When looking through your college choices, it’s important that you find a school that makes you feel comfortable. For LGBQT members (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, Transgender) that an sometimes be a little harder to find. But it becomes easier when you know what’s out there and what you can look for.
Being in a new environment where you’re unsure if people are going to accept you or your circumstances is anxiety inducing. You may feel isolated and alone—but rest assured, you are not! In fact, most colleges offer LGBQT resources on their campus for their students. And as is the goal of most campus resources, these organizations are there to provide support for all kinds of issues.
Depending on the college, these resources range from LGBQT support groups to gender-neutral restrooms to leadership programs especially for queer students. These programs aim to bring LGBQT students together with pride and comfort. Many colleges also offer seminars and help to LGBQT students who may be struggling in some way. There are also volunteer committees who represent LGBQT students when some school policies may be unfair. For example, one study showed that LGBQT students often don’t have the same opportunities as their heterosexual classmates; those committees make sure those issues are addressed and fight for students’ rights.
Some colleges also hold inclusive events like Pride parades or festivals—a day dedicated celebrating who you are with crowds of people who both relate to you and support you. It’s a good way to meet new people and make new friends. It’s also a good way to embrace who you are and feel proud of your identity. LGBQT students get a chance to shine during Pride.
So when you’re researching colleges, be sure to look into your college options and research their campus resources for LGBQT students. Do they have clubs or committees? Do they have any Pride events? Do they offer gender-neutral accommodations? In short, does this college campus have resources that will put you at ease? (Even if you don’t identify as LGBTQ, if you value attending a college committed to inclusivity, you might want to check out these resources too!)
Choosing which college is right for you is a lot like choosing your new home. Many LGBQT students find a family at their campus, a tight-knit group of people who support and understand them. It’s important that you feel comfortable, happy, and free to be exactly who you are. LGBQT resources should be a major requirement on your college checklist and intensive research is a must. There is a place out there for everyone. A place where you will be accepted and you will thrive and go on to be happy and do great things.