The Lesbian Insider’s Guide to 40 LGBT-Friendly College Campuses

Hampshire College

Amherst, MA
by Kalei & Liz


Student Population: 1,500
Tuition: $41,900 (plus $11,180 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: about 53%

Hampshire College is nestled in Amherst, MA, which is a progressive little town close to Northampton, MA (the lesbian capital of the world). The town has lots of quaint stores and vegan/vegetarian restaurants as well as a few bars that Hampshire kids have to share with Amherst College and UMASS Amherst. Hampshire is made up of only individuals; people that shy away from “socially-acceptable” notions of gender, sexuality, presentation and most other aspects of identity. Hampshire is extremely permitting of all-things LGBTQQIA, and in fact there is a “Queer Community Alliance” event built into the orientation program almost annually.

Many women at Hampshire are queer-identified, few strictly identify as lesbians. Many female-bodied queer folks don’t even identify as women. Most people on campus attempt to be trans* friendly. Asking for someone’s pronouns is built into orientation, and many who attend Hampshire are able to question their gender with the support of peers.

It is difficult to locate a date that a friend hasn’t already dated because the school is so small. Granted, an upcoming Hampshire student can benefit from the close relationship/bus-ride we have with Smith and Mt Holyoke College. There are several multi-campus events and one can expand her community by taking a class at another one of the schools. People are generally outgoing and friendly – especially in the first few weeks of each semester, so finding friends who share your beliefs will be a cinch.

On-campus activities range from meet-and-greets to large dances and lectures. The Queer Community Alliance is an umbrella student group that has several sub-groups including TSA (Trans-Student Alliance), Fempire, Queer International & People of Color and Alternative Sexuality Collective. These groups are active on campus and have WEEKLY meetings and/or events such as the Gender F*ck Dance and queer soccer games. Sometimes these initiatives fall flat and fail to involve enough of the community, but typically they have a pretty big draw.

Ultimately Hampshire will be what you make of it. All beginnings at this school WILL undoubtedly be awkward, but the people that can break through this unnerving shell will be rewarded with rainbows.

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Ithaca College

Ithaca, NY

Student Population: 6,442 undergraduate, 507 graduate
Tuition: $35,278 (plus $12,854 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: 69%

Without sounding like too much of a scummy college tour guide, I highly recommend Ithaca College for all of your lesbian liberal-arts needs.

Ithaca itself serves as college town to both Ithaca College and our dear neighbor Cornell University. The area is bustling with eccentric people– street magicians, tattooed ivy league geniuses, aggressively talented Frisbee players– so being a gay dude or lady doesn’t phase anyone. The best way I can describe the city’s approach to the GSM community is “cheerfully apathetic.” It’s an excellent college town, very gay friendly, and safety for anyone– queer, lady, queer lady– is rarely an issue.

I’ve never heard of anyone being abused verbally or physically for being gay while on campus. There may be a few awkward questions from acquaintances, but I don’t know of any aggression against gays. Of course if you’re looking for people who feel strongly about gay rights, look no further than Ithaca College. Now Ithaca’s website will tell you we have four LGBT organizations: one for bisexuals, one activism group, one for student athletes and one for anyone in the queer community. However, I always secretly count IC Feminists as a gay club, too.

If you don’t want to exclusively hang out with queermos, IC has a club for everyone– Harry Potter alliance, theatre, music groups, a student-run TV station, intramural and D3 sports teams, student government, video game designing, religious groups, circus club. Whatever you’re interested in, there’s probably a group of people already really excited about it. Let your freak flag fly.

We also have an awesome LGBT center for counseling, activism, or whatever you need. Plus its director just received Planned Parenthood’s top honor for educators. Did I mention Ithaca College is one of the nation’s top 100 schools for LGBT students? Yeah, we’re pretty swanky.

I can’t speak to one specific dating “scene” on campus. A lot of gay ladies meet through the LGBT-specific groups (Prism and Spectrum are fairly social clubs) but I met my group of GSM friends through DJing at the student-run radio stations. You may also meet a bunch of people through your major—we have huge theatre, music, and communications departments. One of my favorite things about IC is there are too many awesome people, LGBT or otherwise, to keep track of.

The city of Ithaca itself is also gay-friendly. There’s lots to do and it’s safe unless you’re a pot plant. It’s a good place to be queer.

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Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD
by Rose, AS Contributing Editor

rose

Student Population: 4,980 undergraduate, 1,842 graduate
Tuition: $40,680 (plus $12,510 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: about 20%

I am primarily a student at the Peabody Conservatory, a music school that is a part of Johns Hopkins, but in a different part of Baltimore from the main campus in Homewood. However, I spend a lot of time at both campuses, so here is my insight into what it’s like to be queer at Hopkins:

On the one hand, JHU is a fairly liberal university which cares about its queer students. The Homewood campus has some issues with misogyny from certain students, but homophobia is generally frowned-upon across the various campuses, at least in my experience. You’d be hard-pressed to find many openly hateful students, and pretty much all the faculty and staff I have met have been supportive. There are also queer student groups on the various JHU campuses; out of them, I only have experience with DSAGA (Diverse Sexuality and Gender Alliance) at the main campus and the Peabody GSA, but they are both great. DSAGA, in fact, is huge, and they have great weekly discussions, regular trips to clubs in D.C. and lots of other great events. JHU doesn’t have an LGBT Center or anything, but overall I’ve always felt like the various services on campus address the specific needs of queer students.

On the other hand, there aren’t a lot of dating opportunities. Oh sure, the Peabody campus, like any other performing arts school, has a ton of gay guys. There’s even a saying here about unattached freshman dudes – “If he’s not gay, he’s gay by May!” But queer girls are less common, and JHU in general does not have a strong “queer community” of its own. If you want to find one, you need to head off-campus – Baltimore has a fair number of queer establishments (especially in the Mount Vernon neighborhood) and in general is a large, progressive city with friendly people and lots of things to do. Baltimore isn’t New York; you have to seek out the fun rather than expect it to come to you, which is why some people (wrongly) believe Baltimore is boring. If you take time to ride the Charm City Circulator and JHMI Shuttle to the city’s various neighborhoods, though, you will find a diverse array of sights and experiences (though don’t go into every neighborhood; Baltimore isn’t the safest city). If that’s still not enough for you, D.C., Philadelphia and New York are all within a few hours’ drive!

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Kenyon College

Gambier, OH

Student Population: 1,600
Tuition: $41,090 (plus $10,020 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: 33.5%

The environment is pretty lesbian/queer women-friendly and feels very queer safe. There is occasional leering from some fraternities but most students are extremely accepting and supportive.

Kenyon is a small school. Even the heteros complain about the small dating pool and how incestuous most friend groups seem to be. The queer women’s scene is no better. Most girls don’t have a problem with it, but it’s definitely something that you’ll have to adjust to. But the dating scene is totally what you make of it and if you want to actually go for coffee with a person you think is cute, you can make it happen.

The social scene is super lively. Though Kenyon has Greek life, only a small portion of the population actually pledges, making frat parties inclusive campus events. Speaking of Greeks, there are a fair number of out queer sorority and fraternity members. For those who aren’t inclined to attend an enormous keg n’ dance party, there are TONS of bands to check out, active literary and book writing circles, smaller house/apartment parties, movie nights, pool tables, plays, and a cappella concerts, etc. More students attend the pre-game a cappella concerts and comedy shows than the actual football games. Because Kenyon is in the middle of nowhere, students have figured out millions of ways to stay entertained on campus.

