On Tuesday’s season premiere of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Caitlyn Jenner joined Ellen DeGeneres for a three-part interview about her transition to living openly as a woman, her changing views on marriage equality, and what it's been like to date for the first time as a trans woman. But, as powerful as their conversation was, maybe the most moving part of the entire appearance was when Ellen invited Jenner’s friend Blossom Brown onto the stage to share her personal experience as a trans woman applying for university: Specifically, Brown spoke with Ellen about her attempts at applying to nursing school, and how they had all failed. “Six times,” Brown said in response to Ellen’s question about how many times she had tried to apply. Brown then talked about how difficult it was as a trans student to watch people with lower test scores and lower grades get into programs that were not accepting her because of her gender identity. DeGeneres pleaded with nursing schools around the nation to pull some strings for Brown, and then handed her a massive cardboard check for her school expenses.
The gesture, which was absolutely moving to watch, left Brown in tears, and Ellen reaching for the tissue box. Though, sadly, not all schools seem to be accepting of potential students' various gender identities, there are thankfully a number of universities that are incredibly trans-friendly. So, whether you are transgender and looking for resources, or know someone who is, use this list to guide you to some of the most accepting schools in the country.
According to its website, Ithaca College offers an LGBT residence hall and a gender-inclusive housing option, making one part of going to college as a trans individual — where to live — a nonissue for incoming students.
New York University
NYU’s T-Party is not only one of the largest organizations on campus, but the school hosts a trans awareness week to discuss the issues facing transgender students and people across the world.
Gender-inclusive athletic facilities and over 120 gender-inclusive bathrooms campus wide are just some of the ways this academic institution is offering support to its trans students.
In the last five years, this institution has gone from having almost no trans resources to being at the forefront of trans issues and inclusivity, and, according to the school's site, they've even instituted a policy that supports trans students who want to participate in sports.
University Of Michigan
This university was the first ever to establish an LGBT office. Since then, the school has developed a system for students to choose the name that they want to appear on academic papers, directories, and rosters, so that they are not inadvertently outed during roll call or when someone looks up their phone number. How cool is that?
University Of Oregon
According to Advocate.com, this university is so supportive of its trans community that there hasn’t even been a need to advocate for change. Gender-inclusive recreational facilities were instituted without debate, and almost all of the buildings on campus have gender-inclusive bathrooms.
University Of Vermont
You’d have a hard time finding a more trans supportive University than UVM. With most of the faculty and staff having gone through a “Trans 101” training session and an annual trans conference is 10 years strong, the University of Vermont is incredibly inclusive when it comes to trans students and experiences.
It’s encouraging to see that so many colleges and universities are opening themselves up to supporting trans communities. Now if only this list would grow to 100 schools long — then, perhaps, it would finally begin to feel like some real progress has been made.