expression, as these are related but distinct identity categories in the LGBTIQ&A umbrella.
  2. Accurate Promise: There are also significant ethical and philosophical issues entailed with telling someone when, where and with whom they will be "safe," and with suggesting that any physical space can be guaranteed so. For example: Sandra, a first-year student at DU who identifies as a lesbian, sees a SafeZone sticker on a professor's door and decides to introduce herself. As Sandra and the professor are talking, Sandra overhears someone in the hallway making a homophobic remark. The space that was labeled as being "safe" for Sandra just became unsafe.

QAC recognized that we cannot guarantee and should not try to define others' safety, especially in terms of physical space; however, we can work at increasing knowledge and awareness of the people who inhabit our campus. Promising an exposure to accurate information, knowledge about helpful resources, and a willingness to discuss them, the "Queer & Ally" label more accurately presents the scope of the program.

General structure

Q&A Trainings are typically 2-3 hours in length and are led by trained co-facilitation teams. Q&A Trainings can be requested by/for specific groups (i.e. instructors, student organizations, University offices, etc.), and are also held in an open format throughout the academic year for any member of the DU community. See our calendar for upcoming open sessions (if none are posted, then we're still scheduling with our facilitators and facilities!), or see our FAQ page about scheduling a session for your group.

There are three Q&A Training Levels. Click to expand each description.


Designed to provide participants with foundational knowledge, awareness, and skills regarding LGBTIQ&A communities at DU and beyond. This Level CAN be mandatory for employee groups, courses, organizations, academic programs, etc., at the discretion of the supervisor, faculty or other leader.

Learning objectives of Level 1 curriculum:

  1. Gain awareness of diversity of identities within LGBTIQ communities
  2. Recognize that there are a variety of terms used by LGBTIQ communities used to describe themselves
  3. Gain a beginning understanding of concepts of oppression and privilege related to LGBTIQ communities
  4. Recognize that allies are essential to ending oppression
  5. Recognize self as potential allies of LGBTIQ people
  6. Be familiar with the elements of an affirming response to someone coming out and understanding that coming out is not a safe option or end goal for many LGBTIQ people
  7. Identify at least one on-campus resource
  8. Demonstrate self-awareness regarding one's own identities, biases and attitudes and how they influence their interactions with others

An intermediate level training, focusing on the intersections of LGBTIQ&A identities with other social identities, and on expanding and deepening the conversations regarding privilege, oppression and ally development that begin in Q&A Level 1.

Registrants must have completed a Q&A Training Level 1 within the 12 months prior to attending Level 2.

This Level can NOT be mandatory, as we do not want individuals forced to act as allies if they don't honestly wish.

Learning objectives of the Level 2 curriculum:

  1. Increase awareness of how LGBTIQ identities intersect with other social and personal identities
  2. Understand the continuums of sexual orientation and gender identity
  3. Demonstrate an ability to connect historical events to current realities facing LGBTIQ people
  4. Demonstrate an ability to notice instances and patterns of heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia at different levels (personal, societal and institutional)
  5. Demonstrate an ability to notice instances and patterns of heterosexual and non-transgender privilege (personal, societal, and institutional)
  6. Demonstrate self-awareness and brainstorm strategies for overcoming barriers to being an effective ally

This is not a pre-set curriculum or specific learning objectives; rather it a discussion/ consultation, tailored specifically to meet the needs of you/your group. For example, a graduating student in Counseling Psychology met with our staff to discuss specific actions he could take to ensure his private practice would be actively, consistently and intentionally inclusive of LGBTIQ clients and colleagues.

See our calendar (at right) for upcoming Q&A Training/Network events. If none are listed in near future, then none are yet scheduled. We rely on volunteer facilitators, and must coordinate their schedules with campus space availability--an ongoing process.

For additional information on scheduling or attending a Training, see our FAQ page.


Queer and Ally Network logo: rainbow behind acronymThe Queer & Ally (Q&A) Network is comprised of members of the DU community (students, faculty and staff) who have gone through both Levels 1 and 2 of Q&A Training, and have committed to advancing DU's culture of Inclusive Excellence by posting their membership in the Network (displaying a placard in their office/room), acting as resources to the larger DU community, and staying informed of and engaged with LGBTIQ&A life at DU.

Current on-campus Q&A Network members

(listed alphabetically by dept/unit, and with date joined)

members are expected to:

  1. Have completed both Levels of the Q&A training. (Level 2 training should occur within 12 months of Level I training.)
  2. Display their Network membership placard/button so as to be visible as someone informed of and engaged with LGBTIQ&A issues.
  3. Renew their membership commitment annually by participating in:
  • At least one LGBTIQ&A campus or community event; AND
  • At least one educational/informational workshop or training relating to LGBTIQ&A life.

Membership benefits include:

  • A Q&A Network member placard and button with logo, verifying
    • completion of the training modules; AND
    • completion of ongoing member development.
  • Opportunity to be trained as a Q&A facilitator.
  • Special recognition at our annual Gala.
  • Access to the Q&A Network Portfolio site, for additional resources, involvement opportunities, etc.
  • Opportunities to participate in ongoing Q&A Network events & trainings.