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Sending Your LGBTQ Kid Off to College

Sending your child off to college is an angsty affair for most parents, but perhaps even more so if your kid identifies as LGBTQ. You want to send your child to a campus that welcomes diversity and evidences equality and acceptance. You want to send your child to a college where they will be safe. How do you know if a college will embrace your kid? There are many online sources— chief among them-- that you can turn to for all things LGBTQ-friendly college info. But, at the end of the day, your student will need to supplement their research with visits to check out the vibes of various institutions. Some things to look for that signal a LGBTQ-friendly campus:

  • Has gender-inclusive bathrooms (lots of them!)

  • Administration defends the rights of LGBTQ students and faculty

  • Has a LGBTQ resource center and safe spaces

  • There are clubs and events for LGBTQ students

  • Housing is gender-inclusive

  • Offers roommate-matching to enable finding a LGBTQ-friendly roommate

  • Gender-diverse students are visible

  • Has openly LGBTQ faculty, staff, and leadership

  • Celebrates LGBTQ History Month or National Coming Out Week

  • Issues institutional statements on pronoun language

  • Offers Queer Studies

  • College issues non-discrimination statements

  • Curricula includes works from LGBTQ people

  • Offers LGBTQ-affirming health care*

*75 colleges and universities—including the UC campuses--cover hormones and gender-affirming surgeries under student health insurance. Find a list here.

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