There are three queer campus organizations. Unity House is both a student residence and an general GSA organization where the student managers lead a meeting once a week. The Queer Women’s Collective (colloquially known as Qdubs or QWC) holds meetings once a week in various locations around campus. Membership is anonymous and there is a very strict “no discussing who was at the meeting outside of the meeting” rule, keeping it safe for women who are not out on campus to attend. It’s mostly a social organization where meetings can consist of anything from pizza and board games to poignant discussions about what it’s like to be a queer college student. Also, the leaders mandate a “keep your drama at the door” rule, making sure that you and your ex-girlfriend can both happily attend. Additionally, there is the Queer Men’s Society, which functions in the same manner as Qdubs.

Definitely, definitely attend a Queer Women’s Collective meeting. The queer ladies who attend range from Gold Star Lesbians to those who are still questioning and are extremely welcoming, warm, and friendly and love to see new faces at any point in the semester. Other not explicitly gay but very gay-friendly organizations are: ECO (lesbians love the environment), the women’s Ultimate Frisbee team, Women’s Rugby, PEAS, the Crozier Center for Women, and the Owl Creeks who are seriously the hottest all-girl a cappella group. Ever.

In Gambier, most of the residents are professors or associated with Kenyon is some way, making them fairly queer friendly. The closest “real” town is Mt. Vernon, which is about 10 minutes away by shuttle or car. Mt. Vernon is not queer friendly and has a large conservative Christian population. Columbus, which is and hour away, has a thriving lesbian scene. Seriously, the Short North is like a lesbian hot spot and it’s marvelous.

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McGill University

Montréal, Quebec
by Carolyn, AS Contributing Editor

carolyn

Student Population: 25,267 undergraduate, 8,301 graduate
Tuition: $3,652 to $16,690 depending on citizenship
Acceptance Rate:46%

The main gay group/ official presence at McGill is Queer McGill, which is a student-run organization that I have heard unaffectionately described as “a clique-y bunch of leftist exclusionists.” The few times I went to meetings (not larger events, which, it should be noted, were much different), I got the sense that as a lesbian with a mostly unexciting gender presentation, I wasn’t queer enough to stay. Queer McGill does do some awesome things — there are welcome discussion groups, regular coming out discussion groups, several large dance-, booze- and make-out-fueled parties, and an office (with books!) to hang out in if that’s your cup of tea. But a significant number of queer people on campus seem to be unaffiliated, and I have no problem understanding why.

Generally speaking, McGill is gay-positive. It has: The Union for Gender Empowerment (even more books!), political working groups, a McGill Senate committee to advocate for queer and trans* students, faculty and staff, a sexual diversity minor, and lots of gender neutral bathrooms. And most of the time if you’re being stared at for holding hands on campus, it’s by another gay girl checking you out (and, there seems to be a lot of them. So that’s a plus). Montréal is also pretty queer-positive, and has plenty of events, groups, and bars (check out Faggity Ass Fridays, a dance party; Project 10, a queer youth support service; or Drugstore, a mostly lesbian bar) to make up for whatever campus is missing.

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Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Student Population: 8,367 undergraduate, 8,108 graduate
Tuition: $13,864 per quarter
Acceptance Rate: 23% (2010)

The overall atmosphere towards to LGBT community at Northwestern is quite accepting, especially with our big theater department. There is an LGBT Resource Center, a Rainbow Alliance, Rainbow Week, a chapter of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, gender-open housing, Greek Allies and a Women’s Center. Attendance at Rainbow Alliance meetings is very low, and the people who do go seem to be a bit of a clique. But I would recommend at least going to a few meetings at first to meet people. The new Guidance and Peer Solutions (GPS) program is a pretty good way to start becoming involved in the community by learning from an older student. And you definitely don’t want to miss the Drag Show in the winter.

NU is very Greek, though, and I think to some extent, the structure of the Greek community (its dress code & social schedule in particular) squelches the lady gays a little bit. The gayish sorority, Alpha Delta Pi, is gone. Frankly, that sums up the condition of the lesbian community at large. Everyone means well but there aren’t enough visible lesbians to make any sort of homo scene for women a reality.

To be honest, there is no dating scene. Just don’t even try, it’s heartbreaking. Join the rugby team, as we are getting gayer, need rookies, and are going someplace homosexual for spring break. I hear the soccer team’s pretty gay too.

While Evanston is as heteronormative as they come, it is super close to Chicago, which means if you’re willing to sit through the first awkward five minutes of a Chicagostraddlers meetup, you will be rewarded with a wonderfully diverse queer posse who will accompany you to derby matches, lady arm wrestling, chicken and waffles, Pride, FKA at Big Chick’s, brunch at the Chicago Diner, and pretty much anything involving alternative lifestyle haircuts/flasks. Having a fake ID is strongly recommended, as you do not want to miss the WCR afterparties.

One last thing: take Lane Fenrich’s queer history course. The man (gay, dean of freshmen, searingly brilliant) is just fucking magic; you will be a better homo for having taken his class. Also there’s a secret Einstein’s Bagel on the second floor of Pancoe (you’re welcome) and apparently it’s where all the hot lesbian science types get their breakfast (you’re double welcome).

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NYU

New York, NY
by Taylor, AS Tech Writer

Taylor

Student Population: 19,401 undergraduate, 18,990 graduate
Tuition: $38,765 per year (2010)
Acceptance Rate: 29%

In retrospect I have no idea how or why I decided to go to NYU, just that it seemed like it would be sufficiently radically far away from Houston when I got there. NYU was definitely a unique experience, an amazing one too, but talking about queer life at NYU in some respects is just talking about life in downtown Manhattan. NYU doesn’t have a campus to speak of, really; you’re just mixed right in with the city. Obviously, life in downtown Manhattan is really, really gay, but unfortunately, that flavor of gay is often a one-dimensional, flattened-out portrait populated by shiny Manhattanite gay men. That said, DIY lady queerness was never very difficult . . . and we lady queers love to DIY, am I right?

After my freshman year, I became super involved with NYU’s LGBT office, and signed on as an LGBT Peer Educator. Assuming the program still exists, it was a really cool way to step up my game and plug into the community, and it really crystallized my queer identity. Through the NYU LGBT office I held exactly one batrillion workshops on issues ranging from basic identity stuff, to sex toys (demos and all, of course!), to trans-awareness and even queer Valentine’s Day speed-dating. I had the chance to trade ideas with a diverse bunch of queers about identity politics on the regular (and take naps in the office, naturally). Having a vast spread of sharp gay minds around me at all times was invaluable, and obviously we threw great parties too.

The NYU LGBT office went to great lengths to be inclusive and raise awareness about a broad spectrum of LGBT issues, but at the end of the day, the school’s stereotype remains: NYU is chock-full of gay boys and a bunch of straight women who inexplicably crave their friendship. It can be extremely alienating when every single fucking time someone at your school says the word ‘gay’ they mean ‘this certain flavor of biologically gay male who looks like so and abides by these unspoken rules of gaydom’ and you’re like, “er, hey that word belongs to me too, but here you are defining it.”

When I went to college as a naive not-out protoqueer, I thought that kind of ‘gay’ was good enough for me. Over time, I found the diversity I began to crave, and by the end I was part of a rollicking group of queers of all different stripes. Once you get your foot in the door, a whole world of queerdom opens up, but much like anything else in New York, you’ve got to take the initiative. While I initially didn’t know how I fit into that 2D picture, getting heavily involved in LGBT activism early on opened up a nuanced world beyond that telltale New York sheen, and the city and the school are both teeming with a rich queer underground — full of gay ladies who will sleep with you, of course! And if anyone ever invites you to a party in Brooklyn: Go. Your people are there, lurking on the periphery, and they will embrace you with open legs.

