LGBTQ College Student Resource Guide
LGBTQ students face different challenges than their peers. Safety on campus and online, a lack of resources and support, along with mental health struggles and other issues can make a college campus a daunting place. But for some, college can be a reprieve. In fact, 22 percent of LGBTQ students picked a college away from home to have a more welcoming experience, compared to five percent of their non-LGBTQ peers, and 33 percent left to get away from their families, compared to 14 percent of their non-LGBTQ friends.
31.6 percent of individuals who identify as LGBTQ do not have a college degree, and have never enrolled in a postsecondary institution. This contributes to earning power, as we know that holding at least a bachelor’s degree increases earning power significantly. According to a report by Prudential, LGBTQ individuals earn less than their peers, and we believe a college education is a bridge to increasing earning power. Our hope is to provide a resource that supports the LGBTQ student, parents, teachers and campus professionals to increase understanding, provide resources and education and hopefully help make connections that will keep an LGBTQ in college and successful as they transition to the workplace.
Campus Pride is an organization that encourages members to speak and out. It wants to build the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders and make campuses more friendly.
GLSEN brings attention to LGBTQ+ issues in K-12 schools across the country. Members help schools change their curriculum and provide support for students.
Consortium of Higher Education
Comprised of LGBT professionals, this consortium hopes to improve diversity on college campuses through programs that focus on gender identity and sexual orientation.
LGBTQ+ Health Coalition
Healthcare professionals volunteer with the coalition to give students access to more resources and provide them with any tools their campuses do not supply.
National Black Justice Coalition
The NBJC maintains programs that work with policymakers and college campuses to change existing laws and make schools more welcoming.
LGBTQ+ students looking for ways to pay for college can apply for any of the dozens of annual scholarships offered by the Point Foundation.
Designed for the loved ones of LGBTQ+ students, PFLAG helps those students feel included and welcomed, even if they do not have a traditional support network.
National LGBTQ Task Force
For more than 50 years, this task force launched programs designed to build a better tomorrow and give the LGBTQ+ community more options.
The Trevor Project
The Trevor Project offers resources and support for both LGBTQ+ students and anyone who wants to help them, such as 24/7 counselors.
Tracing LGBTQ Students’ Community College Experiences
Read through this chapter of a longer book to get a good look at the challenges LGBTQ+ students face at two-year and junior colleges.
Crafting a Caring and Inclusive Environment for LGBTQ Community College Students, Faculty, and Staff
This in-depth article looks at what staff and faculty at college campuses can do to make LGBTQ+ students feel included along with their peers.
The Context of Creating Space: Assessing the Likelihood of College LGBT Center Presence
Leigh E. Fine focuses her piece on how LGBTQ+ centers on campuses make students feel welcomed and what those centers need to supply.
A Retrospective of LGBT Issues on US College Campuses: 1990-2020
This article looks at a three-decade time frame to see how the opinions of LGBTQ+ people changed along with the language used to describe them.
Relevance of Campus Climate for Alcohol and Other Drug Use among LGBTQ Community College Students: A Statewide Qualitative Assessment
Though this piece focuses on Arizona, it provides valuable data on the number of LGBTQ+ students who engage in drug and alcohol use compared to their peers.
LGBT Students in the College Composition Classroom
Nearly 40 LGBTQ+ students took part in this survey to discuss their experiences and challenges in college creative writing programs and classes.
“Hard to Find”: Information Barriers Among LGBT College Students
Several researchers came together to publish this study, which examines library systems at colleges along with the lack of information they offered LGBTQ+ students.
Understanding College Student Attitudes toward LGBT Individuals
Meredith G.F. Worthen released this study that looks at the opinions towards LGBT students and how they changed in recent years to be more positive.
The Role of the Academic Library in Supporting LGBTQ Students
This survey looks at what librarians and other library personnel can do to support and help LGBTQ+ students with some of their common needs.
LGBTQ College Student Health and Wellbeing at the Onset of the Pandemic
Several authors created this piece to discuss how the COVID pandemic affected LGBTQ+ students during lockdowns and campus closures.
