Campus Pride Releases First List Of Top Ten Trans-Friendly Universities

Campus Pride, a nonprofit that works for safer college environments for LGBT students, has compiled its first top ten list of trans-friendly colleges and universities.

Sure, we know the partiers turn to University of Florida or Ohio State and the brainiacs look to Harvard, and Columbia. But for the trans community, selecting a college can be fraught fraught with additional perils that even their gay and lesbian classmates can unintentionally exacerbate—from housing issues to isolation and rejection.

Campus Pride’s executive director Shane Windmeyer and trans author Genny Beemyn based their ranking on which schools had policies that were most trans-affirmative, including things like non-discrimination polices that include specific protections for gender identity and/or expression, offering gender-inclusive bathrooms and lockers, forms that allow for the recognition of trans identities and, arguably most importantly, vibrant, dynamic LGBT organizations staffed and lead by members of the trans community.

Here’s how the top ten broke down:

1. Ithaca College

2. New York University

3. Princeton University

4. University of California, Los Angeles

5. University of California, Riverside

6. University of Massachusetts, Amherst

7. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

8. University of Oregon

9. University of Pennsylvania

10. University of Vermont

Not surprisingly, the list skews towards colleges on the East and West Coasts, where cultures of inclusiveness tend to take root first. But given how quickly progress is being made, we wouldn’t be at all surprised to see schools from the Midwest and South cropping up in the years to come. Just think, soon trans student will be just as home with a beer bong and embarrassing tattoos as anyone else.

Is your alma mater on the list? Share you school pride in the comments!


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  • Michael Woodward

    I’m not sure who you asked, but you completely missed The University of Arizona, in Tucson, which:
    – was the first state university in the nation to issue a trans-friendly campus restroom policy (more than half a decade ago)
    – makes it easy to update student records and ID cards
    – offers housing options for trans and gender-neutral students
    – is mindful of trans inclusion in all of its diversity policy work
    – is inclusive of trans and LGB people on a variety of committees, boards, and councils
    – as of this fall now covers trans-related medical needs in the student health insurance!

    As an added bonus, noted Emmy-winning transwoman Susan Stryker, PhD, is the Director of the Center for LGBT Studies, so there’s at least one out trans person in a visible position of campus leadership…

    It doesn’t get much more trans-friendly than that, if you ask me. :)


  • QueerQuaker

    The way you reported on this is kind of inaccurate. That is not a ranking of trans* friendly colleges- instead they are listed alphabetically and should be considered as a group. If they were listed in order of inclusiveness/quality, Penn and NYU would be numbers 1 and 2 because they have the most extensive policies and the largest number of self identifying students utilizing them. Also- plenty of brainiacs choose Penn!! Especially LGBTQ brainiacs- but i’m a little biased ;)

  • Jessie

    Nice little dig at Ohio State. As a bi and trans person who just graduated from there, I have to stand up for it a little by saying that it’s actually a great place to be queer.
    It scores a 5 out of 5 on the Campus Pride index, and it deserves that score, due to things such as a very active set of LGBT student groups, health insurance that includes trans-related doctors visits and medication (sadly though, not surgery), LGBT inclusive non-discrimination policies, and the entire city of Columbus has LGBT inclusive non-discrimination laws as well, including in public accommodations (which includes the basic but often not granted right to go to the restroom that matches one’s gender identity).

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