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262 Comments

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    I think my bank account is glad I went to an in-state public university…

    Also, on St Olaf’s, I think it’s important to point out that the ELCA is a different sort of “evangelical” than what most people think of when they hear that word. My mom goes to an ELCA church and her congregation is super open and affirming (they even have a block party during Pride).

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      That is one thing I can say — my school costs were a lot cheaper than many of my friends. In retrospect, maybe I could’ve gotten a scholarship if I had considered that and tried. But I will be done paying off my student loans in only a few years… I can’t wait. I know some people who will be paying them off for years and years to come. Arguably, if you go to an Ivy League school, you’ll earn more money in your lifetime. But I know my school was very, VERY far from Ivy League and I am working with mostly people who did attend top tier colleges, so…

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    “All beginnings at this school WILL undoubtedly be awkward, but the people that can break through this unnerving shell will be rewarded with rainbows.”

    Goodness, that is a perfect description of Hampshire College. I love my school so much, but my entire first year was awkward as shit. I’m extremely glad that I stuck it out and found my rainbow reward.

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    In ref to Vanderbilt University, I’m a Western Kentucky U. student and Play lets anyone with a college ID in for free, not just Nashville colleges. I even brought a friend from Centre (a good 6 hour car ride away) once and she got in.

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    Taylor: You’ll be happy to know that Outspoken (the peer education program she was referring to, for all you non-NYUers) still exists! I just graduated this past spring and was in it. Also, the LGBT Office has been renamed the LGBTQ Student Center.

    Anyone out there considering/already attending NYU should get involved, it was a great experience.

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    It’s times like this where I wish I majored in something in the liberal arts rather than aeronautics. The GSA at my university (Embry-Riddle in AZ) had four members, and I was the only lesbian (then again, the student population only 12% female overall). The only place I’ve ever been to that was less queer friendly was Texas Southern University. Holy crap was that the single worst year of my life.

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        I did have a great time the few occasions I drove up to Flagstaff and have actually been to Macy’s! I’d love to go back – couldn’t afford the price tag, so I’m at an extended campus in Houston now. Prescott itself wasn’t that bad, Riddle was just a little misogynistic and not queer friendly. But it’s not like I looked specifically for a school that was the opposite.

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          Aw, you should have come to hang out at Prescott college! For a tiny school, there is a decent queer community. Or, at least, I know all of them…

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    This is a pretty great list, but maybe next time you guys can cover some smaller publically funded state schools. A lot of the schools you covered are really great schools, but not every young queer lady out there has the money or grades to get into Smith or UPenn. It may take some digging in information, but I’m sure you can definitely find a few smaller queer and wallet friendly schools out there. Mine is definitely has an active and vibrant queer community and could be a contender.

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      In my experience and that of others that I know, attending a private school can actually be cheaper than attending an out-of-state public school. When I applied to schools I found that it would cost me twice as much to go to the state universities I looked at than the liberal arts schools, because I was offered much less money. My brother had a similar experience, as well as a number of friends.

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      hi jill — great suggestion! just to explain — the reason we didn’t do that is because we were looking at places that would be relevant/useful to the largest number of readers — places with a relatively large pool of applicants with students who came from all over the world to go there. though i definitely understand your point and will keep it in mind next time!!

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    YAY VASSAR YAY!
    Also, sorry to generalize to the handful of magnificent athletes that also happened to be hetero, but the MULTI-CHAMPIONSHIP WOMEN’S RUGBY TEAM isn’t a bad place to look for a date, either.

    Vassar is also the home of the original collegiate erotica magazine, Squirm, and I met my first girlfriend-ish-thing at their first meeting freshman year (and then got to take like 200 pictures of her boobies!)

    When I was there, we had L Word viewing parties, which brought together the rugby lesbians and the women’s studies lesbians and the vegan co-op lesbians all under one roof to gawk at the absurdity of IFC. It was tremendously unifying. Do they do that now with Real L Word?

    The best decision I ever made, in my life, was to go to Vassar. Everything that follows is a delightful aftershock of that decision.

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      though i have to stick my nose in here and talk again about how Vassar made me afraid to be gay and i ended up with like weird clandestine terrified things going on with other ladies who were also afraid of all the like Real Lesbians Who Will Judge Us around and like Felt Really Weird About Not Fitting In On Campus Because I Didn’t Show Up There Like Totally Confident About Being Queer And Plus Boys Liked Me And People Thought I Was Pretty For The First Time Ever So It Got Complicated

      i think it was probably AWESOME for people who were like really confident about their sexuality or who have like lower levels of crippling social anxiety — i NEVER wanted to go to any l word screenings or whatever because i felt so judged and the anticipated gossip made me want to puke, which i’m sure is at least 50% my own neuroses but i don’t think it was totally unfounded. so i think for me personally — then again, i am me and like a CRAZY PERSON — it wouldve been easier to ‘figure my shit out’ somewhere bigger with more anonymity and a little less cliquey, you know? i know you also had to deal with a lot of bullshit with people having Weird Feelings About Bisexuals and whatever.

      obvi i totally loved vassar too but i didn’t really like ‘feel like i got to be myself’ until i graduated just because IT WAS SO SMALL and i had like a ‘reputation’ five days after showing up or something without even understanding how that happened and like as soon as i graduated it was way easier to get drunk and take girls home who i was never going to see again and not have to talk about it with my friends, i had to leave there before i could be all ‘okay, yes, cool, this is not as complicated as i thought it was when i was in the mug and knew everyone in the room.’ BUT THIS IS ME AND I AM CRAZY

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        I guess that’s really what it comes down to, Meg. I am me and you are you and we do differently, although not necessarily better or worse than anyone else.

        I guess I want to clarify some things or rise in defense, but that’s a personal conversation we can have. Perhaps the best point you make here is that everyone’s queer college experience is individual and this perhaps establishes that there is no overarching, institution wide experience of what it means to be queer at Vassar (or anywhere.)

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    The Northwestern one made me happy. Chicago seems like a decent place to be a queer. :)

    Also, the University of Minnesota one made me nostalgic for the Twin Cities, even tho I went to a Catholic school there. DAMN. But everything in that writeup is true. So many hipster bicycling chicks, so little time.

    I was surprised to not see a writeup from any girls from Macalester or Hamline in St. Paul. Then I realized that Mac especially is so gay that they’re probably too busy playing ultimate frisbee and bangin’ chicks to write up something for Autostraddle.

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    MIT represent, yo. It helps to be situated in Cambridge, where all those dirty hippie liberal communists don’t really give a flying fuck if you’re L, G, B, T, or some previously unknown letter.

    MIT itself has a fairly chill student culture that emphasizes self-reliance and tends to lump together by dorm. Campus visitors will find postcards from the “You Are Welcome Here” LGBT visibility/awareness campaign scattered everywhere. The lgbt@MIT office is small, but staffed with dedicated, educated professionals who are constantly finding ways to support student groups. There usually good resources for anyone who’s questioning, having trouble coming out, transitioning, having relationship issues, etc.

    Night life in the city can be tough for ladies. There are ladies’ nights at some queer bars in Boston, but most of the lesbo-friendly stuff seems to be down in Jamaica Plain, which can be about a 30-40 minute ride by T (subway). Also, everything in Boston shuts down at 2AM. At least Provincetown is just a bus ride away.

