Finding a Queer-Friendly College, Part 1 – College Bound Mentor Podcast #6

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This is Episode #6 and you’ll hear a panel of college students and recent alums share their experience finding a queer-friendly college. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re enjoying the show!

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College Bound Mentor Podcast Episode #6: Finding a Queer-Friendly College, Part 1

Feeling safe and supported on a college campus is important for any student. For students in the LGBTQ+ community, it can be an even more important factor when deciding where to go to college. In this Part 1, we interview a panel of college students and recent alums about their experience finding a queer-friendly college. Hear the red flags and positives that stand out at different colleges when it comes to being inclusive, how to research queer-friendly colleges, how to get involved in queer-friendly groups on campus, whether to share your story in your Personal Statement, and their advice to queer students starting their college journeys. This episode covers everything from queer-friendly colleges to social media groups. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • What’s important to consider when first looking at colleges?
  • Is college a comfortable place to come out?
  • How do you research queer-friendly colleges?
  • What are red flags a college isn’t queer-friendly?
  • How can you get involved on campus at queer-friendly colleges?
  • What’s an ideal inclusive environment at a queer-friendly college?
  • Is there a trend towards more openness?
  • How can you connect with fellow queer students before college?

Subscribe to College Bound Mentor on your favorite podcast platform and learn more at

Check out the episode and show notes below for much more detail.

Show Notes

  • Finding a Queer-Friendly College, Part 1
    • [0:18] Welcome to College Bound Mentor
    • [0:24] Lisa Bleich, Stefanie Forman
    • [1:22] WashU (Washington University), Colorado College, RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology)
    • [2:01] What’s important to consider when first looking at colleges?
    • [3:18] Do you feel supported on campus?
    • [4:33] Is college a comfortable place to come out?
    • [6:24] How is being queer promoted on college campuses?
    • [7:11] How do you research queer-friendly colleges?
    • [10:15] What are red flags a college isn’t queer-friendly?
    • [11:33] Campus Pride Index
    • [16:03] How much should you take the surrounding city into consideration when choosing a queer-friendly college?
    • [17:32] How can you get involved on campus at queer-friendly colleges?
    • [21:12] What’s an ideal inclusive environment at a queer-friendly college?
    • [24:12] Is there a trend towards more openness?
    • [25:09] Internet, Social Media
    • [26:28] How can you connect with fellow queer students before college?
    • [28:15] Facebook Messenger
    • [29:12] Should you share your story in your Personal Statement?
    • [30:18] What advice do you have for students considering queer-friendly colleges?
    • [32:58] Subscribe to College Bound Mentor on your favorite podcast platform and learn more at
    • Theme Song: “Happy Optimistic Americana” by BDKSonic

What is the College Bound Mentor podcast?

Lisa, Abby, and Stefanie know college. They also know students. With over 30 years combined experience mentoring young people, they’ll show you why understanding yourself is the key to finding the right college. Each episode, hear trends, case studies, and interviews with students who have gone through it all – giving you valuable insight to survive the college application process and beyond. Hosted by Lisa Bleich, Abby Power, and Stefanie Forman, Partners of College Bound Mentor.


Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.

Stuart 0:01
Everyone’s timeline is different, but yeah be excited about it because college is a fun place to be LGBTQ.

Lisa Bleich 0:19
Hey, CBMers. Welcome back to College Bound Mentor, where we help you survive the college application process and beyond. We are your co-hosts, Lisa and Stefanie. And today we will be discussing finding a queer-friendly college with a wonderful panel of college students and recent alums. So we wanted to do something in honor of Pride Month, and I thought it would be interesting to talk about finding a queer-friendly college community. So of course, I reached out to Kayla, my youngest daughter and asked her whether or not she thought it was a good idea. And you actually what do you think, Kayla?

