Being a student who hardly fits the commonly accepted norms is hard to even in a familiar environment. There is always a chance to be ignored, mocked, humiliated, or even beaten.
But when the time comes to leave the well-known environment, students are put into even great stress because of the uncertainty awaiting them. How will things work out for them? Will there be someone to hang out with? Will they fit in the new setting?
Without any doubt, standing out from the crowd is a challenge. That is why homosexual students leaving high school have a lot of homework to do before they choose the GLBT-friendly colleges that would become a safe place for them to study in. Finding a place for getting a higher education is not the easiest choice. But when you pick the institution that would catch up on all aspects of the individual's health of the LGBT community, some extra factors should be considered.
Keeping this in mind, we’ve put out an article that would help choose the best colleges for gay students.
What to Look for in Universities for LGBT Students?
Even though the civil rights and policies have expanded in the USA regarding the protection and ensure equal rights of queer people, there might be many challenges on the interpersonal level in terms of communication with peers and even teachers.
That is why it is important to find LGBT-friendly universities that welcome and create a favorable environment for the students who fall within the LGBT acronym. Here is a list of features for you to look for in the college that would become the cozy place to acquire new knowledge, skills, and unleash your potential.
- LGBT organizations and clubs to satisfy the need to belong to a group of like-minded people;
- a vibrant student life that enables LGBT students to reveal their talents and potential;
- inclusive campus facilities like gender-inclusive housing, restrooms, etc. to avoid any embarrassment;
- Safe Zone and other training courses promoting a friendly attitude towards people with different sexual needs;
- LGBTQ-friendly healthcare services and care options to ensure the equal right for obtaining quality medical services;
- LGBT student advisory group that works on optimizing the learning experience and campus life for LGBT students.
You can also consider if the institution offers LGBT scholarships, awards, grants, and delivers counseling services.
Top Queer and Lesbian Colleges and Universities
Finding an LGBT-supportive institution might not be easy, but it’s possible. The modern world is accommodating to the new reality and there are more and more colleges that provide a congenial environment for those students whose sexual orientation and gender identity are different from the majority of learners.
University of Pennsylvania
Founded by Benjamin Franklin back in 1740, the Penn has become the best place for LGBT students. The uni sets understanding and appreciated the diversity in the society as one of its priorities, so no wonder it has become the leader in the advocacy for students who might need special conditions due to their sexual orientation or sexual identity.
Penn is one of the first universities to start thinking about sexual minorities. They take care of creating a welcoming environment for gays, lesbians, transgenders, bisexuals, so they arrange a safe space for them to study, hang out, cook, sleep, and show their talents.
The campus includes gender-neutral restrooms and showers all over the campus, solutions for gender-neutral housing, hosts around 25 LGBT groups, and provides great medical care solutions for LGBT students.
University of California
If you would like to find the most LGBT-friendly college in Los Angeles, the University of California is the option you should consider. This institution is not as pricey as Stanford but is still as supportive in terms of the academic and social LGBT life as its more popular brother.
The uni has raised 15 Nobel laureates and won 261 Olympic medals, which means that everyone will get a chance for finding an activity they will totally enjoy.
As an LGBT student, you will have a chance to win one of seven LGBT-specific scholarships and make use of the LGBT Campus Resources. UCLA hosts weekly events, offers therapy groups and counseling services, delivers free sexual health supplies, and more.
Besides, the University in California is the only institution that hosts the Williams Institute that focuses on revealing the nature of sexual preferences and gender identity policies.
Belonging to the Princeton family is already honorable, but learners of minor sexual preferences or gender identity will feel at home here as well.
The university created a center for supporting LGBT students and provide them with a friendly place where they can support each other and discuss topics that are of great importance for them. This institution from the Ivy League takes care of the academic, mental, social, and physical health of their LGBT students.
Princeton University offers LGBT mentorship programs, workshops, lectures, and events that help build a strong network and supportive environment.
Washington University in St. Louis
Washington University in St. Lois can be justifiably called one of the gayest colleges in the United States. It offers LGBT students endless opportunities that help them grow into well-educated citizens. The institution provides gender-neutral restrooms and housing units, all-gender-inclusive healthcare, and classroom experiences that foster respect and a positive attitude towards people with different sexual preferences and sex identification.
Washington University has multiple LGBT communities, where learners get assistance and find answers to their questions during masterminds and collective brainstorming. There are scholarship programs and awards for LGBT students or those who are noted by leadership in LGBTQ advocacy.
San Diego State University
San Diego State University, also abbreviated as SDSU, is a friendly place for LGBT students who are looking for a healthy environment to maintain their academic and social life.
An interesting fact is that this establishment has a degree in LGBT studies and every student who chooses this faculty can get a graduate certificate in this field of studies.
Students are welcomed to join a Pride Center that braces all the campus resources that are commonly available for LGBTQ students. The learners and campus dwellers are encouraged to take part in annual drag shows, attend SafeZones ally training, and join the Trans book club.
The Final Words
Even though finding gay-friendly universities can be a tall order, you should never give up on the idea of finding a place where your differences will be cherished and welcomed. Just keep in mind that our life is not made of academic experience only. So, along with considering the courses, campus staff, administration, and faculties, pay attention to the social and campus conditions.
After all, you deserve to find a place where you can freely express yourself while gaining valuable knowledge and networking.