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Cougar Ally Training

Find Cougar Ally Training on our Event Calendar


To increase the safety and comfort level for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (GLBTQ) students, staff, and faculty at the University of Houston by training allies to be able to respond knowledgeably and sensitively to expressed needs.


The training assists faculty, staff, and students in increasing their awareness of issues that Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender people face. In a non-threatening setting, CAT teaches participants to create an accepting campus environment for UH’s LGBTQ population. Allies are given a placard to display as a visible statement of support for the LGBTQ community


Increase the diversity training of staff and faculty at the University of Houston. To provide factual information and dispel myths about LGBTQ individuals Reduce homophobia and heterosexism on campus To provide a safe and open environment to talk about issues of sexual orientation Train safe and knowledgeable people to act as allies who are willing to provide support and information for LGBTQ staff, faculty, and students.

University of Houston Cougar Allies

View a list of people who have taken the training and are willing to be publicly identified as Cougar Allies.

Feel free to contact any of these people for more information about the training.

An Ally Is

An open-minded listener who strives to become familiar with LGBTQ issues while recognizing his or her own limitations is willing to be a safe person to talk to and is able to refer to people as necessary.

Qualities of an Ally

An Ally Is Not

  • Expected to be a counselor or trained to deal with crisis situations. (Know your limits and refer).
  • Expected to be an expert on LGBTQ issues and have ready-made answers.
  • Expected to defend the “Cougar Allies” or participate in debates of this nature.

What people are saying about the training:

  • "Very interactive"
  • "I liked the visualization exercise, activities, and panel. Basically, I loved everything!"
  • "Everyone was friendly and willing to share their knowledge."
  • "This class should be offered to more people on campus."
  • "Great job!"
  • "A very useful training, keep it up!"


Hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States have programs called by different names, but often “safe zone” or “safe space.” Safe Zones are commonly identified as “ally” programs where members of the LGBTQ communities receive support and understanding. The earliest known program was at Ball State University which started in 1992. After the death of Matthew Shepard in 1998, the number increased dramatically. Safe Zones provide highly visible and easily identifiable spaces where support and understanding are key and discrimination and bigotry are not tolerated.