Kayla 0:52
Yeah, I thought it was a good idea to give you the thumbs up,

Lisa Bleich 0:56
you gave me the thumbs up. So I thought, Alright, let’s do this. Let’s do this. So I asked her if she would be part of it. And she graciously agreed. And then we brought in her. So Kayla graduated Washington, Washington University in St. Louis in 2021. And then we brought in Stuart, her friend who graduated Colorado College and also in 2021. And we have Mae who is a current mechatronics engineering student at Rochester Institute of Technology. And she just finished her first year. And she has a passion for making things, personal projects, etc. And finding a supportive College has drastically shaped her day to day life and helped her find joy while pursuing her career. So thank you guys, we are delighted to have you on the CBM podcast. So welcome.

Stefanie Forman 1:42
Super excited. Thank you.

Lisa Bleich 1:44
Yeah, it’s great. So it would be great if you could just introduce yourself, so we could put a voice with a knee. And tell us when you were first thinking about college. And I know for Kayla and Stuart was a bit ago, what was important to you, when you were first looking for colleges. Yeah,

Mae 2:01
I kind of started off like high school, just working like robotics, and spent a lot of time in that, in that area, just the general high school robotics, like competitive robotics area. And during the time, it did have a lot of like, struggles with understanding who I was, and kind of working around that. So finding a queer friendly community was pretty, a pretty big factor when it came to my college decisions. So as I’ve been growing up, my own success was like, very often rooted in like my own well being. And so feeling safe and supported like a college can really go a long way when it comes to that. The high school that I grew up in, at the time had like a very mixed bag of supportive and unsupportive culture. When it came to the topic of like understanding yourself gender, sexuality, those things were very kind of kept like kind of hush hush and away, being able to be comfortably like open at college, about yourself. And being able to like go day to day without being judged is very, very important and has definitely helped me thrive in the past year. So that was a very important thing that I sort of kept in the back of my mind.

Lisa Bleich 3:07
Interesting. And do you feel like you have that support at RIT?

Mae 3:12
I absolutely do. Yeah, my college is like, very, very supportive. As far as I’ve heard, there’s a 40% were population, which is very, very large compared to other areas that had been in, it’s been a huge step up and just my own comfort.

Lisa Bleich 3:29
That’s wonderful. That’s great to hear. How about you, Kayla, how was I know the answer to this? What was what was your process, like when you were looking for?

Kayla 3:39
Yeah, it definitely was not on my mind. When I was first applying to college, I think I was very much didn’t know or have any idea what I wanted in a school or what I wanted out of college. And I think it was sort of just not even, like registered myself personally, and like my personal life. So it wasn’t something I was going to sort of factor in into my college decision because I wasn’t even fully aware of it enough. But I think when I decided to transfer, it definitely played a little bit more of a role into that. And being able to go into a new college being out I think was something that was important to me and something that I wanted for myself.

Lisa Bleich 4:23
And did you find that the school that you were at was not a comfortable place for you to be out? Or was it that you came out at that point and then wanted to make a change?

Kayla 4:34
Um, I think it was a little bit of both. It definitely wasn’t. It wasn’t not queer friendly. Like, all my friends, every single person that I met was super accepting, accepting. I think there was just a little bit of a lack of visibility that I saw when I was there. And I think just sort of going through the like coming out process my like first year of college, I kind of just wanted a little bit of a reset So from that experience, but I wouldn’t say it was entirely like the school itself.

Lisa Bleich 5:05
It’s more where you were on the journey. Right? And how about you, Stuart?

Stuart 5:11
Well, I was also so in high school, I was not out to anyone other than select friends. Although I think it was kind of obvious. Yeah. So when I, when I was looking for a school, I kind of had it in the back of my mind that college would be the place where I would kind of, like blossom into my, like sexuality and my sexual identity. I think just with that in mind, I was looking at more like smaller liberal arts colleges, where the community feels a lot more tighter and close knit and more safe in a way and less like you can lose yourself in the like sea of people that you might find at a bigger school. So that was, that was my perspective. And that’s what led me to look at schools like Colorado College. And yeah, I think pretty similar to Mae. CC is a very queer school, I don’t have the hard numbers, but it was it was definitely like, very socially acceptable. And I want to say almost promoted, in a way to be LGBTQ. Um, so that was super comforting going into, you know, a school like that, to

Stefanie Forman 6:17
Stuart, how was it promoted? Or like, how did you feel like it was promoted at Colorado College, that’s such an interesting thing to hear. And I love hearing that.

