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

Oberlin College

Oberlin, OH

Student Population: 2,800
Tuition: $42,842 (plus $11,550 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: 33%

Safety for the LGBTQ community is of no question on campus– as an out lesbian I have never felt unsafe or out of place, and neither has anyone I’ve talked to. Teachers are hugely supportive, as are peers.

Dating at Oberlin for lesbians specifically is complicated, but not overwhelming difficult to navigate. Involvement in lesbian-heavy activities (i.e. women’s rugby) is a fail-safe way to meet, hook-up with, or date a large quantity of lesbians, as well as develop friendships with upperclassmen who are more savvy in the dating scene and can easily direct you towards available gay women.

The overall social scene is somewhat fragmented, like much of the gay community. Although Oberlin students gather en-mass for marches or riots or large-scale events like Safer Sex Night (an educational week that involves workshops like “How to please a vagina” and culminates in a campus-wide dance), people’s friends are usually based on their involvement in sports, clubs, majors, or living spaces.

There is no overall GSA, rather interest-specific groups like Lambda Union, Zami (queer people of color), Queer Jews and Allies, Queers and Allies of Faith, and the Transgender Advocacy Group. The Oberlin Queer Wellness Coalition is new, but that is likely to become a more widely-based gay club/group.

The biggest gay events on campus are Drag Week/Drag Ball (a week-long educational event) and queer nights at the Sco (the college-run dance club). Some housing is also gay-heavy, especially Baldwin Cottage. It is the Women’s and Trans* Collective. Baldwin is also a safe-space for those who do need a complete escape from pressures related to sexuality, and is easily one the most open-minded spaces on campus. Also, rugby.

Oberlin is located in Oberlin, OH– and by “located” I mean the college is actually more than half of the town. As a result, the town and college are nearly identical in terms of communities, and thus almost equally as friendly (except for the occasional look from an old lady walking down the street).

Basically Oberlin is one of the best queer communities I’ve been involved in. It is more fragmented than most, but that is changing. As a result of events like Drag Ball and Safer Sex Week, as well as majors like Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies, people are generally well-educated on queer and trans* issues, and are willing to let you know upfront if they are not. I’ve also yet to meet a closeted lesbian– a majority of the freshmen either announce their gay-ness or their newfound bisexuality by the end of first semester. Role models, once found, are invaluable resources, and provide proof to many a baby-dyke that there are real-live lesbians in the world and that acceptance is the norm at Oberlin College.

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Pomona College

Claremont, CA

Student Population: 1,560
Tuition: $38,087 (plus $13,096 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: 13.6%

Pomona and the Claremonts (which share one contiguous campus and have a lot of cross-enrollment, but are technically separate institutions) are extremely queer-friendly as far as institutions of higher learning go. LGBTQ ally and awareness training is offered fairly regularly for both professors and students, and I’d venture to say that the vast majority of the student body (and the faculty/staff) are really supportive and friendly towards queer people. Once in a blue moon there will be a ‘bias-related incident’, usually perpetuated by a member of one of the sports teams, but they’re never major and are always taken seriously by the administration (think gay slurs written on a whiteboard in a dorm hall– they’re shitty, but they never endanger queer students or even really make anyone feel unsafe. Regardless, they aren’t tolerated by faculty at all). Pomona is also wonderful not just for people of varying sexual orientations, but for those with nontraditional gender identities, as well. There’s a pretty big contingent of students who go out of their way to make sure they’re addressing you with the correct pronouns, etc. It’s sort of startling at first, but the level of respect is wonderful and makes me, at least, feel really safe.

The dating scene is more of a hookup scene than anything. There are a lot of long-term relationships, but many of them started as drunken party hookups and then progressed to something more. The relationship rate IS significantly higher among queer women than queer guys, though, probably because there are significantly more women at the consortium than guys (Scripps College is right next door). There’s a lot of hooking up with friends and with people who have hooked up with said friends, but that happens everywhere.