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    As for Johns Hopkins: being someone who attended the queer conference there, and spends a bunch of time there escaping the suburban queer life: the gay scene is male centered, but if you win and flash a rainbow, the ladies will come a running.

    and

    as a younger sister of a Tuftian: DIESEL IS THE SHIT. I have yet to fail at making eyes at the dykey dykes behind the counter and then they put a shot of espresso in my chai and we do lesbian winks and one time i quoted My Drunk Kitchen and they loved it.

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      Really? I can’t seem to find any single queer ladies at JHU, or much of a queer scene in general. Even the gay guys at Peabody all have OkCupids because there is just so little to choose from here (although Peabody’s dating scene is scant in general, even the straight people complain that there’s nobody they want to date).

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      I’m a student at Hopkins. It’s a fairly small queer scene, I suppose, but it’s there. I would say it’s a bit tough to date (pretty much everyone is connected through exes and hookups) but it’s easy to make friends if you join DSAGA (our LGBT group)

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    Hey Hampshire!

    The thing about Hampshire is, everyone there is weird – in the best possible way. You can be any variety of queer and no one will even blink because being queer is the least unusual thing about anyone there. Chances are your neighbor only wears bathrobes, or was up at 3 in the morning making experimental music from the sounds of flowers growing, or has built a tree fort in the woods three miles from campus & is now living in it (true story).

    It’s worth noting that all the bathrooms on campus are gender-neutral, including the dorms. There is always at least one queer-designated dorm hall and housing unit. Also, in my experience there’s not much of a “dating scene” – things seem to stay pretty casual.

    If you are considering or starting at Hampshire, the most important thing to know is that there are no guidelines academically, which sounds awesome but means that you really have to know what you want to do and be -very- self-motivated. I didn’t have clear enough goals and passions and ended up really struggling to stay afloat. But the people who have their shit together do some of the most amazing work I’ve ever seen.

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      Gender neutral bathrooms are such an important aspect of Hampshire! As is co-ed housing (I’m not sure if co is the proper prefix though?) and identity based housing.

      There is also an energy to reform the queer community to reach a larger amount of hamp/5college people- so hop on that ! Similar to the academics, it’s only going to be what you can put into it.

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    I’d like to throw in Loyola University Chicago, which is just south of Northwestern University. It’s probably one of the most liberal Catholic schools in the country and the LGBT organization is the largest student group (last year there was over 300, and it’s growing!). Almost 2/3 of the student population is female (mainly because girls tend to study nursing and social work) but there are definitely queer girls here. Plus, the president, Father Michael Garanzini, has been very supportive of LGBTQ events, including the drag shows.

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    KUDOS to whomever wrote about Smith (my alma matter) for not using trans/male-exclusive language! It’s a [mostly] women’s school with a trans population and us trans men are often totally left out of discussion of the “ladies” and “women” of the school. Really appreciated reading something that didn’t make me feel like I was not a Smithie (cause damnit I am!)

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          whoever is actually correct, because it’s the subject in “whoever wrote about Smith”, which is the object of “to (whoever wrote about Smith)”. But it’s super confusing! Cases in English are really difficult since we don’t actually HAVE much of an inflected case system to begin with, and we’re CERTAINLY not taught effectively about it in any sort of grammar lessons.

          GO GO GADGET LINGUISTICS MAJOR from the spectacularly queer University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, where I also minored in GLBT studies =D

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      sebastian, i’ve got a question for you. a couple months ago i (cis) was having a discussion with my (cis) friend and she asked if i thought that faab people who attend a women’s college and transition during their time there should not be allowed to attend anymore once they no longer identify as female. i said they should be allowed to stay, because transitioning can be stressful/difficult enough without being kicked out of your school, and she said she thought they shouldn’t because it would be very affirming of the individual’s true gender. what do you think?

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        i’ve thought about this a lot, and while i’m not trans*, i think it makes sense that trans men (even who have transitioned pre-college) could attend a traditionally all-female school. i think the goal of women’s colleges today is more about empowering people (generally women) who are often given unequal opportunities in a patriarchal society. trans men and women definitely fit this category. i feel like the idea of separating women from men for any other reason would tend to be archaically sexual — both heteronormative and assuming that people who are attracted to each other can’t do well working in the same space. not every trans guy would feel comfortable in a majority women’s college i bet, but some seem to.

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    Woot, Bryn Mawr! I spent several wonderful years there, and oh yes it deserves inclusion on this list. A women’s college with a tradition of skinny dipping that dates back to Katherine Hepburn’s years there can’t really be anything but very, very, very lesbionic.

    (We have Dar Williams traditions, too. I know, technically she’s not gay, but let’s face it, “As Cool As I Am” is the gayest straight song ever written. Also Iowa.)

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    Good to see Purchase getting some love, I have a good number of friends who went there (as well as someone who was going to go there just because it was so gay, but ended up at my alma mater instead).

    For those in New York looking at public school because of its relatively low cost, Stony Brook is a pretty queer option. It’s a huge school, and incredibly diverse to begin with. That, plus the campus is so incredibly apathetic that no one really bats an eye at queer people at all. I was heavily involved with the LGBTA during my time there (was on the e-board, etc…) and we put on a fuck ton of events, including safer sex workshops, concerts, and my personal favorite, an annual student drag show to raise money for the Ali Forney center. We also have a gender identity clause in our non-discrimination policy, a preferred name system for class rosters (no more “dear professor, I’m trans” e-mails!), and a gender neutral housing option.

    Or if you don’t want to be involved in LGBTA stuff, there are a ton of non-political queers that mostly just hang out and party a lot. They’re a lot of fun too.

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    If you made something similar to this for the UK it would make me so unbelievably happy. I’m applying for uni in autumn and although I really want to move out of London because I’ve lived here all my life, I’m terrified of leaving my liberal queer rainbow filled bubble. It’s really hard to get a feel for what universities are like in terms of LGBT stuff, especially as a genderqueer woman.

    If anyone could email me with advice/experiences it would be greatly, greatly appreciated! [email protected]

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    Bust Magazine had (has? It has been a while since I read Bust) a feature called “Around the World in 80 Girls,” where readers wrote up a travel guide to their city. Can Autostraddle do something like this? I would love to see what the readers of Autostraddle would highlight about their towns.

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    I was super bummed not to see University of Oregon on here. :( I hate leaving comments like this, cause you guys did a great job on this list, I’m just moving there in a month and not very excited about it, and seeing it on an AS list would definitely have helped.

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          Aww! I went there but it was like 6? years ago. Eugene is amazing and super queer and trans* friendly. It Probs has changed but it was so queer friendly that there were no real gay bars so we hung out at but a place called Indigo. The LGBT centre in the student union was cool, as was the womens group, and there are a ton of really popular events like the drag show and rocky horror. I also found sports activities like rock climbing were good for meeting people. Saturday market is the best place to go on morning/brunch dates (Just watch out for all the topless middle-aged hippie women) and The Bijou is fun at night.

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          Thanks Laura! I had heard there was only one gay bar in town, which sounded depressing, but I like the idea of everywhere being so queer friendly that it doesn’t even matter. :)

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      I went to R-MWC (back when it existed all of 4 years ago) and I always thought we were more queer that SBC, but in the last few years, I’ve realized that SBC is very queer friendly! Also, the campus is beautiful.

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      I wish I had figured it out while I was there – Brown was super, super gay. I actually think Sex, Power, God is one of the least gay campus events, though. Maybe it was just like that when I was there, but it was always just a giant orgy for straight hipsters. It was always the party everyone went way overboard at, which always vaguely bugged me, since it was the “gay” party.