Stuart 6:25
I think in like pretty much every aspect of college life, you’ll find just the most like, accepting atmosphere, even like in like the the Greek life, which I think is a pretty, like, historically, straight dominated space. There were like, even like gay fraternity, or maybe not gay, but they had the reputation of that, join with myself. And it was just everyone was so accepting and excited, you know, that everyone could be themselves and, you know, find themselves on that journey. So,

Stefanie Forman 6:59
Kayla, you know, you said that, when when you were first applying to school, you weren’t thinking about it as much compared to when you’re transferring. But for all of you, how did you do your research? Did you use the pride index? Did you use something else? I mean, were there specific things or student groups? Or, you know, did you have your own lists in mind of what you were looking for in specific communities?

Kayla 7:24
transparently ad there was not a lot of research that I did, I think that just kind of was like the crux of my college experience. In general, applying to college was a lack of research. I just was like,

Lisa Bleich 7:37
whatever, wherever I go, no one’s asked for any information. Did you know

Kayla 7:41
and nobody to ask, I feel like it was like, my mom was like, like, you kind of like spoon fed me everything that I needed to know. So I didn’t have to, like go about external research. I think when I decided to transfer, my sister told me because she was a senior at WashU when I was a freshman at school, and she was basically like, oh, there’s like an LGBTQ+ group for like, the fraternity and sorority, well, then I was like, Great, perfect, good enough. And I think also just like hearing that, that space existed in what’s your was saying a predominantly straight space that has like a lot of problematic natures to it, I think that was a little bit of a comfort and my sister was kind of my, like, voice of reason, and research for that.

Mae 8:31
I found a lot of very similar experiences with them, that I had, like related to Kayla, in my experience for like searching for colleges, I wasn’t necessarily looking for a place that was like, specifically, inclusive, like, that wasn’t the first thing that came to my mind when I thought about when I thought about, like, the college I want to go to but once I had that, like top colleges list, I did do a little bit of looking into violence, like, and their inclusivity some of them would kind of like it take a lot of digging to look for certain aspects of, of their, like supportiveness for queer and LGBTQ people. And I found that like, my, the college I go to right now or it, they they’re very like upfront about it. And I think that was a very important aspect towards it. How

Lisa Bleich 9:21
are they upfront about it? What did you see that that made you feel like they were really upfront about

Mae 9:25
a lot of it was from like visiting in person when they were like actively just talking about, oh, by the way, we have like, for example, gender neutral locker rooms for our athletes who are not fully comfortable being in being in like, the gender locker rooms, or alternatively, there’s also like, there’s also a whole lot of like, campus life, that they brought up a lot, like for example, how they have dedicated like spaces for LGBTQ people, officers in case you need to talk to someone about it, seeing that they weren’t really like hiding it in a way was very, very affirming. And they’re sort of like a come as you are attitude that they had when I visited in person was a very big teller, like, this is a place where like, I’ll feel really comfortable. And that’s definitely something that made it stand out from the rest.

Lisa Bleich 10:16
Were there any warning signs for other schools that you looked at? You may or Halo or Stuart, when you were looking at schools or researching the little research you did Kaila on schools? Was there any were there any red flags or warning signs where you said, I know this is not a good place. For me, this is not a place where I’m going to feel comfortable.

Mae 10:35
I saw some colleges that that didn’t really mention a lot about like inclusivity at all or like, are there like demographics were very, very, like, hard to find, although, like, demographics don’t necessarily mean that like it’s not going to be supportive place. It’s very telling once they start like hiding those things, or once it takes a lot of digging to find like, for example looking for searching for a club, like or a support group related to LGBTQ people like in that college. There were a lot of them though, kind of address it in a way that’s like, oh, by the way, we have this club over here for you gay people. But being supportive, like your whole college is like culture and then after having it actually embraced is a very green flag compared to like, the kind of hidden

Lisa Bleich 11:18
just like this club over here. Like Yeah, sort of out in the out in the they put you out in the in the fields, right, where they have the where everybody meets right if they’re part of that. How about for you guys, Stewart or Kayla?