The social scene is . . . interesting. Some would say it’s too quiet, but I definitely don’t think so– you just have to know where to look. There are no fraternity or sorority houses on campus (thank goodness), so ragers aren’t too common. Big dance-y parties, which happen about every other week, are hosted by the schools. They’re fun, if you’re inebriated or just want to dance, but can be overwhelming. There are lots of smaller kickbacks in individual dorm rooms, which are usually where the queer parties happen.  If you aren’t into partying there’s always hanging out in the dorms/quad/library/whatever.

The Claremonts’ version of a GSA is the Queer Resource Center (QRC). The QRC hosts weekly talks on different themes (gender talk, grrl talk, guy talk, etc.) as well as a myriad of other events. Last semester they had a queer faculty symposium series, a bunch of film screenings, a HUGE calendar of events for Gaypril and more.

New queers on campus should definitely check out the QRC. They host the Queer, Questioning, and Allied Mentor Program (QQAMP), which is a really excellent resource. At the beginning of the year, new students in the program can request a student mentor (often one who identifies the same way they do). This mentor will answer questions, provide support, and help them make friends. It’s highly recommended for all incoming queer students. Don’t be afraid to ask any of the other queer students on campus questions, though– everyone is welcoming and more than happy to have you come along to events, meals, and parties. If you’re looking for a place to hang out, definitely check out the Motley. It’s a student-run coffeeshop on the Scripps campus that is often a haunt of the queerz. They host a lot of small concerts and open mics, but it’s a great place to study or chill with friends too. Plus, the baristas are all really cute! And if you’re looking for a place to find other girls who like girls, look no further than the 5C women’s rugby team. Stereotypical, but wonderful.

Claremont is a small, sleepy college town, but a very liberal one. As such, it’s quietly gay-friendly, but not a lot of people are marching around waving rainbow flags or anything like that. We’re pretty close to LA, though, so if you’d like to find gay/lesbian bars or clubs or hangouts, they’re less than an hour away.

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Rice University

Houston, TX

Student Population: 3,485 undergraduate, 2,275 graduate
Tuition: $33,120 (plus $11,750 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: 21%

Rice’s general population is supportive of the LGBT communities, but the average student’s knowledge and/or understanding of LGBT issues and lifestyles varies. Their knowledge of trans* issues is especially lacking. However, the administration, faculty, and staff are extremely supportive and there are ally-trained psychiatrists, counselors, peer health advisors, and orientation advisors on campus.

Because Rice is a relatively small school, there is a limited dating pool, but the people who are around are cool. If you look off-campus, your dating horizons widen significantly.

Rice students work hard, but they play hard too. Most students study/are really over-involved during the week, and then blow off steam on the weekend. Rice hearts theme parties and has a lot of on-campus events. Because of all of the resources and entertainment available, Rice can become kind of insular/people can become hesitant to leave campus, but if anyone gets out into the real world, it’s the LGBT community.

The gay club at Rice is called Queers & Allies. The quality of the club fluctuates year to year, depending on student leadership and involvement, but if you want to be involved and make things happen, it’s definitely possible. The club is a healthy mix of a social group and an activist/visibility-based entity, and it holds weekly meetings and monthly events.

For nightlife, there’s Blur (lesbian club), South Beach (gay club), and The Usual (lesbian bar, 21+), as well as a number of other gay bars/clubs. If you’re into drag you can find queens and kings perform regularly at F Bar (21+), a local troupe of kings called the Gendermyn do drag in the community, and Rice Queers & Allies has an annual drag show in the spring. If you’re politically inclined and/or into volunteering, you can attend Equality Texas meetings, check out the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, or volunteer at HATCH (Houston LGBT youth organization) or the Bering Omega House (AIDs hospice). Other things to check out include the Transgender Center, the Houston GLBT Center, Qfest (Houston LGBT film festival), Houston Pride (it happens at night you guys!), and the Rice Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality.

As for Houston, it is the largest city with an openly gay mayor. Yayyy! According to the work of demographer Gary Gates, Texas has the fourth largest LGBT population and Houston has the 12th largest number of LGBT individuals in the country. The Kinder Houston Area Survey found that the majority of Houstonians find being gay acceptable and support same-sex marriage. The Houston Independent School District requires every Principal and at least one Vice Principal from each school in the district to attend a two-hour training workshop addressing the rights and safety of gay and lesbian students.

