The "Safe Zone" symbol is a message to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, asexual, intersex people, LGBTQ+, and their allies. The message is that the person displaying this symbol is understanding, supportive and trustworthy if a LGBTQ+ person needs help, advice or just someone with whom they can talk.
The mission of the Safe Zone Program is to provide a network of safe and supportive allies to the LGBTQAI+ community at Rock Valley College. The goal of this program is to provide a welcoming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender persons by establishing an identifiable network of supportive persons who can provide support, information, resources, and a safe place for LGBTQAI+ persons within our campus community.
Training available to faculty, staff, and students.
Participation in Safe Zone is voluntary and entirely free. Safe Zone is funded and supported by Promoting An Inclusive Community (PAIC). If you would like to learn more about becoming a Safe Zone ally, please contact Lien Vu at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following is a list of Safe Zone campus contacts at RVC by building. Each person listed is a trained Safe Zone ally and has chosen to be listed as such (name, room number).
Educational Resource Center
Sonnie Glusman, ERC 2420
Health Sciences Center
Amanda Lonsway, HSC 3164
Jacobs Center for Science and Math
Joey Holmes, JCSM 1033
Support Services Building
Rachel Boge, SSB 1308
Woodward Technology Center
Denise Anderson, WTC 1202
Karin Blaski, WTC 2502
Deb Gilster, WTC 2208
Other RVC Locations
Ally: A person who does not necessarily identify with a group, but still advocates for that group's rights.
Agender: A person who does not identify themselves as having a particular gender.
Aromantic: In its broadest meaning, this umbrella term encompasses anyone who has a low or absent romantic attraction to others. Sexual relationships may be desired.
Asexual: In its broadest meaning, this umbrella term encompasses anyone who has a low or absent sexual attraction or interest in sexual activity. Intimate romantic/affectional relationships may be desired.
Biphobia: Negative feelings, attitudes, actions, or behaviors towards people who are, or are perceived to be, bisexual or pansexual. It may also be a fear of one's own bisexual or pansexual attractions.
Bisexual: A person who has the potential to be sexually and/or romantically attracted to men and women.
Cisgender: Often abbreviated as "cis", this term means that you are comfortable with the gender identity assigned to you at birth. This is the opposite of transgender.
Cissexism: Seen as subtle form of discrimination, this is the assumption that all people are, or should be, cisgender. This creates a system of advantages bestowed upon those who are cisgender.
Colorblindness: While often well intentioned, this is a failure to acknowledge race based differences and systematic racism which allows oneself to deny the lived experiences of people of color.
Closeted: A term often used for LGBTQ+ people who have not yet had the privilege to disclose their orientation or gender identity. This may be for safety, fear of rejection or other personal reasons.
Crossdresser: A cisgender person who dresses in clothing deemed inappropriate by society for the gender assigned them at birth.
Demisexual: A person who only experiences sexual attraction to people that they have developed an emotional connection with.
Drag King & Drag Queen: A person who cross-dresses as a means of performance or entertainment.
FTM: An abbreviated term Female-to-Male, this label is often adopted by people of of trans experience who was assigned female at birth but know themselves to be male.
Gay: While most often associated with men, in its broadest meaning this is a person who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to people of the same gender.
Gender Binary: A classification system of gender into two distinct opposite forms of masculine and feminine whether by social system or cultural belief.
Gender Dysphoria: The deep discomfort a person who is transgender may experience with how their physical body aligns with their sense of self.
Gender Euphoria: The immense feeling of joy a person who is transgender may experience when their physical body aligns with their sense of self.
Gender Expansive: A person whose gender expression and/or identity broadens or overflows our binary cultural and societal expectations for men and women. Some people prefer this term to “gender non-conforming.”
Gender Expression: The part of a person's identity that is about expressing masculinity or femininity as influenced by society, culture and individual expectations.
Gender Fluid: A person who does not identify themselves as having a fixed gender.
Gender Identity: The part of a person’s identity that is about their sense of self as male or female, neither or both.
Heterosexism: The systems of advantages bestowed on people who are heterosexual. It can also be the assumption that all people are, or should be, heterosexual and gender-conforming.
Homophobia: Negative feelings, attitudes, actions, or behaviors against LGBTQ+ people or people perceived to be LGBTQ+. It may also be a fear of one's own same- sex attractions.
