Thank you to my friend Tim Jung for inspiring me to write this story. In the wake of the brutal murder of yet another gay teen in Iowa less than a week ago, here is a story of hope and progress. Elmhurst College in Illinois has included questions regarding sexual orientation and gender identity to their admissions application.
While students can opt out of answering the questions, those who do identify as part of the LGBT community may be eligible for a scholarship worth up to one-third of tuition. Gary Rold, the Dean of Admissions, explains why Elmurst has included questions about LGBT identity on the admissions form :
Increasing diversity is part of our mission statement. This is simply closing the loop, in many ways, of another group who has a very strong identity. It may not be race and religion but it’s an important part of who they are. More importantly, he said, knowing students’ sexual orientation will help officials direct incoming students toward services or groups that might help them make an easier transition to college life. We try really hard to take good care of students, have them graduate and be successful citizens in the world. The only way you do that is to meet people where they really are.
Dartmouth and University of Pennsylvania have started to include LGBT-centered activities that students can look at joining upon admission. How refreshing to see a handful of college campuses working to embrace LGBT students. What a stark contrast to the bigoted Republican Presidential candidates signing a pledge to discriminate against us and treat as sub-human, a la Bachmann whose husband goes against APA best practices with his “reparative therapy.” I am hopeful that Millennials like Tim Jung, Lex Kahn, and Maria Khan have had enough of the fear mongering bigoted homophobic tactics of the right wing and will prove to be the generation that makes a safer environment for all people. For those of you in the LGBT community looking for a safe school, you may want to consider Elmhurst College. Click here to read the full article.