While June is celebrated as the first official month of summer, it has also become widely celebrated as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month. This year is more special than ever. June 2020 marks the 50 Year Anniversary of the first Gay Pride March, which took place in New York City on June 28, 1970.
Pride was first celebrated on the one year anniversary of the Stonewell Uprising, a major historical moment that became the tipping point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. The Stonewell riots took place in New York City after police raided the Stonewell Inn, a gay and lesbian bar in Greenwich Village. The riots turned violent and went on for some time as individuals of the queer community organized into activist groups in order to advocate for more places to gather without fear of their orientation.
Today, the Stonewell Uprising and the progress made since that evening 51 years ago, are celebrated all month long through parades, film festivals and rallies around the world.
But the celebration doesn’t stop there. Many college students around the country exhibit their Pride all year long with the help of colleges and universities. According to College Choice
, here are six key indicators that a college is an LGBTQ-friendly institution:
• Clear non-discrimination policies in place
• Vibrant LGBTQ student life and community
• Educational opportunities on LGBTQ subject matter, including courses and majors
• Gender-inclusive housing and restrooms
• LGBTQ-specific health care options
• Active campus safety training and procedures to assist the LGBTQ community
Though there are hundreds of colleges across the country that work hard to implement these six principles, we want to highlight 10 college campuses that do this particularly well. With the help of College Choice
and Great Value Colleges
, we’re counting down the top 10 LGBTQ colleges and universities in the United States.
10. Oberlin College – Oberlin, Ohio
Website: Oberlin LGBTQ Resources
Oberlin doesn’t relegate it’s LGBTQ experience to an office and a few programming events. Rather, they provide a well-supported academic Department of Gender, Sexuality and Feminist Studies. Each year, the university hosts a month-long QueerFest, which features panel discussions, drag shows, concerts, movie screenings and queer parties.
9. Indiana University – Bloomington, Indiana
Website: LGBTQ+ Culture Center
The LGBTQ+ Culture Center at Indiana University works to ensure that students have a safe and welcoming learning environment through various forms of resources and support. In addition to providing housing that aligns with their gender identity/expression, the university also has a Spectrum Thematic Community. This housing environment allows students to explore the development of gender identities and expression, social constructs and historical and present culture of the LGBTQ community. Finally, the university offers LGBTQ specific scholarships.
8. University of Washington – Seattle, Washington
Website: The Q Center
The Q Center serves as a place of advocacy and mentoring for all LGBTQ students on the University of Washington campus. In addition to the mentorship programs and campus-wide events hosted by the Q Center, this college also has an undergraduate and graduate level degree in Gender and Sexuality Studies.
7. Washington University in St. Louis – St. Louis, Missouri
Website: LGBTQIA+ Resources
Wash U believes that the LGBTQ experience is different for everyone, and they desire to provide resources and a sense of belonging for every single one of their students. Their services include peer mentorship, a free LGBTQIA retreat, student groups and regular events and programming.
6. Ohio State University – Columbus, Ohio
Website: LGBTQ at Ohio State
The LGBTQ community is fully integrated into all aspects of the campus community at OSU. There are a plethora of organizations for students to find a sense or belonging, whether it’s by their major, housing or special interests. Students can receive LGBTQ-specific health care, crisis support, financial aid, and legal help through the university.
5. Emory University – Atlanta, Georgia
Website: LGBT Life
The Office of LGBT Life hosts weekly discussions in order to foster dialogue between members of the LGBTQ community and other students on campus. It also provides programming and community building through weekly crafts and wellness initiatives. According to College Choice
, The Office of LGBT Life and Emory Law teamed up to give pro bono legal help to students with LGBTQ needs, like official name changes, transition-related health care, and more.
4. San Diego State University – San Diego, California
Website: The Pride Center
Outside of programs and events designed to raise awareness and foster inclusivity of the LGBTQ community on campus, the Pride House on campus also provides a mentorship program. This program is designed to help students become successful, engaged members of the SDSU community. First-year students are paired with an upperclassmen mentor who can help them navigate academic ambitions, on- and off-campus resources, and skills to create a meaningful college experience.
3. University of Oregon – Eugene, Oregon
Website: LGTBQIA+ Support Services
Facebook: UO LGBTQA
Named the most LGBTQ-friendly college in Oregon by Campus Pride, the University of Oregon LGBT Education and Support Services team works to affirm the lives of all LGBTQIA+ students and their allies. The university also brings together academics and housing through the LGBTQIA+ Scholars Program, which lives, eats, studies, and grows together.
2. University of Maryland – College Park, Maryland
Website: LGBTQ Equity Center
The LGBT Equity Center’s main focus for students of diverse sexes, gender identities or expressions, and sexual orientation, is all in the name: Equity. They work hard to ensure equality, strength, vibrancy and visibility through education, awareness and fun events on campus. This is especially evident through their first-year LGBTQ three-tiered welcome programming to help students transition to college smoothly.
1. University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Website: LGBT Center
The University of Pennsylvania’s LGBTQ Center is one of the oldest in the nation. Since it’s founding, it has worked to provide a safe place for LGBTQ students as well as fosters awareness, understanding and acceptance of its members to all students at Penn. Finally, the school’s medical hub, Penn Medicine, was recently named a “Leader in LGBT Healthcare Equality” by the Human Rights Campaign.