Campus Pride has released its list of the 10 most LGBT-friendly colleges for athletes. The schools that made the list are: Bates College (who hosted Hudson Taylor, left), Bowdoin College, Bucknell University, Columbia University, Indiana University, Ithaca College, Kennesaw State University, New York University, Stanford University and Whitman College.
Campus Pride founder Shane Windmeyer is making athletics a top priority for his organization:
LGBT students today are more out and vocal than ever before and those who are also athletes deserve to know which schools and which athletics programs will respect them for who they are. All students deserve the assurance of safety and inclusion both in the classroom and on the field.
Some of these schools are way out front on the issue. NYU athletes, coaches and administrators created a fantastic It Gets Better video; Bowdoin has implemented inclusive programs in the athletic department for years.
While Outsports helped consult Campus Pride, I do feel one school deserves recognition that didn't make the list: Miami (Ohio) has one of the gay-friendliest teams in the country in their national powerhouse men's hockey team, and they help build an inclusive environment on campus. On the flip side, while Stanford is my alma mater, I'm simply not aware of open arms in the athletic department for gay athletes there; In fact, the athletic department has been lukewarm on showing support for LGBT athletes. Their Pac-12 rival UCLA has been far more out front on the issue. (Plus, the report lists Stanford as the Cardinals - boo!)
Still, the list is a great starting point. Windmeyer put a lot of effort into crafting the list and developing a stronger outreach to college-based athletics. Campus Pride is an integral piece of ending homophobia in sports, and we salute them for their biggest step forward in this area!