Hey Queer College Girls, We Need You and Your Input

[feature photo from GazetteNet.com]

Hello! It has come to our attention that many of you here at Autostraddle are “in college” or “going to college.” Furthermore, many of us here on Team Autostraddle graduated from college before Shane got invented and don’t know what campus life is like these days.

We’re in the process of putting together one of those fantastic mega-posts jam-packed with information and we need your help!

We’ve gathered a lot of material from our own friends & family, but we’ve got some holes.

Please only respond to this call if you are:

1) Involved in the gay scene on your campus.

2) Are currently attending [x] school or have graduated within the last two years

3) Out at school as queer/lesbian/bisexual

THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO ANY OF THESE RULES

Questions to answer/address:

– How safe/friendly the environment is for LGBTs

– How safe/friendly the environment is for lesbians/queer women specifically

– What the dating scene is like.

– What the overall social scene is like.

– Is there a GSA or other gay club? How is it?

– What gay events/clubs/situations would you recommend to a new queer on campus?

– Is the town/city/village your school is located in gay-friendly?

– Please include any relavant URLS or phone numbers

– Any other insider info you’d like to share.

We reserve the right to edit your piece for style and clarity and will publish without your name unless specifically asked to use your name. If we get more than one submission from the same school, we’ll try to edit them into one coherent perspective.

So, schools we still need people to write about:

Smith
Bryn Mawr
Wellesley
Northwestern
– Swarthmore
– University of Washington
SFSU
Vassar
Carleton College
Brown
– Ohio State
SUNY Purchase
– Grinell
– University of Oregon – Eugene
Hampshire
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
– UC – Berkeley
UC- Santa Cruz
– UCLA
Concordia (Canada)
– Sarah Lawrence
University of Pennsylvania
Oberlin
– Penn State
– University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Indiana – Bloomington
Duke
– University of Texas
Yale

We have already received responses for the schools highlighted in red. Thank you!

Email your 1-2 paragraphs

to

BREN [AT] AUTOSTRADDLE DOT COM. 

If your school isn’t on this list and you feel like it should be, email us and ask if you can write about it. It’s likely it’s not on this list because we’ve already got somebody writing about it, but if not then we’ll give you the green light.

auto has written 478 articles for us.

100 Comments

  1. I can’t really speak to the queer dating scene at my college (culinary school in Vermont) but I can say that it has been an awesome and accepting place when I came out as trans*. All the teachers and staff have been amazing and they even allowed me to change my nametag to reflect my chosen name! They allowed me to live on an all girls floor in the dorms, and none of the other students have ever had any problems, they’ve all just taken me at face value!

  2. Anything about australia?

    Also what counts as “being involved in the gay scene”? I was more of a super-busy social butterfly and I had friends who were involved, but as an international student the stakes were different – it was quite intimidating & sometimes alienating, and also there have been students who lost government scholarships because someone outed them, so people have had to be discreet.

      • It was a Malaysian Government scholarship – the gov is majorly conservative & homophobic. One student got reported as trans (by her ex!) – scholarship was revoked, she had to come back immediately.there are others who end up being more discreet – not being in photos, going stealth, and so on.

        That’s partly why I wasn’t super active with queer stuff in uni – I wasn’t sure what the bounds of my student visa were. Turns out the visa itself is pretty open, but I had a malaysian citizenship app pending (SINCE BIRTH) and I still had to be careful.

  3. I actually gasped in excitement at this post/my college being on the list.

    I don’t think I’m qualified to write about it, because I won’t start school until this august, but I will be attending Grinnell. Still, I just wanted to add Go Pioneers!

  4. Disclaimer: I am a cis queer woman, attending a Canadian university.

    Um, what if you are a straight trans or trans* woman? Can you still submit something about your university? I guess if you had no cultural queer affiliation (that is, you didn’t really identify with / participate in queer culture, which is totally ok, obviously) you might not be ‘qualified’ to address things like the dating scene or the social scene. HOWEVER, it seems you would still have tons of important and relevant info about ‘How safe/friendly the environment is for LGBTs’, especially the T part of that – but also other parts, not least because I think that transphobia probably directly impacts lots of genderqueer folks, as well as masculine-of-centre women and feminine-of-centre men (and none of these categories are mutually exclusive either!).

    Maybe you should have a separate about post about colleges addressing the general safety and ease of daily life for of trans and trans* folks there? Examples of relevant information, in point form to prevent a ‘wall-o-text’ situation:

    – how easy or difficult it is to get listed as your preferred name on attendance sheets, at the registrar’s office etc.

    – related: how frequently do TA’s accidentally or ‘accidentally’ out folks during attendance at tutorials; tests are also sometimes printed with each person’s name on it, so I imagine that this could be a problem-area as well

    – how easy/difficult it is to get into single-gender housing of your actual gender in residence

    – how many unisex and/or single locking bathrooms and change-rooms there are (including in residence and at the residence athletic facilities)

    – whether the campus Women’s Centre (or equivalent) is trans inclusive (that is, inclusive of trans women in their women-only space, if they have one; as well as being trans inclusive in general)

    – whether the Queer Resource Centre (or equivalent) is trans inclusive (not only just nominally but actively working on trans-specific causes and/or events, depending on how focused the centre is on activism and/or social events)

    – and I’m sure a tons of other things I am forgetting and/or am ignorant about

    As a final note, I just wanted to assert that I think the current format/conditions of inclusion are set up to elicit really important information, and I’m really glad that you’re doing this. I just think that for many queer and straight women (that is, those that are trans, trans*, genderqueer, masculine-of-centre, etc.) there are a few potential gaps in the information, that I think are important to address, and might actually be easier to address in a separate post.

