Evaluating a Supposed LGBTQ+ Friendly College

In my co-authored book, When Your Child Is Gay (Sterling: 2016), I interviewed J.R., born Jennifer Rebecca in Staten Island, New York.  Jennifer felt she was mismatched with her birth gender (transgender) and so at age eighteen, started hormone treatments.

When he entered a college in New Jersey as a female and told his female roommate that he had transitioning plans, he expected to be rejected, but wasn’t!  Buttressed by his college’s LGBT+ group, he excelled at college and was accepted by the other students!

Was he just lucky or had his parents done their homework?  How do you know if your LGBT child is going to continue to be harassed in college as he was in high school?  Or suppose your  LGBT child is miserable at their present college but doesn’t know where to transfer?

Look no further.  Campus Pride, a national organization for leadership development, support programs and services to create safer, more inclusive LGBTQ+friendly college and universities has partnered and developed an Index, an overall indicator of institutional commitment to LGBTQ+ inclusive policy, program and practice.  It has a free online tool that allows prospective students, families/parents and those interested in higher education to search a database of LGBTQ+friendly campuses.

The ranking done by Campus Pride Index looked at top twenty-five LGBTQ+ friendly colleges.  The list was examined for its efforts to support and provide academic, financial and social resources for LGBTQ+ students and was updated on 7-23-22.

Here is what they found in the most suitable LGBTQ+ colleges:

  • Peer support or mentorship programs that can offer a safe space to explore identity or socialize with like-minded individual.
  • Gender-Inclusive housing
  • Gender neutral bathrooms
  • Medical care appropriate for LGBTQ+ students that number at least 25% of U.S. college student. This should include counseling and gender-affirming treatment.
  • Faculty and staff representation
  • Have a non-discrimination policy

The top ten of the most LGBTQ+Friendly colleges are:

  1. Stanford University: Queer Student Resources
  2. Princeton University – The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center
  3. University of Pennsylvania – LGBT Center
  4. Tufts University – LGBT Center
  5. University of Michigan-Spectrum Center
  6. University of Washington-The Q Center
  7. Harvey Mudd College-Queer Resource Center
  8. Macalester College-The Gender and Sexuality Resource Center
  9. Lehigh University-Pride Center
  10. Kenyon College-Hosts Queer and Trans Studies Conference biennially.

If you use the Campus Pride Index’s map application,  you will be able to find an LGBTQ+ friendly college in the U.S. state you’d like.

When Your Child is Gay

When Your Child Is Gay: What You Need To Know

For more detailed advice, see book, co-authored with a mother of a gay son and a psychiatrist, Jonathan L. Tobkes, M.D.

Wesley Cullen Davidson

Wesley Cullen Davidson is an award-winning freelance writer and journalist specializing in parenting as well as gay and lesbian content. For the past two years, Wesley has concentrated almost exclusively on the lesbian and gay community, specifically on advising straight parents of gay children on how to be better parents and raise happy, well-adjusted adults

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