Safe Space Alliance Member

Inclusivity is very important to Team Tanks that covers being an ally for those awesome folx identifying as Takatāpui,  MVPFAFF+ or LGBTQI+ [see disclaimer below]

So we’re proud celebrate Pride Month 2023 and to announce Tanker is now officially part of the Safe Space Alliance.

What is the Safe Space Alliance?

The Safe Space Alliance is a LGBTQI+ led nonprofit organisation that aims to help people identify, navigate, and create safe spaces for LGBTQI+ communities worldwide. Being part of the Safe Space Alliance is being part of a global and collaborative safe space community.


The Safe Space Alliance was founded by artist and LGBTQI+ activist Shannon Novak. It began as an artwork at The Suter Art Gallery in Nelson, Aotearoa New Zealand, in response to the growing need for clearly identifiable safe spaces for LGBTQI+ communities.

The gallery was the first safe space as verified by the Safe Space Alliance, and the Safe Space Alliance logo was installed temporarily on the gallery windows.

The idea then spread to the surrounding community in Nelson including Nelson City Council who became a verified safe space, then funded a light art project that projected the Safe Space Alliance logo onto buildings around the city.

The idea then extended to other cities in New Zealand with the help of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland’s Britomart Group, then went international. 

What is a safe space?

A safe space is a space where MVPFAFF+ LGBTQI+ communities can freely express themselves without fear. It is a space that does not tolerate violence, bullying, or hate speech towards MVPFAFF+ LGBTQI+ communities.

A safe space does not guarantee 100% safety, rather, it’s a space that has your back if an incident (violence, bullying, or hate speech) were to occur.

Why do we need safe spaces?

There will be individuals and groups out there who, regardless of what the law says, do not accept MVPFAFF+ LGBTQI+ communities for various reasons. This may result in implicitly or explicitly hostile spaces, regardless of how progressive a country/place in the world is in terms of LGBTQI+ rights.

Show Your Allyship

Whether you’re a physical, mobile, digital spaces, or heritage space, if you support the aims of this organisation, we encourage you to join the Safe Space Alliance.


Tanker uses the Takatāpui, MVPFAFF+ and LGBTQI+ acronym and umbrella terms with a view to being as inclusive as possible, but acknowledge this does not account for all, may not work for everyone and does not cover other indigenous identities.

LGBTQI+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, and the plus sign represents other people marginalised by sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and/or sex characteristics.

There are other umbrella terms including rainbow, queer, and variations on the LGBTQI+ acronym like LGBT and LGBTQIA2, all of which have a place and may be used.

Members may identify how they wish.

Safe Spaces Pride Month 2023


Takatāpui is a Māori (indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand) word, historically meaning ‘intimate companion of the same sex’. The term was reclaimed in the 1980s and used by individuals who were gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, intersex or part of the rainbow community.

The use of ‘takatāpui’ as an identity is a response to western ideas of sex, sexuality and gender, and emphasises one’s identity as Māori as inextricably linked to their gender identity, sexuality or variation of sex characteristics.



An acronym to describe Pasifika/Moana a Nui a Kiwa identities. The abbreviation is gaining increasing use to signify the existence of different Pasifika cultures that have a strong presence in Aotearoa New Zealand. Other terms include Fakaleiti, Rae rae, and Fafafine.
Mahu (Hawai’i and Tahiti)
Vaka sa lewa lewa (Fiji)
Palopa (Papua New Guinea)
Fa’afafine (Samoa)
Akava’ine (Rarotonga)
Fakaleiti (Tonga)
Fakafifine (Niue).


An acronym used to describe:
Lesbian: Usually refers to a woman who has a romantic and/or sexual orientation toward women. Some nonbinary people also identify with this term.
Gay: Used in some cultural settings to represent men who are attracted to men in a romantic, erotic and/or emotional sense. Not all men who engage in same-gender sexual behavior identify as gay, and as such this label should be used with caution.
Bisexual or Bi: A person who experiences sexual, romantic, physical, and/or spiritual attraction to more than one gender, not necessarily at the same time, in the same way, or to the same degree.
Transgender: A person whose sense of personal identity or gender does not correspond to the sex they were assigned at birth, or does not conform to gender stereotypes. Sexual orientation varies and is not dependent on gender identity.
Queer: a multi-faceted word that is used in different ways and means different things to different people. 1) Attraction to people of many genders. 2) Don’t conform to cultural norms around gender and/or sexuality. 3) A general term referring to all non-heterosexual people. Some within the community, however, may feel the word has been hatefully used against them for too long and are reluctant to embrace it.
Questioning: An individual who is unsure of and/or exploring their gender identity and/or sexual orientation.
Intersex: An umbrella term that describes people born with any of 30 different variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals.
Asexual: A person who experiences little or no sexual attraction to others and/or a lack of interest in sexual relationships/behaviour. They may or may not experience emotional, physical, or romantic attraction. Asexuality differs from celibacy in that it is a sexual orientation, not a choice. People who are asexual may call themselves ace.

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