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

University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL

Student Population: 30,232
Tuition: $4,300 to $10,950 (plus $5,700 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: about 60%

When you think of the University of Alabama, you probably think of one thing and one thing only: football. It’s what everyone knows us for, but what most people don’t know is that we also have a fairly large queer community.

The campus and the surrounding bubble are relatively safe for LGBTQ+ students, though I don’t think that necessarily translates to being friendly, at least not at all times or under all circumstances. However, when you get outside of the area immediately around campus it is even less safe. Queer women are definitely subject to less aggression than queer men, and of course the feeling of safety declines even further for our trans* students. However, the progress we have made for our trans* students includes a comprehensive list of gender neutral bathrooms all across campus, and a preferred name field on our website, making it possible for all students to list the name they would prefer their instructors address them by. The university has a non-discrimination policy that includes sexual orientation, but we are still working on getting gender identity and expression included.

The only time you might not feel completely safe on campus is during a game day when there are lots of non-students on campus or around the older Greek organizations. Some fraternity houses are still dealing with issues of racism. Homophobia isn’t even on their radar. This is not to say that ALL traditional Greek organizations at UA are unfriendly. They can sometimes give off that a heteronormative vibe, but last year, our GSA hosted a discussion called “Gays and Greeks” to discuss this issue and we realized that we stereotype them just as much as they stereotype us. And there are a couple of multicultural sororities that are openly welcoming to queer women.

The dating scene is kind of lackluster. There are a lot of people that aren’t fully out or just don’t feel the need to participate in any queer-related educational or social events. In my experience it seems as though a lot of the queer community here is looking for casual, semi-discreet fun. To find a girlfriend, rather than a hook-up, try Spectrum meetings. Spectrum hosts academic discussions, movie nights and game nights, as well as a lot of events in October for Queer History Month, including an event called “Coming Out on the Quad.” Spectrum also has a presence in the homecoming parade and in the Birmingham Pride parade every year. Check out Spectrum is what we’re saying: spectrum [at] ua dot edu.

For off-campus solicaizing:

+ There’s a white male oriented gay bar
+ A Tuscaloosa chapter of PFLAG
+ Several queer-inviting churches, including Canterbury Episcopal Chapel, and University Presbyterian Church.
Central Alabama Pride festivities and parade
+ And people often make the hour-long drive to Birmingham to visit are a few more bars/clubs like Club 21,  QuestJoe’s, and Our Place

On-campus support relevant to your interests:

+ The faculty equivalent of Spectrum is the Capstone Alliance. Grad students can be involved in either or both.
+The Safe Zone program trains students and faculty who wish to be more knowledgeable about and sensitive to LGBTQ+ issues.
+ UA even made and an It Gets Better video.
The Women’s Resource Center hosts a Brown Bag Lecture series, which often speaks to the issues faced by queer women.

UA definitely has a lot going on (at least more than people seem to expect) and there are a lot of opportunities to get involved. It’s not a perfect environment, but there are a lot of people working to make it better.
dotted-divider2

University of California – Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, CA
by Megan

 

Student Population: 14,888 undergraduate, 1,444 graduate
Tuition: $12,732 (plus 14,172 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: 65%

UC Santa Cruz is the most beautiful place to go to college and home to some of the most beautiful queer women I have ever seen. On any given day, you will observe about a dozen dread-locked lesbians sipping on organic teas, trying to figure out on which part of their messenger bags to put their HRC sticker.

As a student of the Feminist Studies department, I was taught that “sex is what’s in your pants, gender is what’s in your head and sexuality is what’s in your heart”. That is the perfect way to sum up Santa Cruz’s collective community ideology. The Zami co-op in downtown Santa Cruz is a gender queer co-op that promotes trans* awareness as well as community activism and sexual education. Plus it’s home to some of the hottest genderqueer shes, hes and xes and the rent is cheap. Oh, and they have naked paint parties.

