Gender Equity in Animal Rights (GEAR) is committed to promoting a culture of respect toward all animals (both human and other-than-human) in society as a whole. We are committed to achieving such goals as creating social norms around treating all animals with care, considering their quality of life, and protecting them from harm. As part of this role, we believe in professionalism in the workplace. We will treat others with respect. We hold that racist, sexist, ableist, and other discriminatory, or harassing language, imagery and behavior are not appropriate in person or online. We strive to support a safe environment within all communities in which we are active, free from harassment in any form, including discrimination, unwanted physical or verbal behavior, and retaliation. It is the expectation of GEAR that all participants abide by this code of conduct and any rules set forth for participant behavior.

Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, religion, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention.

Exception: Discussion or images related to sex, pornography, discriminatory language, or similar is permitted if it meets all of the following criteria:

  • It is necessary to the topic of discussion and no alternative exists
  • It is presented in a respectful manner

This exception specifically does not allow use of gratuitous sexual images as attention-getting devices or unnecessary examples.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are required to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in any of the aforementioned behavior, GEAR may take any action they deem appropriate, from warning the offender to immediately expelling the offender.

In addition to a community free of harassment, we strive to follow the norms of non-violent communication and enact restorative justice for problem solving.

Reporting and Enforcement

If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a member of the steering committee immediately. If you can’t or don’t wish to speak in person, or prefer to talk privately or electronically, contact us at

All reports will be handled in the strictest confidence.

This document was based on the work of XOXO with additions and edits by Aryenish Birdie, Nicole Brodeur, Andrea Gunn, Krista Hiddema, Erica Meier, Lauren Sprang and Michelle Rojas.