Ashley Bryan once said, "Having a safe space to imagine and dream and reinvent yourself is the first step to being happy and successful, whatever road you choose to pursue." What exactly is a safe space? A safe space is a place or environment where a person or category of people can feel confident. It is a place where they will be safe from discrimination, judgement, criticism, harassment, or any other harm. Hospitals, domestic violence shelters, classrooms, and some college campuses are a few examples of safe spaces.
People chose to go to these safe spaces to be who they are. They do not have to explain why they are there. You do not have to explain why you are transgender or why your hair is braided the way it is. Safe spaces aren't always about physical safety from violence; sometimes they're a refuge, a place to relax. Emotional states are also physical states. Our mental well-being shapes and is shaped by our neural pathways, our digestive tracts, our muscular tensions, and our hormones.
One should not be in a constant state of vigilance. Safe spaces help when you are in a state of danger because they are there to help relax you. You go into a safe space and you feel nothing but safe. You feel protected. You feel okay.
Just like water, oxygen, and food, mental health is also a vital factor for living. When your mental health is starting to decrease, step into a safe space. Step into a room where you can relax and take care of yourself.
If I felt my mental health decreasing, I would head to the tattoo parlor. Sometimes, I wouldn't even get a tattoo. I would go in and complete my homework assignments as my sister got tattooed. I would go and just talk to the tattoo artists, they're actually great people. I found a safe space within tattoo shops, which is one of many.
If you are in danger, seek a safe space. Confide in someone you trust. Safe spaces are for everyone. These spaces hold acceptance, love, diversity, and a sense of belonging.
Be yourself in these spaces, stick to your values. When you leave these safe spaces, you will leave with growth.