I am personally involved in the nation’s first and only (that I know of) gender-neutral queer frarority (fraternity + sorority, get it?). Basically our goal is to queer Greek life on our campus and promote more gender neutral activities. This last year, we were able to get the Fraternities and Sororities on campus to make the Greek-Week dodgeball game gender neutral.

Santa Cruz is the place you go when you want the queer subculture you live in to be the dominant one. It is also probably one of the only college campuses where, “Hey beautiful, what’s your PGP,” is an appropriate pick up line. The queer community here is effortless because for most people, it is just life as usual.

dotted-divider2

University of Connecticut

Storrs, CT

 

Student Population: 21,881 undergraduate, 8,153 graduate
Tuition: $10,416 to $26,880 (plus $10,552 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: about 55%

The main thing about UConn is that it is HUGE. The plus side of going to such a big school is that there are about eight million clubs and other social activities for you to participate in! UConn has Cultural Centers at the Student Union to promote diversity. Centers relevant to your interests are the Rainbow Center and the Women’s Center. These centers exist to create a safe space– everyone is welcome! The Rainbow Center has FREE COOKIES AND TEA every Friday. The Women’s Center has lots of queer girls on staff, naturally, and it is a very supportive and nurturing environment. The Rainbow Center and the Women’s Center run all sorts of support groups and social events for queers. The awesome thing about the school being so big is that there is MORE THAN ONE group of queers. Some groups focus on violence against women, others fight for marriage equality and others plan awesome parties, like the Drag Ball. The balance of political and social clubs is really cool.

I almost always felt safe at UConn. There was the occasional catcall or creepster boy, but, tragically, that happens every/anywhere. And one time a student made me feel uncomfortable in class by making a derogatory comment about lesbian sex. The professor was super supportive and worked with me to reach a solution. I had a few queer professors, who were all awesome and great role models. I got to take a queer literature course, and the one of the heads of Student Mental Health Services is queer! There is a lot of support on campus for queer folk, and even though I heard the occasional bigoted comment, right before I graduated, an out queer activist was voted Homecoming King!

As far as dating goes, I managed to get my heart broken a few times, so I guess that is about right for the college experience.

UConn is in the middle of nowhere, and there is no town around it. It’s just you and the university. But I managed to be taught by queer professors, read books by queer authors, work with queer students, and make friends (and make out) with other queer folk. Not bad!

dotted-divider2

University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

 

Student Population: 18,500 undergraduate, 11,000 graduate
Tuition: $7,008 to $26,834 (plus $9,470 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: 17% (2010)

UNC is an extremely LGBT-friendly environment. There are lots of queers on campus and our LGBT population is extremely visible. This is due, in part, to GLBTSA (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans, and Straight Alliance) and their efforts to spread acceptance through events like Ally Week, our bi-annual drag show, and other social activities. They also participate in LGBT events in the surrounding community, such as the pride parade in Durham.

Through the LGBTQ Center on campus we also have a special gay graduation ceremony, peer support groups, weekly support dinners for trans* or gender questioning people, and many more events. The University even has a policy of gender neutral language– for example, we have “First years,” not freshmen. Though one normally wouldn’t think of North Carolina as a queer-friendly place, UNC and the Triangle (Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill) are definitely very accepting.

Although it sometimes seems like LGBT life at UNC is dominated by gay men (like everywhere else), we have our fair share of things for queer women. If you’re looking for a date, you should probably just stop by a women’s rugby game, attend a “gay night” at a club off campus or drive about a mile down the road to the town of Carrboro. Once there you’ll want to make your way to the Weaver Street Market, an organic food co-op, where you’ll spend 99% of your time asking yourself if that cute girl is a hipster or lesbian. (HINT: She’s probs a lesbian.) The bars in Carrboro are also great places to meet girls. And Duke is just 8 miles away so that helps in the dating department because they, too, have a good queer scene.
dotted-divider2

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

 

