Skip to content Skip to footer

Preparing Your Teen for College

Not all colleges are equally well-suited for rainbow students. We give you a guide of what to look for in helping your teen choose a college, and also list special scholarship opportunities.

 

Jump to Q&A Section

If your teen wants to attend college, you should help them prepare for it from the earliest grades of high school by making sure that they take the right college-preparatory courses and start thinking about schools they might like to attend. For the rainbow teen, there are a number of special considerations beyond those that every teen has to consider, as not all campuses may be equally well-prepared to serve their special needs. You can suggest application strategies, good schools or majors, and career goals, but ultimately it is their future and they need to be the ones who make the final decision which path is right for them. Parental pressure to attend college immediately after high school can be counter-productive for the reluctant or unmotivated teen; some do better after working or living on their own for a couple of years and then applying to college with the benefit of more maturity and life experience. Future employers or graduate schools do not look unfavorably on students who charted a different path for a while and then attended college once they felt ready to focus and excel.

Click a Question Below for Research Based Answers

High school is well known for being a particularly difficult place for rainbow teenagers. Not only is a person’s self-identity a vulnerable spot at that young age, but the regimented routines of high school which put individuals in such close proximity to one another make differences stand out. Additionally, with few opportunities to alter one’s schedule to remove oneself from uncomfortable situations and overworked teachers unresponsive to the needs of targeted youngsters, for many the high school experience can seem more like that of a penitentiary.

The transition from high school to college has historically been seen as a moment of emancipation, and it’s true: college provides a host of freedoms from old constraints which sexual and gender minority teens especially appreciate. However, it can also be a time of anxiety, for teenagers and parents. If you are the parent of a soon-to-graduate rainbow student, it could be helpful to take some time with them to discuss the future of their education and the challenges they may need to prepare for.   

The most important decision they will have to make is which college they choose to attend. Apart from academic quality, there are various distinctive needs and values your child may have that need to be considered. Here are a few points to keep in mind while helping them weigh their options:

 

  • Social life: Does your child like to maintain close relationships with their friends? Is this going to be altered by their going to college?
  • Nutrition: Does your child have any allergies or dietary needs?
  • Mental Health: Does your child get easily overwhelmed and/or suffer from poor mental health? Can the college provide easy access to medication and counseling services?
  • Sleeping: Does your child have sleeping problems such as insomnia or sleep apnea? Can these be ameliorated in a different environment?
  • Privacy Needs: Your child is going to begin sharing their dormitory rooms and bathrooms with strangers. Are there particular privacy needs that your child has?
  • Packing their belongings: Are there certain things that your child would like to bring along for sentimental value? Are there things they can leave at home and visit? Are there things that you can mail to them throughout their first year that might help them with homesickness along the way? Make sure to review a list of college supplies, which you can easily find online or potentially through a university’s website.
  • Extracurricular activities: Is your child going to be able to participate in the same extracurriculars that they are currently interested in while in college? Are there less or non-competitive versions of the activities they have been participating in previously that might be more accessible?
  • Learning Style/Abilities: Does your child have learning disabilities or need particular assistance to participate in class? Make arrangements for them to receive support for this before arriving at their If your child can manage their learning on their own, make sure you are both on the same page about how their school management will transfer from high school to college.

In all areas, it is helpful to have your child identify their boundaries so they may be able to communicate them with someone else, e.g., a roommate. If they did not grow up with any close-in-age siblings, this may be more of a challenge. Helping your child to practice advocating for themselves and communicate their needs can help to reduce instances of passive aggression and tension with potential roommates and new cohorts. If you do not feel prepared to help your child find the language to advocate for themselves in these areas, contact a counselor or dean on campus that can pair your child with a mentor, faculty member, or the Dean of Students.

For students and teenagers, it can often be embarrassing or isolating to openly ask for care or support from adults or faculty. They should be reassured that asking for help is impressive and shows signs of a strong, mature individual. You cannot remind them enough how important it is to ask for assistance when they need it and admit when they do not have all the answers.

Although college applications come along with a fee, sending out as many of them as possible has a large benefit. The more options the merrier. However, that does not mean they should take the first offer that comes their way. When helping to choose a college for your child, there are many things that you should consider. Here are some things to be on the lookout for in the application processes that can provide insight into how good of a fit that school might be.