      Seriously, how did I not know I was lesbotronic?

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    At the risk of being repetitive, I find it absurd that Smith would be on the list of schools when, from what I’ve read, they don’t accept trans women at the school. That’s nice to say they love queer people, but what that really means is FAAB queer people. Remember, the title of this list is LGBT.

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          Sorry, I’m not sure. I’ve read Mt. Holyoke has policies similar to Smith but as for the rest…? I only know Smith’s policy because I’ve seen it discussed as a periphery to an issue they had earlier this year about not allowing a trans guy who went to Smith to act as a host for visiting students.

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          I think there’s something to be said, though, about how the smith community actively discusses these issues. At a coed college, it’s pretty easy to ignore the trans* population, whereas at smith (and other (mostly) women’s colleges, I would assume) these issues come straight to the forefront. There was a SURGE of community support after the hosting thing came to light.

          Also, to my knowledge, I don’t believe there is a policy where a transgendered woman would be rejected based on being MAAB. I think more of the issue is that many people who are transgendered have not come out by the time they are 18, an age when most people are applying to college. This is the case for many of the male Smithies I know who are FAAB, at least. A woman who knows in her heart that she is a woman but can’t tell her parents isn’t going to apply to Smith, because that would be outing herself. I might be wrong in this, but it seems that such a ‘no transgendered women rule’ simply hasn’t been tested yet; or, if it has, the person who applied and was rejected didn’t make her discrimination known.

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          Hey-oh, totally didn’t read your link that you posted above! Sorry! I agree that it’s not right for smith to exclude transgendered women (obviously), but now I see that there is a requirement for legal documentation, etc, taht Smith upholds, unfairly. I still believe that Smith’s community and willingness to face these issues argues for its inclusion on this list, though. I would be interested in seeing how other (mostly) women’s colleges have broached the issue, and if they have been more/less accepting than smith.

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          [[EDITED because I read your link, sorry!]]

          I think there’s something to be said, though, about how the smith community actively discusses these issues. At a coed college, it’s pretty easy to ignore the trans* population, whereas at smith (and other (mostly) women’s colleges, I would assume) these issues come straight to the forefront. There was a SURGE of community support after the hosting thing came to light, and a significant amount of community discussion.

          Like at many schools, the administration is slower to accept than the student population. The push to include is much more representative of Smith than the policy.

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          While I agree that Smith has major problems with policies respecting its trans* students, I think that the issue legal gender status of underage/minor transwomen is symptomatic of larger legal and medical issues our society has with transpeople. When it is easier for youth to change their legal gender, it will be easier for women’s colleges to admit female students who were MAAB. As it stands, Smith and other women’s colleges would be up shit creek legally if it were up to individual admissions staffers to decide who counts as “female” enough to attend.

          I love that Smith admits women and graduates people, and I look forward to the day that transwomen other than Adas are welcomed to apply without barriers.

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          I hear what you’re saying about larger social issues but, the fact remains, that trans women are admitted to virtually all coed state schools and, although housing arrangements vary (which this article didn’t discuss but should have) they may attend their schools as women even if they’re not ‘legally’ so. (I know some schools like Vassar, which is not purely women-only but has that history, and know of trans women who’ve gone there.)

          The point of this story is about LGBT friendly schools and with policies which are, on any level exclusionary, I don’t see how those schools can be noted to be ‘especially LGBT friendly.’ Yes, the article mostly focused on lesbian students (which evidently means cissexual lesbian students), but there are young trans women who are already lesbian ID’d and would be thrown against this wall. I also note the issue about a trans man at Smith who was denied to be a school host… what, because the school was embarrassed by him or he just wasn’t typical enough? Sorry, but those seem like very real, practical issues about the T which don’t deserve to be swept under the rug. But I’m curious what Smith alums (or alums of other women only schools) feel about this?

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      I’m a Smith alumna who’s de-lurking to respond to this.

      Your point is well-taken, to a certain extent.

      However, there’s a distinction between how the Smith administration approaches gender when it comes to admissions decisions, and what student life is like for people who actually attend the school. If you can get admitted, Smith is a pretty fantastic place to be queer.

      In terms of student life, it’s such a great place to be queer that I think it would be weird to *not* include it on this list, even though the administration does not know what it’s doing in terms of how to treat trans students.

      I also think it’s a bit unfair to single out Smith. I don’t know of any women’s college whose admissions policy regarding maab students differs from Smith’s. (Though, I suspect it’d be hard to find an actual written policy from any of the women’s colleges. My impression is that they are all pretty much taking the stance, “we don’t want to deal with it,” and so are relying on some variation of, “if the health forms say you’re female, you count as a woman for our purposes.”) So, if we remove Smith from the list, I think we’d need to remove Bryn Mawr, Barnard, Simmons, Scripps, and Wellesley too.

      Smith does seem to be in the news more than some of the other women’s colleges when it comes to trans* issues. (For example: We made it on Bill O’Reilly a couple of years ago when we made the SGA constitution gender neutral. We also had a Smithie on the MTV series TransGeneration.) This leads me to believe that it’s not so much that we’re worse than other schools at knowing how to treat trans students as that our problems are more in the spotlight.

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        I didn’t suggest Smith has a unique problem, I said Smith was the school with that policy I knew about. There might be other schools which do this but I didn’t know about them. I think it’s a legitimate point to bring up if we’re identifying schools which are supposedly “queer friendly.” Queer friendly which doesn’t even perit queer-ID’d trans women is, IMO, not universally queer friendly… it’s queer friendly with an asterisk. Who cares if the students are open-minded if you can’t even attend the school.

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      Hey, I completely hear what you are saying about Smith in regard to trans*women, but the main issue there is that if Smith admits students who are legally “male” they will basically be in a lot of legal trouble in regard to certain types of funding as well as their status as a women’s college (meaning that if Smith admits anyone legally “male” they are basically legally bound to become co-ed). That said, this issue and the issues that have arisen with trans*male students (such as the one you’re referring to) are widely discussed amongst the student population, and there is a current student initiative to revise the school’s policy on trans*women (but it’s very complicated due to the issues with the larger legal system).

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    How about Sarah Lawrence College? We have one of the highest percentages of lgbtq students in the country… Definitely has been an accepting and open place during my time here.

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      From the article:

      We’re sorry that we didn’t have room for everybody and for every school and we invite you to share all your feelings about your school in the comments! Especially Sarah Lawrence. How did we not find one single volunteer from Sarah Lawrence? (Although our editor did attend Sarah Lawrence for a hot minute in 1999.) I feel like there are a lot of lesbians there.

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        I wondered why no one from Sarah Lawrence sent a submission and then I realized that they’d have to take their fingers out of each others vaginas in order to type, so . . .

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      I went to Sarah Lawrence…I didn’t submit because I am still reeling from my gay experiences at that place and the review would probably be incoherent. If you guys have questions about this school though feel free to get in touch with me!
      xx

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    Woo IC!!

    “The area is bustling with eccentric people– street magicians, tattooed ivy league geniuses, aggressively talented Frisbee players– so being a gay dude or lady doesn’t phase anyone.” SO SO true.

    Really the biggest downside to Ithaca (the city and school) is the winters.

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    No University of Maryland?! But it was a runner up on the most lesbian schools everrr list you all did once :( How sad :(

    (I know you guys are going to get like 50 million posts about ‘why isn’t my school here?!?! *CRY* But you know..I don’t care…Ima cry if I want to hehe)

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    Queer Tarheels FTW!