Student Population: 41,924
Tuition: $12,263 to $36,675 (plus $9,192 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: 50%

The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor is essentially a Mecca for LGBTQA-Z students. While there will always be exceptions, as a whole, the city of Ann Arbor and U of M are unbelievably supportive and accepting of our community. As a clearly gay, 5-foot-nothing girl on this campus, I’ve never felt attacked, unsafe or ostracized. I’ve never felt hesitant to hold my girlfriend’s hand while walking down the street or avoided talking about my significant other in classroom settings. I’ve had many gay professors and with classes taught by the greats of queer scholarship (David Halperin, Gayle Rubin), and classes like “Intro to LGBTQ Studies,” you will never feel alone.

The dating scene here is complicated, but not all that difficult to navigate. The gay community is so spread out that it can be difficult to really find what you’re looking for, but there is no shortage of opportunities to try to find a fit because of how visible and out so many people are. You can find the entire spectrum of romantic intentions– from those that are looking for lifetime partners to those that are just looking to hook up.

The social scene varies as much as anything else. There is a great club and scene for queer students that includes, but is not limited to, two gay nights every week at the infamous Necto Nightclub, two a month at LIVE, frequent drag performances from the home-grown troupe Drag King Rebellion and the ever-fabulous Aut Bar. For those that don’t like to go out (or aren’t 21 yet) you can usually find a house party hosted by any number of the gay cliques on campus every Friday and Saturday night (don’t worry, we’re easy to find).

Campus life for queer students is amazing. There are many formally recognized gay clubs that really reach out to all corners of the UM population. We have clubs that focus on specific issues. Some are geared toward specific identities, such as BiLateral for bi students and their allies. Some are specific to majors, such as OutLaws or oSTEM (Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The LGBT Commission of the Michigan Student Assembly addresses LGBT issues on campus. Involvement in these student organizations makes it easier to meet new people and make friends. Any and all gay friendly student organizations can be located through the Spectrum Center– the central office for LGBT students on campus. It’s the oldest office of its kind in the nation and just celebrated its 40th anniversary. Check out Gayz Craze in the beginning of the year. It’s a good introduction to everything organized and gay.
dotted-divider2

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN

Student Population: 50,067
Tuition:$13,060 to $18,060 (plus $7,728 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: 48%

The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities is located in Minneapolis — the ‘gayest’ city in the country. With over 40,000 undergraduate students and 15,000 graduate students, it is easy to find your gay social niche on campus. But not only is UMN gay– it’s really fucking queer. Hence the name for the safe-space on campus: the Queer Student Cultural Center (QSCC). Incoming freshmen have an opportunity to live on an LGBT-inclusive floor called Lavender House. And the GLBTA Programs Office offers resources, information, and addresses concerns about the LGBT environment around campus.

In terms of ‘the scene’, there are plenty of queer ladies at UMN– it’s only a matter of finding them. There’s lots of ladies in the Gender Women and Sexuality Studies (GWSS), but gay ladies can be found in almost any department from art to engineering. The stereotypical Minneapolis queer lady has piercings and lots of bicycle gear. But don’t let that fool you, there are plenty of femme ladies to flirt with. Overall, UMN is very gay-friendly and it is a joy to be as out as you want with little to no social reaction.

dotted-divider2

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Student Population: 10,394 undergraduate, 10,809 graduate
Tuition: $42,098 (plus $11,878 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: 14.3%

The queer social scene at UPenn is fairly overwhelmingly male, although with the new Queer Ladies group, a vibrant non-male scene is forming. The queer social scene as a whole, though, is quite robust, with lots of queer parties and events. It’s really easy to find the scene and jump in. The campus is LGBT-friendly, and becoming more T-friendly with time. Students have access to transgender healthcare through student health insurance, no extra charge. There is a lovely LGBT center on campus, open to anyone. There are a handful of queer organizations, and Lambda Alliance is the umbrella for those. There is Queer People of Color, J-Bagel (Queer Jews), Wharton Alliance (Business Queers), Allies, Queer Student Alliance, Queer Ladies at Penn, a Queer Nursing group, a Queer Athletics group, and I’m probably forgetting a few.