For example, if the “sex” or “gender” section on a college application does not provide an option for your child’s identity, this is a sign that the institution itself may not be fully considering or respecting the identities of their students. If you’re applying via tools such as CommonApp, however, this may not be so clear, as interfaces such as these do not show you the application exactly as colleges format them, instead it helps your child store their answers and it fills this information into different applications automatically. Check the actual application on the college’s website to see if they provide options for diverse gender identities. Additionally, you should discourage application to any college that does not have a public, thorough, and competent inclusion statement and/or list of anti-discrimination policies.

After you have finished with the application, here are some criteria to evaluate in each of the prospective schools you and your teen look through:

 

Location

 

First, is the college in question located in a rural or urban area? Oftentimes, when students are feeling isolated, access to some sort of metropolitan area is beneficial to building students’ independence. This can help them to feel more connected to the progressive and expansive world around them. Additionally, rural areas often maintain more socially conservative values that involve homophobia and transphobia. How urban or rural a university’s surroundings are can also help predict what sort of law enforcement presence there will be on campus (not including college security services). The character and efficacy of local police agencies are worth monitoring for your child’s safety. 

 

History

 

Colleges make it a point to dig into the lives of prospective students, via transcripts, personal statements, essays, extracurricular activities, etc. You should do your research on them as well. What role has it and its students had in moments of social conflict and change? Has queer theory and LGBTQ-related research had a home there? How was the college founded and how has it held itself accountable to the students it educates?

 

Faculty, Syllabi, Curriculum, and Funding

 

Academics are not always skilled at keeping up with new research, so see how often a college updates its curriculum. Also, find out if there are any openly LGBT faculty members at a college, as this can go a long way towards making a new student feel safe and welcome. What about some of the college’s largest donors/funders? Are they politically affiliated, and if they are, then how so? Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the classes offered and the various curricula, particularly in fields such as gender studies, English, and Psychology, which are often popular majors for queer students. All of this can inform your view of a college’s social climate and how supportive it will be for your rainbow student.  

 

On-campus Support

 

As for on-campus support, does a college have any student-sponsored LGBTQ+ organizations/activities? While you’re at it, see how active they are as well. And remember, not all organizations that have LGBTQ in their names are equally inclusive. Some may be more supportive of sexual orientation than gender identity. Some may have issues with making students of color feel welcome. As for the school facilities, see if there are gender-neutral restrooms and housing opportunities. And if your child uses a different name than the one listed on their legal documentation, will the campus honor this on their registration and the ID card they provide for them?

For some GNC (gender non-conforming) and trans youth, being able to feel safe in their living space can often include choosing their roommate. Sometimes, the most fitting roommate for a gender-variant student does not share their same “sex” or “gender” as most schools mandate. Is there an opportunity for your child to find a safe and comfortable roommate outside of the binary gender dichotomy? These types of restrictions and rules become less of an issue when a student has the opportunity to move off campus, but many schools have a minimum requirement of one or more years spent in school housing. Try giving the Dean of Students a call and ask if arraignments like these could be made. If their response is one of shock or indignation, you probably have your answer.

See also if they have a de-escalation protocol in their policy of conflict resolution. de-escalation strategies are designed to intervene in arguments and cases of harassment and reduce the tension and anger in all parties. This prevents altercations from becoming violent and keeps future lines of communication open [7,8]. How have they handled instances of discrimination and harassment of LGBTQ+ students in the past?

All universities are different, which means that even gay and trans-friendly colleges are going to have different ways of affirming rainbow students and providing them with specific services and resources catered to their needs. However, for some examples of what it looks like when colleges get it right, here are a few articles rating the top LGBTQ+ supporting schools in the country, including many lower-cost public universities:

https://www.intelligent.com/best-colleges-for-lgbtq-students/

https://www.businessinsider.com/the-10-most-inclusive-best-colleges-for-lgbtq-students-2022-2

https://www.campuspride.org/2020BESTOFTHEBEST/

 

Religious or Secular

 

Many universities are centered around the values of a particular religion. This may or may not be important to your child depending on their beliefs. If they want to attend a religiously oriented school, make sure it is one that is gay-affirming, as some are. Unfortunately, many organized religions have a negative view of sex and gender diversity, and this may limit their choices. If holding on to spiritual practices and communities is something they feel like they need, that should be encouraged. Just be sure to guide them to a place where this won’t dehumanize or marginalize them.

