1. Indiana University, Bloomington
Indiana University is a beacon in a state that gave rise to Vice President Mike Pence and a law that legalized discrimination against LGBT people in the name of “religious freedom” (which was modified after a boycott cost the state millions of dollars). Among the services that IU provides to trans students is having a therapist who specializes in working with trans people and who can provide recommendation letters for transitioning students seeking hormone replacement therapy and gender-affirming surgeries. The university is also home to the Kinsey Institute, so that students have ready access to one of the world’s leading research archives on sexuality and gender. “The history of the Kinsey Institute, with their ongoing research, provides a rich environment on the IU campus for trans students,” says Doug Bauder, the director of the college’s LGBTQ+ Culture Center.
2. Ithaca College
Although it is the smallest institution and the only college on this list, Ithaca College is one of the country’s top trans-supportive institutions because it offers a tremendous amount of resources and services for its trans students. For example, Ithaca has an open housing policy that enables all returning students to live with whomever they want, regardless of sex or gender. The college is also nationally known for its Voice and Communication Program for Transgender People, which is offered through its Speech Path clinic at no charge to students and employees and their family members. “Services and policies like our open housing policy and Voice and Communication Program help create a climate in which students can feel safe, valued, and affirmed in learning, living, and working on campus, and devote all their energy to pursuing academic and co-curricular goals that are meaningful to them,” says Luca Maurer, director of campus LGBT Education, Outreach, and Services.
3. Kansas State University
With Kansas being one of the states that is trying to pass a bill to deny trans people access to appropriate restrooms, there is a great need for education in the state. KSU is doing its part by offering various training sessions for members of the campus community that address gender identity and the experiences of trans people. The university’s LGBT Resource Center has also created a program that builds ties between trans people on campus and local and regional trans and human rights groups. “The purpose of this project is to help connect transgender and gender-nonconforming students, faculty, and staff to opportunities in employment and mentorship and further build a sense of community,” says Brandon Haddock, the director of the center.