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With the Tyler Clementi suicide at Rutgers and the recent spate of gay teen suicides in the news, many people are wondering what colleges are safe for gay teens. Here's a guide to 10 of the best.
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For all the gay and lesbians students out there, it's not only important to pick a welcoming campus, but just as important to pick the right welcoming campus. We borrowed this list of the top 10 gay-friendly schools from Newsweek, which has a comprehensive guide to which schools are safest for gay and lesbian students. For all those who are sharpening their number-two pencils to take the SAT and write their college admission essays, here's some advice on where to go. (If you want to find out how other colleges rank in terms of gay issues, visit gay nonprofit Campus Pride's Campus Climate Index.)
University of Pennsylvania
Positives: This Ivy League institution actively recruits gay students, which means you'll get all sorts of special attention. You're practically guaranteed a job in New York after you graduate from their business school.
Negatives: This place is hard to get into and not necessarily known as a party school. Also, the boys in Philly are nasty.
Which Gays Should Go There: Future gay-listers.
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University of California-Berkeley
Positives: Another world class institution, and this one is close to all the gays in San Francisco and all the tech types in the Silicon Valley. You can have fun and get a killer internship that will make you the next internet kajillionaire.
Negatives: Do you really want to deal with all those hippies and political correctness?
Which Gays Should Go There: Crunchy lesbians.
Positives: A strong liberal arts school with a world-renowned school of music, Oberlin is shockingly diverse for being in the middle of nowhere in Ohio.
Negatives: Sure, they love the gays, but with a small campus in the boondocks there aren't that many gays to choose from. People who go to liberal arts colleges are annoying anyway.
Which Gays Should Go There: Band geeks.
New York University
Positives: Kids can escape their dreary hometown for the Big Apple! The school offers just about every major imaginable. And when students aren't studying, they can carouse in one of the gayest cities in the world.
Negatives: The student body is huge, the dorms are all over the map, and everyone who lives in New York will hate you.
Which Gays Should Go There: Twinks.
The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Positives: This campus is known mostly for its colossal student body and football team (which means lots of "curious" athletes!), but what many don't realize is that it has perhaps one of the country's finest musical theater programs.
Negatives: Do you know how cold it gets in Michigan? Also, there's not much to do in town off-campus, but with a campus this large, it shouldn't matter.
Which Gays Should Go There: Show queens.
Positives: AU's nickname among students of other D.C. institutions is "Gay U" because it really is that queer. You'll have lots of like-minded students to hang around (and sleep!) with. It's located near the halls of power which is great for internships at the Capitol and the White House, so you can hang around (and maybe sleep with!) congressional and presidential staff members.
Negatives: Everyone at Georgetown and George Washington will look down on you.
Which Gays Should Go There: Activists.
Pennsylvania State University
Positives: Penn State knows how to party. Who cares about the classes, with tons of students in rural Pennsylvania, you'll have plenty to do besides hit the books. There's also a gay bar right in the middle of campus. How convenient is that! Like other large state schools, there is a heavy emphasis on athletics, which means shirtless football tossing on the quad.
Negatives: While the campus itself loves a gay, it is still in the middle of rural Pennsylvania, which isn't always as open-minded. As much as we love to party, you should probably learn a thing or two at school as well.
Which Gays Should Go There: Gay jocks.
The University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Positives: Amherst is like a pretty, all-gay New England hamlet and this school is right smack dab in the middle of it.
Negatives: We don't really have anything bad to say about the place, but we don't have much great to say about it either.
Which Gays Should Go There: Lesbians who couldn't get into Smith.
Positives: The "artier" of the Indiana State schools, this is one of the cooler, liberal sections in fly-over country. It's large student body draws mostly from the corn-fed plains. Hello, grade-A beef.
Negatives: You're still in flat, boring Indiana.
Which Gays Should Go There: Tortured artists.
Positives: One of the best universities in the world with a very active gay student network gives you the best of both educational and social worlds.
Negatives: What's the closest city. New Hope, Pennsylvania? That's kind of shitty. Also, you're going to have to work hard, which is great and all, but oh so boring.
Which Gays Should Go There: Lipstick lesbians.
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