If a visit is physically and financially accessible, it is one of the more thorough ways to evaluate a school’s fit for your child. Walk around campus and look at the kinds of flyers that are posted; what kind of events are happening. Who is hosting them? What does the campus “vibe” feel like?

Keep an eye out for student protests/criticisms towards the school’s faculty or institutions. A student body that actively and respectfully engages with the school to promote change is a sign of a dynamic and intellectually animated climate. See also how the administration responds to these students. If staff members censure, placate, or otherwise ignore these activities, that could indicate a problem. Open conversation, however heated, between teachers and students-if conducted with a spirit of mutual respect and a love of knowledge-is a good indication that your child will be heard.

Furthermore, it would be a good idea as well to sit in on a few classes and maybe schedule an overnight for your teen for them to get a taste of what student life there is like. Most colleges want prospective students to take an interest in their school and would be more than happy to arrange that. If visiting in person is not accessible, however, consider scheduling a video call with a student ambassador or alumni representative. Emailing or calling the admissions office or Dean of Students can be a good start to scheduling a sleepover. 

There are a number that target specific segments of the population:

 

The Gamma Mu Foundation gives scholarships to U.S. resident gay male students (undergraduate or graduate) from rural communities or areas “underserved” by LGBTQ-supporting resources. See:

https://gammamufoundation.org/overview/

 

The League Foundation grants up to 12 scholarships a year to open LGBTQ high school seniors who are US citizens or legal immigrants and have been accepted to an accredited college, university, or vocational school. Involvement in service of local LGBTQ organizations or communities is given weight in determining these awards. See:

https://www.leaguefoundation.org/index.php/our-awards/do-i-qualify

 

The Association of LGBTQ Journalists gives the Leroy F. Aarons Scholarship, an annual grant of $5000 in tuition, to a student enrolled or accepted into a US college who is planning a career in journalism and can present samples of journalistic work involving their local LGBTQ community.

https://www.nlgja.org/resources/aarons/

 

The Point Foundation awards Flagship Scholarships for up to four years of work at a US college or university. The student must be openly LGBTQ and demonstrate leadership, community involvement, and advocacy of LGBTQ issues. Financial need is a major criterion.

https://pointfoundation.org/scholarships/flagship

The Point Foundation also offers special scholarships for LGBTQ community college students.

https://pointfoundation.org/scholarships/community-college

The Point Foundation offers a one-time $1500 scholarship to BIPOC students who also identify as LGBTQ.

https://pointfoundation.org/scholarships/bipoc

 

The Pride in Diversity Scholarship is offered through Aronow.io and is awarded to a member of the LGBTQ+ community pursuing a degree in a STEM-related field.

https://bold.org/scholarships/pride-in-diversity-scholarship/

 

The Acorn Equality Fund provides scholarships to LGBTQ students who live in Illinois (any county except Cook, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will). There are a number of scholarships available based on academics, financial need, community service, commitment to public health and political advocacy.

https://www.acornequalityfund.org/scholarships.html

 

The National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) offers scholarships to students pursuing aviation as a career. While scholarships are not limited to students within the LGBT community, the scholarship committee looks for applicants who have somehow given back to that community.

https://www.ngpa.org/scholarships?locale=en_us

 

PFLAG describes itself as the “first and largest” organization for the LGBTQ+ community. There are PFLAG chapters in nearly every state, and many of these chapters offer scholarship programs to LGBT students and allies.

https://dev.pflag.org/localpflagscholarshipprograms

 

The Gay’s Den Scholar Award goes to LGTBQ+ individuals who are graduating from high school in Florida. The scholarship “seeks to encourage and uplift LGBTQ+ individuals so they can lead proud and successful lives.”

https://bold.org/scholarships/gays-den-scholar-award/

 

WiseGeek LGBTQ+ Awareness Scholarship
This $500 scholarship is awarded to a student who is part of the LGBTQ+ community and wants to build awareness for that community.

https://bold.org/scholarships/wisegeek-lgbtq-awareness-scholarship/

 