For the new lady queers, I’d definitely suggest checking out the QL@P group. They have movie nights and lunch hangouts. Or just saying “Hi” to one of the members is a great way to meet ladies. Also pop into the LGBT center and introduce yourself to Bob Schoenberg, who runs the place. Come to a meeting of any of the queer groups, and just start talking to people. For parties off campus in Philadelphia look downtown in the Gayborhood. Yes, it is actually called that.

dotted-divider2

University of Washington

Seattle, WA

Student Population: 34,523 undergraduate, 11,592 graduate
Tuition: $10,346 to $27,830 (plus $9,771 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: 57.7% (2009)

The environment is fairly safe/friendly for queer students. My friends and I feel very safe on campus and I have never heard of anyone who had issues with violence or discrimination. There are also queer people in the student government (ASUW) as well as openly queer people in administration. The environment is not quite as friendly for trans* folks because UW doesn’t have gender neutral housing or a lot of gender neutral bathrooms yet and there is still some blatant transphobia on campus, but everyone is still pretty safe. There is a very large population of lesbians/queer women on campus. Sometimes 90% of the people at GLBT meetup will be women. There are lots of different groups of queer women. You’ve got the rugby players, the Gender, Women, and Sexuality majors, or, you know, both.

The Q Center provides a physical space for hanging out. It also hosts groups, puts on events, and advocates for the interests of queer students on campus. There is also an independent student group, Students Organizing for LGBTQ Equality, which focuses on queer activism around campus. The Gay, Bisexual, Lesbian, Transgender Commission is a student government group that holds weekly meetings and puts on events like the ASUW Drag Show, which is a MUST SEE!

Most queer students go to meetings or clubs relevant to their interests and end up developing a circle of friends from there, so I would definitely recommend going to a couple of meetings that you find interesting. UW is located in Seattle, which is quite queer-friendly. The university is located in an area known as the University District, which is good. Just a short bus ride away is Seattle’s gay neighborhood, Capitol Hill, which is has lots of queers, resources, bars, and events. The gay bar/club Neighbours, which is in Capitol Hill, offers one underage night per week as well as all ages after 2am on Friday and Saturday. It’s late, but its still a lot of fun.

dotted-divider2

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN

Student Population: 6,831 undergraduate, 5,045 graduate
Tuition: $39,952 (plus $13,068 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: 16.3% (2010)

Gay life at Vandy is a B-. There are some resources on campus and Nashville is a good city, but the campus can seem very segregated between Greeks and non-Greeks. On top of that the non-Greeks are further segregated — the international students stick together, the smart kids never leave the library and you’ll want to seek out the drama/theater department for open-minded individuals.

There are more gay men on campus than girls. This past year a gay fraternity was organized and approved, but they’re small at around a dozen male members. I know of one trans* guy on campus. Most people seem supportive of him. Safety isn’t really an issue for LGBT students. I don‘t know of any bullying or attacks – no violence, just some good old-fashioned southern prejudice.

There is an LGBT resource center. It’s a small little building on campus, but a safe place to gather! They have lots of resources and information and they host lunches on Fridays!

Nashville has about three gay bars/clubs. Wednesday night is college night at “Play,” the largest gay dance club. There‘s no cover charge with any Nashville college ID. There’s a very cute gay bookstore with gifts and trinkets downtown. There‘s a great music scene; it’s mostly of country (obviously), but other good shows come. Tegan and Sara stopped by last spring!

dotted-divider2

Vassar College

Poughkeepsie, NY

 

Student Population: 2,400
Tuition: $42,560 (plus $10,080 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: about 24%

The environment at Vassar is extremely safe and friendly for LGBTs. The liberal arts atmosphere breeds a certain sense of invincibility, where it’s nothing for one to be out not only among one’s peers but even with bosses and professors. I will say this: the gay male population is much more visible and represented, and to some degree, there is a struggle to find a space for queer women on campus.