    That paragraph about Carrboro sums it up pretty perfectly. My crew and I call the girls whom you are “99% of your time asking yourself if [they are] a hipster or lesbian” LIPSTERS because we have to distinguish them somehow from the confirmed clam jammers…

    Queer acceptance is even part of our town song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImfDX4S75pM

    What Bible Belt?

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    Might,SFSU is a great place for Queer People of Color. In college that was one of my saving graces, meeting people I could relate to in terms of what it means to be both queer and latina (or any other “race”).
    There are a few clubs like QPOC who do events like speed dating, social mixers, and other community outreach. I believe there is a GLBT club with the Asian Student Union, but the name escapes me.
    To be honest, many of the clubs on campus have lgbtq members and respect the community.

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    I am by no means offended, but I am genuinely surprised Agnes Scott is not on this list. It’s like THE lesbian haven of the South, as is the town of Decatur where it resides. As with any small college, there’s always a likelihood of friendcest, but it’s a pretty damn safe space. Not to mention if you just wander off campus to Java Monkey, there’s pretty much always some queer lady. One time a particularly cute one asked for my number, and I remain terminally disappointed that she never called.

    This list is making me crave like cake shows make me want cake…

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    Reading this has really made me wish that I had realized I liked girls before I decided which school was 100 percent perfect for me. Sometimes it seems like I would have been better off at Michigan, the state school next door, than at my beloved Northwestern.

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      I go to Northwestern too, and I’m tired of wishing all the ladygays would come out from wherever the fuck they’re hiding. Reading this article has pushed me into Actually Doing Something About It mode, so any Autostraddlers who go to NU and want some semblance of a queer girl community, let me know. We can get together and change shit up.

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    a friend of mine goes to tufts — they said that last coming out day there was a lot of homophobic chalking everywhere and folks tried to keep the coming out day events quiet. anecdotal but just another case of there being more to campuses than one review can say!

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    Where are the art schools at?? I was pretty surprised when I didn’t see MassArt make the list. Not only is it an extremely GLBT positive school, it’s an extremely everybody positive school. No judgement zone (I can only speak of my experience, but it was really, really great.) The school also does great things for the community as well.
    ALSO, it’s within walking distance from aforementioned (by Anna from MIT) from lesbo-friendly Jamaica Plain.

    Just had to represent.

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      Oh, and you can take classes at Simmons (which was listed) while enrolled in Massart. If you’re a Mass State Resident, that means you pay in state tuition (i.e. half the prices of Simmons) and can take classes there. I did. It was awesome.
      I’m also great at talking up Boston if anyone needs to be persuaded to move here/needs a tour.

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          I don’t have any LGBT info, since I didn’t go there, but BU is huge. They own a large portion of the city. I recently found out they’re gym has a lazy river! But aside from that, I’ve heard good things about BU’s programs, and because it’s so large, (and I’m assuming you’d be studying something niche-like?) there’s probably a place for everyone. I prefer the location of NE Conservatory better, but I’m biased since my school was up the street. One benefit over BU is that NE Conservatory is part of the ProArts Consortium, so you can take classes at one of 10(?) other “art” schools in the city, i.e. Emerson, MassArt, etc.
          Hope this helps!

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      Most of the private schools on the list meet 100% of demonstrated financial need and are amongst the top 64 schools in the country for financial aid. I can only speak directly about Olaf, but the loan portion of the aid tops out at 6500. I also don’t even have a loan. The sticker price is scary at first, but my state school wasn’t much cheaper than what I was offered at Olaf, Rhodes, and Dartmouth. :)

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          Yes, sadly, I know that story as well. I’ve been blessed and I recognize that. I was merely elaborating on something with which I’m familiar, given my experience working for my own college. I’m sorry it didn’t work out for you, I honestly wish it did.

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          I’ve had issues with that as well – luckily, I was able to take a lot out in loans, and I won’t have to pay the loans back until I’m no longer a full-time student. And my particular career path basically requires that I get a doctorate*, so I’m hoping that won’t be for a very long time, until I’m much more financially-stable.

          *Which I know a lot of people later change their mind about, but I don’t know – I’m a nerd and I love studying and research. I think it’s for me. Also, pretty much every “regular” job I’ve had, far from pulling me away from academia, just makes me more convinced that it’s the place for me. (Not counting writing for AS here, of course, since I do this for funzies)

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          And it is bad enough that I’ve determined that I probably can’t return to my current college for graduate school. For one, I really need an assistantship and my college is pretty stingy about those, besides just being stingy about financial aid in general.

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          Sidenote: Peabody has separate offices for development and financial aid, so what I’m saying here is specific to Peabody, not necessarily true for people applying to the main Johns Hopkins campus.

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    Great list. I graduated from Temple and I have to agree that there doesn’t seem to be a strong queer/LGBT student organization. Sad because Temple does have large amount of queer students.

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    Don’t blame the young kids for reading this website, we need a virtual queer community too :) I’m a rising senior so this was very helpful! Has anyone been to the College of William and Mary by any chance? That’s my top choice and my high school has absolutely NO lesbians (literally, it’s just me) so I’m hoping to go to a college that does.

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    re: Vandy

    Eh…there was a big blow-up last semester bc a Christian frat on campus was revealed to have pressured guys to leave the frat or repent gayness. Nothing really came of it. A few years ago a gay guy was jumped at night. The gay bookstore closed last semester.

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    I’m shocked to see Stanford on the list but not UC Berkeley. Not only is the campus incredibly tolerant/full up with 10000000 lgbtq clubs/greek life/co-op life but we’re a 30 minute BART ride into SF and all the craziness of the castro/all of SF in general. That being said, I’m sure stanford is lovely.

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    I’m a current grad student at U of M but I honestly liked my undergrad, Georgetown (which appears to not merit a mention here), much much better.

    Ann Arbor and U of M are kinda… weird.

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    Also, because I inexplicably forgot to mention this in my JHU write-up:

    WE’RE NOT JUST A MEDICAL SCHOOL. WE HAVE LOTS OF GOOD PROGRAMS AND NOT ALL OF THEM ARE SCIENCE-RELATED!

    Seriously, come study music at Peabody, we really need queer ladies over here!

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    what no penn state? i kinda wish i owned up to my bisexuality while at penn state (the main campus), because i could’ve/should’ve gone to their lgbt bar. i do know that the lgbt students had a bit of a presence on campus and altho i never got involved the rainbow flag that covered up a whole window in one of the buildings always made me smile.

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    For the schools that were on the list, but no one volunteered to write about them: I think it would be nice to at least mention the school on your list and indicate how the made the list. Were they recognized as LGBT friendly via other sources? Were they taken from a list from another website or publication? Then write a note that no further information or first hand experience is currently available.

    This way you recognize the school for those students who are doing their research.

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      -feminist gender and sexuality studies major at wes, lesbian, and friend of many straight/gay/bi/questioning/trans/queer people–> it’s a really open community, so open, that you don’t have to only hang out with other gays!

      our orientation includes an introduction to and how to use gender neutral pronouns! i had classes where i could only use gender neutral pronouns.

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    Who wrote the Simmons bit?
    I hate Simmons. The amount of “I’m not a feminist” BS I hear in my classes has made me completely withdraw from any “community” the college has pretended to offer me. The Women’s Center isn’t as bully-mean as it once was but I’ve never really felt welcome.
    I’m only at Simmons because I’m paid to go there.
    Maybe it’s my program, the classes I’ve taken or my lack of Boston-love, but I can’t wait to graduate.

