When searching for business schools, I was not only looking for top-notch academics, but also whether there was a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) presence on campus and in the surrounding community. It was important for me to feel safe, accepted, and share my MBA experience with other LGBT students. Fortunately, Ohio State and Columbus have one of the largest LGBT populations in the Midwest. In fact, Ohio State was ranked as one of the top 50 LGBT-friendly campuses by Campus Pride (www.campuspride.org) and Columbus earned a perfect score as a LGBT-friendly city by the Human Rights Campaign (www.hrc.org), which is America’s largest LGBT civil rights organization.
On-campus: Although most LGBT organizations are undergrad-based, they all welcome LGBT graduate students and allies. Most of these organizations meet regularly and offer informative and fun events, ranging from socials to LGBT speakers. Laverne Cox, the transgender actress who appears on “Orange is the New Black,” even spoke at our school this semester. For business students, Out in Business (www.fisheroib.com) is Fisher’s main LGBT business club. I also recently attended the Reaching Out MBA conference (www.reachingoutmba.org) in San Francisco with several of my classmates. Definitely a fantastic conference that brought together LGBT business students from all over the country and included speakers, case competitions, recruiting fairs, and social events. Highly recommended!!!
Off-campus: Not surprisingly, the LGBT “scene” in Columbus pales in comparison to much larger cities, such as New York City and San Francisco. Even so, it is still very vibrant and active! There is something for everyone, ranging from nightlife in and around downtown Columbus to support and wellness organizations, such as Stonewall Columbus (www.stonewallcolumbus.org), and musical groups, such as the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus (www.columbusgaymenschorus.com). If you are ever looking to experience LGBT outside of the area, Columbus is in close proximity to other major cities, including Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Cleveland.
So whomever you may be, Fisher and Columbus is definitely a welcoming LGBT environment! As a business student, now you just have to find the time to see all that it has to offer, but that’s for another post 😉