The social scene is active, but dating can be . . . tricky. There is a lack of variety in ‘types’ of women and there are more women open to a queer experience than outright lesbians. Find a Drama major. It’s party central and a hotbed of queer activity.

We have several LGBT groups on campus. ACT OUT has been active in the fight to pass marriage equality in NY. There’s also the Queer Coalition of Vassar College, which has become a social club for the gay men, but we’re working to improve diversity. New queer students should check out those groups regardless. Visit the LGBTQ center. It’s a great place to study and socialize. They occasionally have free pizza!

If you want lesbian-specific activities, there is an all-women comedy group, which isn’t officially ‘gay,’ but, well, you’ll see. And keep a lookout for clandestine Queer Lady Parties.

Vassar is located in Poughkeepsie, which is not a very gay-friendly place. Once off the Vassar campus, people are often on guard. Students can hold hands on campus, but outside the gates some stares and maybe harassment is a possibility.
dotted-divider2

Wellesley College

Wellesley, MA

 

Student Population: 2,300
Tuition: $39,420 (plus $12,284 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: about 36%

At Wellesley, you’ll never be the only gay in the room. It is a truly gay-friendly place. It’s common to see lady friends holding hands, or other forms of PDA, on campus without worrying about repercussions. Not only are you safe here, you are welcomed with open arms.

The gay scene on campus is great. Places to find like minded ladies:

+ The Hoop – The student-run co-op cafe in the campus center that makes the best nachos on the planet.
+ The Pub – You will ALWAYS find queer students here. You don’t need to be 21 to go in this pub and there’s a new theme every Thursday. If there’s one things gays love, it’s a THEME.
+ El Table – Another student-run co-op that makes sandwiches and sells delicious things in the basement of an academic building.
+The Shakespeare Society – A theatre troupe-like group that produces an all-female Shakespeare production every semester
+ And rugby – Duh!

We also have organizations specifically aimed at queer woman of color. At the beginning of the year, this groups will all advertise themselves to the student body with great zeal. You will find queer students in just about any organization you join. Join things. You will find the gays.

The dating scene is very good. I highly recommend it. You’ll get the inevitable awkward feeling that everyone has dated everyone else, but that comes with the territory of being gay in any social circle. Rest assured the pool of candidates is large enough that you will not be limited to dating your best friend’s ex.

There isn’t too much going on in the actual town of Wellesley, but I don’t know of anyone who has had any issues with being queer in town. There is a bus that goes directly from the campus into Boston. There you’ll find cafes, Trident bookstore and clubs. Most of the queer night club scene is 21+ only, and a lot of things close down around midnight because that’s when the public transportation stops. Boston has plenty going on, so no matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find it.

At times it seems as though the Administration is trying to keep a lid on the queer community; however, progress has been/is being made. A LGBTQ Advisor has recently been appointed. Her mission is to find out what our needs are and work with the Administration to meet those needs.

Baby queers should go to the Hoop, order some food and do some homework while listening to Tegan & Sara. Join an organization. Spectrum is an all-inclusive gay organization that runs events. They have a big sibling/little sibling program if you are looking for someone to show you the ropes. The campus is full of bois AND femmes, so don’t assume the lady sitting next to you is straight just because she has long hair and sports high heels. Keep a look out for “The Wellesley Chop,” our very own alternative lifestyle hair cut. And don’t miss the Dyke Ball. It’s the prom you wish you had!

dotted-divider2

Yale University

New Haven, CT
by Brittani

Brittani

Student Population:5,279 undergraduate, 6,381 graduate
Tuition: $40,500 (plus $12,200 room and board)
Acceptance Rate: 7.5% (2011)

