Posted originally on the Peace Corps Passport official blog by Char Stoever.

As the coordinator of the Sexuality Training Awareness and Response (STAR) Peace Corps Volunteer committee in Nicaragua, I train and support staff and Volunteers on LGBTQ issues. STAR formed in 2014 because Peace Corps Nicaragua was slated to start hosting same-sex couples. In light of this, LGBTQ Volunteers in-country recognized the need for their identities to be acknowledged and better supported.

In 2015, STAR led four LGBTQ Safe Zone trainings. Our first training was nerve-wracking, yet rewarding. During these trainings, we realized there was a great need for staff to learn about the differences between “sex” and “gender” before moving on to more complex topics of “gender expression” and “sexual orientation.” We trained the office staff, both Nicaraguan and American, as well as our hotel and hostel staff. Last but not least, we trained several of the taxi cab drivers who make sure we travel through Managua safely.

Check out why we need LGBTQ Safe Zone trainings on my 4th Peace Corps Passport blog post!