LGBTQ+ College Students’ Mental Health
Taking a detailed look at published research, this study looks at LGBTQ+ mental health articles released over a decade from 2009 to 2019.
LGBT and Queer Research in Higher Education: The State and Status of the Field
This short article looks at the queer and LGBTQ+ issues found in higher education and what the future might hold for teachers and students.
Minority Stress and LGBQ Students’ Depression: Roles of Peer Group and Involvement
A student at the University of Tennessee wrote this graduate thesis on how getting support from other students helps LGBTQ+ students recover from depression.
Promoting School Safety for LGBTQ and All Students
Find out more about the policies and changes campuses must make to help both LGBTQ+ and other students feel safe in their schools in this article.
Campus Pride Index
The Campus Pride Index is a large database that helps students find which schools are the safest for them based on policies and other factors.
Evaluate Campus Safety Inclusivity During Pride Month
This article from the Clery Center encourages campuses to identify issues and problems during Pride Month that affect the safety of students.
College Campuses Not Always Safe for Gay Students
NPR offers an audio feed and written transcript of an interview with a gay student and what happened to him on his campus before he came out.
Creating Safe Spaces on Campus for the LGBTQ Community
A professor at the College of DuPage talks about some of the best ways to implement safe spaces on college campuses to support LGBTQ+ students.
Study Confirms Importance of Safety & Support for Trans & Non-Binary College Students
In this piece, the Human Rights Campaign focuses on what non-conforming students need in terms of their overall safety and security.
In Search of Safety
The Georgia Journal of College Affairs looks at how LGBTQ+ students feel on rural campuses and the concerns they have while in school.
Finding Better Ways to Ensure Safety for LGBTQ Young People
Writing for the Chicago Sun Times, Elizabeth Ziff collected data from the Human Rights Campaign on the violence reported among non-conforming students.
New York State Office of Campus Safety
The Office of Campus Safety in New York provides resources for LGBTQ+ students who were the victims of violence along with their campuses.
Establishing an Allies/Safe Zone Program
Created by the Human Rights Campaign, this website shows colleges and others the best ways to establish safe zones for students and any allies.
Safe Zone Project
The Safe Zone Project strives to create safe places across the nation for LGBTQ+ students and trains others on how to set them up and what they need.
Intersectionality on Campus
Intersectionality and Why in 2022 Inclusion Must Allow for Multiple Identities
Times Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed look at why colleges must include students and not force them into a specific category in the modern era.
Intersectionality and Higher Education
In this detailed book, readers will discover how the identities students have affect their experiences in some of the nation’s top colleges.
Intersectionality in Higher Education
WPI shared this lecture to talk about the intersectionality issues facing college campuses and what the schools can do to include more students.
Intersectionality Crossing Campus: Language, Habit, Inclusion
PennWest Edinboro looks at the intersectionality of language and habits that make some students feel less included on their college campuses.
LGBTQIA Student Engagement & Intersectionality in Higher Education
With a run time of just under an hour, this video focuses on how schools can support and help students with multiple identities.
Intersectionality and Higher Education: Identity and Inequality on College Campuses
Available in multiple formats, this book takes a detailed look at the inequality found on campuses, especially identity issues among students.
Intersectionality Self-Study Guide
Washington University in St. Louis created this guide to help students learn about how intersectionality changed via videos and articles.
The Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health offers a definition of intersectionality and looks at what it means in the context of colleges here.
Black and Queer on Campus
Michael P. Jeffries released this book after interviews with African American students and their lives on large and small college campuses.
Online Communities and LGBTQ+ Youth
The Human Rights Campaign offers valuable tips on this page on how students can remain safe in LGBTQ+ online communities.
What LGBTQ+ Communities Should Know About Online Safety
The National Cybersecurity Alliance talks about cyberbullying and other online hazards here and provides visitors with tips on staying safe.
Discover the different types of online safety threats facing LGBTQ+ online users in this piece from LGBT Tech that includes multiple pages.