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    My anxieties are more focused on the fact that even if I apply and get accepted, can I go? It’s not even mostly a matter of financial feasibility. There are things I should take care of at home and responsibilities I feel obligated to hold.

    And that dream school. Should I even apply? My chances are so low. :C

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      Dream School – if you can afford to apply, do it. you’ll never know if you would have made it or not, and if you get in, you’ll have more options.

      Responsibilities – a compromise could be to commute to school. Take classes at a community college (make sure they’ll be accepted at the school you’d rather be going to.) The nice thing about college is that it’s divided into semesters (some schools divide differently), so you can try community college on for a semester, see how things go at home for those few months, and apply to a more favorable school going into the spring or summer term.

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      When I was getting ready to apply to college (and every subsequent year I go back) I felt torn between my responsibilities at home (helping care for my disabled mother, among others). However, I realized that I can’t live my entire life for my family and that I had an obligation to myself to attend college and look towards my own goals.

      I don’t know your situation at home and your responsibilities, but I do know that you have that same obligation to yourself. While I agree with Lindsay that community college and commuting are good options, you should still apply for that dream school and decide what to do when your acceptance letters come around.

      If you’d like to talk about applications or need someone to edit your essays feel free to message me (I’m a 4th year a UC Berkeley and I’ve edited tons of college application essays for friends/siblings)

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    For those of you who are interested in a tight-knit, rural, alternative college community, I just want to give a shout out to my college – Marlboro College in Vermont. We get overlooked a lot because we only have 300 students but you’d have a hard time finding a more welcoming community anywhere. The Pride group hosts two of the most popular dance parties every year – at what other school does the majority of the student population, straight and gay alike, show up for Pride events in drag? A large portion of the administration are openly gay, many living on campus with their partners; hostility is unheard of; most of the girls don’t shave; weirdness of all kinds is embraced; dorms are co-ed with gender neutral bathrooms; you can room with an opposite-sex friend if you like; and the school sets aside housing for gender-variant students when necessary. Unlike a lot of similar artsy/alternative liberal arts colleges that claim to embrace their gay community without actually supporting us (*coughBenningtoncough* (I used to go there)), Marlboro actually listens to the concerns of queer students.

    So basically, if you wanna be queer at college but prefer apple cider making parties to frat parties, Marlboro is definitely worth a look.

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    I was a bit upset/surprised to see that my school (University of Toronto) wasn’t mentioned, but I do appreciate the Canuck love with McGill and Concordia! Honestly, Canada is a great place to be queer.

    This list just made me realize again how much I would’ve loved to go to an American liberal arts college…Smith sounds like my dream school.

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    berklee college of music?
    it’s pretty insanely queer, and in the back bay of boston. i had a great time there, and met a surprisingly large number of queer students and faculty. the school is for primarily jazz music. and jazz musicians are usually pretty chill.

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    Princeton Review named NEW COLLEGE OF FLORIDA one of the top 10 LGBTQ friendly colleges, yo. I attend. You should look into that shiz. I know some cute ladies that would give you the scoop.

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    Also in Brown’s favor (besides the QA, lack of requirements, and Kabob n’ Curry) : Kate Bornstein is an alum! And the library has a collection of vintage gay and lesbian pulp novels, along with the more famous book made out of human skin.

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    GUYS. I know this wouldn’t come to anyone right away but UVA is a an amazing school for LGBTQs to apply to. For its size and…it’s location, it’s got a really healthy gay/transgendered population with a LOT of events/activities/resources/support. It’s publicly funded and there’s a lot of talk of preppiness but honestly everywhere you look there’s queer events and those little stickers that certify a neutral lgbt safe environment. Nothing on smith though.

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    Does anyone have any insight into how LGBT-friendly Harvard is? I just started there last week and don’t really have much of an idea myself. It seems like there are a fair number of organizations and events, though. And, I mean, it is in Cambridge. IDK, anyone have any thoughts?

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      I know this is from forever ago, but I would love to know how you’ve found Harvard for queer women (I’m about to start there in the fall).
      I’ve heard quite a bit about how great it is for queer men, but not much for women.

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    American University fuck yeah! Started school there mistakenly believing I was straight and graduated with a profound love of lady-sex that endures to this day. Much more vibrant queer scene than my girlfriend experienced at University of Vermont.

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    “There’s a very cute gay bookstore with gifts and trinkets downtown.”

    Can anyone tell me the name of this bookstore in downtown Nashville? I can only think of OutLoud, and everything coming up says it closed last year.

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    I’m a freshman at Pomona, and so far I adore it. I got asked my preferred gender pronouns for the first time ever the other day, and I just filled out my QQAMP mentee application. I’ll probably apply for a job at the QRC or the Women’s Union (which welcomes all genders) pretty soon.

    If you’re queer and at Pomona or any of the 5C colleges, please say hi! I would love to meet more people, and I have no idea how to get into the dating scene at all.

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    Where is Mills College??? The women’s college darling in the SF Bay area was omitted from your list. I know, I know. Not comprehensive..but really, how did you miss it?

    For the record, Mills is hella hella gay. Millsbians are plentiful (like a LUG, only Mills specific). We have an annual Fetish Ball where students get flogged on stage by professional and notso professional topless doms.

    First conversation I had freshwoman year,

    “Are you gay?”
    “yeah.”
    “good. you’re lucky to be here.”

    we also recently added a queer studies minor.

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    Don’t go to Tulane if you are in any minority group. There are like a total of 15 people who identify as racial minorities, I’ve been called “girl” by a professor who referred to my male classmates by their names (or at least “young man”) and date rapes are way too common and frequently covered up.

    New Orleans is an amazing city. And I have met some wonderful people (peers, professors) at Tulane. But the negatives far outweigh the positives and the amount of loans I have make my head spin.

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      I gotta strongly disagree. Yes, there is a lack of racial diversity- but instead of avoiding tulane because of that, I think minority students should consider the large amounts of scholarships and opportunity available for them. As for loans I had some- but Tulane offered me more scholarship money than any other school, and I did work study to help with costs. I’ve never experienced sexism from Professors so I’m sorry that happened. As for date rapes- well yes. They do happen. And they are covered up. Like they are at every college. It’s a massive problem but Tulane is the rule, not the exception.

      New Orleans rocks, Tulane has great academics but isn’t a struggle- you can get away with slacking (meeeee) or not. Love it.

      Still even if we have different opinions glad to see another tulane person on here :)

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          i totally agree, i wouldn’t recommend tulane on anything other than maybe academics. and the initiatives are a joke anyway, tulane isn’t genuinely interested in any minority groups i’m a junior at tulane, i’m african american and gay and honestly i just get frustrated by my school -____-

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    There’s definitely a big difference between a queer-friendly girl scene and a butch-friendly one. I’m familiar with a couple of these campuses, and one of them (Stanford) is a wonderful place if you look like a “conventional” woman, but if you wanna be a gender-nonconforming woman, you’re gonna get stared at. (There’s a reason Rachel Maddow moved off campus after coming out.)

    I’d love to see a more nuanced description of some of these schools, and I’d love to know which places are especially friendly for women who don’t conform to traditional gender norms. Thanks for a great story.

    BW
    http://www.butchwonders.com

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    i can’t believe cal state long beach is not on this list. it’s super gay, crazy big, cheap in comparison to a lot of other schools, and has a huge gay community surrounding it. i guess it’s a well known thing in california but not any where else just how queer it is here. even a good percentage of staff/faculty are queer.

