DOMA ruling: 3 Areas with large LGBT communities for students
This week in the United States, the Defence of Marriage Act (DOMA), which previously deprived gay couples to many legal rights of hetero couples, was ruled unconstitutional.
This is a landmark victory for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender) community in America, and one which can provide inspiration to those fighting prejudice of this and other forms, elsewhere.
We thought we would take time to consider this from the perspective of students who may be members of the LGBT community around the world themselves, whether openly or not. Higher education (abroad or not) is not just an opportunity to better oneself through what you learn in a lecture hall – it’s a time in life which shapes the adult you go on to be, especially for undergraduates. Moving away from home provides the opportunity to understand oneself on a whole new level, or embrace new ideas and belief systems, including those linked to sexuality. Despite being the year 2013, unfortunately there are still many young people struggling to come out to their friends and family about whom they really are; for them, studying in a new city, state or country is a chance to finally live openly in a more tolerable environment, as well as enjoying the educational benefits.
So to celebrate this huge step in equality, below are three areas known for having large LGBT communities, including notable universities close by:
A recent study indicated that several areas throughout the state of Washington were home to some of the largest LGBT communities in the whole country, including Tacoma and Seattle – the latter of which has always marched to the beat of its own drum, if you look at the boundary-breaking music and fashion which has come from there.
University to check out: Washington University School of Law @WashULaw
Brighton is often likened to a small city by the sea. Situated on the south coast of England, it’s a bit like London by the beach, and is just an hour away from the capital by train which is why so many Londoners flock there when the weather is sunny. With two large universities situated there, Brighton is a truly “student city” with a lot for young people to do. The gay capital of the UK, the city is extremely liberal, with the Pride Festival attracting hundreds and even thousands from all over the country and Europe.
University to check out: University of Brighton
There’s just something about the west coast of America! As seen in TV shows like Portlandia, the state of Oregon wears proudly its unique and alternative stripes. Its residents aren’t inclined to conform to what others consider acceptable, and that’s why we love the vibe the state gives off – that you can be you!
University to check out: Oregon State University
Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.