Gay social scene at Smith College?

I know Smith has sort of a reputation for LGBTQ inclusivity and all that, but I was wondering if anyone familiar with the gay scene (dating and otherwise) at Smith might have some personal insight to offer?


As a parent, all I can say is that there is definitely a gay dating scene at Smith and I have heard some thoughts on that from my daughter, but I have no personal insight.

Hi, I’m a first year at Smith! I don’t personally have experience in the queer dating scene (I am pan, but have a cis male boyfriend), but around 50% of Smithies identify as queer, so naturally the dating scene is huge. As a pan person, the social scene is amazing. There is honestly nowhere like Smith when it comes to safety, acceptance, and comfort for a queer person!

I am curious where you got the stat that 50% of Smithies identify as queer. While there is certainly a significant queer community at Smith, that number seems awfully high. Can you share your source please?

@Springbird I cannot provide a source for you right now (I’ll try to find it), but I remember this clearly from my open house visit in April. A campus-wide survey was conducted to see how many Smithies identify as queer and what area of campus they lived in, and the results were released around that time. My host and her friends were discussing it, and though my personal experience may not be representative, I can definitely attest to that number not seeming awfully high at all. Overall I believe the numbers were around 50% across the board, with the Quad identifying less than 50% and the rest of campus more than 50%. Living here, and especially living on Green Street, this is not surprising to me. Smith is known for its open queer community, but I think it’s important to remember how some Smithies who may not “publicly” (i.e. off campus/at home) identify as queer feel comfortable embracing it while here and especially in an anonymous survey might make those numbers seem high.

40% was what Admissions told us last year. I suspect (like @smithistory says) it’s more like 50% identify as LGBTQ. My D has friends across a wide spectrum.

It is heartening to see open discussion about Smith’s exceptional culture. I wish our admissions info person had said as much. We were aware of Smith’s culture, but in the FL area private schools we have seen a number of girls shocked upon enrolling at Smith (and Wellesley). They’ve transferred at their earliest opportunity. It is fascinating to see the “women’s” gender spectrum expressed at women’s colleges. To see queer women overtaking the population at Smith, which I think it is if it’s 50% now, and the number has been increasing every year, yes? My very pragmatic husband is concerned our D will live in a bizarro sapphic world at Smith, not preparing for reality. He’s also concerned she will be outed when applying for jobs with a Smith degree no matter where she falls on the spectrum. Interesting thoughts…Good thing my D and I make all the decisions around here. Just go to work and make money, dear.

1 Like

Just so you know, as someone who worked in corporate staffing in Mass., employers don’t look at Smith and go, “GAY!” They look at Smith and go, “Good school!” So please let your husband know that your daughter won’t be auto outed just by having gone to Smith.

1 Like

I really wonder where these stats are coming from. Would Smith students actually complete a survey asking them to define their sexuality? I find that hard to believe. Yes, there is a significant population of gay students, but there is also a significant population of heterosexual students, with some bi, trans, etc., students in the mix as well. You can be whoever you are at Smith and you are accepted. But I cannot believe that any numbers have been officially collected. I can’t imagine Smithies would stand for that.

@Springbird, I did specify that this survey was asking how many students identify as queer, which encompasses lesbian, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, etc. students. So that ~50% would be including all of those students, not just lesbians. The way that I interpreted it from the discussion was that this was likely a student-conducted survey, probably for a SWAG class project or something like it. I did not say that this was an official survey. But you could ask any current Smithie and I’m sure they’d tell you these numbers can’t be far off.

I’d be surprised if the % of students at Wellesley identifying as LGBTQ was close to 50%. I’d not be surprised to hear it that high at Smith or Holyoke. Naturally women’s colleges are often more comfortable places for the LGBTQ community who self identify as women.

I’m late to the party, but I’d like to corroborate most of @smithistory’s earlier statement about the percentage of LGBQ students at Smith. In Fall 2016, Smith sent out a campus climate survey called Pathways ( The survey asked a wide range of questions, from questions about identity to academics to why people leave Smith and more. The results are only accessible to individuals with a Smith account, but the split was roughly 60% LGBQ and 40% heterosexual.