Unicorn Scholarship
This $1,000 scholarship is given to a current undergraduate college student. The deadline is July 31, 2021. Applicants must write an essay between 100 and 500 words on self-love and how they’ll work to build LGBTQ+ awareness and positivity.

https://bold.org/scholarships/unicorn-scholarship/

 

The Pride Foundation in the Northwest offers 60 different scholarships for LGBTQ+ students, and it only requires one application to be considered for all of them. Students with financial need and who don’t have a strong LGBTQ+ support system can apply for these scholarships.

https://pridefoundation.org/find-funding/scholarships/guidelines/

 

Pool Family LGBT+ Scholarship

The Pool family is a family with LGBTQ+ kids and a proud mom who has been involved with their local PFLAG organization for many years. Any LGBTQ+ undergraduate student may apply for this exclusive scholarship opportunity.

https://bold.org/scholarships/pool-family-lgbt-scholarship/#ref=find-scholarships

 

Pride Palace LGBTQ+ Scholarship

At its core, Pride Palace is an apparel company that wants to support and help people embrace their pride. Pride Palace believes in magnifying the unique voices of the LGBTQ+ community and helping elevate these special voices to as wide a platform as possible. Any member of the LGBTQ community from all education levels is eligible to apply.

https://bold.org/scholarships/pride-palace-lgbtq-scholarship/#ref=find-scholarships

 

Mike Rhoades It’s Okay to be Gay Scholarship

This scholarship is funded by Mark Rhoades a gay man who grew up in a conservative family, and felt forced to keep his identity a secret for 21 years. Rhoades started this scholarship to encourage more openness and acceptance for all the gay men in this world and help support other men who have faced similar struggles.

https://bold.org/scholarships/mike-rhoades-scholarship/#ref=find-scholarships

 

Ian Thom Foundation offers a $1,000 scholarship available to any gay or lesbian undergraduate student who is a resident of West Virginia.

https://www.unigo.com/scholarships/by-type/lgbt-scholarships/david-womack-memorial-west-virginia-lgbt-scholarship

 

Stonewall Foundation Scholarships
Since 1990, the Stonewall Foundation has been focusing on the needs of the LGBTQ community specifically in the state of New York. The foundation inspires meaningful change by creating scholarship opportunities for LGBTQ students.

https://www.stonewallfoundation.org/scholarships/

 

Colin Higgins Youth Courage Award
Established in 2000, the Colin Higgins Foundation gives away the Youth Courage Award annually to recognize exceptional students who demonstrate courage in the face of adversity and discrimination. LGBTQ youth activists who apply will have the chance to win a grant of $10,000, an opportunity to attend the National Conference on LGBT Equality, and be honored during Pride Week on an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles or New York.

https://colinhiggins.org

 

Rainbow Scholarship
Made possible by the generous donations and support of numerous international education professionals that are dedicated to helping LGBT students participate in international programs, the Rainbow Scholarship is awarded to LGBT students who want to pursue meaningful, intensive education programs abroad.

https://www.rainbowsig.org/rainbow-scholarship/

Rainbow high school students transitioning to college are going to have most of the same things to worry about as cisgender and heterosexual high school students. Yet, there are two specific concerns that we will discuss below. These are topics that are important for you to familiarize yourself with as a parent, and we advise that you discuss them with your child as well. If you need guidance on this, here are some articles on discussing difficult topics with your kids:

https://www.commonsensemedia.org/articles/how-to-talk-to-kids-about-difficult-subjects

https://raisingchildren.net.au/teens/communicating-relationships/tough-topics/difficult-conversations-with-teens

https://www.moms.com/talk-teenagers-about-sensitive-topics/

Discrimination, Harassment, and Assault

Rainbow students have a higher likelihood of experiencing sexual assault, discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender, and other forms of victimization. See our installment on bullying for ways they can protect themselves from this sort of treatment and stay resilient in the face of it. It is important that a child’s identity does not make them feel unsafe at school and subsequently hold them back from an enriching educational experience. In 2018, the Association of American Universities surveyed more than 180,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Nearly 17% of the sample student population identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual [2]. 1.7% of the same sample identified as trans, nonbinary, or questioning [2]. Incidents of assault and harassment against rainbow students are higher than that for cis and hetero students, but exact numbers are hard to come by as this data is limited in a few ways. 

