California Colleges LGBT Friendly Schools

Choosing a college is an intimidating process in itself. For students who identify as lesbian, gay, bi, transgender, or queer the task may be even more overwhelming.

The social support within a college campus is of utmost importance when selecting a college.  LGBTQ students are encouraged to visit college campuses prior to attending to ensure the college:

  • Helps LGBTQ students feel accepted, safe and comfortable on campus
  • Teaches and demands that those outside of the LGBTQ community are accepting and understanding of all people
  • Features nondiscriminatory policies, including: gender expression and sexual orientation
  • Has comprehensive health care services, campus safety, and hate prevention measures
  • Has a curriculum that is representative of LGBTQ voices and histories

Which Colleges in California are LGBTQ Friendly?

University of Southern California

University of Southern California features LGBTQ support organizations for graduates, undergraduates, faculty and alumni.  Since 1990, University of Southern California’s Queer and Ally Assembly has published the ‘OUT List’ in the Daily Trojan news on national ‘Coming Out Day’.  The list is a declaration of support for the LGBTQ and Ally communities. The list is signed by individuals among alumni, faculty, staff, and students that are supportive of the LGBTQ.

In addition, the University of Southern California features the LGBTQ Resources Center. The center boasts adequate LGBTQ opportunities for students.   Some of the unique programs in the center include:

  • The safe zone program
  • An athlete chat
  • Greek chat
  • URap

The University of Southern California also features the rainbow floor for the LGBTQ students in its residential halls. The floor is a special resident community that provides education, support and advocacy opportunities for LGBTQ students.

USC’s health insurance is LGBTQ friendly; it covers everything from counseling services, hormone replacement, free and anonymous testing and trans and queer trained health staff.  The university also features scholarship funding that is specially allocated to trans and queer students.

Pomona College

Pomona College features the Queer Resource Center. The Queer Resource Center has resources and programs that serve the seven Claremont Colleges. The Queer Resource Center is not only a safe place for the LGBTQ but also a fun, relaxed space where students can hang out together. The Queer Resource Center also houses more than 1,000 queer-related books and movies that can be checked out for free. The center also has meeting rooms and lounge areas for group meet-ups.  The Queer Resource Center hosts ‘Drop-in Hours’ several times, each week. During these sessions, students can stop by for informal counseling regarding coming out, sexual orientation and gender identity issues and guidance.

Each year, Pomona College hosts a Queer Faculty Symposium series to showcase the work of queer and ally faculty across the Claremont Colleges.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University was the second college in North America to offer a LGBTQ studies major. Students of San Diego State University can also pursue an undergraduate minor or graduate certificate in LGBTQ studies.

Each year, San Diego State University hosts a Lavender Graduation ceremony. The ceremony celebrates the achievements of LGBTQ students and also awards faculty, staff, and administrators who have made the campus climate pleasant for the community. The ceremony is open to all students who identify as LGBTQ.

In 2014, San Diego State University opened the Pride Center. The Pride Center hosts many LGBTQ programs, resources, and services. The center also connects LGBTQ students with local and regional community resources such as Transgender Center of San Diego. The center has Instagram, Tumbler, Facebook, and Twitter to keep up with LGBTQ students.  Among the many student’s groups at San Diego State University are the LGBTQ and Ally Sorority and Fraternity.

University of California, Los Angeles

University of California, Los Angeles is located in one of the most LGBTQ friendly cities in the world.  The city of Los Angeles has one of the biggest LGBTQ centers, hosts one of the biggest pride festivals in the US, and is home to dozens of gay bars, restaurants and cafes.

University of California, Los Angeles hosts multiple organizations, outreach opportunities events, and programs for LGBTQ.   In addition, the LGBQT center library contains more than 4,000 books and periodicals on and for LGBTQ students.

University of California, Los Angeles is in the process of creating the first Ph.D. program in LGBTQ studies.

Many schools want to be viewed as safe and welcoming for LGBTQ students, but some go to greater lengths to show their support.  California College Bound will keep you updated on the efforts by various colleges to improve recruitment, awareness and safety concerns of LGBTQ students.

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