Staying Safe While Gaming
Internet Matters created this page to go over the best ways gamers can stay safe or improve their safety when playing games online.
The Kids’ Online Safety Act
This page from Fairplay for Kids goes over the Kids’ Online Safety Act and how it protects LGBTQ+ children who spend any time online.
LGBTQ Youth Face Higher Online Risks
Tyler Snell looks at the risks LGBTQ teens and youths face online as well as how the internet offers more inclusion in this short article.
Created by GLSEN, this PDF looks at the overall experiences LBGTQ+ younger people have online, such as bullying and harassment from others.
Staying Safe Online
In this PDF from Stonewall, readers learn practical solutions for staying safe online, including when and how to report their harassers.
Navigating Personal Safety While Taking Action as an LGBTQ Young Person
The Trevor Project addresses some of the issues LGBTQ+ people have both online and offline and what they can do to stay safe.
Staying Safe: Tips for LGBTQ Youth
Read through this PDF to discover the best tips for staying safe online or to learn about human trafficking and other possible hazards.
Bullying, Cyberbullying, and LGBTQ Students
Download this PDF to see some of the reasons why others target LGBTQ students and what they can do to protect themselves online.
Supporting LGBTQ+ Students in the Classroom and Online
Teachers and anyone who works with LGBTQ+ students will find this resource helpful as it looks at how to educate them in school and beyond.
The Kids’ Online Safety Act
The Center for Digital Democracy explains the new Kids’ Online Safety Act and shows how it will protect LGBTQ+ youth.
Cyberbullying and LGBTQ+ Students
Available from the FTC, this website helps parents learn how to talk with their kids about online bullying and what to do about it.
SAMHSA’s National Helpline
As part of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, SAMHSA offers a 24/7 toll-free hotline LGBTQ individuals can call when they need help.
LGBTQ+ Youth: Addressing Health Disparities with a School-Based Approach
The CDC includes this page on its official site to look at the risks facing LBGTQ+ youth and how inclusion programs reduce some of their risks.
From the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), this site features many links to resources that help LGBTQ+ members with their mental health challenges.
Research Brief: Suicide Risk and Access to Care Among LGBTQ College Students
This article looks at how LGBTQ+ college students have a higher risk of suicide and what both schools and others can do to get them the proper care.
New Survey Shows LGBTQ+ Youth Mental Health Crisis
Mary Ellen Flannery wrote this article to demonstrate the mental health crisis facing LGBTQ+ young people, especially in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
College Students Who Belong to Sexual Minority Groups More Likely to Seek Mental Health Services When Needed, but Still Face Barriers to Using Campus Services
This press release from the Rand Corporation focuses on the lack of resources available to LGBTQ+ students and how it led to increased suicides and suicidal thoughts.
Safe & Supportive Schools Project
The American Psychological Association (APA) talks about a new project on this page that provides LGBTQ+ students with supportive faces and helpful resources.
Sexual Orientation and Differences in Mental Health, Stress, and Academic Performance in a National Sample of U.S. College Students
This NIH article looks at the different experiences college students have in terms of their mental health based on their sexual orientation.
College Mental Health Supports Reduce Suicide Risk 84% in LGBTQ Students
The74 shares information in this article from The Trevor Project on mental health support systems lessens the suicide risk of LGBTQ+ students.
Coming out and identity struggles are just some of the topics addressed on this site from the Eisenberg Family Depression Center at the University of Michigan.
Advocacy – Getting Involved
GLAAD is a major organization that recognizes positive LGBTQ+ representations every year and offers different programs that include social media safety programs.
Transgender Law Center
The Transgender Law Center offers free help and resources for members of the transgender community when they need legal representation for discrimination and similar cases.
Attend one of the Equality Federation events, donate money, or volunteer your time to support this organization that hopes to improve equality.
Join the Dissent!
Visit this page to see how you can make history and break down barriers through one of the events or programs launched by the Human Rights Campaign.
Amnesty International is always looking for volunteers and donations to support its campaigns to improve LGBTI rights around the world.