For instance, rainbow students will often not report assaults due to fear of being outed or maltreated by the systems in place to protect them. Please see our section on Understanding Consent (LINK) for information about the potential complications of reporting assault. Additionally, assault and harassment data are often representative of physical force or contact of the sexual variety. Not all harassment and assault are sexual. Sometimes rainbow students are attacked or harassed verbally out of prejudice. Rainbow students who are visibly alternative or gender-nonconforming, for example, are often popular targets of this kind of harassment due to their appearance being more indicative of “difference.”

“Non-physical, yet still harmful, forms of harassment also may take the form of  what are called “microaggressions.”” According to Hood et al (2018):

Microaggressions specific to LGBTQ people may include disparaging comments such as “That’s so gay,” being told one does not “look gay” or “act transgender,” being told that one’s bisexuality is “a phase” or not a “real” sexual identity, being told by others that they do not “agree” with one’s sexuality or gender identity (or that it is “unnatural” or “unhealthy), and misgendering or “deadnaming” (invalidating a person’s gender identity by using incorrect pronouns or their given/birth name rather than their current name) [4].

Your child should be conditioned to understand that these slights are grounded in ignorance, not necessarily malice, and be prepared to educate those who make such remarks in proper etiquette. They should not be intimidated by the rudeness of others.

Most of the data collected about nonconsensual sexual contact by physical force or inability to consent since enrollment is similar amongst women, LGBQ, and TGQN (trans, genderqueer, nonconforming) students. From 2015 to 2019, instances of these various forms of assault were reported by 13% of the aforementioned populations [2]. However, these estimates are based on convenience samples that may overreport actual rates of assault, since students who have been assaulted are more likely to participate in such surveys.

In a 2019 campus report by the Association of American Universities, 66% of LGBTQ+ college students reported having experienced sexual harassment of some sort at least once within their academic experience [3]. The same 2019 report showed that non-heterosexual students were more likely to experience stalking [3]. Talking about these realities with your child can facilitate them to be more intentional about their behavior and surroundings at school. The data from AAU indicated that stalking behaviors were particularly prevalent amongst TGQN college students, outranking other respondents by at least 5% [2].

24.8% of respondents from the 2019 AAU report claimed that sexual assault and misconduct were “very” or “extremely” problematic at their schools with TGQN and female students most likely to report this impression [2]. Even more alarming is that only 37.1% of all students felt they were knowledgeable about the definition of sexual assault or where to get help [2]. Only 31.5% felt they knew how to report it [2]. Please see our section on “Consent in College” for advice to students on how to process and report assault.

At the same time, LGBTQ+ people are policed much more aggressively for “sexual transgressions” than cisgender and heterosexual people. A 2014 study showed that people held more punitive attitudes towards underaged juveniles who engage in homosexual behavior than juveniles who engage in heterosexual behavior [9,10]. HIV positive people who have sex, even with no risk of transmission, are punished harshly as well, and trans people can face rape charges if they don’t disclose their biological gender to their sexual partners [11]. This is all related to what David Halperin and Trevor Hoppe call the “war on sex” – the increasingly punitive turn against non-normative sexual behavior under the discourse of “safety” and “public health” [12]. Colleges are now much stricter in policing allegations of sexual assault than in previous decades due to federally mandated rules connected with Title IX, and this often affects rainbow students who are charged with non-consensual conduct by other students who are less certain of their orientation and may regret or feel uncomfortable with a same-sex encounter. Make sure that your student understands current policies concerning sexual consent on college campuses; refer them to our section on Understanding Consent (LINK), which is addressed to students.

There is also the possibility that internalized homophobia can artificially lead to feelings of violation and coercion. According to Thepsourinthone et al (2020):

“Within the gay male community”, heteronormative ideals play a prominent role—the rewarding of traditionally masculine behavior and stigmatization of effeminate behavior. As a consequence, sexual minority individuals often experience negative attitudes towards their own sexuality—internalized homonegativity [6]

With this in mind, consider how a bi-curious young man who hasn’t yet accepted his homosexual inclinations might deal with the shame after a sexual encounter with another openly gay man. Not recognizing his own capacity for homosexual desire, he may respond by putting the blame on the other partner. He may resent him, slander and/or harass him, shun him, or even accuse him of sexual mistreatment or “taking advantage” of him. This is backed by the data on the positive association between internalized homophobia and intimate partner violence in same-sex relationships [13].