Overall, Houston is a really underrated city with a thriving arts culture and a vibrant LGBT community that always welcomes more queermos! Come to Texas. I promise whatever Rick Perry has isn’t contagious.

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San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA


Student Population: 30,000
Tuition: $6,276 to $7,542
Acceptance Rate: 67%

There are two groups/clubs for gays on campus. EGAY, Everything Great About You, is specifically for students who live on campus and it’s a good way to get integrated with the gay campus community. The other group is the Queer Alliance, and it’s for both residents and non. In my opinion EGAY is better because it’s more interactive and has more of a scene. They usually have weekly meetings and have all kinds of events. They host a yearly drag show. All of my experiences with Queer Alliance are “meh” at best. They don’t have many members and the members they DO have don’t attend the meetings. Occasionally they do have bonfires, parties or other socials, though each one I’ve personally tried to attend was cancelled, so I don’t actually know what goes on.

Though there might be more, I only know of one 18+ club for queers. The Crib is where I go to get my homo dancing on. It’s hosted every Thursday night near downtown San Francisco. While there are often time middle-aged straight male creepers, The Crib has about a 75:25 gay to straight ratio, which isn’t too bad. The DJ is popping and the crowd is much nicer than the straight crowd that shows up on Friday nights at the same venue.

The best way to get out into the homo world at State is to talk to some homos. At the beginning of the semester everyone is looking for friends so if you start early you’ll be bound to find a nice little homo niche to call home. Where there’s one gay, there’re more.

Also the school has an official site about all things gay.
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Scripps College

Claremont, CA

Student Population: 946
Tuition: $52,900
Acceptance Rate: 39%

Scripps College is a women’s college located in Claremont, California, and is one of 5 other colleges that make up the Claremont Colleges Consortium. While Claremont is a sleepy little college town, it is surrounded by larger cities (LA, Hollywood, etc.), which helps to widen one’s college experience, queer or not.

The Claremont Colleges Consortium share a 5C Queer Resource Center, located on the Pomona College campus, which provides resources, puts on events, and hosts workshops related to queer life on and off campus.

The Scripps Queer and Straight Alliance is called Family and is located in the Scripps Communities of Resources and Empowerment building on campus. Family is an eclectic mix of Scripps students, inclusive of all students, LGBTQ and straight, from all backgrounds. The environment at Scripps is extremely safe and friendly for queer womyn and our growing number of trans* students, who affectionately call themselves “Scripps bois.” Students have even voted to change their student government bylaws and constitution to reflect gender neutral language and have been consistently campaigning for gender neutral restrooms around campus.

The dating scene is iffy. Some people find that access to 5 other colleges creates a vast dating scene, while others think it’s still too small. There are long-term relationships and extremely quick hookups, as expected on college campuses, and so the dating scene really just depends on who/what you’re looking for.

There is a lack of diversity within the queer campus community. There are people who identify as femmes, butches, and bois, but trying to find people who self-identify as studs, AGs, butch dykes, or any other of those categories might be difficult.

The overall social scene isn’t bad. There will always be parties at one of the Consortium colleges and almost all of them are open to every campus. There is a growing population of students who refuse to attend events involving alcohol, so sober parties/events can be found campus-wide as well.

New queers at Scripps or any other Claremont College should find the QRC stat. Be friends with everyone in it. It is a friendly, welcoming, accepting and affirming space. Queer women of color should be on the lookout for Queer People of Color Brunches and monthly gatherings.

Nearby gay clubs include The Hookup, Oasis, Alibi East and Menagerie.

Fun Fact: One of Autostraddle’s March 2012 Calendar Girls goes here.

