Beth & Tim Manners
Which Colleges are LGBT-Friendly?
Updated: Sep 18, 2019
US News: “Finding the right fit is important for any college student; for the LGBT community, that especially rings true. Historically marginalized and discriminated against, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is now embraced at many colleges across the US … Institutional commitment, experts agree, is key to determining how well LGBT students fare on a college campus. To gauge this commitment, students should look at factors such as housing and restroom policies, curriculum, resources and representation … LGBT advocates say that one important starting point for prospective students is to examine a college’s nondiscrimination policies. To find a college’s nondiscrimination policy, search online using that term and the school name.”
“Open housing allows students to live with a roommate of their choice regardless of gender identity. For transgender and nonbinary students, this makes housing less complicated … Bathrooms are another important aspect of the physical environment for transgender and nonbinary students. Many schools list bathroom policies online. If that policy is unavailable on the college website, students can check with an admissions officer or a school’s LGBT center – if it has one – for clarification.”
“Though same-sex marriage is legal across all states now, policies can still vary on other issues of importance for the LGBT community. Some states offer more protections than others, with laws that prohibit employment and housing discrimination against LGBT individuals, bar conversion therapy, offer state health benefits to eligible transgender citizens and more … But a state’s record on LGBT issues is not necessarily indicative of how a campus in that state welcomes and supports that community. Oberlin College, for example, is well known for being LGBT-friendly, despite Ohio scoring in the lowest category of the 2018 State Equality Index, a state-by-state overview of LGBT protections put out by Human Rights Campaign, an LGBTQ advocacy group.”