Even if your child is proudly gay and sexually active, they still might not fully understand the stage others occupy in their own process of self-discovery. To protect themselves from charges of sexual mistreatment, and to protect others from engaging in sex they might regret, it is important for rainbow students to form associations with queer organizations on campus to develop social capital (an essential in times of scandal), and to practice clear and honest communication when negotiating consent. Now that your child is of (or approaching) the age of majority, this is vital for development as their own self-advocates.

Mental and physical healthcare

Taking charge of one’s own health after entering into adulthood can take some practice, so it’s important that they look into their college’s healthcare services, as well as how well they are trained to handle LGBTQ+ people and LGBTQ+ related issues.

Research focused on sexual minorities’ use of collegiate mental health services has found that they report both higher usage of these services, and higher rates of their needs going unmet compared to heterosexual students [5]. A study conducted from 2015 to 2016 asked LGBTQ+ college students about their experiences with mental and physical health services on their campus. Experiences of discrimination from counselors and healthcare providers were high. For example, one student noticed a shift in their provider’s demeanor after disclosing their sexual behavior. This caused them to feel less willing to share potentially vital information relating to their health and less comfortable accessing such services in the future [4].

Many of the student participants also repeated secondhand accounts from transgender peers of being misgendered, deadnamed, and touched in insensitive ways by providers [4]. All students agreed upon the need for further LGBTQ-specific training for healthcare providers, which has the potential to make the student health center more welcoming and inclusive.

As a parent, you can do your research about the mental and physical health centers at your child’s school. For instance, do they have any disclaimers about LGBTQ+ specific services or training? Are there any statements from the employees or providers in these centers? If possible, you can also investigate any LGBTQ+ youth health centers located near the college that might be accessible for your child. This could provide a degree of separation and privacy between their health concerns and their school. Ideally, though, they should feel comfortable using the resources provided to them by their campus. Rainbow students who do not trust or feel comfortable with the counselors available in their college or community can find a sympathetic provider through the online network maintained by The Trevor Project: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

 

This will depend on you and your child’s relationship before they leave for college. Distance can both weaken and strengthen relationships and it is important to be prepared for both. Sometimes, relationships involve less frequent communication, and this can be a good thing. Less frequent check-ins can indicate more independence and self-confidence in your child. As a parent, you can always initiate check-ins, but be careful not to smother or overwhelm them, as this can cause them to feel obliged to reach out to you every day. Try to work out a schedule that you both feel comfortable with. If you still feel worried about them, ask about other support systems they may have there, e.g., friends and faculty members. This might help to put some of your worries at ease.

If your child has an activist bent, you can support them by remaining up to date on social movements and news items that relate to your child’s identity. College puts kids much closer to the socio-political happenings around the country, many of which have LGBTQ+ specific implications. Remaining aware of the ways that they and their school are interacting with the social world puts you in a prepared position to engage with their growth, reflection, and difficulties in this new stage of life. Consider subscribing to the email lists of organizations like PFLAG, SIECUS, HRC (Human Rights Campaign), The Trevor Project, or the LGBTQ Task Force. These organizations are committed to remaining engaged with new legislations, movements, and celebrations within the sexual and gender minority communities.

For many young adults, college is a time of exploration and experimentation.            

This can offer a healthy place to learn about new forms of intimacy, dating, and romance, and you can help them navigate it. Firstly, if your child is in a relationship while transitioning into college, here is a list of pointers for going long distance in school https://www.teenvogue.com/story/long-distance-college-relationship.

If not, there is a good chance they may be hoping to meet somebody there. Whether they are looking for a serious relationship or more casual flings, they should strive for affirmation and sober consent in their encounters. You don’t need to go all the way back to the birds-and-the-bees, just make sure they’re aware that sex never becomes “second nature” and that they are always going to need to keep mutual respect and safety in mind. For advice on this, please refer them to our Understanding Consent section (LINK) to familiarize them with the type of language they might use while navigating sexuality and intimacy at school.