Stuart 11:29
First with the like the search question. I there definitely was some kind of, like ranking. I want to say it’s like US news, but I don’t know where exactly.

Lisa Bleich 11:40
There’s a pride ranking. It’s like a US news. But for for the queer community. It’s like the pride ranking.

Stuart 11:46
Okay. I don’t think it was that one specifically, but maybe it was like, like, niche or something.

Lisa Bleich 11:52
I mean, yeah, niche has that tip. Yeah, can leave

Stuart 11:57
reviews. And I definitely like in my research. I mean, I chose CC for its academics overwhelmingly, but like, definitely was like, excited to like see that it was ranking high on, you know, the pride index, or like, the reviews that people were leaving, or that it was a very weird, friendly space. Yeah, so that kind of influenced me slightly. But also with CC, they really did like a good job of making being LGBTQ like fun and like celebrated. And not just like, during certain times, like Pride Month, or, like certain holidays, it was always like, throughout the year, there were like drag shows, they were like, We’re exclusive parties that people don’t have. One of them was a BGP, which is the big gay party.

And so yeah, it really just like wasn’t atmosphere that that celebrated being LGBTQ and made it like fun and exciting, and incorporated that into the typical college experience that, you know, it wasn’t like Mike was mentioning, it wasn’t just like a club that was in the corner. It was like, ingrained and upfront into every aspect of student life. There was also a really fun event called Ted sex, similar to TEDx. But it was sex safety. And just like all these interesting topics, like one of them was like the first ever, I won’t go into details, but

Lisa Bleich 13:27
go into details. It’s interesting.

Stefanie Forman 13:30
If you’re comfortable,

Stuart 13:33
it was it was this archaeology professor gave a talk on ancient dildos. And that kind of stuff. So it was really fun and like just kind of an exciting atmosphere, people would come even if you weren’t LGBT, everyone was like, excited to go to these events. And then they also just incorporated like aspects of like gay sexual safety and certain things you need to be mindful of. And then like an infinite of environment that wasn’t like talking down to you or, you know, accusing of anything. So yeah, they really did a good job. I think student life did a really good job of just kind of incorporating that into all aspects of the community beyond just you know, academics and certain clubs that that existed on campus.

Lisa Bleich 14:19
How about you Kayla, did you find similar support?

Kayla 14:23
Yeah, definitely. I don’t think I like engaged in it as much but it was definitely there. I was actually just looking up all of our colleges indexes. Oh, yeah. Stuart, Colorado College has a 2.5 out of five. Really?

Lisa Bleich 14:44
And I need to adjust that.

Kayla 14:45
Yeah, all right. He has a four and then wash it as a five out of five guys but

Stefanie Forman 14:54
being a wash you alarm. Oh, when with you? Well, I’m really surprised to hear that 2.5 After hearing everything you just said, Yeah, me. Yeah, that’s a surprise. Yeah.

Stuart 15:09
I’m gonna look into it because I’m like,

Kayla 15:10
it looks like there’s little LGBTQ academic life. So like specific courses. And then you guys are, according to this don’t have that as much like campus safety. LGBTQ

Stuart 15:26
campus safety. Interesting. I never felt unsafe by any means. We definitely like the school is in like a more. Like, right leaning City, Colorado Springs is the conservative capital of Colorado and also were focused on the family started and is headquartered, which is like an anti LGBTQ organization. Oh, the general environment of the city. I could see that being like a safety concern. But on campus, I never felt unsafe.

Lisa Bleich 15:58
Well, let’s talk about that. How important is that to take into account not just the college campus and the campus environment, but the city that you’re going to and the surrounding area? Because I remember, Okay, listen, I’m sure you would tell me some things that made you uncomfortable. How do you How much do you think that factors into or should factor into a decision for college?

