College Suggestions for Trans Student

Hi all,
I have a trans teen is heading into senior year and making his final list for a 2023-24 freshman year. He plans to major in theatre and is looking for training in both acting AND tech at a trans-friendly school. His list has mostly BA programs to afford this flexibility.

I know some things that matters to him are gender inclusive housing and gender neutral bathroom availability across campus. We found this document helpful from Campus Pride. It tells which schools have these things and meet other transgender friendly criteria. Campus Pride Trans Policy Clearinghouse - Campus Pride

Would love to hear if you have found any schools particularly welcoming. I do have another kid at Bard College in NY and while they are not listed on the Campus Pride Index, a fantastic resource, Bard has been extremely welcoming. There is a large LGBTQ+ presence and my Bardian LOVES the community and courses. Is having a fantastic experience.

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Wesleyan and Vassar? But honestly I think if you stick to blue states he should be ok pretty much anywhere. I am looking for my trans son as well and that was our conclusion. Sorry to keep editing. I do think that somewhat larger schools are better for larger queer community/dating pool etc.

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I am going to PM you

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Did you mean me or the original poster? If there is useful info I would love to get it as well. I am sure there are plenty of other parents of trans kids on here.

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I’m not a parent of a kid who attended, but I attended UC Santa Cruz. Top-notch tech resources and professional connections. I’m not super familiar with the theater program, so I found this page:

https://arts.ucsc.edu/features/featured-alumni

https://theater.ucsc.edu/programs/major

Santa Cruz is super trans-friendly. There are trans professors, undergrads, and housing:

https://housing.ucsc.edu/trans-inclusive/

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Ha. Yes. Done

I would add Bennington, which also has a top notch theater program.

Many liberal arts colleges come to mind actually. I would look at schools based on the theater and tech interests first and then consider whether trans-friendly. I think that many schools that have excellent theater would also be trans-friendly.

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Emerson checks all the boxes.

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Oberlin

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I can’t speak to these programs personally. But these are schools that have gender-inclusive housing and restroom as well as offer majors in technical theater and/or stagecraft. It is quite likely there are other schools that offer a concentration within a drama major for technical fields that didn’t pop up with my search terms, but these are some of the schools that I think would be worth looking into further:

Columbia College, Chicago (IL)
U. of Illinois-Chicago
Eastern Michigan
Western Michigan
Augsburg (MN)
Macalester (MN)
U. of Nevada - Las Vegas
Keene (NH)
Binghamton (NY)
Ithaca (NY)
Pace (NY)
Syracuse (NY)
U. at Buffalo (NY)
Kent State (OH)
Ohio U.
U. of Cincinnati (OH)
Carnegie Mellon (PA )
Juniata (PA )
Temple (PA )

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Vassar is worth a look. My kid just finished their first year. Very close to Bard (if that matters to you). All housing and bathrooms are gender neutral and the school is very intentional in all aspects of inclusivity. It seems like there are many trans and non-binary students and it’s a very open and accepting environment. Not to mention a great school in general.

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@theatrefan26 you may also want to post this in the Theatre Major and/or Musical Theatre page in this forum. There are a lot of people there who might not see this post and could make suggestions, and also benefit from information and resources.

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Some good suggestions here. My oldest is non-binary and very happy at Oberlin.

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Dickinson College. lots of gender inclusive housing/restrooms and your child could totally do theatre and tech there.

Does Ohio concern you, @hoya91?

I asked my oldest. They said that Oberlin is a liberal town and they have never had any issues and feel very accepted. I think the kids mainly stay on campus/in town (frankly college/town are intertwined). Of course the college itself is very liberal.

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If being in a small town is not appealing, Macalester is very similar to Oberlin, but in a vibrant and progressive metropolitan area.

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I don’t know because I haven’t been there, but the relationship between Town and Gown at Oberlin wasn’t portrayed as rosy during the Bakery law suit. I followed that story pretty closely and I wouldn’t want either of my kids, one white and one minority, to have to deal with that atmosphere.

For my daughter who is a minority, I thought it would have been easier to go to a larger school with a variety of races, gender balance, political opinions. She picked a smaller school (about 3500 students on campus), very poor balance (less than 30% female), large international population that didn’t mix with the domestic students very well…it worked out for her. She has a strong group of friends from college and a long term boyfriend, but those friends/BF are all white. If she had been looking for a group ‘just like her’ she wouldn’t have found it at that school. It was in a smaller city so there were things to do off campus and getting to bigger cities (Miami, Orlando, Ft. Lauderdale) wasn’t hard but college kids are busy and often don’t have time to build a community on campus and then try to build one off campus too.

I prefer big schools. Both my kids wanted smaller schools so that’s what they picked. Both had a little regret that they hadn’t picked bigger schools with more choices for classes, clubs, friends, living situations.

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