The Top 10 Trans-Friendly Colleges and Universities
BY Genny Beemyn and Shane Windmeyer
August 15 2012 4:00 AM ET
Transgender people within higher education continue to be an invisible, often forgotten community. Only about 10% of colleges and universities have trans-inclusive nondiscrimination statements. Research suggests that trans people face higher rates of harassment when compared to cisgender lesbian, gay, and bisexual people and are three times more likely to fear for their physical safety on campus. In the last decade, however, a number of campuses have become stalwart leaders in creating trans-friendly policies, programs, and practices.
Campus Pride is proud to release this first-ever list of the “Top 10 Trans-Friendly Colleges & Universities” for students, faculty and staff. The final top 10 list is based on the Campus Pride Index (www.CampusPrideIndex.org), which rates LGBT-friendly campuses across the country and our decade of research on LGBT issues.
These 10 colleges and universities have demonstrated their commitment to the trans community by implementing many trans-supportive policies, including adding “gender identity and/or expression” to their nondiscrimination policies; offering gender-inclusive bathrooms, locker rooms, and housing options; providing a means for trans students who have not legally changed their names or had gender confirmation surgeries to use a preferred name and to change the gender on campus records and documents; recognizing trans identities on campus forms; and covering hormones and surgeries for transitioning students as part of student health insurance.
Not surprisingly, the top 10 list favors large, public four-year colleges and universities in the Northeast and West Coast where there are more politically progressive and trans-visible areas. Each college on the top 10 has a demonstrated commitment to providing resources and support to trans students. The ultimate lesson to be learned from this top 10 list and the biggest commonality among the campuses is that “persistence pays off.” All of the colleges and universities listed have dynamic LGBT centers or resource offices, which are either directed by trans people or longtime trans advocates. These administrators have worked diligently for years with students and other staff members to transform their campuses into welcoming and safer places for members of the trans community. Let the collective work of these top 10 colleges be the measure for future trans progress for all colleges and universities.
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