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Simmons College

Boston, MA

 

Student Population: 1,900 undergraduate, 3,000 graduate
Tuition: $30,520 (plus $12,050 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: 55% (2008)

Simmons College is a women’s college in Boston, which should instantaneously bring queer paradise to mind, obviously. It is very safe for LGBT people, including trans* men (hooray for gender neutral bathrooms!), especially with out queer people in the Public Safety Department. It’s especially safe for lesbians and queer women because we’re a women’s college. Since it’s small the dating scene can feel a little claustrophobic at times, but it’s easy to date people off campus. That way you don’t have to overhear gossip about yourself in the dining hall. There aren’t a lot of social activities on campus, but most everyone is friendly and when you make friends you can go have adventures in Boston!

LGBT groups include the Alliance, our GSA, and the Women’s Center, which partners up with other groups to put on The Vagina Monologues and other queer-friendly events. They are both pretty active and a lot of fun. Boston is also very gay friendly and there is plenty to do.

Tip: Take “Intro to LGBT Studies” when you get here. It’s enlightening and you’re guaranteed to make queer friends!
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Smith College

Northampton, MA

Student Population:2,500
Tuition:$39,800 (plus $13,390 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: around 50%

At Smith being queer is a non-issue. Most people don’t have to come out as queer – it tends to be something that is either assumed or met with as much surprise as if you stated your favorite color. This is not the case at some of the other “5 colleges” campuses. Your homosexiness may not be as respected and/or accepted at UMass Amherst and Amherst College.

Smith is located in Northampton, Massachusetts, which is an historically queer friendly place. At the peak of lesbian feminism in the 1970s, Northampton became a kind of lesbian Mecca. It was even dubbed “Lesbianville, USA” by a 1992 article in the National Enquirer. Northampton is a rare small city in which being queer is seen as the norm.

Active queer groups on campus include:

Queerz & Alliez, which is a general group for queer students.
Prism for queer students of color.
Femmepire for queer femme women, who often feel invisible within the androgyny of the queer population.
Transcending Gender, which is an organization for trans* students on campus.
+ And the radio station, which is basically a GSA.

Most queer organizations meet at the Resource Center for Sexuality and Gender, located in the basement of Wesley House. But due to the queer-friendly atmosphere at Smith most queer students don’t feel the need to participate.

The overall social and dating scene at Smith is very queer friendly and Smith isn’t divided along lines of sexuality; everyone is friends with everyone regardless of what floats your boat. Most Smithies are closest with members of their house (that’s what we call dorms), all of which are student-governed and have fun traditions. On the weekends, there is usually at least one college registered open-house party in the Quad. This is a good place for a queer lady to find a hook-up. The various student-of-color organizations also throw a lot of college-registered parties in the Campus Center, which generally draw more men (and straight Smithies). Due to the small size of the school, queer interactions can get a little incestuous and everyone knows your drama, but it’s a small price to pay for a little slice of third-wave heaven. In general, it is much easier for queer Smithies to find girlfriends, dates, or hook-ups than for straight Smithies to meet men.

To a new queer on campus, I would recommend Quad parties, the annual Drag Ball, Celebration, Diva’s (Northampton’s LGBT nightclub) and joining any club or organization that they are interested in, because they are certain to meet other queer Smithies anywhere they go. For any student, I recommend getting involved in your house community because you can truly make lifelong friends, queer or otherwise. I also highly recommend the Study of Women and Gender program (SWAG).

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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! aimeecucullati@gmail.com

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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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      I mean really, how could you not even list it, personal review or not?? SLC is the gayest place ever. And it’s fucking awesome.

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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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      When I think of Ithaca I think of small Greek islands. Then I think of the island of Lesbos. Then I think of how Ithaca (town) is like a small gay island paradise in a sea of upstate NY heterosexuality. (coming from a girl who’s the ONLY lezzer at her own college not far away)

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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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    Chapel Hill says it has gay nights off campus, but don’t go to the one at Vespa. The owner is a creep and frequently tries to molest/harass lady patrons.

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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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    Hey, baby dyke here. I was wondering if anyone here has gone to University of Texas? I’m considering it and I was wondering if anyone could tell me about what it’s like there. Thanks.

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    Serious question: are there any womens colleges that are NOT gay friendly? It seems that every single one of them have become magnets for lesbians…

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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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