Homosexual: An outdated clinical term used to describe someone who is gay or lesbian. This is a dated term. Many prefer the terms: gay or lesbian.
Intersex: A person whose biological anatomy and/or genes vary from the expected male or female anatomy and/or genetics.
Latinx: This adjective relates to those of Latin American origin or descent and is the non-gendered alternative to "Latino" and "Latina".
Lesbian: A woman who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to other women.
LGBTQ+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, plus so much more!
MTF: An abbreviated term Male-To-Female, this label is often adopted by people of of trans experience who was assigned male at birth but know themselves to be female.
Non-Binary: A person whose gender identity is not as a man or a woman. They may be both, neither, somewhere between, a different gender or no gender at all.
Onmigender: Treating all genders as one, without discriminating or distinguishing between them.
Pansexual: A person who is sexually and/or romantically attracted to people regardless of their gender identity, gender expression or biological sex. This term goes beyond a gender binary.
Polyamory: The practice of or desire for intimate relationships with more than one partner at a time. These relationships depend upon consent and knowledge of all involved.
Queer: A simple label to explain orientations, gender identities and/or gender expressions that do not conform to societal expectations. Some people view this as a term of empowerment and others strongly dislike this term.
Questioning: A person who is unsure about their orientation and/or gender identity.
Romantic Orientation: The part of our identity related to whom we are romantically attracted; also known as affectional orientation.
QTPOC/QTWOC: This abbreviation stands for Queer & Trans People of Color or Queer & Trans Women of Color and is rooted in the concept of intersectionality - which focuses on the intersections and interactions between various forms and systems of oppression including: Racism, Gender, Classism, Religious Oppression, ,and more.
Sexual Orientation: The part of our identity related to whom we are sexually attracted. Transgender: In its broadest meaning, this umbrella term encompasses anyone whose gender identity does not correspond to the gender they were assigned at birth.
Transfeminine: Transfeminine is a term used to describe transgender people who were assigned male at birth, but identify with femininity to a greater extent than with masculinity.
Transmasculine: Transmasculine is a term used to describe transgender people who were assigned female at birth, but identify with masculinity to a greater extent than with femininity.
Transphobia: Negative feelings, attitudes, actions, or behaviors against transgender people or people perceived to be transgender. It may also be a fear of one's own gender non-conformity.
Transsexual: A person whose gender identity is not congruent with the gender they were assigned at birth. Medical and surgical interventions that bring congruency are typically desired. This is a dated term. Many prefer the terms: transgender or trans.
Two-Spirit: A Native American term for LGBTQ+ individuals with dual or multiple genders. It can mean having both a masculine and a feminine spirit. It has different meanings in different communities. Some Native individuals embrace this terms while others strongly dislike it.
Xenophobia: The dislike or prejudice of people from other countries or who are different. This can add an additioanl layer of discrimination to folks who are LGBTQ+
Note: This should only be used as a general guide to get a feel for how some folksmay self identity and common terms/identities in the LGBTQ+ community. Language is constantly changing. The best way to be an ally is to mirror the language of how someone self identities to you. We don't have these words to labelothers or divide folks, but instead to give people the power to label themselves andfind the best way to communicate to the world who they are.
Glossary of Terms taken from The SafeZone Training Initiative.
Our mission is to provide a safe environment for LGBTQIA+ students and their allies to communicate with one another and create a support network for those who need it, and to educate the community and campus as a whole on LGBTQ+ topics and issues.
EAGLE now supports pronoun options for students and faculty!
You can now select personal pronouns to add to your user account. Personal pronouns will display after your name in various areas in EAGLE, including:
Follow these directions to learn how to add your pronouns!
Typically, society has taught us to make automatic assumptions about what pronouns to use for someone. If a person’s gender expression (the way they appear in terms of gender) seems to be male, we’d likely use he/him/his when talking about that person; if a person’s appearance seems to be female, we’d be likely to use she/her/hers. However, gender is not always that simple. Sometimes a person’s gender identity (the way the person identifies internally in terms of their gender) doesn’t align with their gender expression (the way they look). In addition, not everyone identifies strictly as male or female. So when a person shares their gender pronouns, they are simply taking the guesswork away for you! It’s their way of saying “when you refer to me using pronouns (opposed to by my name), these are the pronouns I’d like for you to use.”