For avoiding STDs/STIs, colleges and universities will often supply free safer-sex methods. Condoms are often free and health centers may have the ability to provide other forms of birth control or safer-sex methods like dental dams. Research how easy it is for them to access prophylaxes like PrEP and PEP as well. Also, some schools might be able to provide health care services that are oriented to students who have transitioned their gender or want to transition.

Ideally, the campus climate at your child’s chosen school has open conversations about things like this during orientation and throughout the school year. You can always help to point them in the right direction by gently reminding them how important it is to have fun and be able to minimize anxiety and discomfort by practicing safer-sex methods and communication.

Do your best not to discourage the exploration that is associated with college. With most things, we will not know if we like them until we try them. The most important part about trying new things is listening to our bodies, checking in with our minds, and fully considering others as we interact with them in both intimate and casual spaces.

[1] Kosciw, J. G., Clark, C. M., Truong, N. L., Zongrone, A. D. (2020). The 2019 National School Climate Survey: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Youth in Our Nation’s Schools. GLSEN. https://www.glsen.org/sites/default/files/2021-04/NSCS19-FullReport-032421-Web_0.pdf

[2] Cantor, D., Fisher, B., Harps, S., Townsend, R., Thomas, G., Lee, H., Kranz, V., Herbison, R., & Madden, K. (2020). Report on the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct. The Association of American Universities. /Westat. https://www.aau.edu/sites/default/files/AAU-Files/Key-Issues/Campus-Safety/Revised%20Aggregate%20report%20%20and%20appendices%201-7_(01-16-2020_FINAL).pdf.

[3] Postsecondary National Policy Institute. (2021, May). LGBTQ Students in Higher Education. https://pnpi.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/LGBTQStudentsinHigherEducation_PNPI_May2021.pdf.

[4] Hood, L., Sherrell, D., Pfeffer, C. A., & Mann, E. S. (2019). LGBTQ College Students’ Experiences With University Health Services: An Exploratory Study. Journal of homosexuality, 66(6), 797–814. https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2018.1484234

[5] Dunbar, M. S., Sontag-Padilla, L., Ramchand, R., Seelam, R., & Stein, B. D. (2017). Mental Health Service Utilization Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Questioning or Queer College Students. The Journal of adolescent health: official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 61(3), 294–301.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jadohealth.2017.03.008

[6] Thepsourinthone, J., Dune, T., Liamputtong, P., & Arora, A. (2020). The Relationship between Masculinity and Internalized Homophobia amongst Australian Gay Men. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(15), 5475. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17155475

[7] Price, O., & Baker, J. (2012). Key components of de-escalation techniques: a thematic synthesis. International journal of mental health nursing, 21(4), 310–319. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1447-0349.2011.00793.x

[8] Ejbye-Ernst, P., Lindegaard, M. R., & Bernasco, W. (2022). How to stop a fight—A qualitative video analysis of how third-parties de-escalate real-life interpersonal conflicts in public. Psychology of Violence, 12(2), 84–94. https://doi.org/10.1037/vio0000410

[9] Meyer, I. H., Bouton, L., Maszak-Prato, S., Semple, L., & Lave, T. R. (2022, May). LGBTQ People on Sex Offender Registries in the US. Williams Institute. https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/SORS-LGBTQ-May-2022.pdf

[10] Salerno, J. M., Murphy, M. C., & Bottoms, B. L. (2014). Give the kid a break—but only if he’s straight: Retributive motives drive biases against gay youth in ambiguous punishment contexts. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 20(4), 398–410. https://doi.org/10.1037/law0000019

[11] Hoppe, T. (2017). Punishing Disease: HIV and the Criminalization of Sickness. University of California Press.

[12] Halperin, D. M., & Hoppe, T. (2017). The War on Sex. Duke University Press Books.

[13] Badenes-Ribera, L., Sánchez-Meca, J., & Longobardi, C. (2019). The Relationship Between Internalized Homophobia and Intimate Partner Violence in Same-Sex Relationships: A Meta-Analysis. Trauma, violence & abuse, 20(3), 331–343. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838017708781

 

What's your reaction?
1Smile0Angry1LOL0Sad0Love

Add Comment

Parenting Rainbow Kids. All Rights Reserved.