Work with The Center to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and join a group with more than four decades of experience helping others in the community. You can donate your time and/or money.
Human Rights Watch
Visit the Human Rights Watch website to see the biggest challenges facing the LGBTQ+ community and the different ways you can help. Programs and events often need volunteers in various states and countries.
LGBTQ Health and Rights
Advocates for Youth launched this page to share stories from LGBTQ+ students who faced issues due to a lack of proper health care. It also discusses some of the ways students can get health insurance.
The ACLU has more than 100 years of experience helping those in need and lets others see how they can get involved on its official website.
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Available from the Child Welfare Information Gateway is a large online library full of resources for kids who feel threatened at home or school. Teachers and parents will find resources that help them advocate for others, too.
Visit this page of the PFLAG website to see how you can help the organization advocate for better LGBTQ+ rights and more inclusion. PFLAG is open to anyone who identifies as an LGBTQ+ ally.
The Advocates for Human Rights provides anyone who identifies as LGBTIQ+ with legal help and support along with information on its latest programs.
GLAD consists of legal advocates and professionals who fight for the rights of LGBTQ+ families and individuals in schools and the workforce.
The LGBT Foundation needs volunteers who can assist with mental health, health benefits, employment, and other issues in the LGBTQ+ community.
Paying for College
The Burden of LGBTQ Student Loan Debt
Find out why LGBTQ students have such high loan debt when they graduate in this article from Oliver McNeil, which focuses on the lack of familial support.
Federal Pell Grants
This section of the Federal Student Aid page shows students how they can apply for Pell Grants and get help paying for school.
Federal Student Loan Debt Among LGBTQ People
Use this infographic to see how much more LGBTQ+ students owe in student loan debt when they graduate compared to their peers.
Check out our large list of scholarships with links to apply for LGBTQ+ students in high school, college, and beyond.
Getting Started at Work
Pride at Work
Pride at Work offers resources for LGBTQ+ who feel discriminated against from their employers and looks at some of the top issues facing the community today.
The NGPA is a major organization of professional pilots and aviation experts within the LGBTQ+ community who want to foster the next generation.
Out to Innovate is the new name of the NOGLSTP, which provides opportunities and resources for LGBTQ+ people who want to work in STEM fields.
OSTEM has chapters around the world where LGBTQ+ professionals and students learn about jobs in STEM and their employment rights.
The Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists offers advice for current students and recent graduates who want to work in journalism along with current professionals.
The LGBTQ+ Bar
Learn more about legal jobs for LGBTQ+ and the laws that affect members of the community from The LGBTQ+ Bar, which is one of the biggest organizations of its type.
International Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, and Intersex Law Association
This organization ensures that LGBTQ+ workers know their rights and offers assistance when they feel their rights are threatened by another person or group.
Pride MC is home to a large group of LGBTQ+ medical and healthcare workers and offers free resources for current medical students. Current professionals can also get help finding new jobs.
The members of AGLP are LGBTQ+ psychiatrists who advocate for major changes to improve the mental well-being of every LGBTQ+ person. It often looks at the mental health crises facing the youth and older people.
Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ+ Equality
This organization has a fund devoted to paying for research on lesbian health issues. It also has some funds LGBTQ+ researchers can apply for annually.
DOJ started in 1994 as a way for LGBTQ+ Department of Defense employees to find a safe space and now offers programs dedicated to the defense of others along with free resources.
LGBT Congressional Staff Association
Comprised of LGBTQ+ Congressional staff, this group focuses on ensuring the government passes laws and policies to better the community’s interests. It includes members from the top political parties.
OUT in National Security
OUT in National Security consists of people from all political parties who are members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies in security positions who want to improve the lives of others.
GLSEN offers free resources for educators and administrators, including lesson plans for different subjects and tips on creating an inclusive curriculum for all students.
National LGBT Chamber of Commerce
The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce is an organization that serves as the business voice of the LGBT community, providing advocacy and support, and certifying LGBT-owned businesses.