The Top 10 Trans-Friendly Colleges and Universities
BY Genny Beemyn and Shane Windmeyer
August 15 2012 5:00 AM ET
University of Oregon
Campus Pride Index LGBT-Friendly Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Gender Identity/Expression Score: 5 out of 5 Stars
While most schools are reactive to the needs of trans students and only take action when there is a problem, the University of Oregon reaches out to trans students and supports them without advocacy. “Colleges have to lay the groundwork with policies, spaces, and community-building so that the environment is not a hostile space to folks who are differently gendered,” says Chicora Martin, the director of the university’s LGBT Education and Support Services Program, who has led the effort that has made Oregon one of the country’s most trans-inclusive schools. “Offices can’t wait until trans students arrive to make it better.” Typical of the climate there, the rec center incorporated gender-inclusive locker rooms without Martin having to advocate for them. Most buildings on campus have gender-inclusive bathrooms, and a new initiative will place signage below the gendered bathrooms directing individuals to the gender-inclusive ones.