We will always listen and believe you, without question, with regards to your identity.
We will never share any information we collect without your express consent, each and every time. That includes information about your identity.
We understand that many young people do not feel that it is safe for their families, classmates, or other people in their lives to know that they identify as LGBTQIA+. We will never share that information without direct consent from the individual. The trust our youngest members have in us is paramount.
It is unethical to remove access to knowledge and understanding based solely on ideological lines. We work to uphold access to accurate and reputable information about LGBTQ+ lives, bodies, communities, and history.
We strive to create a safer space for all people to explore their identities, connections, and place within the community, while lifting up the lived experiences of others.
NoVA Prism Center & Library, LLC was founded in May 2022 under a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsorship by local transgender educators and activists as a response to the controversial protests at Northern Virginia school board meetings regarding the banning books covering LGBTQ+ topics. As a LGBTQ+ run organization with roots in the community it serves, NoVA Prism Center & Library is an answer to both the threat of lost access for LGBTQ+ teens in the region, as well as being the community resource that the LGBTQ+ community desperately needs moving forward. In February 2023, the organization achieved 501(c)(3) status as NoVA Prism Center, Inc.
Currently, NoVA Prism Center operates via appointments at the library headquarters, and through participation at local Pride Festivals, library pop-ups at local businesses and organizations, and community events at the Oakton headquarters. Additionally, the org has recently launched a donor-supported independent online literary magazine, The Lantern, featuring LGBTQ+ writers and artists local to Northern Virginia as a way of giving back to and supporting the community. However, with sufficient funding, the goal is to sustain a physical location in Fairfax County to house a library collection, support social support and community events, and host lectures and workshops on educational topics relevant to the LGBTQ+ community.
Discussions, posts, actions, or comments that promote hatred or harassment of any kind - including, but not limited to discrimination based on sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, color, religion, national origin, age, political affiliation, social aptitude, speech impediments - are never acceptable in our community. Additionally, as we are a safe space in service to the LGBTQIA+ community, we will not tolerate intentional misgendering, deadnaming, transmedicalism, or generalized negativity around gender affirming surgeries or results thereof. There is no place in our community for hand wringing, concern trolling, whining, resentment stoking, or fearmongering over “reverse racism” and “anti-cis” or “anti-white” sentiments.
At NoVA Prism Center, we are strong supporters of privacy and consent. When reaching out through private messages (DMs), all members are expected to ask for consent before messaging others. Additionally, please be aware that commenting on others' appearance, abilities, etc without their consent can make folks feel unsafe-- and they may not even feel safe saying so. When in doubt, always ask consent first! Remember that 'no' means no, but silence also means no-- consent looks like an enthusiastic 'yes'.
NoVA Prism Center does not permit sexual harassment of any kind, including but not limited to unwanted sexual advances, unwanted sexual comments about others, sending unsolicited sexually suggestive content, or attacks on sexual activity.
Your actions, online and offline, affect others. Remember that at the end of the day, we all want what’s best for NoVA Prism Center. Sometimes we have different ideas about how to get there, but always strive for collaboration instead of conflict. It’s okay to disagree as long as it’s not personal. When an argument happens, take a step back and consider other people’s perspectives. When tensions are heated, reconsider your tone, your intentions, and whether or not the conversation should be paused or taken elsewhere. Strive to constructively resolve conflicts patiently and compassionately.
Please post content warnings and trigger warnings around topics that others may find distressing. Do not analyze or diagnose what you believe someone else may be experiencing, though you can always share parallel experiences. Addiitonally, please remember that there are members of our community that are multiply marginalized or who experience intersectional trauma and discrimination. Please do not try to speak for a community that you do not belong to-- instead, give space for the folks who have those lived experiences to speak for themselves if they choose to. That said, nobody is obligated to educate anyone else, and if you are asked to research on your own, we expect that you will take that in good faith.
NoVA Prism Center is a safe space. In order to maintain the safety and security for our volunteers, what happens in the community stays in the community. Do not take photos at events without the permission of the individuals in the photo (and avoid photographing their face if they ask you to).
NoVA Prism Center cannot endorse or allow campaign-related activity for any politicians who are currently in, running for, or may eventually run for office. This doesn't mean we are an apolitical space-- good-faith discussion of issues and legislation affecting the LGBTQIA+ community are allowed when relevant to our mission, values, and work.
If someone is violating the Code of Conduct and you would like to make a report, please email your report with as much detail as you are able to give to firstname.lastname@example.org