Gay Would-Be College Kids With Homophobic Parents: Consider Indiana U.

Expanding the LGBTQ Conversation
Sept. 19 2013 5:52 PM

Gay Would-Be College Kids With Homophobic Parents: Consider Indiana U.

Indiana University campus
Indiana University campus

As students return to colleges around America, money is on a lot of minds. But gay students can face especially tricky choices if their parents threaten to cut off college funding after they come out: Conduct secret relationships, say no to a love life, sublimate emotions, or hope they can snag enough loans to stay in school without financial help from their families.

Since 2005, the Indiana University Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Alumni Association has provided emergency grants to undergraduate students whose families withdraw financial support. The GLBTAA also provides academic scholarships. According to a press release, “consideration is given for involvement in activities promoting diversity or raising awareness of GLBT and related issues.”


Last week, spurred by an anonymous gift of $500,000, the GLBTAA elevated its existing scholarship program to “campaign” level. The organization says it’s “the nation’s first-ever scholarship campaign devoted to assisting GLBT students and promoting leadership on GLBT concerns.”

If I were a lesbian, gay, bi, queer, or questioning high-school senior shopping for a place to spend the next four or five years, this news would dramatically increase my interest in attending Indiana. Indiana University is one of 55 colleges that scored 5 out of 5 stars in Campus Pride’s LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index, but by making such a clear commitment to helping queer students stay in school if their families freak out and rewarding LGBT leadership, members of the queer alumni group are vouching for their alma mater’s queer-friendliness. There may not be such a thing as a gay legacy student in the traditional sense of a kid whose lesbian mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother all attended an institution, but the GLBTAA scholarship campaign might well be a new kind of LGBT legacy.

June Thomas is a Slate culture critic and editor of Outward, Slate’s LGBTQ section. 



More Than Scottish Pride

Scotland’s referendum isn’t about nationalism. It’s about a system that failed, and a new generation looking to take a chance on itself. 

iOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.

Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You

Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.


Happy Constitution Day!

Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.

What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture

My Father Was James Brown. I Watched Him Beat My Mother. Then I Married Someone Like Him.

  News & Politics
Sept. 17 2014 12:02 PM Here It Is: The Flimsiest Campaign Attack Ad of 2014, Which Won’t Stop Running
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
Sept. 17 2014 1:59 PM Ask a Homo: Secret Ally Codes 
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 1:26 PM Hey CBS, Rihanna Is Exactly Who I Want to See on My TV Before NFL Games
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 1:01 PM A Rare, Very Unusual Interview With Michael Jackson, Animated
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 12:35 PM IOS 8 Comes Out Today. Do Not Put It on Your iPhone 4S.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 17 2014 11:18 AM A Bridge Across the Sky
Sports Nut
Sept. 15 2014 9:05 PM Giving Up on Goodell How the NFL lost the trust of its most loyal reporters.