|Title of host publication||Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication|
|State||Published - 15 Sep 2022|
Historically, organizations and individuals have (un)consciously produced safe spaces out of various backgrounds and in myriad ways. Specifically, queer safe spaces represent a significant construct within queer discourses and practices that articulate the need for physical, psychological, rhetoric, virtual, and imagined safety. In this context, safety means being protected from heteronormative and patriarchal violence that shapes the everyday lives and subjectivities of queer and LGBT+ individuals in public and private spaces. Whether these are offline, online, physical, or educational settings, queer safe spaces are defined as relational and deliberative spaces in which unsafety cannot be completely undone. Queer safe spaces then provide refuge for activism, social and personal transformation, facilitation thereof for productive spaces of dialogue, and identity construction. Even though the term “queer safe space” is commonly used, it remains undertheorized and no comprehensive understanding of queer safe spaces, their social role, or the practices involved in producing them exists. This article therefore defines queer safe spaces by encompassing the use of a critical perspective to foreground their qualities and fallacies as well as their inherent dilemmas and contradictions.