Kayla 16:21
I think it probably depends on the college. I feel like there are colleges where students, it’s like a college town. And it’s a very different environment, and the way that you engage with the city than in other places. I feel like for the most part, like I went to Emory in Atlanta, and then I went to Wash U. Both were in more typically like conservative overall states. But I still think that Atlanta as well as St. Louis were very, like, liberal pockets within the overall states. So it didn’t feel like that much of a concern, I guess. I went to like, cried in St. Louis a few times, which was like a lot of fun. And there were definitely like, I went to queer bars in St. Louis. So I definitely there were definitely spaces there, which was really nice to have. But if you traveled like an hour outside of St. Louis, it was like, Don’t look at me, like, We’re just friends kind of energy. So

Lisa Bleich 17:22
right, so that’s a different feel. So you mentioned a little bit about being a steward. You said you were part of a gay fraternity? And may you said that you’re involved? I don’t know if you necessarily said that you’re involved in some of the queer activities. But how engaged were you? How much was that a part of your experience, being part of that community.

Mae 17:43
It’s definitely been a very big part of like, my day to day life at like college and stuff. I found myself involved in the biggest like, kind of defined club would be my school, some drag club, I found myself like, at first it was sort of like a bit of a step forwards from what I had ever seen, like back in Jersey, but like, I did definitely step out of my comfort zone and then met some like amazing people through there and then became just like, even became a performer at 1.0. That’s amazing.

Stefanie Forman 18:17
So you perform drag now, Mae?

Mae 18:19
Here and there, yeah. That’s awesome. It was a very, very thrilling experience. Honestly, it’s like a whole new level of like self expression and a sense, because you can just like do whatever you want on stage. And that’s not something I really it’s like, I guess the best way to describe it is like it’s whatever you want to do on stage with the element of surprise you can do it it’s a very it’s a very supportive group and I never really saw myself really getting involved in that when I was looking into like college and campus life I was I was all thinking like robotics, robotics, robotics, but there’s a whole lot more to that. Yeah, it’s absolutely been like where a lot where I’ve made a lot of my friends and stuff like that. So the campus life for like LGBTQ people like college has been really really good so far. May

Stefanie Forman 19:03
Do you feel like so you’re saying like, at first you know, robotics, robotics, robotics, and now you’re finding yourself and you know, this drag community and I’m sure some other communities as well. Do you feel like your robotics your academic community is just as accepting and that you can be fully yourself? Or do you need these outlets? Do you feel like you need these other groups to be at your best self in school? My

Mae 19:29
like, I’ve been also part of like the robotics team at my college and I do feel that it’s very, very accepting, compared to like, other spaces that I’ve seen for sure. You know, like the stereotypical engineering, engineering environments are usually very, like, let’s just say like stuck in the past a little bit, and like, much less accepting, but I’ve found that like, the acceptance of mycologist sort of like, goes throughout the community. You don’t really need to like second guess yourself on whether or not like the certain team will be accepting because there’s like it throughout the college it’s like very, very accepting. So, I mean, those outlets are very great. But it’s also great like not to need to necessarily, like rely on them as like your only sort of like, outlet.

Lisa Bleich 20:12
Okay, let’s do it. Were you guys involved? How are how were you involved when you were in school?

Stuart 20:16
I wouldn’t necessarily say that I was like, involved, like, actively, but more so just like, kind of taking advantage of the activities that were there when they were like put on for me like a shower or something. But yeah, I don’t think I was pretty involved. My like fraternity was, I should clarify, it was like the gay fraternity because there was like, the most gay people in the fraternity but everyone was straight. There was that but like, I don’t know, it just felt very safe in that environment and like being part of a historically straight environment, and being like, welcomed and accepted. And like I would have like older fraternity brothers. Be like, oh, Stuart, is your boyfriend coming tonight? Like, make sure he comes like we want to we want to hang out with them. So it was it was a very, like, accepting atmosphere. But yeah, otherwise I don’t I don’t think there’s much more involvement to seek of

Stefanie Forman 21:12
what type of environment do you feel is an ideal queer community on a college campus? Inclusive queer community.