    Love,
    Alice

    ps: I would suggest that for the purposes of this proposed separate post you would not need to be out to the general college population as trans or trans* to submit info.

    pps: I second Julie’s question about Canadian universities and whether you want info on them.

  5. This would be really useful! Just any info on gay life in/around NYC/Brooklyn would be awesome, I’m going to Pratt this fall and kinda nervous about how I will fit into the bubble (esp. because all I’ve heard about NY lesbians is that they drink a lot and I’m not much for drinking)

    • I’m going to FIT in the fall (I visited Pratt, though, it is so beautiful and I’m jealous you get to study there)!

      The idea of navigating the NYC gay scene is intimidating, so I’m also hungry for information…

  6. we need an entire queer life/college section with multiple writers and with multiple experiences.

    you know how seventeen has the Freshman 15? Well we need this for MULTIPLE PEOPLE (college, university, freshies-seniors, etc.)

    Yeah,
    we should have that and I’m all on board for helping organize it, if that’s the next concern; please do holla.

    -Luna (who’s always too damn lazy to log in)

  7. If not already being done, I’d love to see some write-ups on schools not always known to be gay friendly if there’s anyone on here who attends. Texas A&M, Washington State, etc. Inquiring minds who are interested in majors most often found at rural colleges want to know. 🙂

  8. Hey Autostraddle. I attend Concord Univ. in Southern WV and was a victim of a gay related “hate” crime. I had someone put dyke outside of my door and would love to write a piece about gay tolerance and presence at the University.

  9. gahhh!!!! im a junior in high school and I’m considering more than half of these schools! this is so exciting gomg! please write a lot and stuff! also THANK YOU WHOEVER THOUGHT OF THIS!!

      • i grew up in Oberlin, OH. my mom still works at the college. i grew up with lots of stories of students sitting in for civil rights, etc. (i remember all the crazy/fun paint jobs y’all did on the campus rocks). mom once told me abt. dorms that had uni-sex bathrooms to be inclusive of trans* students. i was inspired by the students that went to Oberlin.

        i eventually went to Ohio Wesleyan (go OWU! -ok for lgbt folk, though i wasn’t out in college).

        mom still seemed surprised. #wtf

  10. I definitely concur with the questions about trans* info. Also, do y’all need anything about the University of Minnesota Morris? ‘Cause it’s super queer and I know a bunch of people who read Autostraddle who’re students there. I’m the co-chair of the GLBT(etc) group on campus, so I’d be happy to write about it! 🙂

  11. I’m enrolling in Southern Oregon University in the fall, and JFDKSLAJFDSL U of O Eugene is just so close and yet still not my school. And I’m still not attending; that comes in September. GAH. I would have loved to do this :/

    Secondarily:
    Someone INVENTED Shane? They need a prize of some sort.

  12. I’m going to texas tech in the fall, I’m already moved here and am hanging out with derby girls and the like, and have signed up with the GSA. but i’m not started yet so I dont think i can contribute much 🙁

  13. Would you guys want info on schools in Alabama? I know the south gets a bad rap and Alabama isn’t at the top of the list, but I can honestly say that the state has come a long way. Also, I was recently at a conference in a room full of queers from allover Alabama 🙂

    Sweet home Alabama!!! (sorry, southern girl)

  14. what about CUNY schools? i used to attend college of staten island and the GSA was awesome, didn’t stay there long enough to learn more because i transferred…but yeah, what about community colleges?

  15. I enjoyed the fact that the first thing I saw on Autostraddle’s homepage was a picture of me and the rest of my dorm half naked.

    Lol Smith College

    • hahaha I also enjoyed the fact that when I went to Autostaddle I saw Cushing house halfnaked at Convocation on the screen.

      I had to submit something for Smith 🙂

  16. Any Chicago universities being covered?
    I see that our Evanston friends are represented, but anyone from Loyola Chicago, Roosevelt, DePaul, University of Illinois at Chicago, UChicago, Columbia College, Harold Washington, Northeastern Illinois University, or the SAIC?

    …I think those are all the Chicago universities…

  17. Where’s the love for the south? Since you’re doing a piece on Indiana University, you should do an article on University of Louisville since they’re in the same general area… kinda.

    • If your school isn’t on this list and you feel like it should be, email us and ask if you can write about it. It’s likely it’s not on this list because we’ve already got somebody writing about it, but if not then we’ll give you the green light.

  18. Grinnell and Carleton but not Macalester? Guessing it’s because nobody knows about this place. *Sigh*

    Also, I can’t decide if I’m too lazy to do this. Or too apathetic about my school. I might email and ask about it.

  19. Jumping on the bandwagon about side-eyeing the must be “involved in the gay scene on your campus.” I think members could gain a buttload of information from those who AREN’T involved in the queer scene on campus. For example: my university’s queer community is split pretty much down the middle: queer white people and queer people of color. Queer white people dominate the LGBTQA group, LGBTQ services, etc. Queer people of color are not involved in these areas of campus life because they don’t feel comfortable, included, etc. So technically they can’t respond to this survey, because they’re not “involved” on campus. I’m a queer white chick, but I don’t participate in my campus’s LGBTQA because of how whitewashed it is. Therefore I can’t participate in your survey as well.

    I respect your efforts to address queer life on college campuses, but please remember to include those of us who may be forgotten. Your standards as you have them now are a bit exclusive.

    (I will also be emailing this to the email address provided in the post)

    • I’m pretty sure “involved in the gay scene” just sort of means had an awareness of the state of gayness acceptability/gay fun-ness on campus. So maybe not in the closet, living far off campus and not being involved in any clubs/groups/friendships/classes on campus. I would say having an awareness of a racial split on campus counts as being involved (even if you’re not bffs with people in the LGBTQA groups).

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