8 Colleges That Prove What It Means to Be LGBT-Friendly
“Do they have my major?” “What does the campus look like?” “How far is it from home?” These are the questions high school students should ask when searching for a college — not: “will I be accepted for who I am there?”
But all too often, LGBT students are forced to ask themselves this very question. Though most colleges and Universities legally can’t deny admission to a student based on their gender identity or sexuality, some schools are more welcoming of the LGBT community than others. In a perfect world, every school in the country would be on this list. But for now, these are the top eight LGBT-friendly schools.
With an entire library dedicated just to LGBT literature and a vibrant LGBT social life on campus, it’s no surprise that Princeton is leading the way in inclusion and equality. But in addition to the more fun LGBT activities you’ll find there, Princeton is also avidly working to educate people on LGBT culture and provide a safe space for LGBT students (as they can choose to have an LGBT or LGBT-friendly roommate).
The University of Pennsylvania places incredible emphasis on trans inclusion. Even if a trans student's name has not been legally changed, the school offers name change initiatives that allow students to use their preferred name for attendance, tests, projects, and any other school documents. They also have dozens of gender-neutral bathrooms around campus and strict anti-harassment policies.
Located in one of the most LGBT-friendly cities in the world, it’s no surprise that UCLA has landed a spot on our list. Located on the UCLA campus is the Williams Institute (on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy). Currently, the institute is investigating LGBT discrimination in America and worldwide, and is creating the first Ph.D. program in LGBTQQ studies.
Boasting a course load of LGBT-focused classes, including AIDS facts and issues, adolescent parenthood, and sex and gender in the ancient world, Ohio State University focuses on providing an inclusive, as well as educational environment for all of its students.
From the street culture of New York City to the lecture halls of NYU, students who attend college at New York University are exposed to a number of different cultures every day. By day, straight and LGBT students can attend classes on social change, discrimination, and LGBT history. By night, they can attend the vast number of LGBT-friendly bars, film screenings, and LGBT lectures just a stone's throw away in NYC.
Strategically organized in a four-tier structure, LGBT life at Johns Hopkins revolves around community support, education, advocacy, and networking. In addition to peer mentorship programs, students can also connect with LGBT staff members to gain an even greater support system.
LGBT students at the University of Maryland College Park are given unique access to community building clubs, leadership opportunities, and several different outreach programs. The LGBT Equity Center also gives away a scholarship each year to the full-time student who has demonstrated a commitment to advancing the civil rights of ethnic groups and LGBT people.
For more than a decade, the Gender and Sexuality Center at the University of Texas Austin has been working with LGBTQ women by connecting them with internship and job opportunities, as well as healthcare coverage.