Stuart 21:24
One thing for me that has been kind of like an overall guide, or like guiding principle in my life, as it relates to my queerness is that it should be as normal as possible. And yes, we like want to celebrate it and point out like the beauty in it as much as we can. But like, when I came out to my parents, I didn’t even come out, I just said, oh, I want you to be my boyfriend, like very casual. And I needed that also. And so that’s kind of been like, what I have been striving to do for the queer community is just normalize it as much as possible. And so yeah, for me, like having queerness as such a normal aspect of my college career and of daily life at school was super important. And I think that’s definitely like, what I see as you know, a safe space for for campus community.

Mae 22:18
Yeah, I can completely agree with that. Or I also, like see that the main thing that really like sets, like an acoustic community, aside from like, one that’s just like, tolerant, in a sense, is one that sort of, doesn’t really make it something like that’s exclusive about someone in a way that they won’t like, they won’t like want to talk about it in like a normal fashion or within like, just a general conversation. I definitely went through a lot of that at my high school where we had this like, for example, when it comes to things like health class, we would have this one dedicated day for LGBTQ topics, because they didn’t want like the gym teachers to have to, like, learn that. And that was a very like, alienating thing people wouldn’t be comfortable talking about like, whether they have like questions about queerness. Or just like, in general, wanting to bring that up, like in conversation, it was a very difficult thing to, to talk about publicly, it was often something that people would just like, whisper to each other, behind the curtains. In a sense, it’s so having it like very involved in your like, college community, just be really, really, really helpful because it feels normal, it feels normalized. And at the same time, obviously, having it celebrated as just just as important to you

Lisa Bleich 23:47
know, it’s interesting that you say that maybe because our impression, and it could be falsely a false impression. But so when Kayla and Stuart were applying, they graduated high school in 2017. And it seems like in the last, I want to say three years, our client base has been a lot more open about talking about their queerness and talking about how this is something that they want. And a lot of people like, you know, Kayla included, didn’t share that with their parents. They they didn’t want to disclose that. And it seems like there’s a little bit more openness to that. Do you feel that there has been a trend towards more openness? Or do you think that it’s just depending on the person

Mae 24:31
I feel like there’s definitely been a trend in openness in certain areas, at least I’ve attended like, or just like passed by other schools here and there and seen like, had like a complete culture shock in a way that like that the openness sort of just like disappeared, that openness can often be something that varies like person to person. It doesn’t necessarily mean that a whole like community is like super open to talking about it with each other in a sense. I can say that Um, a lot of times like, their students, and just people trying to, like discover, like who they are, and understand the sexuality, a lot of that ends up these days going towards the internet and going towards, like, making up for the space that they can’t necessarily find otherwise in person with the like, Rise of like social media and stuff like that a lot of people have been able to understand that they’re, like, understand a lot more about themselves, while not necessarily being out to the general environment, which means that yeah, there’s a good there’s a lot of a lot of people who, like, be able to talk about that a bit more these days, because it’s just, there’s more education around it, and it’s more normalized. On the internet. Yeah,

Kayla 25:46
I was just gonna do that I had a friend, it was my when I transferred, and she’s queer now in or out, but she was like, You’re the first like, them presenting queer woman girl that I’ve ever, like, been friends with him, like really like seeing him, which is just so interesting, because that was what, like, four years ago, and I just feel like because of the internet, like, that’s just no longer the case of like, meeting somebody for the first time and then like being out and that sort of like your first exposure to a type of person that exists.

Lisa Bleich 26:29
Right? Yeah, that’s a good point.

Stefanie Forman 26:31
Oh, well, just bringing up the internet. Did any of you use social media? Are there any like clear groups that helped you connect to other LGBTQ plus students before attending so I know the answer, probably for you Kayleigh. But I don’t know we’re, I mean, yeah, or may because you just finished your first year maybe it’s more recent for you, did you connect to anyone via the Internet before social media