There are a lot of places to be gay. The grocery store, an amusement park, your house. Thus far, Yale has been my favorite. It’s a magical place and not just because Yalies like to pretend it’s Hogwarts. Affectionately known as ”The Gay Ivy” with a musical and admissions video to prove it, Yale provides a great environment to come to terms with the gay. Trying to figure things out or find some cute queers to study with? Take Gay and Lesbian History, taught by none other than one mother effing George Chauncey. You might remember him from the Prop 8 trial when he was a boss. Proof of his bossness? He goes to lunch with all the students that take his class to talk to them about the environment for queers at Yale. It’s a really fun, informative, and popular class that I wanted to do all the reading for. Doesn’t matter whether I did or not because it’s the thought that counts in these matters.

It’s a well-known fact that there are a few sure shot places to find queer women carrying on gaily amongst their peers. They include the Women’s Rugby Team and Yale Precision Marching Band. As for official groups, they fall under the LGBTQ Co-op umbrella which is responsible for many of the events, fellowships, and services that appeal to your gaymazing interests but are available to the entire Yale community. I never made it to a meeting but then again I didn’t attend a single Black Student Alliance meeting either. Naps needed to be taken. However, I did make it to many Pride Month, Trans Awareness Week, and Sex Week activities. Two of the more debaucherous events include Drag Ball and the Bad Romantics drag and burlesque show. Also worth mentioning are Sappho, a group for queer women, and Prism, a group for LGBTQ people of color. If you have some gay problems or you’re just a gay with problems, lean on Queer Peers who offer LGBTQQAA people help with their shit. We even have LGBTQ groups for grad students so I’ll have people to hit on when I go back to visit without feeling creepy. Yayyy for meeeee. Speaking of being an alum, I should look into joining GALA, our LGBT alumni network. I think this qualifies as gay-friendly. Or just really gay.

One of the best programs at Yale for incoming queers is the LGBTQ Peer Liaisons program. Peer Liaisons are third and fourth year students who help first year students adjust to campus life and connect with the LGBTQ community.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 See entire article on one page

Avatar of the team

auto has written 300 articles for us.

261 Comments

  1. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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).

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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…

  2. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    “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.

  3. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  4. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  5. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

      • Thumb up 0

        Please log in to vote

        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.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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…

  6. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    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.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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!!

  7. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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

      • Thumb up 0

        Please log in to vote

        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.)

  8. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  9. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  10. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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).

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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)

  11. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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.

  12. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  13. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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!)

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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?

      • Thumb up 0

        Please log in to vote

        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.

  14. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.)

  15. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  16. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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]

  17. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  18. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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. :)

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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?

  19. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    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.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          [[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.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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?

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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.

      • Thumb up 0

        Please log in to vote

        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.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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).

  20. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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.

      • Thumb up 0

        Please log in to vote

        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 . . .

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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

  21. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  22. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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)

  23. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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?

  24. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  25. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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…

  26. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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.

  27. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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!

  28. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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!

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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. :)

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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)

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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.

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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.

  29. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  30. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  31. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  32. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  33. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  34. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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!

  35. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  36. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      -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.

  37. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  38. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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)

  39. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  40. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  41. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  42. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  43. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  44. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  45. Thumb up 1

    Please log in to vote

    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?

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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.

  46. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  47. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    “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.

  48. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  49. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  50. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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 :)

        • Thumb up 0

          Please log in to vote

          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 -____-

  51. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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

  52. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  53. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  54. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  55. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

    • Thumb up 1

      Please log in to vote

      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.

  56. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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??

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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

  57. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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!

    • Thumb up 0

      Please log in to vote

      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.

  58. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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

  59. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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!

  60. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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? :)

  61. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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)…

  62. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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…)

  63. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

  64. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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…

  65. Thumb up 0

    Please log in to vote

    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.

Contribute to the conversation...

You must be logged in to post a comment.