Students currently applying and who have applied to colleges always worry about being accepted, however, lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender (LGBT) students have to not only contemplate if they’ll be accepted, but accepted, tolerated, even when they start school.
Holliston High School senior and member of the LGBT community, Eddy Glazebrook, said that researching about a college’s tolerance was, “one of the first things I made sure of.” He said that research was key for choosing the best environment he could see himself in.
He also went on to suggest that LGBT students looking for a college with an accepting community should be honing in on larger, public schools. He believes that larger, public schools don’t have any problems with accepting people who are different, LGBT members included. Glazebrook will be attending UMASS Amherst next year, class of 2019.
Meg Dooley, an HHS alumna and member of the LGBT community, believes that applying to larger colleges is a very safe bet for LGBT students. She currently is a freshman at Temple University, in Philadelphia, PA.
When asked if she had faced any issues regarding tolerance, she said that she didn’t have any, but only a slight concern, “about when I had to start looking for a roommate.”
Dooley also believes she’s seen improvement in terms of LGBT acceptance from her experience attending HHS. She said, “there has definitely been an improvement from HHS, I think it is a combination of attending a larger school, and also the students being older and more mature.”
Both Glazebrook and Dooley suggest staying away from smaller, private schools, and schools in the South. They both believe they tend to have more conservative beliefs, which can be a huge issue for LGBT students. Glazebrook, specifically, said that he felt that schools in the South, due to the conservative nature, would provide an environment that might not be fit for LGBT students.
Ms. Elisa Ventriglia, guidance counselor at Holliston High School believes that choosing a school with an ideal environment is key for having the best college experience. She believes that LGBT acceptance is remarkably high, and issues with tolerance rarely occur.
For the application process, she said that there are so many online resources for schools that show their LGBT acceptance, if they have a GSA, what kind of support students can expect in their school. The best things that can be done, Ms. Ventriglia said, is to get a feeling for the culture of the school and research support services.
Ventriglia said the key thing is, “don’t let being LGBT define who you are, do what you want, and don’t let other people stop you from doing it.”