7 Brave Campuses for LGBT Students in the South

Here are seven schools where students across the South rabble-roused their way to a better campus.



Tulane University — New Orleans
Tulane University, a private institution of about 6,500 students, has been a leader in policy and campus climate work in the South. The Louisiana school is one of only four campuses in the South to have a five-star score on the Campus Pride Index. This is due in large part to student activists who have dedicated their time and effort to making LGBTQ climate a priority on campus. Tulane established its Office of Multicultural Affairs in 1988 and has since added an Office for Gender and Sexual Diversity. Campus Pride has recognized Tulane for sending past students to Campus Pride’s annual Camp Pride for six consecutive years since 2008. Tulane students have also been recognized for their capacity-building and organizing work, such as Mark Labadorf, who was one of the 2013 Top 10 Student Leaders in Action.

Campus programming is a large focus of queer work at Tulane. From hosting the queer South Asian performance and literary arts duo Darkmatter to the annual Audre Lorde Week, there are always educational events available to Tulane students that can push the narrative about LGBTQ work further. Tulane offers a multicultural/LGBTIQA orientation, a peer mentoring program, a multicultural/LGBTIQA leadership retreat in Mississippi, a Safe Zone Ally program, and Pride Prom among many other things.

Tulane University demonstrates an institutional commitment with programs like Jubilee during freshman orientation. This is where all new students learn about intersectionality, microaggressions, and preferred gender pronouns. The regularity of LGBTQ events, including the LGBT film series and LGBT History Month, ensure that the messages from Jubilee are not lost on students and that the campus message of embracing diversity follows students from orientation to graduation.

The commitment to LGBTQ work is not limited only to the L, G, and B. Campus Pride’s Trans Policy Clearinghouse notes that the campus has a nondiscrimination policy inclusive of gender identity and expression, allows students to change name and gender on campus records, and provides student health insurance inclusive of transition-related medical expenses.

Tags: Education, Youth