Mae 27:03
I like got very like the taste of like, like how gay my school is, through some like discord servers that we had before actually going into our it, I ended up like, at one point, actually, for the majority of its existence being like the owner of like that of that server and owsm. And we had this dedicated channel where we would talk dedicated to specifically talking about like, LGBTQ topics, a lot of my current friends actually met through there, it was very, very interesting, just like, being able to talk about these things. Like we weren’t necessarily all necessarily in a very, like inclusive environment, where we all were at the time. And then seeing how that changed. Once we went to college was like, very interesting, we were also able to just like, discuss with each other, learn things from each other. I think like, really just meeting other people has been like the main meaning other people like and being able to talk about these things with them has been like the main thing that’s given me guidance in a way before I went to college. Yeah,

Stuart 28:07
I connected with my freshman year roommate, through a mutual friend, but we really like kicked off conversation on I think Facebook Messenger. I didn’t like say anything about my sexuality, because I didn’t really think that’d be a big factor in finding out finding someone to live with. But he like, right out of the gates was like, I’m bisexual. That’s something you should know about me, if you’re gonna live with me. Having that right off the bat, like immediately made me comfortable with him as a roommate, and also a friend. We are still friends to this day. But yeah, so it wasn’t like necessarily social media, but we weren’t connected and talking on social media beforehand. And that just made it so much more comfortable for me going into school so that when we were, you know, having like a sit down drinking some beers on our dorm room floor and where I did come out to him, it was just so natural and comfortable. And it really set the tone of our relationship to make it Yeah, normal and comfortable for both of us

Lisa Bleich 29:06
about the essay. So I know that a lot of colleges want you to share your stories with them. Did you share your story at all? And what was the context in which you shared it with admissions?

Stuart 29:21
I didn’t talk about it primarily the reason is because I had a really good essay otherwise do and I thought that would just distract from the point but I did talk about it in my interview with the admissions guide person counselor, where it was like brought up in the in the question about like, mostly about like social justice and how that like impacts my day to day and whatnot. And so I just kind of like casually slipped that in like the the hint about my identity. I think the person who was interviewing me was a lesbian because she and I like really hit it off. But yeah, so I definitely like did use it in a way to connect with someone else who I could tell was one of the community members, and really solidify my my, you know, status with her to, you know, get me into CC.

Lisa Bleich 30:16
As a last question What would you what, if anything, would you have done differently? And what do you recommend to queer students who are just starting their college search or just starting college

Mae 30:28
in the fall, it’s a really good time to explore yourself and explore your like, just everything about yourself, similar to how a lot of people make new friends during like, the sort of middle school or high school, it’s another one of those steps where you’ve now understood a lot about yourself at the same time, you, you might find completely new new things about yourself. Because there’s just a completely new environment that you’re in. And that can mean like being surrounded by things you might not be completely comfortable with, or just new things that you’ve never really seen before. So it’s really a perfect time to explore. Just understand what, like, where you meld best. Really.

Kayla 31:09
Yeah, honestly, like, prioritize it. Like, I think I’m, like, 24 now, and I’m still trying to find like, my own queer community at this point in my life. And I think college is a really, really special time where you have all of these spaces that are put in place for you that you can actively seek out to build your own community. And like, just take advantage of that and try different things. You’re exploring and figuring things out. But like, prioritize it because feeling safe and happy and like understood by your peers, and the people that you’re surrounding with is like really valuable and really important, I think, at least at least for myself. Not gonna put that on to everybody else out there. But for me, I

Stuart 32:03
completely agree with Kayla, I think you kind of took the words out of my mouth. It’s a really unique time in your life when all these spaces are available to you that after college might not. It might be a lot harder to find, like Kayla was mentioning. So yeah, definitely take advantage of it. Utilize your resources in your community. Yeah, I think also just, I don’t know that much about what high school is like right now, because it’s been so long. But yeah, I think college is a space where a lot of people do kind of flourish and thrive in their new environments. And don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do that. Because everyone’s timeline is different. But yeah, be excited about it because college is a fun place to be LGBTQ.

Lisa Bleich 32:49
Right. Well, thank you so much, Kayla, Stuart, and Mae, for coming on College Bound Mentor and thank you, CBMers, for tuning in. To catch more episodes of College Bound Mentor, make sure to Follow or Subscribe on your favorite podcast platform and tell a fellow parent or student about the podcast. To learn more, visit Until next time, you got this!

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