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    Hollins University! Can’t believe it’s not on this list (except that it’s tiny and women-only, which means most people have never heard of it).

    I have mixed feelings about it now that I’m battling student loans, of course, but it really is an experience and I wouldn’t trade it. I made some great friends there and I think having that little oasis of liberal arts education in the middle of gorgeous central Virginia is pretty awesome.

    When I was there we had Andrea Gibson and Chris Pureka come for guest appearances within one semester (same year, or maybe the previous one, I think we also got Kate Bornstein speaking on gender non-binarism and self-care and hir life, and Anthony Rapp promoting his book and impromptu singing “Seasons of Love” and “Losing My Religion” at us – our GLBTQ alliance and FMLA get a LOT of support) and a drag king show that was regularly one of the most attended events on campus.

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    Hollins University. All women’s university located in Virginia. Around 800 undergrads. Some of the best MFA dance and creative writing programs in the nation. I loved it! Going to Hollins made me who I am. Almost half of the student body is gay or bi and every is inclusive. It’s not all hippy dykes though, we also have a fair amount of equestrians and pearl girls. It’s a wonderful mix of personalities, cultures, and background. Also has an awesome alum network.

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    I have to respectfully disagree with the characterization of the University of Alabama as an “LGBT-Friendly Campus.” I’ve been a grad student here for the past three years and a half years and the best I can say for the place is that if you’re a cis-gender femme, you probably won’t be physically assaulted in broad daylight. We have no domestic partner benefits, people drop the F and D bombs without blinking an eye, a good third of the undergraduate population are conservative Evangelicals, kids who appear genderqueer are constantly being verbally and physically assaulted, and you definitely can’t hold hands with (let alone cuddle or kiss) someone who appears to be the same gender as you. Yes, there’s a non-discrimination policy on the books and a GSA, but homophobia and racism are pervasive. I love the program I’m in, but I feel like I couldn’t in good conscience recommend Tuscaloosa life to fellow queer folk. A few queer people I know live in Birmingham and make the 45 minute commute two or three times a week—they seem to have a much easier time of it.

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      hey, just wanted to update, we got DP Benefits in fall of 2011. Roll Tide! Definitely not a perfect place, but progress is being made much quicker than most realize.

      And I definitely hold hands, cuddle, and kiss my girlfriend all the time, and thankfully we haven’t been on the receiving end of any physical abuse, or really any verbal for that matter. We’re also interracial so that confuses people here, maybe they don’t even know what to say. :-P
      I’m 100% in agreement though that even though it hasn’t happened to us, it is something that happens to much here, or at least the fear that it will happen does not create for an inclusive atmosphere at all times. But our Safe Zone Program is FANTASTIC. Rainbow triangles are on offices most everywhere. I consider Alabama to be friendly because since the queers here do feel like there is so much work to be done to ensure our safety, we’re working extra hard to secure it. And our allies have to be that much more vocal about being our allies. The support that you can find here is passionate.

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    Man, I wish I had really considered a school full of lesbians!! I decided RIT over UVM for the photography program here, but UVM has hot lesbians… There’s like 10 here that I know of… I’m not involved on the sports teams. It’s sooo hard to find a girlfriend because every other guy I’m friends with is gay. I swear I’m like the only girl or two in every party I go to… too bad I don’t like guys haha.

    What schools are good lesbian schools on the east coast for grad schools??

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      Yes i just started at RIT too because it is good for my major and there are very few gay girls that i know of. I wish i had considered that before choosing a college that is mostly full of guys

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    Hey everyone. Super late to the party here, but I am a senior in Alaska who is going to be applying to a lot of these schools in about a month. The schools I am seriously considering are Smith, Mount Holyoke and Bryn Mawr. I would really appreciate talking to some current students or alumni! If you would be willing to help a baby gay out, please just contact me on my twitter, @hypedyke. I would give out my email, but I don’t want to be super spammed..

    Thanks!

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      Hi Rowan!

      I’m a senior at Mount Holyoke and am very active in the queer scene on campus (and it really is a welcoming LGBTQ+ scene, not just gay and lesbian). I’d love to talk, if you’re still interested. I don’t have a twitter, but here’s my tumblr: corrupter-of-words.tumblr.com. Send me a question there with your email and whatever you’d like to know about and I’ll do my best to answer.

      Btw Autostraddle, I totally would’ve written about Mount Holyoke! I’m sorry I didn’t see your call for submissions.

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    I am shocked- shocked!- that Agnes Scott College didn’t make this list.
    Reasons why it should have:
    1. All women’s school with a progressive trans policy
    2. Two queer groups at school: Ascend and Affinity (which address the needs of queer people of color)
    3. Numerous workshops about how to have sex queer sex, coming out while in colleges
    4. Dental dams are available at the health center

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    Reading this article about a year after its posted, I doubt I will get responses.. but WHOEVER wrote that piece on university of michigan, I would love to have a conversation with you. I am an undergrad at university of michigan and its great to know there is a lesbian social scene, but honestly I cannot say that i’ve witnessed it for myself. Bare in mind I was in a long distance relationship for two years which gave me little motivation to go out and find it until now, but seriously, I can’t even say I’ve met more than 2 or 3 bi/lesbian girls here. Maybe I am in the wrong crowd at a big school, but I’d love to be clued in!

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    Hey, I know this is article came out a while ago, but I was wondering if anyone knew anything about the LGBTQ scene at the University of Maryland College Park? I’m a senior in high school and I really wanted to go to a more gay college; I was accepted to several of the ones on the list (Brown, Cornell, American) but for financial reasons I have to go to UMD. Any advice? :)

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    I was a lucky enough lezzi that I had enough scholarships to go to an ALL GIRLS private college(only for one year though, teachers weren’t my style). There were TONS of lesbians but, unfortunatly, not a lot of them wanted to be a part of the LGBT* group that was on campus (I was involved in it)…

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    As a current Wellesley student, I can attest that our campus is truly queer-friendly. There is a “Women’s College Problems” tumblr and one of the posts is the following: “going from assuming everyone is straight to assuming everyone is gay.” 95% of my friends on & off campus are queer, so now that I’m home for the summer in my conservative, heteronormative town, I like to assume/ pretend everyone is gay. (Wow, I just realized how sad my current situation is…)

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    Ah! I live in Connecticut (currently attending Manchester Community College) and I’m planning on transferring to UConn either next year or my junior year. I love love love the queer presence at UConn! The Rainbow Center is a wonderful place, and UConn also hosts the largest LGBT youth conference in the country, True Colors. I’ve been going since I was a babygay in my sophomore year of highschool, and it is an awesome time- there’s few places or events more open, accepting, and educational for queer kids. It’s thanks to them that I got a queer sex education, that I know how to make a packer on the fly, that I’m friends with so many awesome queers, and that I feel so comfortable and happy with myself.

    I don’t know what kind of budget or capabilities Autostraddle has for travel and appearances and stuff, but I think that a queer writing/media panel hosted by you guys would be well received at the conference! They’re always open to new presenters. I think it would be a great thing for Autostraddle to be involved in.

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    i’m seconding the question about u texas–particularly austin. i kind of have a huge crush on it, but if its intensive queerness winds up being man-based or overly prep/bro-y, i’ll be massively sad.
    problems with being a nice jewish dyke from brooklyn with a major thing for southern accents…

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    Yeah I’m one of those “shit you’re young” up and coming seniors… I feel really unwelcome now. I actually love this website and visit it daily. Now I feel like I’m not supposed to be here, and that’s not very cool of you.

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