Discrimination | Education

Gay Students Report Higher Discrimination on College Campuses


Many LGBT people see higher education as a place to come out, to spread their proverbial wings and explore a wide world without fear.

Unfortunately for many, that's not the case, for a new study from the non-profit Campus Pride shows that 23% of LGBT students, faculty and staff from colleges and universities have reported anti-gay harassment.

Just as worrisome: 33% of LGBT staff, faculty and students have almost left their institution over harassment or a "challenging climate," the survey reports, and "all GLBT students rated their campus environment less positively than did “straight” students." Many Americans, however, won't see this as a matter for national concern.

It is....

The President and his administration have made multiple attempts to highlight the nation's flailing academic status amongst the international community. "For years, we’ve recognized that education is a prerequisite for prosperity," said the President at the National Urban League Conference this summer.

"And yet, we’ve tolerated a status quo where America lags behind other nations. Just last week, we learned that in a single generation, America went from number one to 12th in college completion rates for young adults. Used to be number one, now we’re number 12." Why isn't the general public clamoring for more education reform?

Though the general American may not be impressed by news that 43% of transgender students and 13% of all LGBT fear for their safety on their respective campuses, if our nation's school systems can't accommodate LGBT communities, an ever-growing, ever-important demographic, then those schools are doing our nation a disfavor: a country can't thrive when such a large proportion of the population feels alienated from the education system.

The survey isn't all doom and gloom, however: Campus Pride also pointed to benefits of coming out on campus: "The 'more out' GLBT students reported more active and collaborative learning than their 'straight' and 'less out' peers." The lesson here: honesty truly is the best policy, even under trying circumstances.

Read the rest of this study at Campus Pride.

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  1. That last part leads me to a chicken-or egg question. When the environment is safe and welcoming, students will tend to be more honest and open (and for gay students, that means being "out.")

    Posted by: GregV | Sep 24, 2010 9:38:09 AM

  2. I experienced just as much frustration with (shall we say close knit)'Team Gay' at my school, as I had with the community at large.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Sep 24, 2010 10:27:02 AM

  3. A student-conducted research project at my campus found that many gay students who were out in high school in fact "re-closeted" as undergrads here. This is due in part to the relatively conservative student body, and in large part because this is a dorm-based campus. Gay students are thus in a position to either deal with the responses of random teen-aged roommates to their sexuality, or labeling themselves by choosing the dorm set up for transgendered, etc students (which in any case they can't do as freshmen). And I would describe this as a reasonable accepting campus insofar as faculty/staff/admin attitudes.

    Posted by: Clay | Sep 24, 2010 11:21:38 AM

  4. Im in my second year of college and have had NOT ONE single anti-gay thing happen to me there.....and i live in Oklahoma lol

    Posted by: shae | Sep 24, 2010 12:01:54 PM

  5. I re-closeted myself in college and was still the victim of a hate crime last year. Gotta love Missouri.

    Posted by: Matt | Sep 24, 2010 12:41:59 PM

  6. Ah, bullying and antigay harassment...nothing that well planned extreme violence can't solve. Don't get caught, and everything is okay and, moreso, forgiven.

    Posted by: TANK | Sep 24, 2010 1:18:20 PM

  7. Tank, it feels good to stick your tongue in a electrical outlet, it's very stimulating and will clear your mind. Honest, take my word for it.

    Posted by: Dave | Sep 24, 2010 2:52:45 PM

  8. Dave, you're a bully or a victim...you, not everyone. Somehow this arrangement is to your satisfaction/benefit. Violence does stop violence when it comes to bullying and antigay harassment. Don't tell people lies...nothing breaks up a gang of young thugs late at night faster than a bullet to the leg or spine...or elsewhere.

    And yeah, don't get caught... PLAN AHEAD...and if that means terminating a few people who will contribute nothing but needless suffering, I don't see the problem.

    Posted by: TANK | Sep 24, 2010 2:58:01 PM

  9. Umm, the obvious answer here is that more college students are out than there were 20 years ago. Ergo, more harassment.

    Posted by: Paul R | Sep 24, 2010 3:28:47 PM

  10. GQ: http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_­thelookout/20101115/us_yblog_t­helookout/gay-michigan-student­-defends-suspended-teacher - Silly. There IS No-Difference....BOTH Represent Gay/Sex-Specific and Orient-Towards Males. Except that the Confederate-Flag besides GAY/RACIST/HOMO-ONLY/WHITE...i­s Geared Towards HATE: Women, Femme-GQ, Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Cats, Flowers...and Anything Not a Carbon-Copy Anal/Greek White-Dude w/Norelco/Flag-Luvin and Brown-Nose or Sucking-Dick. The Purple is Really Less-GAY and More Open/Queer and Femme-Sensitive/Nice. Courageous/Gifted-Strong Femme-GQ/Kid.

    Posted by: UNA/K | Nov 18, 2010 8:34:40 AM

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