Effective January 1, 2020: Provides that each single-occupancy restroom shall be outfitted with exterior signage that marks the single-occupancy restroom as a restroom and does not indicate any specific gender (rather than exterior signage indicating "all-gender" or "gender-neutral").
Students who would like to use a name other than their legal first name within the campus community are able to enter a chosen first name, update an existing chosen first name, or delete an existing chosen first name through the Records Office.
Contact the Records Office at (815) 921-4250 or email@example.com with questions about preferred first name for students.
Students may designate a chosen first name*, which certain College systems will then use. These systems include class rosters, the display name in Colleague, and the display name in a number of learning management systems (e.g., Eagle, Canvas, and Online Services), and most college directories. The College will also retain your full legal name, which is used when required by the College, such as in tax documents, contracts, academic transcripts, diplomas, and certain health records. For further details, students can refer to the Records Office.
Students - Please use this request form.
Acceptable uses of chosen first names include:
You may not use your chosen first name to misrepresent who you are, nor may you use any profane or offensive language in your preferred first name. Your chosen first name is subject to approval by College administration, and those who intentionally misuse the chosen first name option may be subject to disciplinary action.
A chosen first name may take several days to appear in all systems that display preferred first names.
Rock Valley College Personal and Success Counseling’s mission is to prepare students for learning and personal success throughout life. We educate and facilitate the growth of the whole person for living, learning, and coping in an unpredictable and diverse world. We work in conjunction with our colleagues across campus toward the promotion of a healthy campus environment for all those who learn and work at RVC by providing professional outreach and educational services and by fostering collaborative relationships across the campus.
To make an initial appointment, you can contact RVC's Personal and Success Counselor, Andrea McCauley at (815) 921-4105, or learn more here.
The Liam Foundation is the first LGBTQIA+ Resource Center in Rockford. They serve the LGBTQ+ community in our area by connecting folks to services. They also offer professional development trainings to other organizations to educate them on the unique challenges the community faces. You can connect with them by visiting theliamfoundation.org or their Facebook page.
Mission: PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity. Learn more and connect with PFLAG on their Facebook Page.
Our goal is an Illinois where LGBT persons can live openly, and our families are respected. Our LGBT work falls into 5 issue areas – relationship recognition, parenting, youth and schools, basic rights and liberties, and gender identity/expression. A cornerstone of discrimination against the LGBT community is a legal system that treats families of same-sex couples as legal strangers. Our primary goal in our fight for relationship recognition is to end of Illinois’ exclusion of lesbian and gay couples from access to marriage. Learn more on their website.
The mission of Equality Illinois is to secure, protect and defend equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Illinois. We envision a fair and unified Illinois where everyone is treated equally with dignity and respect and where all people live freely regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. Learn more at http://www.eqil.org/.
The Department of Human Rights administers the Illinois Human Rights Act. The Human Rights Act ("Act") prohibits discrimination in Illinois with respect to employment, financial credit, public accommodations and real estate transactions on the bases of race, color, religion, sex (including sexual harassment), national origin, ancestry, military status, age (40 and over), order of protection status, marital status, sexual orientation (which includes gender-related identity), unfavorable military discharge and physical and mental disability.
1104 14th St. NW Suite 200
Washington, D.C. 20005
2320 17th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
1101 14th St. NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
120 Wall St. Suite 1500
New York, NY 10005
P.O. Box 400639
Cambridge, MA 02140
870 Market St. Suite 57
San Francisco, CA 94107
1413 K St. NW 7th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
The National Coalition for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth.
National Magazine devoted to LGBT issues.
Resources, events & research on creating safer college environments for LGBTQ+ students.
A progressive organization whose mission is to support, education, and advocate for the rights and lives of transgender individuals and SOFFAs (Significant Others, Friends, Family, and Allies). www.forge-forward.org
Healthcare resources, healthcare equality index, and advocacy.
Resources, education, survey data, and networking around creating safe schools
National LGBTQ+ immigrant rights organization. Advocates for and directly represents LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive people in the immigration system.
An American civil rights organization serving primarily lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.
The nation's leading social justice advocacy organization pushing for life-saving change for transgender people.
Building the grassroots power of the LGBTQ+ community through education, activism, research, and resources.