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UAB named best college for LGBTQ+ students in Alabama

Evan Mealins

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The University of Alabama at Birmingham is the best college for LGBTQ students in Alabama, according to BestColleges and Campus Pride. Universities on the list were “hand-vetted” by a panel of experts to show the most positive option for LGBTQ youth in each state.

LGBTQ students at UAB have access to five different support and affinity groups solely devoted to LGBTQ issues. Students can also ask questions and learn from Safezone Peer Educators, a group that UAB’s website calls “a group of volunteer undergraduate students who provide education and training around issues of gender, sexuality, power and oppression.”

Each fall, students and Birminghamians participate in “Coming Out on the Green,” an event to learn about LGBTQ+ resources, listen to live music, meet other people and enjoy free food. And each spring, LGBTQ students at UAB are recognized at the Lavender Celebration for their accomplishments and contributions to campus.

Students also have access to the LGBTQ Mental Health and Wellness Clinic run by UAB Medicine, which seeks to provide culturally competent pharmacology and therapy for LGBTQ patients that is safe, supportive and affirming.

“We are honored to be recognized as a safe space for LGBTQ+ students to learn, live and grow as they pursue their hopes and dreams,” said Paulette Patterson Dilworth, Ph.D., vice president of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, in a press release from the university. Dilworth said that UAB will continue to create an inclusive environment at the university.

The city of Birmingham is typically friendly to its LGBTQ residents; in fact, Birmingham brought in a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index for 2018, making it the first city in the Deep South to ever reach that mark.

The University of Alabama scored a 2.5 out of 5 stars for being LGBTQ+ friendly, the same rating that UAB received, according to the Campus Pride Index.

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The Campus Pride Index did not include any other Alabama colleges in its ratings.

Evan Mealins is a reporting intern at the Alabama Political Reporter and student at Auburn University working toward a B.A. in media studies. You can follow him on Twitter @EvanMealins or email him at [email protected]

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